Capability building

We work with suppliers on programs that improve their ability to deliver substantial and lasting social and environmental responsibility (SER) performance improvements on a broad range of issues. Our work builds knowledge and strengthens processes, educating employees throughout supplier organizations and instilling behavioral changes through management systems development and worker empowerment.

We work with NGOs, training groups and other stakeholders to deliver our capability-building programs, which are directed toward supplier management and workers. As we transition audit activities to third parties, we will increasingly focus more of our resources on programs that target the most critical supply chain SER issues.

Demonstrating results

Since we started our capability-building programs in 2007, we have:

  • Carried out 26 programs in 12 countries on topics such as worker empowerment, antidiscrimination, energy efficiency, labor rights, and women's health
  • Trained more than 460,000 workers and managers, the majority through direct engagement
  • Reached 133,000 students through our pre-departure training
  • Trained  277 second-tier suppliers
  • Verified that suppliers engaging in capability-building programs have improved performance by comparing before and after audit results

In addition, these programs have established supplier- and peer educator-run programs that have provided training to a much larger number of workers and sustained the programs long after initial trainings were completed.

To view performance improvements made by suppliers that have participated in our
capability-building programs compared to suppliers that have not, see graph “Impact of supplier engagement on audit results” on page 40 of our Living Progress Report.

Introducing new suppliers

We introduce new suppliers to our supply chain responsibility (SCR) program each year and hold supplier education forums to communicate our SER expectations. Since 2010, we have educated more than 840 managers and supervisors in China and Mexico, reaching 90 suppliers. In 2013, we held two supplier forums in China and one in Mexico, as well as supervisor training in collaboration with the Government of Chongqing, China and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) program.

As our relationships with suppliers develop, we work to instill good practices among lower-tier suppliers as well. We have trained 277 second-tier suppliers through programs conducted jointly with our first-tier suppliers.

Our 2013 capability-building initiatives

Environmental programs

HP Energy Efficiency Program (EEP)

Audience/Reach: 228 managers from 119 facilities
Location: China, Malaysia, and Thailand
Year program began: 2010
Partner: BSR, Chiang Mai University, WWF, PRC government officials, and suppliers

We collaborate with several partners to promote energy efficiency. Since 2010, we’ve helped supplier sites in China and Southeast Asia save 66 million kWh of electricity. By 2020, we aim to reduce supplier emissions by a total of 1.1 million metric tonnes CO2e, in part through the expansion of this program. We work with first-tier suppliers to get sub-tier supplier sites involved. Depending on the event, we worked with NGOs BSR and WWF as well as local government officials and two of our suppliers to implement EEP in China. In Thailand, Chiang Mai University and a supplier helped us conduct the event, while in Malaysia we worked with one supplier on EEP. Since initiating EEP, we have engaged 132 supplier sites in China, 26 in Malaysia, and 12 in Thailand. EEP in Thailand included both first- and second-tier suppliers and helped to produce energy savings of over 11 million kWh during a 12-month period. After completing EEP, we invite supplier sites to join us in the Global Social Compliance Program.

Health and safety, and wellness

Health Enables Return: HERproject

Audience/Reach: 110 managers and 6,052 workers
Location: China, Malaysia, Mexico, and Thailand
Year program began: 2007
Partner: BSR External site

Female workers often arrive to supplier facilities with limited awareness of basic personal healthcare. We seek to bridge this gap through the BSR program Health Enables Returns (HERproject), which addresses women workers’ general and reproductive health needs and raises awareness of birth control and how to prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. In 2013, we brought this program to suppliers in Malaysia and Thailand, building on our existing programs in China, and Mexico. In 2013, HP-sponsored programs reached seven new suppliers. Since we began our involvement with HERproject, we have been able to reach more than 36,000 workers and 610 managers.

Job-stress prevention/Mental and occupational health program

Audience/Reach: 28 managers from one facility
Location: China
Year program began: 2010
Partner: Hong Kong Workers Health Centre External site

Together with the Hong Kong Workers Health Centre, we are helping empower workers to improve their working environment through the Participatory Occupational Health and Safety Improvement program (POHSI). In 2013, POHSI established a 28-member safety committee at one supplier site in China. This low cost and practical approach aims to address mental health and other health and safety issues related to work at this facility.

New Citizen Training Program – Financial Management

Audience/Reach: 500 workers
Location: Guangzhou, China
Year program began: 2013
Partner: Inno Community Development Organization External site

In 2013, we piloted this program aimed at educating workers on financial management and other life skills.

Supplier management systems

Social Accountability International’s (SAI) Brazil Worker Engagement Program

Audience/Reach: 25 managers and 4,700 workers
Location: Brazil
Year program began: 2013
Partner: SAI, the Rapid Results Institute, Labor Link, the Walt Disney Company, and suppliers

Risk of injury from physically demanding work was a leading cause of major nonconformances in our Latin America region in 2012. To build our suppliers’ ability to address this issue, we partnered with SAI, the Rapid Results Institute and Labor Link to conduct a 100-day improvement program at three major HP suppliers in Brazil. Through a founding grant from The Walt Disney Company, the Brazil Worker Engagement program – a Brazil-specific version of SAI’s Rapid Results program – helped improve factory conditions by increasing workers’ input on safety issues. This included opening up more channels of communications such as anonymous mobile surveys, establishing grievance mechanisms, and empowering newly formed ‘social performance’ teams. Social performance teams are made up of both workers and management and help drive further improvement projects.

