About supply chain responsibility

Combatting forced labor

First IT company to require direct employment of foreign migrant workers in our supply chain

Supply chain responsibility program

At HPE, we believe that all people should be treated with respect. We partner with our suppliers to protect and elevate workers, communities and the environment across our value chain.

Our complex and dynamic supply chain also underpins our business success. Business demand for electronics products and services is evolving rapidly, and we are there with an adaptive supply chain to support delivery of world-class products and services that meet and exceed customer expectations. Our Supply Chain Responsibility program helps ensure the continuity of our supply lines and quality of our products by identifying and addressing supply chain risks. Learn more about our approach.

Building a sustainable supply chain

Our program—founded in 2001—is fundamental to HPE Living Progress, the way our people and technology come together to solve society’s toughest challenges. It begins with industry leading policies, standards, and practices founded on our commitment to transparency and desire to support workers, tackle environmental impacts, and benefit HPE and our customers.

Any supplier doing business with us must meet strict social and environmental responsibility requirements. Extensive risk sensing keeps us up to date with SER issues, region by region and supplier by supplier, and informs our program design. We monitor supplier performance and collaborate with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), training groups, and other stakeholders to deliver capability-building programs. We also engage both workers and management at our supplier factories in order to permanently enhance working conditions, from working hours and safety to anti-discrimination and employee grievance mechanisms.

As Hewlett Packard Enterprise moves into new markets, we on-board new suppliers, ensuring they understand our SER standards and management system and meet prescribed performance levels for new suppliers.

Beyond production suppliers, our program extends to non-production suppliers, and deeper in our supply chain to include sub-tier suppliers and the responsible sourcing of minerals.

Supporting workers

Our central aim is to improve the lives of workers who are the focus of our supplier capability-building programs. We invest in worker skills development and empower workers to improve SER performance.

We are committed to protecting all workers in our supply chain, and we recognize that certain worker groups need special protection. Suppliers in some countries have turned to students, dispatch workers, young workers (16- and 17-year olds where legally permitted), and foreign migrant workers—groups which have distinct vulnerabilities to potential abuse.
We responded by introducing enhanced standards, more focused monitoring, targeted capability building, and key performance indicator (KPI) tracking to provide additional protection for these groups.

Student workers

The Hewlett Packard Enterprise Student and Dispatch Worker Standard for Supplier Facilities in the People’s Republic of China, the first such standard in our industry, addresses the significant increase in the use of student and dispatch workers in China. It requires that all student work is voluntary, local regulations on student workers are met, only limited numbers of student workers are used for Hewlett Packard production (below 20% of the total workforce), and students are employed in roles that further their education.

We monitor progress through KPI tracking of student, dispatch, and young workers, which Chinese suppliers report to us monthly. This data shows that in 2016 100% of suppliers maintained student worker levels below 20% of the total workforce related to Hewlett Packard Enterprise production. This tracking is separate from auditing and provides more frequent oversight of supplier progress.

Foreign migrant workers

In 2014, we became the first IT company to require direct employment of foreign migrant workers in our supply chain through the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Supply Chain Foreign Migrant Worker Standard. In addition to requiring direct employment, the standard reinforced the rights of workers to retain their passports and personal documentation and prohibited worker-paid recruitment fees. We developed the new standard in consultation with Verité, an international nonprofit that promotes safe, fair, and legal working conditions.

The standard marks a major step forward in the protection of foreign migrant workers in our supply chain and we are now focused on ensuring that the new protections are realized. We conduct specialized forced labor assessments to monitor supplier conformance. Suppliers that do not meet our requirements must correct their practices with urgency or risk losing our business. To learn more, check out the Human trafficking in the supply chain section in our Living Progress Positions, Policies and Programs.

Widespread adoption of consistent policies by different companies and industries is key to transforming the recruitment industry and eradicating risks of forced labor from the supply chain. We engage with others within and outside the IT sector to drive systemic change, and to encourage others to join our approach.

In partnership with HP Inc., we donated a guidance document for suppliers to the EICC so that it can be used by any member to develop their approach to protecting foreign migrant workers. 

View our full data and goals

For more details on how we are addressing supply chain responsibility, check out the Ethical sourcing practices in our supply chain section in our Living Progress Positions, Policies, and Programs.

To learn about our progress, see Supply chain responsibility section in our Living Progress 2016 Data Summary.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise supply chain SER milestones


Hewlett Packard's first supplier questionnaire distributed

Hewlett Packard; global

Hewlett Packard surveyed its global suppliers for the elimination of ozone-depleting substances.


