Business ethics is a very serious, and sensitive, issue, so Ford came out with a code of conduct for its suppliers.
The code outlines Ford’s expectations in the areas of human rights, environmental protection, materials sourcing, and business practices. Ford says it has had guidelines since 2003 but that these will formalize supplier accountabilities.
In terms of respecting human rights, suppliers must treat their workforces humanely and with dignity. They will also be required to use ethical recruiting practices and provide a healthy and safe working environment. Under no circumstance will child labor, slavery, forced labor, or harassment of any kind be tolerated.
To protect the environment, suppliers must comply with national, regional, environmental, and chemical legislation. Companies are also asked to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement and strive toward carbon neutrality, using both recycled and renewable materials in packaging, while also reducing the toxicity of their manufacturing processes.
As for sourcing materials, companies must be able to provide Ford with information about where their materials come from at any moment. Suppliers must abide by Ford’s Responsible Materials Sourcing Policy.
Suppliers must also avoid bribery and corruption and maintain effective cyber-security practices.
“Caring for each other is a core tenet of the Ford plan and that includes safeguarding human rights, protecting the environment and requiring responsible sourcing and ethical practices,” said Jonathan Jennings, vice president, Global Commodity Purchasing and Supplier Technical Assistance. “We hold our suppliers to the same high standards we require of ourselves, and this code formalizes the standards we’ll work together to achieve.”