Supply chain SER frequently asked questions

What are HP's internal Corporate and Supplier Social and Environmental Responsibility Policies?

HP's companywide global citizenship programs and policies can be found on HP's website at: HP's Supply Chain Social and Environmental Responsibility Policy is available on HP's website at:

What CSR industry standard is HP adhering to?

We have researched and evaluated many declarations, organizations, and standards relating to corporate social responsibility. We publicly endorsed and have signed the UN Secretary General's Global Compact, which asks world business to "support and respect the protection of international human rights within their sphere of influence." We use the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting framework. After having benchmarked dozens of Fortune 500 companies on their standards and policies and in collaboration with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) in 2002, HP was the first electronics company to publish a Social and Environmental Responsibility Supplier Code of Conduct. In 2004, we helped lead the development of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) Code of Conduct, the standard we now apply. The EICC Code of Conduct fosters responsible management and operational practices in labor, human rights, ethics, environment, health, and safety across the electronics industry's global supply chain. We are an active member of CSR Europe and play a lead role in many CSR forums.

Standards and expectations

What are HP's social and environmental expectations for suppliers?

We expect our product material suppliers to act as responsible corporate citizens and take a positive, proactive stance regarding social and environmental issues. We ask that they pursue a policy of continuous improvement and be forthright in sharing relevant information with us. Suppliers need to understand HP's expectations and manage to them. HP suppliers must comply with all national and other applicable laws and regulations, and they must require their suppliers do the same. Suppliers must comply with HP's requirements specified in the EICC Code of Conduct and HP's General Specification for the Environment (GSE).

What is the EICC Code of Conduct?

In 2004, HP collaborated with Dell, IBM, and our EMS providers to develop a common EICC Code of Conduct to promote industry standards for socially responsible business practices across the global supply chain. The new code was released in October 2004 and HP has adopted the use of the common industry code.

Has the EICC Code of Conduct replaced HP's Supplier Code of Conduct?

HP's Supplier Code of Conduct has been replaced with the EICC Code of Conduct released in October 2004. This document establishes the minimum requirements that all product material suppliers must meet in doing business with HP. All suppliers involved in manufacturing HP's products must meet or exceed the EICC Code of Conduct standards.

What is the integration plan for suppliers?

We are implementing the EICC Code of Conduct using a phased approach, We began with our top 40 suppliers in FY03. We employ a risk-based approach to prioritize implementation of our social and environmental responsibility (SER) program with our first-tier suppliers—those with whom we have a direct contractual relationship. These suppliers select and manage their own suppliers, also known as second-tier suppliers or subcontractors. Our focus is on suppliers that pose a significant risk, for example, through chemical or labor-intensive manufacturing operations or are located in developing countries.

If we do not have a Code of Conduct or similar standards, can we adopt the EICC Code of Conduct?

Yes. The EICC Code of Conduct may be voluntarily adopted by a business in the electronics sector and subsequently applied by that business to its own suppliers. Fundamental to adopting the Code of Conduct is the understanding that a business, in all of its activities, must operate in full compliance with the laws, rules, and regulations of the countries in which it operates. The Code of Conduct encourages participants to go beyond legal compliance, drawing upon internationally recognized standards, in order to advance social and environmental responsibility. For more information about adopting the EICC Code of Conduct or becoming a member of the EICC visit the website: .

What is the General Specification for the Environment (GSE)?

The GSE contains general product content restrictions (battery material content, packaging materials, product labeling and marking requirements, and chemical registration requirements). Environmental legislation and regulations or HP Company specifications restricting or prohibiting certain chemical compounds or materials in HP's products or manufacturing processes become a requirement in states or countries in which HP manufactures products. The GSE is reviewed annually or as new requirements are adopted by HP.

How do I deal with so many competing standards from our customers?

HP is cognizant and sensitive to the increased demands being made on suppliers. It is not our intention to burden our supply base, but simply to remain competitive in the marketplace, protect our brand, and contribute to the social and environmental progress of society. In recognition of this, HP has collaborated with Dell, IBM, and our EMS providers to develop a common EICC Code of Conduct. The adoption of a single, global Industry Code of Conduct reduces inefficiency and confusion in the supply chain. In addition, HP has adopted the use of the industry-standard self-assessment questionnaires and the use of the industry web system Electronic-Tool for Accountable Supply Chains (E-TASC) for suppliers to complete their questionnaires.

What if laws, regulations, and standards change?

HP will notify suppliers if requirements in HP's standards change. If HP changes its standards or expectations, you will be notified of the new standards. It is suppliers' responsibility to monitor and track changing social and environmental laws and regulations that directly affect suppliers' operations. HP suppliers must comply with all laws and regulations, and they must require their suppliers do the same. This includes laws and regulations relating to human rights, labor, ethics, environmental, and occupational health and safety practices.


How are the supplier social and environmental guidelines enforced?

HP's supplier labor, health and safety, and environmental guidelines are a formal part of HP's procurement policy. HP evaluates and drives supplier performance through the use of contract language in the Purchase Order Terms & Conditions and Product Purchase Agreements. In addition, we request that each supplier sign a Supplier Social and Environmental Responsibility Agreement; adhere to the EICC Code of Conduct and the General Specification for the Environment (GSE); complete supplier questionnaires covering human rights/labor, health and safety, environment, and ethics practices; and participate in a formal supplier review process (including on-site audits).

What if I have an older version of HP's purchasing contract and the new social and environmental clauses are not included in my contract?

