At Lam, we strive to ensure that our supply chain – made up of hundreds of suppliers – is ethically responsible. Lam’s Supplier Code of Conduct sets high standards for the business operations of our suppliers, and requires suppliers to adhere to the Responsible Business Alliance’s Code of Conduct that focuses on human rights and environmental practices.
Human Rights Day, observed Dec. 10, marks the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, which “proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being.” On this day, and every day, we celebrate the collective progress and commitment towards eradication of human rights abuses.
Recently, the company has been working on a pilot project with three key suppliers who have manufacturing locations in countries considered to be high risk for forced and bonded labor. “Forced labor victims have passports and documentation confiscated so they can’t move on,” says Brandie Luis, Global Supply Chain Management operations contract and compliance manager. “In bonded labor situations, people end up working years on low wages to repay high interest loans they took out from their employers to pay high fees to gain employment in the first place. To counter abuses like these, the company wants to go beyond baseline compliance and use our global leverage in regions where human rights law may not be as comprehensive as it is in the U.S.”
In the pilot, suppliers mapped worker journeys from their home country or province to their facility, noting all agents and steps in the process, identifying risks and controls, and creating corrective action plans.
Lam also worked with them to develop more comprehensive policies preventing forced and bonded labor, and to communicate expectations to all agents and subagents in workers’ home and destination countries.
The project has received an enthusiastic response from suppliers and enables Lam to support the goals of major customers and non-government organizations (NGOs) in countering these issues.
“One major customer in particular challenged us to demonstrate that Lam’s products are created free of exploitative practices,” says Peter Holland, vice president, Supply Chain. “The project helped us respond to that. Rigor in managing humane practices throughout the breadth and depth of our supply chain is an imperative for customer trust and confidence.”
Employees in Lam’s supplier organization are trained to carry out inspections and recognize potential signs of human rights abuses. Progress is measured using scoring systems such as the Corporate Human Rights benchmark.
“As of this year, we’re a member of the Responsible Business Alliance, which increases our focus on eradicating these issues from supply chains,” Peter says. “But we still need employees to act as our eyes and ears to combat the problem.”
We are proud of our work in driving progress in the supply chain and remain committed to our corporate social responsibility efforts. Lam’s CSR activities ranked the company number 11 on Newsweek’s 2020 ranking of America’s Most Responsible Companies.