From its inception over a century ago, IBM has been based on a set of fundamental values. IBM's values shape and define our company and permeate all of our relationships--between our company's people and our shareholders, our clients, the communities where our people live and work, and among our network of suppliers.
Within our supply chain relationships, we know that our company's sizable purchasing power is a unique resource that we must manage responsibly, and we do. IBM spends over $3 billion a year with diverse suppliers, for example--greater than any other technology company. Yet more than managing our spend, we have a responsibility to hold ourselves--and our suppliers--to high standards of behavior. This means complying with all applicable laws and regulations. But it goes beyond that. It entails a strong commitment to work with suppliers to encourage sound practices and develop sound global markets.
We have always maintained an open channel of communications with suppliers to set expectations. Today, in an increasingly interconnected world market, the expectations for all players across the entire supply chain are high. The electronics sector (including the supply chain of goods and services) remains the center of attention with regard to supply chain social responsibility. Expectations and legislation are increasing, such as the growing concerns about conflict minerals, anti-slavery and human trafficking, and other important social responsibility issues.
Effective March 2013, IBM is using the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) Code of Conduct (hereby called the EICC Code) as the single code with our supply base. The EICC Code supersedes the IBM Supplier Conduct Principles, which was used from 2004-2013. The EICC Code establishes for our suppliers the minimum social responsibility standards we expect from them as a condition of doing business with IBM.
Our goal is to work with our suppliers to foster full compliance as they, in turn, apply these standards to their extended sources of supply engaged in the production of goods and services for IBM. We will consider these standards and adherence to them in our selection process and will seek ongoing compliance by actively monitoring performance. IBM reserves the right to take action with suppliers that do not comply with the EICC Code and may consider measures such as reducing or ending business in accordance with contract terms.