Nearly 90 companies in China could be prevented from buying certain US technology and other products if the Trump administration declares they are connected to the Chinese military. The Commerce Department broadened the "military end user" definition in April, and President Donald Trump recently issued an executive order banning investment in Chinese companies said to be run by the military.
Beauty company Aveda is using blockchain technology and QR codes to verify the authenticity of vanilla beans it purchases from farmers in Madagascar. The first traceable products using the beans will be available for purchase in the second quarter of next year.
Investing in analytic processes can take time, but it will pay off, especially in uncertain times when new data and expertise are needed, writes Cassie Kozyrkov, chief decision scientist at Google. "When the world is suddenly upended, those who can learn the fastest are best positioned to succeed," Kozyrkov writes.
Supply chain and pharmaceutical companies are working on the cold chain that will be needed to transport vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech that will require consistent temperatures from the manufacturer to the clinic. This article outlines the both the innovation as well as the potential obstacles vaccine distribution chains will face.
Manufacturers of wind turbines, solar cells and batteries are facing shortfalls in technology metals because of pandemic-related production constraints. Such companies should seek alternate supply sources, consider alternative materials and improve recycling rates, write Ata Akcil, Zhi Sun and Sandeep Panda.
Government intervention, through legislation and stiff penalties, is required to root out forced labor in supply chains, writes Alexis Bateman, who notes improved visibility and audit programs aren't enough. The Slave-Free Business Certification Act introduced to Congress back in July would require large companies to report forced labor instances, with noncompliant companies liable for civil and punitive damages.
Using systems thinking instead of technology can build resilience in food supply chains by providing ways to identify potential problems before they "snowball" into bigger ones, write John Keogh, Carl Unis and Karen Hand. "[A] strategic, holistic, agile systems view with integrated early detection (tripwires) and rapid response capability (circuit breaker) is critical for success as we move forward into the unknown," they write.
Bain Capital has secured $800 million in fresh capital for its second impact investing fund, Bain Capital Double Impact, to focus on environmental, social and governance funds. The firm raised the large amount of fresh capital, over twice the size of Bain's first impact fund, despite a bad year for fundraising because of the pandemic and a new US Labor Department rule.
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