The Purchaser Guide for Addressing Labor and Human Rights in IT Procurement
Institutional purchasers, both public and private sector, are increasingly interested in procuring products which are not only environmentally preferable but have also been produced in a socially responsible manner. Knowing what to ask suppliers regarding how they are addressing negative labor and human rights impacts and what constitutes credible supporting documentation from a supplier is a challenge for both public and private sector purchasers. To address this challenge, GEC created this guide to provide institutional purchasers with guidance to assist them in procuring IT products from companies that are improving the social responsibility of their supply chains. The labor and human rights impacts addressed by the guide are not unique to the IT sector and there are many labor and human rights related industry initiatives, standards and regulatory requirements. The guide does not seek to be an exhaustive source of these, nor does it claim to address all negative labor and human rights impacts found within the many tiers of a supply chain. Instead, the guide is focused on purchasers and providing them both procurement questions and examples of supplier supporting documentation so that they can leverage their purchasing power to address pressing labor and human rights impacts while also meeting their goal of a successful procurement.
Procurement, especially public procurement, is a complex field comprised of specific rules and policies and any labor and human rights questions used as part of a procurement process must be clear and relevant. The procurement questions, supporting documentation examples and other resources provided in the Guide can be used by purchasers throughout the procurement process to: • Better understand the IT sector's capacity to address labor and human rights impacts. • Introduce labor and human rights related performance criteria in technical specifications, supplier selection and procurement award criteria, as well as in contract performance clauses. • When monitoring and evaluating the results of procurements, provide purchasers with supplier labor and human rights performance data to confirm that purchasers are meeting their internal responsible sourcing and sustainable procurement goals. • Assist purchasers in assuring that labor and human rights regulatory requirements are met.