Responsible Sourcing was identified as a high priority material issue for Symantec in 2010. Since 2008, when the company first began communicating on Corporate Responsibility (CR) through a formal report, responsible sourcing has become an increasingly common customer requirement and it is now the industry norm to have a robust supply chain code of conduct.
As a software company that outsources all of its manufacturing and fulfillment, the most critical aspect of a responsible supply chain can be difficult to identify and prioritize. Symantec simply does not have the same level of environmental and labor force issues that you would find in a heavy manufacturing environment. Despite the relatively low risk, it became clear that responsible sourcing is a relevant and important aspect of being a responsible business.
Customer requests to understand Symantec’s supply chain practices were steadily on the rise. At the same time, the number of standards and frameworks for responsible sourcing have grown steadily over the last five years. To sort through the various expectations and options, we engaged with customers, external experts, responsible supply chain organizations and numerous Symantec employees throughout the business.
In May, Symantec rolled out its first Global Supply Chain Manufacturing and Fulfillment Code of Conduct to its tier 1 suppliers. This is a highly-tailored set of expectations for tier 1 suppliers that is also broadly based on the Electronics Industry Code of Conduct and ISO26000 principles (two of the most applicable standards in the industry). The Code covers management systems and compliance with the code, labor practices, health and safety, environmental and ethics standards.
In the future, compliance with this code will be a requirement in all new manufacturing and fulfillment supplier contracts. Symantec will also begin developing a broader Supply Chain Code of Conduct to be rolled out to our larger supplier universe.
Debra McLaughlin is Program Manager, Stakeholder Engagement for Symantec.