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HP Releases Green Supply Chain Guidelines

HP published a new set of guidelines for multinational companies designed to help them promote strong CSR and environmental practices amongst small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) within their supply chain.

The guidelines feature in a report from the Danish Commerce and Companies Agency, co-funded by the IT giant and the European Commission, and cover a range of best practices, including frequent supply chain audits, managerial training for suppliers' staff and workshops to promote the commercial case for environmentally sustainable business practices.

Bonnie Nixon Gardiner, global program manager for supply chain social and environmental responsibility at HP, said she hoped the guidelines would be adopted by other multinational firms. "The report was co-funded by the European Commission so we expect to see it fairly distributed," she said. "We've already seen a good reaction from other multinationals, including some of our competitors."

The report, which assessed 15 of HP's smaller Eastern European suppliers, also highlighted the need for multinationals to develop a specific strategy for ensuring tier two suppliers that provide products for the company's direct suppliers adopt good CSR practices.

"You need to recognize that the companies supplying your suppliers tend to have limited resources, staff and money," advised Nixon Gardiner. "So it is important to work closely with your first tier suppliers to diffuse best practice information out through the supply chain and support their efforts to audit and improve their suppliers."

She added that multinationals also had an obligation to reward those suppliers boasting strong CSR and environmental credentials by preferring them over rivals for new business.

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