Creating value through a successful sustainability strategy
Our strategy is based on the Sustainability cornerstones and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability governance principles are a core part of our business operations. Our commitment to continuous improvement is reflected in our Flex 20 by 2020 goals and the guiding vision of CEO Mike McNamara.
In the Age of Intelligence™, we help our customers transform their ideas into intelligent solutions that contribute to a healthier, more sustainable world. We joined the UN Global Compact (UNGC) and aligned our strategy and global efforts to its Ten Guiding Principles.
Our sustainability commitment is integrated into every aspect of our business, extending throughout our supply chain. Our programs and initiatives, based on our cornerstones, exemplify our strategy, from thought to action. Our employees continue to respond with overwhelming support globally, and their energy continues to fuel our exceptional results in sustainability. Our efforts thus advance the broader development of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
During CY17 we made significant progress in our sustainability efforts, including:
- Reducing our health and safety incident rate to 0.50, for an annual reduction of 12% from 2016
- Volunteering in our local communities more than 59,000 hours globally, adding up to more than 207,000 since 2014
- Providing financial and emergency response relief to 6 locations around the globe affected by natural disasters
- Launching our annual Earth Day Challenge that increased awareness of environmental protection among our employees and communities. More than 80,000 employees participated across 61 sites from 21 countries
- Manufacturing PV modules and solar trackers that produced power equivalent to the energy needed to run more than 1.17 million homes, totaling approximately 2 million homes since 2016
- Installing more than 22,500 LED light fixtures, for a total of 110,000 since 2013, representing savings of 75,000,000 KWh/year and a reduction of 56,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year
- Utilizing more than 30MW of renewable energy at our sites worldwide
- Reducing water withdrawn by over 1,400,000 m3, an 11% reduction year-over-year
- Supporting the mitigation of over 63,000 CO2e through Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) with projects in India and China, which offset part of our Scope 3 CO2e emissions.
These are just a few examples of how we create positive impacts on the communities where we operate, the people we serve in those communities, and the environment at large. We weave sustainability into our day-to-day operations, not only because it is good for business but also because it is the right thing to do. It is how we deliver Sketch-to-Scale® solutions with and for our customers, across every major industry around the world. Not only are we creating a smarter, more connected world, we are also contributing to a better future.
Chief Executive Officer
Positively impacting Flex employees, partners, the communities where we operate and the broader world around us.
Our strategy guides our efforts to deliver sustainable operations to our customers and other stakeholders and to help create a smarter, safer and healthier world. This focus upon society and the environment sets us apart as a leader in a “market of one” that develops Sketch-to-Scale® solutions, innovative technologies, and state-of-the-art manufacturing.
While our management systems were already well-developed by that time and aligned to international norms, our sustainability strategy will also benefit by being aligned to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). As part of our commitment to the future, we pledged to do business responsibly by voluntarily following the UNGC’s Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption. We will also contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As noted, we have selected Quality Education (#4), Clean and Affordable Energy (#7), Decent Work (#8) and Responsible Production and Consumption (#12) as the goals most closely related to our business.
We focus our commitments, policies, management systems, multiyear goals, programs, and initiatives on five cornerstones to drive sustainability across the company and our value chain: People, Community, Environment, Innovation and Integrity.
Our commitments in the areas covered by our cornerstones showcase our internal practices and allow us to ensure that we embed sustainability into every aspect of our business.
Our Core Policies and our Social and Environmental Management System
Our social and environmental management system consolidates several management systems into one. It includes an Environmental Health and Safety Policy and a Human Rights Policy that are available to all persons working for or on behalf of our company, as well as to vendors, customers, and the public.
Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Affordable and Clean Energy: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Decent Work and Economic Growth: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Responsible Consumption and Production: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Our Global Programs and Initiatives
We drive action through our global programs and initiatives, including Flex Pledge assessment and auditing, 5S, Gemba Walks, and other programs aimed at safety and good housekeeping, Tone at the Top (aimed at driving a culture of integrity), Machine Safety, Product Environmental Compliance and many others. These operational initiatives are reinforced by employee engagement and development programs, such as Flex Leadership Development Program (FLDP), Employee Scholarship Program, Service Learning Initiative, Earth Day Challenge, and Worker Empowerment Training Program (WETP), among others.
People: Provide opportunities for decent work for Flex employees, respecting their dignity and striving to advance human rights around the world
Community: Volunteer time, talent and resources to make the communities where we live and work more livable and prosperous by providing opportunities for entrepreneurship and upward mobility
Environment: Committed to safeguarding the environment across the global supply chain so future generations can prosper
Innovation: Create intelligent products designed and manufactured with sustainability in mind
Integrity: Operate ethically and lead with integrity, earning the trust of our employees, customers, suppliers, investors and the communities where we live and work
Collaboration in Our Operations and Our Value Chain
Our operations span more than 100 locations across 30 countries and enable us to test and identify best practices to improve performance in productivity and sustainability.
Each of our sites contributes to our overall sustainability strategy. We are also committed to monitoring and complying with social and environmental requirements across the supply chain continuously, and we partner with our customers in various sustainability efforts.
