Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Supply Chain Corporate Responsibilities

From polluting the environment to creating sweat shops, poorly managed supply chains can tarnish the reputation of any company - not only that it makes good business sense. Many global corporations realize this, which is why they have been so progressive in maintaining supply chains that hold themselves accountable for everything from the labor they employ to the eco-friendliness of the parts they use and many actually report on their progress and efforts.

Doing its part, IBM has just released it's corporate responsibility report for 2008 and it dedicates a big part of it to its supply chain. Here are a few highlights from page 32 "Supply Chain Responsibility: A commitment to collaboration":
  • During 2008, IBM continued to implement its Supply Chain Social Responsibility initiative across its global network of suppliers. By the end of 2008, we
    had completed a cumulative total of 553 initial audits; including expansion into
    three additional growth market countries (36 initial audits): Argentina, Malaysia
    and Vietnam.
  • In 2008, IBM spent $1.5 billion inside the U.S. and $745 million internationally with first-tier diverse suppliers
  • In 2008, IBM’s PELM operations worldwide processed 42,302 metric tons of
    end-of-life products and product waste. These PELM operations reused or
    recycled 96.9 percent of the total amount processed and sent only 0.6 percent to
    landfills or to incineration facilities for treatment, versus IBM’s corporate goal of
    minimizing its combined landfill and incineration rate to no more than 3 percent.
While the survey's that IBM has conducted with it's suppliers prove that more work needs to be done, I couldn't imagine having a supply chain that didn't take on this challenge. Having $38 billion in spend, as IBM does, gives a company a lot of purchasing power to encourage suppliers to adopt standards and practices that in many established countries are taken for granted. But again it's not just because IBM wants to be a "good-doer" as stated in the report, these efforts will "result in higher quality goods and services for our customers."

1 comment:

Puneesh said...

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May be you would find something to your interest there.