We believe that collaborative action within our industry allows us to more effectively influence all levels of the automotive supply chain. We also work collaboratively with other industries when relevant; for example, we are working proactively with companies from many industries on conflict minerals.
Collaborating within the Automotive Industry
We primarily work through the Automotive Industry Action Group, or AIAG. The AIAG is a North American, member-based, nonprofit industry group specializing in supply chain issues. AIAG supports industry efforts to establish a seamless, efficient and responsible supply chain. Member companies donate the time of individuals to work at the AIAG, which operates as a noncompetitive, open forum that is intended to develop recommendations and best practices for reducing complexity and ensuring alignment on common issues across the industry. We work on supply chain sustainability issues through the AIAG’s Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee. This committee currently focuses on five main issues: global working conditions, conflict minerals, greenhouse gases, chemicals management and reporting, and health care value.
Through AIAG, Ford and other member companies are focusing on five key issues:
- Exploring an industry response to conflict minerals sourcing and transparency challenges;
- Providing common guidance and tools for responsible procurement;
- Continuing to expand a factory-level supplier training program for a responsible supply chain;
- Increasing supplier ownership of corporate responsibility issues through an expansion of engagement opportunities; and
- Developing resources and networks that will ensure the successful communication of responsible procurement expectations throughout the automotive supply chain.
For all work streams, the AIAG and member companies are actively reaching out to others in the automotive supply chain, including global automakers and heavy truck manufacturers, industry associations and major automotive suppliers, as well as participating in cross-sectoral initiatives. Broader participation will be needed to achieve the vision of an industry-wide approach to promoting supply chain sustainability.
Please see the AIAG website for more about the corporate responsibility accomplishments and ongoing work of the industry through the AIAG.
In addition to our work through the AIAG, Ford is helping to address common issues of environmental and social responsibility in the automotive supply chain through active participation in several cross-industry associations and corresponding work groups, including:
- The UN Global Compact Advisory Group on Supply Chain Sustainability. This advisory group seeks to develop and promote tools and guidance for businesses on key issues and best practices in developing sustainable supply chains. Ford is one of approximately 20 stakeholders in this invitation-only group, and one of only two automotive companies. As part of this work we are one of the lead developers of an online portal of tools and resources designed to assist business practitioners in embedding sustainability in supply chains.
- CSR Europe Automotive Working Group on Supply Chain Sustainability. In 2011, Ford joined with seven other major automakers and CSR Europe, a leading European business network for corporate social responsibility, to create this working group. The primary goals of the group are to share experiences and information on sustainability issues in the automotive supply chain; develop and apply common tools; work together on common projects in order to improve sustainability in supply chains; and send a common message to supply chains concerning sustainability activities and requirements.
- We participate in several cross-industry organizations on the issue of conflict minerals including the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative, Multi-Stakeholder Group and the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade. Our work in these organizations in described in more detail in the Conflict Minerals section.
Industry and Cross-Industry Leadership
We approach our supply chain initiatives with complete transparency, sharing best practices, challenges and opportunities with others in our industry. We have also led the development and sharing of best practices on key supplier issues within our industry and other industries. For example, we have sought membership and leadership roles at relevant supply chain working groups and issue organizations. Some of these memberships and leadership positions include:
- Ford staff chair or co-chair six AIAG committees:
- Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee,
- Global Working Conditions Initiative,
- Chemical Management and Reporting Group,
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions,
- Environmental Sustainability Advisory Group,
- Health Care Task Force, and
- Ford also contributes an “executive on loan” to the AIAG to support the industry’s work and share what we have learned from working on these issues within our own operations.
- Member of CSR Europe’s European Automotive Working Group on Supply Chain Sustainability
- Member of Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative – a cross-industry organization focused on conflict minerals. We are active participants in this organization’s Conflict-Free Smelter Program, which is helping to encourage smelters to participate in the conflict free certification process.
- Member of the Governance Committee of the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), through which we are helping to develop solutions for identifying and tracking conflict free minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding region.