Increasingly, our products are being created and manufactured in close cooperation with a wide range of business partners, both in the electronics industry and other industries. Philips is committed to being a leader in sustainability. Clearly, we need our business partners to share our commitment, not just in the development and manufacturing of products but also in the way they conduct their business. Our Supplier Sustainability Involvement Program is designed to engage our suppliers on a shared journey towards leadership in sustainability.
As a leading company in sustainability, Philips will act as a catalyst towards our suppliers and support our suppliers in their pursuit of continuous improvement of social and environmental performance. We recognize that this is a huge challenge requiring industry-wide effort in collaboration with other societal stakeholders. Therefore, we remain active in the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and encourage our strategic suppliers to join the EICC too. We will invite our strategic suppliers to jointly explore the opportunities to accelerate our product innovation towards our EcoVision objectives. We will also continue to seek active cooperation with other societal stakeholders, either directly or through institutions like the EICC, the multi-stakeholder program from the Sustainable Trade Initiative and the OECD.
Supplier Sustainability Involvement Program
The Philips Supplier Sustainability Involvement Program is our overarching program to help improve the sustainability performance of our suppliers. We create commitment from our suppliers by requiring them to comply with our Philips Supplier Sustainability Declaration and the Regulated Substances List. The Philips Supplier Sustainability Declaration is based on the EICC code of conduct and also includes additional requirements on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining. The topics covered include labor and human rights, worker health and safety, environmental impact, ethics and management systems. The Declaration is signed by suppliers as part of their purchasing contracts.
Philips uses a risk assessment to select suppliers in risk countries for inclusion in the audit program. During the audits, compliance to all sections of the Declaration is reviewed and in case of non-compliance the implementation of corrective actions is monitored.
In addition to the audit program, we developed specific projects and stakeholder engagement activities to help improve the sustainability performance of our suppliers, such as on improving on their worker-management dialogue, carbon footprinting, and compliance with the Conflict minerals provisions. For more details, see Supplier indicators.
2011 supplier audits
Philips conducted 212 full scope audits in 2011, including 9 joint audits conducted on behalf of Philips and other EICC member companies. During these audits an external company visited the supplier’s site in risk countries for a 2 to 12 man-days audit during which compliance with all sections of the Supplier Sustainability Declaration was assessed. As in previous years the majority of the audits were done in China, representing a major part of our supply base. The total number of full scope audits conducted since we started the program in 2005 now exceeds 1,800. This number includes repeated audits, since we execute a full scope audit at our risk suppliers every 3 years.
The most frequently observed areas of non-compliance were:
- Working hours, wages and benefits: excessive overtime, continual seven-day work weeks, record-keeping of standard and overtime working hours, no payment of overtime premiums
- Emergency preparedness: inadequate fire detection and suppression systems, blocked or insufficient emergency exits
- Occupational safety: worker exposure to safety hazards, e.g. electrical shocks
- Lack of adequate management systems to safeguard compliance to the EICC code for labor and ethics, health and safety, and environment
Accumulative number of initial and continual conformance audits
Distribution of supplier audits by country
To track improvements, Philips measures the ‘compliance rate’ for the identified risk suppliers, being the percentage of risk suppliers that was recently audited and has resolved all major non compliances. During 2011 we achieved a compliance rate of 72%. For more details on audit results, please refer to Supplier indicators.
‘Conflict’ minerals: issues further down the chain
Conflict minerals can come from many souces around the world including mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Philips is concerned about the situation in the east of the DRC where proceeds from the extractives sector are used to finance rebel conflicts in the region. Philips is committed to address this issue through the means and influencing mechanisms available to us, even though Philips does not directly source minerals from the DRC and mines are typically seven or more tiers removed from our direct suppliers. During 2011 we worked with 100 priority suppliers to raise awareness and start supply chain investigations to determine the origin of the metals in our products, resulting in the identification of over 100 smelters in our supply chain that process these metals. For more details, please refer to Supplier indicators.