Capability building

We work with suppliers on programs that improve their ability to deliver substantial and lasting 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.

HP works with local NGOs and training groups 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 issues (see Program direction section).

Demonstrating results

Since HP started our capability-building programs in 2006, we have:

  • Carried out 22 programs in 12 countries on topics such as antidiscrimination, energy efficiency, labor rights, and women's health
  • Directly trained approximately 2,850 managers and nearly 300,000 workers
  • Reached 85,000 students through our pre-departure training
  • Trained 155 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.

See the Performance section for a graph illustrating performance improvements made by suppliers that have participated in HP capability-building programs compared to suppliers that have not.

Introducing new suppliers

We introduce new suppliers to our supply chain SER program each year and hold supplier education forums to communicate our SER expectations. Since 2010, we have educated more than 220 managers in Brazil, China, Israel, and Mexico. In 2012, HP held three supplier forums, one each in Brazil, Israel, and Mexico. Combined, these forums reached 103 managers from 71 suppliers. The Brazil and Mexico forums included nonproduction suppliers as well as production suppliers. All three forums helped communicate expectations and requirements regarding HP's EICC Code of Conduct to new suppliers.

As our relationships with suppliers develop, we work to instill good practices among lower-tier suppliers as well. HP has trained 155 second-tier suppliers through programs conducted jointly with our first-tier suppliers.

HP's 2012 capability-building initiatives

Student, dispatch and foreign migrant labor rights protection

Migrant labor training

Audience: Management (85 managers from 37 suppliers)
Location: Malaysia and Singapore
Year program began: 2011
Partner: Goodwill External site

HP's migrant labor training program delivers best-practice training to suppliers' senior managers. It addresses topics such as migrant labor management and the responsibilities of the labor agent and the hiring company throughout a migrant worker's employment. It also gives suppliers practical steps to incorporate HP EICC Code of Conduct requirements and human rights principles into the company's management system. HP developed the program in response to rising issues regarding the use and treatment of migrant workers in Southeast Asia.

In 2012, 52 managers from 37 first- and second-tier suppliers from Malaysia and Singapore participated.

HP's predeparture training

Audience: Facility and school trainers (180 trainers, reaching nearly 85,000 students)
Location: China
Year program began: 2011
Partner: Labour Education and Service Network (LESN) External site

HP's predeparture training teaches facility and school trainers how to prepare interns for work life, including knowledge of labor rights and occupational health as well as how to adapt to city life. Each participant received a guide on how to deliver the training. Suppliers involved in the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) also attend the predeparture training. We developed the program in response to concerns raised by NGOs about suppliers in China recruiting labor from vocational schools under the pretense of internships to learn technical skills. Reports suggest these young workers are instead used as unskilled labor for manufacturing. In addition to our work to improve suppliers' understanding of HP's EICC Code of Conduct, we have implemented predeparture training for suppliers and schools to address the issue.

In 2012, we held a session in Jiangsu, China. Since 2011, we have reached nearly 85,000 graduates and interns through the program in the Chongqing, Guangzhou, Jiangsu, and Wuhan regions of China. As part of our efforts to support student workers, in 2013 we released supplier guidelines for the employment and treatment of these workers (see Student, dispatch, and foreign migrant labor rights protection section).

Industrial relations

The Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH)

Audience: Workers (nearly 20,000 workers at six supplier sites)
Location: China
Year program began: 2011

IDH is a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to accelerate sustainable trade by building partnerships between leading multinationals, civil society organizations, governments, and other stakeholders. Five HP suppliers participate in the program.

In 2012, HP co-funded a new IDH program along with other electronics manufacturers that aims to improve the working conditions and environmental performance of electronics factories in China. The program identifies areas for improvement by assessing suppliers' operations. IDH then creates facility-specific programs to improve management systems and encourage better worker-management communication to address working conditions. IDH aims to reach 500,000 workers through the initiative. .

Worker management communications

Audience: Management and workers (more than 23,000 management and workers from 17 facilities)
Location: China
Year program began: 2008
Partners: Home for New Citizen (Chinese NGO) External site, LESN External site

HP's worker management communications program helps workers better understand their labor rights and how they can raise grievances about their working environment. HP also provides training to workers' representative committees.

