Ford announced today that it has established a formal supplier code of conduct that applies clear expectations in areas related to human rights, the environment, responsible material sourcing, and lawful business practices for every member of the company’s supplier community. Ford has outlined specific conduct guidelines for its suppliers since 2003, but this formal supplier code of conduct expands and publicly formalizes supplier accountabilities for responsible business practices.
“Caring for each other is a core tenet of the Ford plan and that includes safeguarding human rights, protecting the environment, and requiring responsible sourcing and ethical practices,” said Jonathan Jennings, vice president, Global Commodity Purchasing and Supplier Technical Assistance. “We hold our suppliers to the same high standards we require of ourselves, and this code formalizes the standards we’ll work together to achieve.”
As a member of the UN Global Compact and signatory to the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), Ford expects suppliers to help the company and its supply chain be responsible, eco-friendly, and transparent.
Under the new, mandatory code, each supplier must, in part, protect and respect human rights. This includes treating their workforce humanely and with dignity, following ethical recruiting practices – providing a healthy and safe working environment and refusing to tolerate child labor, modern slavery, forced labor, or harassment of any kind.
Ford also expects suppliers to protect the environment. This includes complying with the automaker’s environmental requirements and policies, comprising all relevant national, regional, environmental, and chemical legislation, minimizing their impact on climate change, aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement, striving toward carbon neutrality, using recycled and renewable materials in packaging, and utilizing materials with reduced toxicity in their manufacturing processes.
Suppliers are expected to also responsibly source materials. This includes providing information upon request to verify that materials in the products supplied to Ford have been sourced responsibly in accordance with Ford’s Responsible Materials Sourcing Policy, and conducting due diligence and increasing transparency related to raw materials, especially materials sourced from conflict-affected or high-risk areas.
Finally, Ford’s suppliers must also maintain responsible business practices. This includes conducting business free from bribery and corruption, maintaining effective privacy and cyber-security practices, and complying with applicable trade and customs rules.
“At Ford, we’re not just doing business, we’re helping to build a better world,” Jennings said. “Our suppliers are a key part of that process.”