Procuring Environmentally Responsible Materials (PERM) program implemented

Hewlett Packard; global

PERM preceded Hewlett Packard's supply chain SER program and included Hewlett Packard's first supplier environmental requirements.


Hewlett Packard's environmental procurement policy and General Specification for the Environment (GSE) released

Hewlett Packard; global

We communicate materials restrictions to our design teams and to our manufacturing suppliers through our GSE.


Supply chain SER program launched

Hewlett Packard; global

We launched our supply chain SER program with a long-term vision to help improve supplier labor management standards, human rights, and environmental performance.


Capability building program launched

Hewlett Packard; global

Hewlett Packard's capability building program commenced with the Focused Improvement Supplier Initiative, a program that provided 30 HP suppliers with the tools and resources to improve SER management within their facilities. Since then, our initiatives have covered multiple issues, including worker health, communication, environment and antidiscrimination. (See Capability building.)


Hewlett Packard's first Global Citizenship Report published

Hewlett Packardv; global

Hewlett Packard's first Global Citizenship Report outlined our commitment to improving social and environmental performance over the next decade.

Hewlett Packard Supplier Code of Conduct rolled out

Hewlett Packard; global

Hewlett Packard was the first electronics company to publish an SER Supplier Code of Conduct.


Hewlett Packard's supplier self assessments began

Hewlett Packard; global

Suppliers began self-assessments against our Supplier Code of Conduct requirements. Our target was to assess our top 40 suppliers by the end of the 2003 fiscal year. We achieved that goal.


Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) formed

Cross industry; global

The EICC fosters responsible management and operational practices in labor, human rights, ethics, the environment, and health and safety across the electronics industry's global supply chain. Hewlett Packard was one of the founding members of the EICC and codeveloped the EICC Code of Conduct. Hewlett Packard has supplemented the EICC Code with additional requirements specific to freedom of association.

See Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Supplier Code of Conduct.

Hewlett Packard's first supplier audit performed

Hewlett Packard; China, Mexico, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe

We completed 45 pilot audits in 2004, against a public goal to complete 30 during the year.


Hewlett Packard's first supplier SER forum held in China

Hewlett Packard; China

Hewlett Packard held the first SER forum for regional Chinese suppliers to review and discuss Hewlett Packard's SER and Restriction of Hazardous Substances requirements. Around 330 representatives from various suppliers participated.


Comprehensive list of Hewlett Packard suppliers disclosed

Hewlett Packard; global

We were the first electronics company to publish a list of our suppliers in our FY07 Global Citizenship Report.

Suppliers' greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reported

Hewlett Packard; global

Hewlett Packard became the first major IT company to publish its aggregated supply chain GHG emissions, representing 86% of our first-tier suppliers by spend. We increased that percentage to 95% for calendar year 2010.


Working hours key performance indicators (KPIs) program launched

Hewlett Packard; China

Hewlett Packard piloted supplier use of KPIs to help reduce excessive working hours in the supply chain.

First capability building program to reach multiple tiers of Hewlett Packard's supply chain

Multistakeholder; Thailand

Hewlett Packard's year-long program with hard disk drive suppliers in Thailand was the company's first effort to reach multiple tiers of our supply chain. The program raised awareness of Hewlett Packard's EICC Code of Conduct, facilitated best practice sharing among supplier management, and supported their implementation of SER-related management systems.

Supply chain SER program expanded to nonproduction suppliers

Hewlett Packard; global

Originally focused only on production suppliers, Hewlett Packard's supply chain SER program expanded to also include nonproduction suppliers.

Conflict minerals program launched

Hewlett Packard; Africa

Hewlett Packard's conflict minerals program was launched, broadening the scope of our work to focus on tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


First joint Validated Audit Process (VAP) audits performed

Cross industry; global

The VAP is designed to eliminate duplication and "audit fatigue" by providing a common auditing approach for companies in the electronics industry. This allows for audit results to be shared by multiple customers of one supplier.

Environmental sustainability capability building efforts kicked off

Multistakeholder; China

Hewlett Packard became the only information and communication technology company to join Energy Efficiency Partnership (EEP), a year-long pilot program designed to help major suppliers in China reduce energy use, GHG emissions, and costs. Through the EEP, Hewlett Packard expanded supplier capability building efforts to environmental improvement.


First Hewlett Packard nonproduction supplier audit performed

Hewlett Packard; China, Asia Pacific, North America

Hewlett Packard performed our first audits of nonproduction suppliers, auditing three facilities in China, India, and Mexico.


