In October 2018 Ethical Consumer viewed Google Inc's website for the company's supply chain management policy.
A section called Responsible Manufacturing was found which contained Google’s Supplier Code of Conduct.
Supply chain policy (rudimentary)
Google's supply chain policy included adequate clauses on child labour, forced labour, freedom of association and non-discrimination. However the clause on working hours was not considered adequate as it was qualified by "except in emergency or unusual situations." It did not contain a clause guaranteeing workers' a living wage. Overall Google was considered to have a rudimentary supply chain policy.
Stakeholder engagement (poor)
No references could be found to the effect that Google was working with organisations to help verify its labour standards within its supply chain. It was a member of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition however this was an industry led organisation.
Auditing and reporting (poor)
Google's Supply Chain Policy stated that it performed "periodic self-evaluations to ensure conformity to legal and regulatory requirements, the content of the Supplier Code and customer contractual requirements related to social and environmental responsibility." It also confirmed that there was process for "correction of deficiencies identified by internal or external assessments, inspections, investigations and reviews." In it's 2018 Responsible Supply Chain report, it stated, 'Our audit program prioritizes our contract manufacturers,
original equipment manufacturers, and suppliers initially identified as high risk. We performed 174 on-site assessments from 2013 to 2017.' It included a summary of the most common non-conformance findings. However there was not full disclosure of results, a schedule or commitment to audit the whole supply chain. Overall Google was considered to have a poor approach to auditing and reporting.
Difficult issues (poor)
Google did not appear to be addressing any difficult issues such as illegal freedom of association found within supply chains. Overall Google was considered to have a poor approach to difficult issues.
Overall Google received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for supply chain management.