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P2.1: Policies and Codes


Companies will set supply chain policies and codes aligned with overall social and environmental standards.

The first essential step for any company seeking to drive sustainability throughout its supply chain is developing a supplier code of conduct that establishes expectations for social and environmental performance by all suppliers and contractors. Such codes can be very effective in incentivizing suppliers and contractors because they carry an implicit, and sometimes explicit, message that compliance is a condition of future business.

CASE STUDY:  Hidden in Plain Sight

Forced labor and human trafficking—our modern-day slavery—occur at a horrifying scale, with estimated numbers affecting between 21 to 27 million people worldwide. In Gaining Ground we examine how 600+ of the largest U.S. companies address the issues of forced labor and child labor in their supplier codes of conduct and human rights policies.  Read more about the findings and recommendations.

For this expectation we assessed company supplier codes of conduct, as well as the breadth of issues covered within those policies.

Key Findings

  • 58 percent of companies (353) set clear sustainability standards for their suppliers through a formal code or policy, up from 43 percent in 2012.
  • 18 percent (110 companies) have supplier codes that meet the highest standards by referencing most or all of the human rights issues covered in the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Core Conventions, up from 10 percent in 2012. For example, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) addresses all of the issues covered by the ILO core conventions. With regard to conflict mineral sourcing in its supply chain, AMD’s supplier code prohibits suppliers from contributing to conflict or human rights violations in the sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold and requires suppliers to trace these minerals to EICC certified conflict-free smelters.

To read the full analysis, key findings and sector insights from Gaining Ground, click here.


Interactive Data

Click on a performance tier below to view more information about how companies are performing.

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[23] Companies in Mediocre in 2014