One of our larger suppliers, Flextronics, saw dramatic results. Using worker surveys, the program team identified several areas for improvement and addressed them through a combination of quick fixes – such as adjusting workstations – and long term investments such as ergonomics training and the creation of a permanent ergonomics committee with worker representation. The program team reached their goal of reducing absenteeism due to injuries to 4.8% from more than 8% in 100 days, both protecting workers and lowering costs. We hope that this example of worker engagement and cross-stakeholder collaboration will improve safety and demonstrate that investing in social improvement creates positive business results. We aim to continue this program with suppliers in Brazil and examine opportunities in other countries and regions.

HP Supplier SER Summit on Responsible Management of Student and Dispatch Workers

Audience/Reach: 170 attendees including supplier managers, vocational/training school staff, NGO professionals, and government officials
Location: Chongqing and Shanghai, China
Year program began: 2013
Partner: (CCR CSR), Government of Chongqing, China

Following the release of our “Student and Dispatch Worker Guidance Standard for Supplier Facilities in the People’s Republic of China”, we organized two supplier summits in China to promote change across the electronics industry around this emerging issue. About 170 participants from 70 electronics production suppliers attended along with government officials, vocational school staff, and NGO professionals specializing in labor and student rights. We hope that further engagement will allow us to refine and spread our guidance standards throughout our industry.

The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) worker empowerment

Audience/Reach: 210 managers and 21,082 workers
Location: China
Year program began: 2011
Partner: IDH External site

Our membership in the Sustainable Trade Initiative (known as IDH) demonstrates our collaborative, cross-cutting approach to capability building. A partnership of multinational corporations, civil society organizations, and government agencies, IDH’s electronics program seeks to improve the rights and working conditions of 500,000 Chinese factory workers through better worker-management communication and workplace practices. It also promotes environmental measures at targeted facilities, including reductions in GHG emissions, waste, and water use. In 2013, we nominated ten of our China-based suppliers, representing over 21,000 workers and 210 managers, to join IDH and benefit from their support and expertise. The program takes two years to complete and none of suppliers involved in the program have gone through the entire cycle.

Gender Equity Model (Modelo de Equidad de Género—MEG) Certification Program

Audience/Reach: 8 managers from 3 supplier sites
Location: Mexico
Year program began: 2011
Partner: Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres External site

Modelo de Equidad de Genero (the Gender Equity Model or MEG) program has encouraged companies in Mexico to adopt nondiscrimination policies and avoid harassment in the workplace since 2011. With the help of Mexico’s National Women’s Institute, a government entity, we trained and certified four supplier sites and 28 supervisors since beginning the program.

Worker empowerment and EICC awareness

EICC Workers’ Rights Training

Audience/Reach: 2,978 workers
Location: China
Year program began: 2008
Partners: Home of New Citizens

Almost 3,000 workers from two suppliers in Shanghai and Jiangsu, China, benefited from our workers’ rights training initiative in 2013. Delivered in partnership with Home of New Citizens, a Chinese NGO, this program helps workers better understand their rights and how to raise grievances about their working environment.

HP's pre-departure/Employing interns training

Audience/Reach: 331 facility and school trainers, and 50,574 graduates
Location: China
Year program began: 2011
Partners: Labor Education and Service Network (LESN) External site

Since January 2011, we and the Labor and Education Service Network (LESN) have partnered to train vocational schools and human resources departments at supplier sites on labor rights in preparation for incoming interns and recent graduates. After attending this event, we expect our trainees to then share this knowledge with their students and new workers. We have conducted this training throughout China, starting in Wuhan in central China and then expanding west to Chongqing, south to Guangdong, and east to Jiangsu. In 2013, the program reached 331 trainers and 50,574 graduates.

Hepatitis B antidiscrimination and prevention program

Audience/Reach: 18 medical staff and Environmental Health & Safety specialists, 60,000 workers at 6 facilities
Location: China
Year program began: 2009
Partners: Inno Community Development Organization

Discrimination against people with Hepatitis B (HBV) remains a significant issue in China. Since 2009, we have hosted training sessions on HBV antidiscrimination and prevention programs to help mitigate this issue in our supply chain. To raise awareness of HBV and eliminate discrimination against HBV-positive workers, we show suppliers how to teach workers about HBV and prevent it through “Health Corners” and internal training. We also inform suppliers that requiring HBV tests for employment is a violation of HP’s EICC Code of Conduct. In 2013, we visited 6 supplier sites and provided more in depth medical training. Since we began the program, we’ve reached more than 167,000 workers.

Worker management communications/Supervisor training

Audience/Reach: 223 frontline supervisors from 3 supplier sites
Location: China
Year program began: 2013
Partners: Government of Chongqing, China

With the support of the Chongqing government, we launched the Supervisor Training Program, which includes more than 220 supervisors from three suppliers in Chongqing. This HP-Chongqing government collaboration, as reported in the Mainland Chinese media, is designed to improve suppliers’ management and communications skills.