Ford Motor Company is proud to become the first automaker to join the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to improving the social, environmental and ethical conditions of their global supply chains.
In 2014, as part of the European Automotive Working Group on Supply Chain Sustainability, Ford was one of 14 global automakers to agree on a landmark set of standards outlining expectations for suppliers on key responsibility issues including human rights, environment, working conditions and business ethics. Joining the EICC will strengthen Ford’s commitment to respect human rights and improve working conditions at its suppliers’ facilities around the world. It also will enable Ford to further fulfill the promise in its corporate responsibility policy that guides its code of human rights, basic working conditions and corporate responsibility and holds its suppliers accountable for meeting those standards.
“At Ford we have a commitment to conducting business responsibly in an ethical and transparent manner,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford group VP of Global Purchasing. “Working with the EICC and other industry leaders will enable us to further improve the way we work together with our suppliers to address sustainability-related issues such as human rights, working conditions and environmental responsibility.”
Full membership, as opposed to affiliate, requires Ford to identify high-risk facilities of its own and its suppliers, and conduct audits on at least 25 percent of those facilities. Ford also agrees to actively support the EICC and the goals of the organization’s Code of Conduct in its own operations, progressively implementing the EICC approach and tools in the spirit of the industry’s common goals.
“We are excited to have Ford as a full member of the EICC,” said Rob Lederer, executive director of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition. “Ford is our first automotive company member, and we are looking forward to collaborating and building on its unique global experiences and supplier relationships, as well as the growing convergence between the automotive and electronics industries.”
Along with fellow members, suppliers and stakeholders, Ford will collaborate with the EICC to improve working and environmental conditions by adhering to leading standards and practices. Operating on a global scale, the EICC is recognized as a sustainability leader by industry and cross-industry organizations, non-governmental organizations and governments.
“Since 2003, Ford has been training and auditing suppliers on our expectations for human rights, working conditions, business ethics and the environment,” Mary Wroten, senior manager of Ford Global Purchasing Supply Chain Sustainability, said in a statement. “Joining the EICC will enable Ford to share our automotive experiences, collaborate with industry leaders and utilize EICC’s common tools, such as the EICC Validated Audit Process.”
What's the first order of business for Ford?
"Our first priority is to streamline our auditing process to eliminate duplicate audits at our suppliers’ facilities, and to collaborate with the EICC on best practices and standards for improving social and environmental conditions globally," Wroten said via email.
For example, Wroten said last June, Ford conducted an audit in China and the supplier stated that EICC conducted an audit the week before. Ford is hoping to expand the scale of its supply chain sustainability program and further make a positive impact in the markets in which it conducts business globally (i.e. focus its efforts on suppliers that have not been audited).
The EICC is comprised of more than 110 electronics companies, representing 17 different sectors. Although Ford is the first automaker to join, approximately 15 percent of EICC members are current Ford suppliers.
As Ford continues to invest in smart mobility plans and new technologies to become a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics, it has become a natural progression to join the EICC.
“At the end of the day, this is not about industry competition, it’s about doing the right thing,” said Kim Pittel, Ford’s VP of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “By joining the EICC, we will have support from the world’s most respected companies to ensure responsible business practices and ethical standards throughout our supply chain.”