Is Your Company Prepared for EICC: The Electronic Industry Code of Conduct?

Leet, Bob; Bennett, Brad
(Intel, Hillsboro, OR (for both authors))

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The pressure to be “good corporate citizens” has increased dramatically over the past decade. Since the mid nineties, companies have been publicly identified and criticized for their supplier’s deficiencies. The natural reaction by a company under “attack” is to go into a “reactive” mode by addressing the specific allegations from their critics. A fundamental problem exists in that these critics: shareholders, social investment fund managers, non-government organizations, and the media often have differing corporate responsibility objectives and expectations. In reactive mode, often more time is spent producing data to satisfy these stakeholders, than is spent implementing effective and efficient policy, programs, and systems. Electronics companies and their suppliers that take the opportunity now, while it still exists, can be prepared for the ever-increasing corporate responsibility performance scrutiny that these socially-responsible external parties are demanding. Some of the largest companies in the electronics industry have formed a coalition to develop a common approach to policy, program and systems to manage suppliers to a common code of conduct. This coalition is formally known as the Electronics Industry Code of Conduct coalition, or as it is commonly referred to, the EICC coalition. This presentation will provide an update on where the EICC coalition is in their effort to introduce the common approach – tools, methods and systems. It will then review some of the highlights of the common code of conduct, and provide a status update on the industry’s Joint Auditing activities. Lastly, it will focus in on the process and what is expected of companies when they are audited to the EICC’s ‘code’. This paper will highlight to electronic industry suppliers how they will know if they are prepared for EICC, and how they might gain from aligning with the existing network of companies within the EICC coalition.

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