Computer giant sets CSR standards for vendors

22 April 2010

22 April 2010 | Allie Anderson

IBM wants its suppliers to demonstrate effective management of their corporate and environmental responsibilities to improve sustainability throughout its global supply chain.

The IT services and technology firm will set standards for its 28,000 top-tier suppliers in 90 countries. Vendors must set out a corporate responsibility management system to oversee their aims, but they can determine precisely what those targets cover. Goals will include workplace safety, increasing energy efficiency and reducing waste.

Top tier suppliers will be required to report publicly on their sustainability results and communicate systems to their own suppliers.

John Paterson, global supply CPO and vice-president of IBM, said: “There are financial benefits for procurement organisations around the world to choose suppliers that manage their corporate and environmental responsibilities effectively. For IBM, this helps contribute to our business success and that of our suppliers. Moreover, it’s the right thing to do.”

Wayne Balta, vice-president of corporate environmental affairs and product safety at IBM, said: “IBM has always expected its suppliers to operate in an environmentally responsible manner, but now we’re strengthening that focus with a management system requirement.

“This is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach – we expect that each supplier will deploy a management system, measure performance, set goals and disclose results in a way that reflects their particular intersections with corporate responsibility and the environment.”

IBM hopes that holding each vendor accountable for its individual performance and results will benefit wider supply chains as well as helping to protect the environment.

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