Achieving social and environmental compliance through a robust management system
Our social and environmental management system is consistent with the requirements of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) and Flex code of conduct. We focus on driving continuous improvements in social, ethical and environmental compliance across every major level of our business.
Our social and environmental management system
Flex Pledge brings together current environmental, health, safety, and RBA requirements, as well as best practices in the electronics industry, and aligns them to ISO14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001. We’ve long been committed to practices that serve the best interests of our people, the environment and our stakeholders. That is why we created two policies that represent the core of our management system: Labor and Human Rights policy and the environmental, health and safety policy, issued in 2011 and 2002, respectively. They were revised in 2016 and approved by Mike McNamara, CEO, and apply to all Flex entities.
Key elements of our program
- Responsible Business Alliance and Code of Conduct 5.1
- Flex updated Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
- Environmental management system with a scope beyond ISO 14001:2015
- Health and safety management system based on OHSAS18001:2007
- Labor, human rights and ethics management system
- Responsible materials sourcing program
- Communications and consultation program
- Self-assessment questionnaire
- Environmental health and safety standards
- Procedures, guidance documents and trainings
- Provides clear guidance for compliance at Flex sites
- Establishes a mechanism for improving environmental, health, safety and labor performance
- Defines critical priorities and risks by putting a strong management system in place in order to mitigate potential for non-compliance
- Provides evidence of legal register and risk assessment to reinforce legal compliance
- Encourages a strong culture of compliance for employees, customers, suppliers and contractors worldwide
Flex maintains its own list of restricted and prohibited substances to ensure safe operations on a global basis. In addition, we have a corporate chemical management standard that applies to any new chemical introduced into our factories to ensure safety. As a service provider to original OEMs, Flex typically does not create specifications for products we assemble, and those products are distributed and sold under other brand names. However, some of our leading customers have issued specifications to their suppliers that include restricted and prohibited chemical substances, in many cases going well beyond regulatory requirements.
In 2016, we updated our social and environmental management system, which incorporated standards from the Responsible Business Alliance and strengthened our support of human rights.
- Social and environmental risk assessment and risk management
- Legal and other requirements
- Objectives, targets and programs
- Structure and responsibility
- Competence, training, awareness
- Communication, consultation
- Operational and process controls
- Emergency preparedness and response
- Monitoring and measurement
- Gap closure and performance improvement
- Control of documents
- Corrective/preventive action
- Records management
- Internal audit and assessment
- Corporate Flex Pledge certification audit
- Management review and reporting
Our global CSER team is comprised of operations, customer facing and regional leads who develop corporate standards and tools, monitor performance, capture customer requirements, support the Flex Pledge program implementation and verify the program is in place. At the local level, one functional sustainability team is established per manufacturing or logistic site, led by the GM and staff.
Competency is assured through instructor-led and online training. Corresponding courses are assigned according to the person's position. After the training is completed, we follow up regularly with employees to keep training completion levels at or above 85 percent per site. Competency is also verified through physical audits conducted by our corporate CSER regional leads.
Certification and Management Approach Evaluation
We plan and execute in accordance with our social and environmental management requirements, which ensure alignment with our sustainability goals. As part of this process, we perform corporate audits to measure sustainability compliance and performance at the global, regional and local levels. Flex Pledge corporate audits are performed at each Flex manufacturing and logistic site to verify compliance with social and environmental management system requirements. Effective resolution of all findings results in Flex Pledge site certification.
Flex Pledge certification process
Management system evaluation
Flex evaluates its management approach towards relevant sustainability areas through the following:
- Major areas of improvements are identified through corporate audits and these results are being shared to the Board on a regular basis
- Our sustainability metrics system monitors company compliance and performance at the global, regional and local levels
- Our participation in industry and sustainability organizations along with our constant communication with our stakeholders