Sustainability 2011/12

Our Blueprint for Sustainability

Policy Letter No. 24: Code of Human Rights, Basic Working Conditions and Corporate Responsibility

As more fully provided in Policy Letter No. 2 (Relationships with Employees), the diverse group of men and women who work for Ford Motor Company are our most important resource. In recognition of their contributions, the Company has policies and programs designed to ensure that its employees enjoy the protection afforded by the principles articulated in this Policy. The Company also strives to be a good corporate citizen and works to implement policies and programs to benefit the communities where we operate. While these principles are not new to the Company, they are vitally important to what we stand for as a company.

This Policy Letter sets forth the Company’s guiding principles for human rights, labor and environmental standards throughout its global operations. The principles are consistent with, and in many instances derived from, the following human rights framework and charters:

  • International Bill of Human Rights (The United Nations (U.N.) Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its two Covenants) 1948
  • The U.N. Human Rights Council Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011)
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises Revision 2011
  • The Global Sullivan Principles
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
  • The ILO Tripartite Declaration on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy
  • The U.N. Convention against Corruption (2005)

The diverse settings in which the Company operates require that a statement of our basic working conditions be general in nature. In certain situations, local legal requirements, labor agreements, and other contractual and noncontractual arrangements may modify portions of this Policy Letter. Nevertheless, the Company intends this to be an affirmation of basic guiding principles that should serve as the cornerstone of its relationship with its stakeholders in the many countries where it operates.

Human Rights

It is a goal of the Company to respect the human rights delineated in the International Bill of Human Rights, which includes avoiding causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through its activities and addressing such impacts if and when they occur. Company personnel must follow the Company’s corporate policies as well as comply with relevant national laws and regulations related to human rights. Company personnel should also work to reduce exposure to human rights risk by identifying risks, monitoring, remediation and public reporting.

Working Conditions

Child Labor

The Company will not use child labor. In no event will the Company employ any person below the age of 15, unless this is part of a government-authorized job training or apprenticeship program that would be clearly beneficial to the persons participating.


The Company will promote our employees’ material well-being by providing compensation and benefits that are competitive and comply with applicable law.

Forced Labor

The Company will not use forced labor in any form, including human trafficking, and will not tolerate physically abusive disciplinary practices.

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining

The Company recognizes and respects its employees’ right to associate freely and bargain collectively. The Company will work constructively with recognized employee representatives to promote the interests of its employees. In locations where employees are not represented by unions, the Company will provide opportunities for employee concerns to be heard.

Harassment and Discrimination

As more fully provided in Policy Letter 6 (Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action) and Directive B-110 (Anti-Harassment – Zero Tolerance), the Company will not tolerate harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or veteran status.

Health and Safety

As more fully provided in Policy Letter 17 (Protecting Health and the Environment) and related Directives, the Company will provide and maintain for all personnel a safe and healthy work environment that meets or exceeds applicable legal standards for occupational safety and health.

Work Hours

The Company will comply with applicable laws regulating hours of work.

Community Engagement and Indigenous Populations

The Company considers indigenous people in the local communities to be among our primary stakeholders in projects and activities, and will work constructively with recognized representatives who have an interest in the Company’s projects and activities, including implementation of sustainable water strategies.

Bribery and Corruption

As more fully provided in Policy Letter 3 (Standards of Corporate Conduct), the Company will under no circumstances tolerate the giving or receiving of money, gifts, or favors to influence improperly the behavior of another individual, organization, government employee, politician or government body in furtherance of a commercial or personal advantage. Bribery is never permitted, even in countries or regions where it may appear to be tolerated or condoned.

Environment and Sustainability

As more fully stated in Policy Letter 17 (Protecting Health and the Environment), the Company will conduct business in a manner that provides responsibly for the protection of health and the environment. The Company will as practicable continue to reduce and minimize the environmental impact of its operations in the short term, and work toward the implementation of environmentally sustainable strategies in the long term.

Responsibility and Implementation

The Company encourages businesses throughout our supply chain to adopt and enforce similar policies and to have its subcontractors do so. Further, the Company will seek to identify and do business with organizations that conduct their businesses to standards that are consistent with this Policy Letter, including working to extend these principles within their own supply chain.

The Company will, as appropriate, seek the assistance of independent third parties to assess compliance with this Policy.

This Policy is not intended to benefit any third parties or to create or confer any third-party rights.

All Company personnel must report known or suspected violations of this Policy through the established reporting channels. The Company prohibits retaliation against anyone who in good faith reports a violation.

The Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering is responsible for interpreting this Policy with the concurrence, as appropriate, of the Executive Vice President, Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, the Group Vice President, Global Purchasing, and the Group Vice President and General Counsel.

All Ford Motor Company subsidiaries and affiliates should adopt a similar directive.