Design for Freedom by Grace Farms and US Coalition on Sustainability Announce Partnership to Connect Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Professionals Through New Online Digital Platform to Promote More Ethical Supply Chains
Announcement made during UN General Assembly week, where the US Coalition on Sustainability announced the expansion of its SustainChain™ platform and new partnerships to accelerate progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Design for Freedom by Grace Farms and the US Coalition on Sustainability today announced a new partnership that will advance their shared goals of advocating for and realizing sustainable and ethical supply chains that are free of forced labor. Grace Farms Foundation is one of the leading forerunners to join SustainChain™, the coalition’s technology platform that uses advanced digital technology and machine learning to bring together innovators, impact investors, businesses, NGOs and public-private sector alliances with the aim of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a comprehensive plan consisting of 17 interrelated goals to address and resolve some of our global humanitarian challenges. Design for Freedom directly addresses SDG Target 8.7 with the goal of taking immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking, and eliminate child labor. The announcement was made during a meeting in New York City as a part of the UN General Assembly’s annual convening of world leaders and policymakers.
“The next step in architectural justice is to include social equity and ethical material transparency in the evaluation of our supply chains so we can understand where our building materials come from and how they are made,” said Grace Farms Foundation CEO and Founder Sharon Prince. “Design for Freedom is doing just that – raising awareness of forced labor embedded in our building materials and initializing responses to disrupt forced labor in the building materials supply chain and to come together to create more transparency.”
“As a first of its kind accelerator for achieving a more just and sustainable world, SustainChain is providing a free public utility designed to unify and rapidly scale sustainability efforts,” said Jacqueline Corbelli, Founder of the US Coalition on Sustainability and creator of SustainChain. “We are thrilled that Design for Freedom by Grace Farms has decided to use SustainChain as a way to bring their leadership in advancing sustainability to an exciting new level; their efforts will not only accelerate their impact but will also be a practical model for other organizations to follow.”
Grace Farms will bring global leaders and professionals from the architectural, engineering, and construction industries into the platform where they will have opportunities to share information and connect with one another, collaborate on research and pilot projects, discuss policy, and advocate for transparent and ethical building materials supply chains.
Today’s announcement is the latest step in the Design for Freedom movement. Since its launch in 2020, Design for Freedom by Grace Farms has published a comprehensive report and toolkit to illuminate forced labor in the building materials supply chain and made significant advancements in developing and incorporating an anti-slavery ethos in the design and construction process. To date, there are five Design for Freedom Pilot Projects in the U.S., U.K., and India, which are modeling transparent and forced labor free supply chains and demonstrating design principles in action by creating a tangible example of a more humane built environment.