In May 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Google Inc's website for the company's supply chain management policy. A 2019 Responsible Supply Chain report was found, which also linked to the Google’s Supplier Code of Conduct and other information.
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 multistakeholder organisations or trade unions or NGOs to help verify its labour standards within its supply chain, or had any complaints procedure that workers would be aware of and able to use.
Auditing and reporting (rudimentary)
Google stated that "We regularly perform independent third-party audits at our suppliers’ facilities to determine whether the supplier is meeting our standards, to hear directly from workers, and to identify and help resolve issues....We performed 236 on-site assessments from 2013 to 2018...When we find that a supplier is not conforming to our expectations, we expect the supplier to provide a corrective action plan (CAP) that outlines the root cause of the finding, how and when that company will resolve the issue, and what steps will be taken to prevent recurrence." Google provided some details of how much non-compliance had been found and the most common reasons for non-conformance. However there wasn't full disclosure of results, a schedule or commitment to audit the whole supply chain. Overall Google was considered to have a rudimentary 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.