Flex participates in many external sustainability networks where we can provide leadership and leverage our collaboration within and outside of our industry.
Employer of Choice: We develop and empower talented people to realize their full potential, providing employees with a healthy, safe and secure workplace
Partner of Choice: As the industry’s only Sketch-to-Scale® solutions provider, we offer innovation and cross-industry expertise to design, develop and deliver products at scale
Investment of Choice: We’re committed to maximizing value for all our stakeholders by pursuing our vision and creating a simpler, richer life through technology. By combining innovative technologies, state-of-the-art manufacturing and sustainability, Flex is a leader in a market of one
Sustainability governance principles are a core part of our business operations. Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (CoBCE) applies to all Flex directors, officers and employees. The CoBCE incorporates the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) Code of Conduct, making the RBA code a part of our governance system. The CoBCE is approved by the Compliance Directors, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, Legal Department, and Human Resources.
Sustainability council & executive sponsor group
Sustainability updates are delivered regularly to the Executive Staff via a Sustainability Executive Dashboard. In addition, a quarterly Executive Sponsor meeting is held with the following executives’ participation: CFO, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, General Counsel, Segment Presidents, Vice President of Marketing and Sustainability, Vice President of Corporate Social Environmental Responsibility, Vice President of Quality and Vice President of Audit and Risk Management.
Audit committee and board of directors
The Flex Articles of Association give our Board of Directors the authority to manage our business. The Board oversees the overall interest of the company, provides guidance on strategic business planning processes and oversees the business conduct of senior management. The Audit Committee, which is chartered by the Board of Directors, has oversight of the Corporate Sustainability Program.
Corporate sustainability leadership committee
The Corporate Sustainability Leadership Committee, a multidisciplinary group comprised by global directors and managers (including operations, customer facing, supply chain, regulatory compliance, metrics and communications), meets semi-annually to share information with individuals across various organizations who are directly responsible for implementing sustainability initiatives.
Ethics and compliance organization
The Ethics and Compliance program activities are driven by the Corporate Compliance Team, with oversight from our Audit Committee and our Compliance Executive Sponsors, and partnering with our Compliance Directors from across our company, who are subject matter experts in our various compliance areas.
We’ve targeted 20 goals by 2020 that align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. These goals reflect our commitment to the highest sustainability standards. As good corporate citizens, we ensure that this is reflected in our global supply chain. Flex reports progress toward these goals twice per year.
Employee development - Increase the average training reach to employees by 5 percent year over year (Base year 2016)
Flex Pledge audits - Audit 100% of all Flex manufacturing sites to ensure regulatory and Flex Pledge compliance
Human Rights policy training - Train new employees on Flex Human Rights policy, with a 95% or higher completion rate*
Rest day compliance - Ensure full compliance with Responsible Business Alliance rest day requirements
Incident rate - Promote a zero injury culture and achieve a reduction in the global incident rate of at least 10 percent (Base year 2015)
*Does not include individuals who have recently joined Flex through acquisitions, employees on leave of absence and direct labor
Volunteer hours - Increase global volunteer hours by 15 percent (Base year 2015)
Percentage of sites with community activities - Maintain percentage of sites with implemented local community engagement activities at 90 percent or higher
Worker empowerment training program - Improve the technical and vocational skills of manufacturing employees by partnering with an NGO to develop a Worker Empowerment Training Program at 20 supplier sites
Flex Foundation community grants - Partner with nonprofit organizations to provide life-long learning, technical and vocational skills and innovation and entrepreneurship at 100 percent of our sites that have an employee population over 5,000
CO2 emissions - Reduce CO2 emissions by at least 10 percent normalized to revenue (Base year 2016)
Renewable energy - Increase the utilization of renewable energy by deploying a minimum of two megawatts of solar power annually and/or procuring the same amount of power from third party renewable sources
Water consumption- Reduce overall water consumption by at least 10 percent absolute (Base year 2015)
Water recycling- Increase recycled water rate to 10 percent (Base year 2015)
Waste diversion rate- Achieve and maintain a diversion rate of waste from manufacturing processes at or above 95 percent
Energy efficiency- Flex Energy Solutions will have manufactured enough solar PV modules and solar trackers to power 3.5 million homes
Energy costs - Flex Energy Solutions' renewable energy systems will provide electricity to the grid at a cost which is 5 percent less expensive than the average cost from fossil fuel sources
CoBCE training - Conduct in-person Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (CoBCE) training at 100 percent of Flex sites with direct labor employees
CoBCE training completion - New Code of Business Conduct and Ethics online training to be completed annually by 100 percent of eligible employees **Does not include individuals who have recently joined Flex through acquisitions, employees on leave of absence and direct labor
Supplier training - Increase percentage of suppliers (Flex Tier 1 and Flex-controlled) who complete social and environmental training by 10 percent annually (Base year 2015)
Supplier screening - Keep percentage of new Flex-controlled suppliers screened on social and environmental criteria at 85 percent or higher