Supplier guidance on appropriate use of student and dispatch workers developed

Hewlett Packard; China

In response to the growing focus on student labor management violations in the electronics industry supply chain, we developed “Hewlett Packard Student and Dispatch Worker Guidance Standard for Supplier Facilities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC)”, an industry-leading initiative.

First independent management system assessments of Hewlett Packard supplier facilities conducted

Hewlett Packard; China, Europe, Latin America

Hewlett Packard commissioned labor rights NGO Social Accountability International (SAI) to use its Social Fingerprint tool to independently assess the social management systems of three key production suppliers from China, Europe, and Latin America.




Industry-first supply chain GHG emissions reduction goal established

Hewlett Packard; global

We set our industry’s first supply chain GHG emissions reduction goal: to achieve a 20% decrease in first-tier manufacturing and product transportation-related GHG emissions intensity* by 2020, compared with 2010. See Supply chain environmental impacts.

  • Hewlett Packard calculates intensity as its suppliers’ GHG emissions divided by Hewlett Packard’s annual revenue. This method normalizes performance based on business productivity.




First IT company to publish a complete list of 3TG smelters

Hewlett Packard; global

Hewlett Packard published the list of smelters in our supply chain to drive awareness and create a call to action for all users of these metals. See Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s list of smelters.

New SER scorecard for stronger influence on purchasing decisions developed

Hewlett Packard; global

Hewlett Packard introduced a more robust SER procurement scorecard, placing greater emphasis on SER performance in the business award process. Suppliers with strong SER performance can now increase their overall scorecard results, which increases their opportunities for new or expanded business. Suppliers with persistently poor SER performance may see a reduction in their scorecard rating and a decrease in the business they are awarded.


Industry-leading foreign migrant worker standard released

Hewlett Packard; global

Hewlett Packard took a major step forward in preventing exploitative labor practices and forced labor by becoming the first company in the IT industry to require direct employment of foreign migrant workers in its supply chain. The standard also addresses worker retention of critical documentation such as passports, and prohibits worker-paid recruitment fees. See FMW policy.

On-boarding SER assessments for new suppliers

Hewlett Packard; global

Hewlett Packard more than doubled the number of on-boarding SER assessments at new suppliers. These assessments are conducted before placing business at important new suppliers or facilities, giving the opportunity to identify critical issues and motivate suppliers to mitigate findings. Early SER engagement also sets the stage for productive future relationships.

Interactive map of suppliers

Hewlett Packard; global

Expanding on Hewlett Packard’s industry-first publication of suppliers in 2007, we shared both the location of final assembly suppliers, as well as the number of reported hourly employees dedicated to the production of Hewlett Packard products at these sites. This is communicated through an interactive map which improves transparency by allowing easy navigation to information on supplier location, number of workers, product types, and supplier sustainability reporting. See Supply chain responsibility.



Recognition for efforts to tackle human trafficking and forced labour


HPE received a 2016 Stop Slavery Award from the Thomson Reuters Foundation, in the “Transparency and Response to Challenge” category. The award recognizes companies that have taken concrete steps to eradicate forced labour from their supply chains.



World’s first supply chain program based on climate science

Hewlett Packard Enterprise; global

We announced the world’s first comprehensive supply chain management program based on climate science. The landmark initiative will provide our suppliers with the tools they need to develop a customized plan to reduce their own emissions and drives a global standard for supplier greenhouse gas (GHG) engagement and abatement. HPE’s objective is for this innovative program to act as a model for the industry and the world.

The program will require 80% of HPE manufacturing suppliers to set science-based emissions reduction targets in their own operations by 2025, seeking to avoid 100 million tons of emissions. These reductions equate to taking 21 million cars off the road for an entire year.

As part of the goal, HPE will reduce manufacturing-related GHG emissions on an absolute basis within our supply chain by 15% by 2025, becoming the first IT company to establish a supply chain goal that is in line with climate science.

Supplier diversity

Engaging diverse suppliers supports the economic strength of local communities while enhancing innovation and competitive advantage in our supply chain.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Global Supplier Diversity Office encourages and supports small and diverse businesses to compete for our business. We have supplier diversity programs and partnerships in Australia, Canada, China, South Africa, the UK and Ireland, and the United States.

We encourage suppliers in these categories to work with us:

  • Aboriginal/indigenous-owned businesses
  • Businesses located in historically underutilized commercial and industrial zones
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender-owned businesses
  • Minority-owned businesses
  • Service-disabled veteran-owned businesses
  • Small businesses
  • Veteran-owned businesses
  • Women-owned businesses

Current and potential suppliers are invited to use our new online registration tool.