Global automakers sign up to supply chain sustainability charter

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
3 April 2014

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3 April 2014 | Will Green

A group of the world’s largest automakers has reached an unprecedented agreement setting out their sustainability expectations of suppliers.

A total of 14 car companies, including Volkswagen, BMW, Ford and Toyota, have set out guidelines for suppliers covering human rights, environment, working conditions and business ethics.

The document, entitled The Automotive Industry Guiding Principles to Enhance Sustainability Performance in the Supply Chain, said: “People and the environment are the automotive industry’s most important resources. For this reason we are working together to attain the highest standard in business integrity and in the social and environmental performance of our supply chain.”

The document says the guidelines “clearly describe our minimum expectations towards business ethics, working conditions, human rights, and environmental leadership, for our suppliers as well as their subcontractors and suppliers. We expect that suppliers will uphold these standards and cascade them down their supply chain”.

Scot Sharland, executive director at the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), said: “With a singularity of purpose and a common voice, the key players in our industry are collaboratively reinforcing the individual commitments each has made to doing business in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

“Automakers and suppliers of all sizes face heightened compliance and extended responsibility expectations from materials sourcing, handling, reporting and disposal requirement, to improving factory working conditions, so it’s imperative that we work together to develop, socialise and deploy industry best practices on a range of issues for our global supply chains.”

Stefan Crets, executive director at CSR Europe, which helped develop the guiding principles, said: “We built on the guidelines that AIAG and its member companies had established, expanding the principles and messages so they would apply to the broadest possible range of suppliers. This allows us to drive the sustainability agenda in the automotive sector even further.”

The guiding principles have been signed by BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Fiat, Ford, GM, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Peugeot Citroen, Scania, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars and Volvo Group.

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