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Supplier Code of Conduct

New Mobility Company gets on the same page with suppliers with shared social and environmental expectations


While tech companies are busy launching innovative new products, human rights abuses and pollution can creep up from behind. Often, the team is so focused on finding suppliers that can deliver on product and price that things like use of conflict minerals, toxic chemicals or instances of human trafficking can get missed. But this are just hidden costs that will be more expensive to fix later.


Finding the hidden risks
A new mobility company in the Bay Area was close to launching its new product when someone on the team realized that they had no formal way of communicating their expectations to suppliers about things like pollution, human rights or business ethics. Even if chances were slim, they would not want to find out too late about a supplier dumping illegal chemicals or employing people who had been trafficked from another country. An incident like this would be totally out of line with their brand ethos.


Overall Strategies helped them identify hotspots in the supply chain by reviewing product materials and sourcing countries for commonly found issues.


Set the level of ambition for supplier standards and expectations
Some companies are prepared to lead the pack on environmental impact or on labor standards. Some aren’t. So much depends on the culture of the company, its products, its consumer, and how core value proposition is framed.

 

Overall Strategies helped the company articulate its own level of ambition by reviewing the work of the leaders, laggards and competitors and finding the sweet spot that felt like the right fit.


Develop policies and procedures
Policies and procedures setting clear expectations were drafted with the input of team members and suppliers. Training materials were developed to roll out with suppliers. Systems for monitoring performance were put in place, as well as a system for incentivizing continuous improvements. As a result, expectations with their suppliers were clearly communicated, discussed and risks mitigated.


Project Steps

  • Review supplier base and products to identify areas of high risk in the supply chain for given industry (e.g. use of conflict minerals, toxic chemicals, instances of human trafficking, etc.)

  • Benchmark social and environmental policies and standards against competitor companies, industry leaders, and international frameworks

  • Partner with company to decide on appropriate level of ambition

  • Compare any existing policies/practices currently in place to level of ambition and recommend policies and procedures needed to reach ambition

  • Speak with various relevant employees to understand corporate culture, nature of supplier relationships, leverage, appetite for risk

  • Draft policies and recommend procedures

  • Circulate internally for feedback and update draft

  • Circulate for feedback with suppliers that are closest partners and suppliers that represent biggest risks

  • Identify challenges that policies and procedures may pose to suppliers

  • Propose set of solutions/compromises

  • Finalize policies and procedures

  • Develop training and awareness materials to roll out new policies and procedures with suppliers

  • Develop system for tracking performance data

  • Develop system for incentivizing continuous improvements in performance

 

Timeline to deliver: 3 months

We hired Mia to help us draft a Supplier Code of Conduct, and Mia made it easy! She researched our company and our industry, then defined an efficient process to ensure that we were involving the right stakeholders and learning from best practices. She is extremely knowledgeable, highly intelligent, very personable, and a consummate professional. I would recommend her to any company that is concerned about its social and environmental impact.

KC, Senior Manager Partnerships, Silicon Valley tech company