Do Your Suppliers Measure Up to Your Ethical Standards?
Learn about CSC Corporate Responsibility.
Supply chains don’t often make headlines. But when they do, it’s usually not good news. Most recently, reports of working conditions at manufacturing plants in China and coverage of “pink slime” added to ground beef created such media frenzies and consumer outcries about suppliers that companies were forced to publicly address the issues.
At CSC, as a professional services company whose focus is business to business (B2B), our understanding of the full significance of our supply chain practices continues to evolve.
With the increasing spotlight on sustainability, our stakeholders are holding us more accountable for the business practices of our suppliers all the way down the supply chain. When a customer asked us to assure them that no child labor was used in the manufacture of the computer equipment we had procured for them, it served as a wake-up call about the importance of a responsible supply chain.
“In our world of ‘extended producer responsibility,’ companies, particularly those with big brand names, will be held accountable for the shortcomings of their suppliers,” Daniel Esty and P.J. Simmons write in their book, The Green to Gold Business Playbook.
Supply chain sustainability is taken very seriously at CSC. We recognize that we have an obligation to a triple bottom line: environmental, social and economic. We also recognize that with our considerable purchasing power comes considerable responsibility and accountability. As a result, CSC advocates environmentally, socially and fiscally responsible supply chain practices.
It is important that people at CSC tasked with procurement have a 360-degree view of what a supplier brings to us. Purchasing is not just about price; it’s not just about technology; it’s also about sustainability, diversity, location and value.
CSC has developed a set of principles we are fully committed to, which include:
- Procurement Guidelines: We have developed guidelines which will ensure that CSC considers social, ethical and environmental factors when procuring products and services. These guidelines are being incorporated into contracts with our suppliers, and we will hold them accountable to uphold our standards.
- Training: All of our key supply chain professionals will be trained in sustainable supply practices to ensure effective implementation of our policies. We have trained our supply chain staff to look for sustainability reports from our suppliers. In addition, we will randomly conduct audits on suppliers to ensure that their reports are accurate.
- Energy Efficiency: We are sharply focused on procuring energy efficient products, products from recycled materials or other environmentally preferable products for us and our clients. Each year, our major IT suppliers continue to improve the energy efficiency of their products.
- Disposal of Assets: As contracts renew and new equipment is purchased, we are following best sustainability practices for the disposal of IT assets owned by CSC. We have contracted with a number of suppliers to conduct proper asset disposal for us in ways that take environmental concerns into consideration.
It is our intention, through these principles, to bring about reduced energy and water consumption and a smaller carbon footprint for ourselves and our clients. We can also assure our stakeholders that we hold our suppliers responsible and accountable for their business practices.
SUSAN PULLIN is vice president of corporate responsibility and KATHRYN HINTON is vice president, supply chain management for CSC.