Suppliers are expected to adhere to HP's social and environmental standards and to sign the Supplier Agreement. You can obtain the Supplier Social and Environmental Responsibility Agreement, EICC Code of Conduct, GSE, and review HP's social and environmental contract clauses on HP's website at:

Who monitors conformance and how frequently?

We work closely with the HP businesses' supply chain organizations and product stewardship community to monitor our suppliers' performance against HP's expectations. Product material suppliers must complete and submit HP's supplier performance review questionnaires once a year. In cases of poor performance or questionable practices, HP may conduct a supplier on-site audit or require an independent third-party verification of the supplier's practices.

Can I be terminated as a result of nonconformance?

In selecting and retaining qualified suppliers, HP will show preference to suppliers that meet or exceed the expectations stated in the EICC Code of Conduct. If HP determines that a supplier is not in conformance with the EICC Code of Conduct, we will require that a supplier implement a corrective action plan. We are committed to working collaboratively with our suppliers to find solutions and drive continuous improvement. If a supplier does not demonstrate improvement in a reasonable amount of time, HP may discontinue the business relationship.

What if I have a dispute with HP's findings?

HP or the supplier may request an independent third-party assessment of the complaint or allegation be conducted to resolve the dispute.

Does HP require suppliers to have management systems?

HP requires major elements of a management system from our suppliers. HP expects that suppliers will have written SER policies with a commitment to continuous improvement and performance objectives with implementation plans and measures. Furthermore, suppliers must have a system in place to track SER laws and regulations, and their compliance with those that are applicable to their facilities.

Does HP require its suppliers to be ISO 14001 certified?

No. HP does not require its suppliers to be ISO 14001 certified, or require its suppliers to use ISO 14001 certified suppliers. However, as part of an ongoing effort to select environmentally responsible suppliers, HP gives preference to existing or potential suppliers who have achieved ISO 14001 registrations.

Supplier self-assessment questionnaires

Do suppliers need to complete the self-assessment questionnaires? What if a portion of the questionnaire does not apply to a supplier's operation?

We require that suppliers answer and submit the questionnaires for each facility that manufactures products for HP using the industry standard self-assessment questionnaire developed by the EICC and GeSI organizations. The questionnaire should be completed using the E-TASC industry self-assessment web survey tool. If a portion of the questionnaire does not apply to your company/facility's operations where business is conducted for HP, then answer that portion as "Not Applicable" and give a brief explanation as to why it is not applicable to your company/facility.

How do you evaluate the questionnaires?

When we receive the questionnaires back, we evaluate performance based on suppliers' answers to the questions. If a supplier answers any of the questions negatively, or provides no explanation, we investigate to determine the validity of their answer. When necessary, we may request a corrective action plan be implemented for nonconformance. In addition, in the course of doing business with our suppliers, we have meetings at their facilities, which give us the opportunity to review their operations. We also conduct supplier audits and plant tours, particularly during the supplier qualification and contract renewal phase. During these plant visits and tours, HP has the opportunity to observe the supplier's operating and environmental practices.

Does HP conduct on-site SER audits of supplier facilities?

In 2004, HP began to conduct on-site SER audits at our suppliers' facilities. The self-assessment questionnaire responses are used as an initial baseline assessment for determining if an on-site SER audit should be conducted.

Supplier diversity questionnaires

Why must I complete the supplier profile questionnaire?

This process was created to enable buyers and other procurement personnel to source small businesses for procurement opportunities. This data gives us one repository for current contact and capability information for small businesses around the world.

What will HP do with the supplier profile questionnaire after I submit it?

Once the data is submitted it is available to HP buyers and other procurement personnel around the world. Your profile will be in a searchable database that enables searches by keyword for your services or products.

Should I contact HP buyers directly?

In a company as geographically dispersed as HP it is very difficult to reach many buyers directly. This database is the most effective way to reach all of HP quickly.

Will anyone outside of HP have access to my business information?

The data we receive is considered confidential and is accessible to HP personnel only. HP will not sell or share your data with any external companies or sources.

I am currently doing business with HP. Should I complete the supplier profile questionnaire?

Absolutely. This profile will allow you to expand your marketing within HP. Now, instead of relying on word of mouth or seeking out individual buyers throughout HP, you can reach them all with one form.

How long will HP maintain my information?

To keep this database as current and useful as possible, your company profile will be maintained for 1 year following each update. If the data has not been updated within a year, the entry will be deleted.

How often should I update my information?

You should update your profile anytime the information in the database changes. This is especially important if you change your address, phone number or email. If this information is out of date, it will be impossible for buyers to contact you. However, it is also important to maintain your keyword list and competitive positioning statement, as many buyers will rely on these to determine your company’s capabilities.

Why must I obtain an SBA certification when my firm is already certified by a recognized agency?

HP is a contractor and subcontractor for the Federal Government and is required to report procurement awards to small businesses that claim “disadvantaged” and “HUB Zone” status. The SBA is the Federal agency that issues those certifications.

I have completed the HP questionnaire, what are my next steps and how can I obtain a direct contact name?

It is against company policy to provide direct contact names without first obtaining authorization from our procurement decision makers. You will only be contacted by HP if internal inquires have been made about the goods or services provided by your company.

Will I receive confirmation from HP acknowledging that you have received and processed my information?

You will receive a confirmation message when you submit your form that will inform you that the form was successfully submitted.

Progress and results

What have HP's progress and results been to date?

HP reports supply chain SER progress and results annually in the Global Citizenship Report and in response to surveys and questions from socially responsible investment (SRI) and asset management firms, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), customers, and the media. For detailed program results, visit the GCR website at:

Additional information