Jim Vallette investigates supply chains that impact human health, human rights, and the planet. Since the 1980s, he has inventoried an array of such industries: the trade in toxic waste, production of ozone depleting chemicals, World Bank financing of fossil fuels, and composition of building materials, among others. Vallette launched a low-profit company, Material Research L3C, in 2019 to serve those who work for social and environmental justice.
In 2022, Vallette co-authored Built on Repression, with Laura Murphy, professor, and Nyrola Elim, researcher, of Sheffield Hallam University’s Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice. The report investigates the manufacturing of plastics in the Uyghur Region, the use of state-sponsored labor transfers and massive environmental pollution by the producers, and the routes by which the resulting vinyl flooring products are flooding the U.S. building materials market. It signals an urgent need for more supply chain vigilance in the green building community.