Many of 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 needs suppliers to share our commitment to sustainability, and not just in the development and manufacturing of products but also in the way they conduct their business. We require suppliers to provide a safe working environment for their workers, to treat workers with respect, and to work in an environmentally sound way. Our programs are designed to engage and support our suppliers on a shared journey towards continuous improvement in supply chain sustainability.
As a leading company in sustainability, Philips will act as a catalyst and support our suppliers in their pursuit of continuous improvement of social and environmental performance. We recognize that this is a huge challenge requiring an industry-wide effort in collaboration with other societal stakeholders. Therefore, we remain active, together with peers in the industry, in the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and encourage our strategic suppliers to join the EICC too. We will also continue to seek active cooperation and dialogue with other societal stakeholders including governments and civil society organizations, either directly or through institutions like the EICC, the multi-stakeholder programs of the Sustainable Trade Initiative IDH, 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 Regulated Substances List and the Philips Supplier Sustainability Declaration, which we include in all purchasing contracts. The Declaration is based on the EICC code of conduct and we added requirements on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining. The topics covered in the Declaration are listed below. We monitor supplier compliance with the Declaration through a system of regular audits.
2013 supplier audits in risk countries
In 2013, Philips conducted 200 full-scope audits, including four joint audits conducted on behalf of Philips and other EICC member companies. Additionally, 59 audits of potential suppliers were performed. Potential suppliers are audited as part of the supplier approval process, and they need to close any zero-tolerance issues before they can start delivering to Philips. In our new audit approach, we place more focus on capacity building programs to realize structural improvements leading to better audit results.
As in previous years, the majority of the audits in 2013 were done in China. The total number of full-scope audits carried out since we started the program in 2005 is 2,162. This number includes repeated audits (131 in 2013), since we execute a full-scope audit at our risk suppliers every three years. The audit program covers 90% of our spend with risk suppliers.
We believe it is important to be transparent about the issues we observe during the audits. Therefore we have published a detailed list of identified major non-compliances in our annual report since 2010.
To track improvements Philips measures the ‘compliance rate’ for the identified risk suppliers, being the percentage of risk suppliers that was audited within the last 3 years, and do not have any - or have resolved all major non compliances. During 2013 we achieved a compliance rate of 77% (2012: 75%).
Please refer to Supplier indicators for the detailed findings of 2013.
Supplier development and capacity building
Based on many years of experience with the audit program, we know that a combination of audits, capacity building, consequence management and structural attention from management is crucial to realize structural and lasting changes at supplier production sites. In 2013 we continued our focus on capacity building initiatives which are offered to help suppliers improve their practices. Our supplier sustainability experts in China, India and Brazil organized trainings, visited suppliers for on-site consultancy, conducted pre-audit checks and helped suppliers to train their own employees on topics like occupational health and safety, emergency preparedness and chemicals management.
We also teamed up with peers in the industry and civil society organizations to work on capacity building at Chinese factories via the IDH Electronics Program, an innovative multi-stakeholder initiative sponsored by the Sustainable Trade Initiative (Initiatief Duurzame Handel). The goal is to improve working conditions for more than 500,000 employees in the electronics sector. Two years ago the program was kicked-off in China’s Pearl River Delta, and now expanded to also cover supplier factories in the Yangtze River Delta area. A total of 15 Philips suppliers are now participating in the program.