HP, Dell, IBM and Leading Suppliers Release Electronics Industry Code of Conduct

Global Supply Chain Standards Promote Socially Responsible Business Practices

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PALO ALTO, Calif. & ROUND ROCK, Texas & ARMONK, N.Y. - 21 Oct 2004: HP, Dell and IBM today released an Electronics Industry Code of Conduct to promote industry standards for socially responsible business practices across their global supply chains.

The code, which was developed in collaboration with electronics manufacturing companies Celestica, Flextronics, Jabil, Sanmina SCI, and Solectron, paves the way for a standards-based approach for monitoring suppliers' performance across several areas of social responsibility, including labor and employment practices, health and safety, ethics, and protection of the environment.

Prior to the release of this Code of Conduct, the companies used their own respective codes of conduct, and suppliers were subject to multiple, independent vendor audits based on different criteria. HP facilitated this collaboration for the adoption of a single, global Electronics Industry Code of Conduct. The code reflects the participating companies' commitment to leadership in the area of corporate social responsibility and will potentially reduce inefficiency and duplication, and make performance easier to audit and verify.

"This is an important precedent for the electronics industry and for other industries that rely on global supply chains," said Conrad MacKerron, director of the Corporate Social Responsibility Program at As You Sow Foundation, a nonprofit organization that represents the interests of socially concerned investors. "Manufacturer insistence on strong code compliance is an efficient and effective way to drive social performance improvements. We look forward to strong stakeholder engagement and to working with these companies to assure compliance with the code."

Fundamental to adopting the code is the understanding that a business, in all of its activities, should operate in full compliance with the laws, rules and regulations of the countries in which it operates. The code encourages participants to go beyond legal compliance, drawing upon internationally recognized standards, in order to advance social and environmental responsibility.

The code may be voluntarily adopted by any business in the electronics sector and subsequently applied by that business to its suppliers. The participating companies invite other companies to review and adopt the code, the text of which is available upon request and at each company's website. Businesses interested in adopting the code may contact HP: http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/environment/pdf/supcode.pdf

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