HPE Wins the Stop Slavery Award for Transparency and Response to Challenges

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HPE Wins the Stop Slavery Award for Transparency and Response to Challenges

by Cliff Henson, Sr. Vice President, Enterprise Group, Global Supply Chain
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Multimedia from this Release

Accepting the Stop Slavery Award for HPE, left to right, Daniel Chappell, Cliff Henson, Cimarron Nix, and John Schultz

Friday, December 2, 2016 - 8:35am

At least 21 million people are trapped in modern slavery around the world, according to an estimate by the International Labor Organization. That’s an absolutely appalling figure.

As a global organization with a supply chain that spans the world, we’ve long recognized the part we can play in tackling the root causes of forced labor and human trafficking. We embrace our opportunity and responsibility to use our scale, influence, and experience to help our suppliers improve their social and environmental responsibility (SER) standards and performance.

That’s why we’re deeply honored to be named the winner of the inaugural Stop Slavery Award for Transparency and Response to Challenges. Established by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the award recognizes businesses that have excelled in efforts to try to eradicate forced labor from their supply chains. The goal is to inspire more companies to investigate, improve and eradicate unfair and illegal labor practices in their supply chains.

We have a proud legacy of transparency ‘firsts’. Just a few milestones: stretching back to 2002, Hewlett-Packard Company was the first electronics company to publish a Supplier Code of Conduct; in 2008, we were the first in our industry to disclose our supplier list; and in 2013 we were the first to publish our supply chain smelter list. We also have a history of sharing our successes and our challenges transparently, including disclosing zero tolerance findings, such as those related to risks of forced labor.

In 2014, we issued an industry-leading standard governing how our suppliers recruit, select, hire, and manage foreign migrant workers. Our Foreign Migrant Worker Standard requires direct employment, prohibits worker-paid recruitment fees, and insists that workers are able to keep their personal documents.

To ensure the standards are adhered to, we provide training for suppliers on the new requirements, along with tools to assist them with implementation. We verify compliance in a number of ways including by conducting in-depth, on-site assessments. We then work with our suppliers to remediate any issues that are identified. Finally, we partner with others in our industry and beyond to raise standards and develop tools to more aggressively tackle this issue.   

We recognize that the issues that we deal with in supply chain responsibility are complex, and most require multi company and multi industry solutions. By taking public leadership on key issues we can help create a positive race to the top with our peers and suppliers working to drive up industry standards and practices.

We applaud and support the goal of the Stop Slavery Awards and join them in sending a message of responsible recruitment and employment, not only to our own industry and supply chain, but across all industries. All workers should be treated with dignity and respect. Let’s work together to make this a reality.