IPE took a new step in the CITI Green Supply Chain program to inaugurate a CITI Master category in 2019. This category has been conceptualized to drive aspiring Masters to mature their supply chain programs to the point of equal partnerships with suppliers – such that accountability for compliance issues rests equally on the brand’s and its suppliers’ shoulders, rather than relying on the continued efforts of the brand to detect problems and inform the supplier of its responsibilities, issue public explanations, and lead corrective action efforts each time a problem arises.
To qualify as a CITI Master, exemplary brands must:
1. Rank as a top performance brand in the annual CITI;
2. Maintain high performance standards in their supply chain environmental management through the Blue EcoChain or equivalent data system, which enables brands and suppliers to communicate dynamically.
3. Requires all key suppliers to track their environmental performance via Blue EcoChain or equivalent data systems to ensure their own accountability on a dynamic basis.
The CITI Master category will recognize the single top brand performer in supply chain responsibility each year. Once designated a Master, the brand is no longer scored in annual CITI evaluations, making room for a new top performer in the coming year.
Apple was designated as the inaugural CITI Master in 2019. The company has ranked #1 in CITI annual reporting for five years in a row. It has been tracking and rectifying compliance problems for 223 suppliers in China in coordination with IPE and the Green Choice Alliance since 2012 and has delivered high levels of compliance among its suppliers with its diligence and persistent work. Most notably, the company has recently joined Blue EcoChain in 2019 and has committed to bringing all of its existing suppliers into the Blue EcoChain.