In 2012, HP expanded the program to Chongqing, China, an important new manufacturing area in the country. We reached four suppliers in the region, and in collaboration with our local NGO partners, we established a hotline that allows workers to raise grievances.

Supplier management systems

Health Enables Return HERproject

Audience: Workers (443 managers and nearly 32,000 workers)
Location: China, Malaysia, and Mexico
Year program began: 2007
Partner: BSR External site

HP's HERproject External site addresses the general and reproductive health needs of women working in manufacturing in a range of industries, including electronics. The HERproject delivers benefits for both workers and suppliers. It raises awareness among workers of AIDS and sexually transmitted disease prevention, birth control, and peer education on health issues. For suppliers, the program demonstrates the business benefits of encouraging worker health and development, including a more healthy and productive workforce.

In 2012, HP expanded the HERproject to Malaysia, reaching nearly 2,000 female workers, including foreign workers from Indonesia. We also continued to run the program in China, where we worked with five supplier sites and reached more than 30,000 female workers. In 2013, we will continue to run the program in China and Malaysia, as well as expanding it to Thailand.

Hepatitis B (HBV) antidiscrimination program

Audience: Workers and management (34 supplier sites, 1,400 medical, safety and managerial personnel, and nearly 160,000 workers)
Location: China
Year program began: 2009
Partner: Inno Community Development Organisation External site

HP's HBV antidiscrimination program raises awareness of HBV and attempts to eliminate discrimination against HBV-positive workers. HP considers HBV testing in the employee-hiring process to be a violation of the nondiscrimination provision of HP's EICC Code of Conduct.

In 2012, we continued to partner with NGO Inno Community Development Organization to train nearly 1,400 medical staff and health and safety managers at supplier sites in Chongqing and Canton, China. This enabled them to reach nearly 160,000 workers since 2009 with subsequent training. The program also established free worker health hotlines at supplier sites throughout the Chongqing region.

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

Audience: Management (approximately 10 managers at five suppliers trained and certified)
Location: Mexico
Year program began: 2011
Partner: Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres External site

HP's MEG program aims to encourage companies to adopt nondiscrimination policies and avoid harassment in the workplace by training and certifying suppliers on management systems related to gender equality and harassment . The program is led by the Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres in Mexico, a government institution.

Job-stress prevention

Audience: Management (17 managers from 16 facilities)
Location: China
Year program began: 2010
Partner: Hong Kong Workers Health Centre External site

HP's job stress prevention program encourages frontline workers to become involved in improving their own working conditions, a preventative measure aimed at reducing stress. Sessions on work-stress management inform workers about the Mental Health Action checklist, which contains guidelines for workers to help them maintain a healthy, reduced-stress working environment. Instructors include a well-known occupational health professional who previously served as the director of Working Conditions and Environment at the International Labour Organization (ILO).

In 2012, HP launched a one-year Participatory Occupational Health and Safety Improvement (POHSI) by Local Initiative pilot program with supplier
I-Sheng to specifically address mental health and occupational health and safety. The program encouraged I-Sheng to establish its own management system to help workers identify mental health issues and other occupational health hazards. The program also helped I-Sheng to establish an occupational safety committee.

Measuring and mitigating greenhouse gas emission and water use impacts

Energy Efficiency Program (EEP)

Audience: Management (75 managers from 50 facilities)
Location: China
Year program began: 2010
Partner: BSR and WWF External site

The EEP helps major suppliers conduct energy audits, develop energy improvement action plans, and share best practices that enable companies to reduce energy use, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and lower costs. To date, participating HP suppliers reported energy savings totaling 26.7 million kilowatt hours (kWh) and avoided CO2 equivalent emissions equal to the emissions from the electricity used in 2,820 average U.S. homes for a year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Greenhouse Gas Emissions equivalency calculator. See Environmental impacts for more information.

In 2012, HP expanded our participation in the EEP in China through a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). We now have 47 suppliers and 50 sites across China taking part in the program, up from eight suppliers and 12 sites in 2011. We are extending the program's reach throughout 2013 to our second-tier suppliers, and to Malaysia and Thailand.

Rev. David M. Schilling
Senior Program Director, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
During the last decade, HP has been a leader in the IT industry in several areas related to supply chain responsibility.
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