Going Further Toward Supply Chain Leadership
Ford is taking active steps to “Go Further,” moving beyond sustainability compliance toward sustainability leadership in the field of human rights and working conditions.
Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC)
Ford is the first automotive manufacturer to join the EICC, a nonprofit organization committed to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in global supply chains.
Working with more than 110 electronics companies, some of which are Ford suppliers, will enable us to further improve the way we engage with our suppliers on sustainability-related issues such as human rights, working conditions, ethical sourcing and environmental responsibility.
EICC’s experience and leadership will support us as we seek to further develop and fine-tune our systems and approaches to improve human rights and working conditions throughout our supply chain.
“We are excited to have Ford as a full member 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.”
Forced Labor and Human Trafficking
Ford has a zero-tolerance policy toward both forced labor and child labor. We have addressed the threat of these issues in our supply chain and taken a number of actions to safeguard against them (see below). These include maintaining compliance with all applicable legislative initiatives, acts and regulations designed to increase supply chain transparency. These legislative initiatives include the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (SB657); the UK Modern Slavery Act (UK-MSA); and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (52.222-50, Combatting Trafficking in Persons).
Human Trafficking Disclosure Statement
Since January 2012, companies doing business in California have been legally required to disclose any efforts taken to address the issue of forced labor and human trafficking per the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (SB 657). Our Policy Letter 24: Code of Human Rights, Basic Working Conditions and Corporate Responsibility clearly states that we do not tolerate forced labor (including human trafficking) or child labor in our operations, and that we conduct internal audits of our manufacturing locations to ensure compliance.
Our processes to safeguard against human rights abuses, including forced labor and human trafficking, in our supply chain include the following:
Our Global Terms and Conditions (GT&Cs) forbid the use of forced labor, child labor and physically abusive disciplinary practices. Our definition of forced labor includes human trafficking, as outlined in our Policy Letter 24. Purchase orders require suppliers to certify compliance with local laws and the GT&Cs that govern our purchase of goods and services. We reserve the right to terminate our relationship with a supplier if issues of noncompliance with our policies are discovered and/or noncompliance is not addressed in a timely manner
We maintain internal accountability, holding all Ford employees and suppliers accountable to the standards on human trafficking set out in Policy Letter 24. Employees and suppliers have multiple avenues through which to register complaints or grievances related to human rights and human trafficking, including a dedicated email inbox and a company hotline
We regularly assess risk related to human trafficking and forced labor associated with our supply base. Our preliminary assessment is based upon geography, the commodity purchased, supplier quality performance and the nature of the business transaction. Ford performs these risk assessments with input from external stakeholders
We conduct training and build capability. We regularly conduct internal training on our Policy Letter 24 and Supply Chain Sustainability Program with our Global Purchasing staff. We also require suppliers in high-risk countries to attend training to raise awareness of Ford’s requirements and legal obligations, including those related to forced labor and child labor. (Read more about internal and supplier training)
We regularly conduct social responsibility audits of at-risk Tier 1 supplier factories. These audits evaluate supplier compliance with both local law and Ford’s human rights expectations as communicated in Policy Letter 24. These independent audits can be either announced or unannounced, and decisions about which facilities to audit are based upon our risk assessment. (Read more about auditing suppliers)
Forced Labor and Pig Iron
A range of products and materials sourced from specific geographies have been identified by the U.S. Department of Labor as posing potential human rights concerns. The list includes charcoal from Brazil, which can be used to make pig iron, a key ingredient in steel production.
We have demonstrated our commitment to swift, proactive action to address human rights concerns associated with pig iron. In the past, when charcoal produced in Brazil using slave labor found its way into the sub-tiers of our supply chain, we worked directly with our suppliers to resolve the issue.
In 2015, we conducted an updated due diligence inquiry of our steel and iron casting suppliers. Based upon its findings, we did not find any evidence of forced labor among the importers, exporters and trading companies in these value chains.