In order to fulfill our customers’ expectations for high quality, innovative products, Acer works with service and manufacturing partners from around the world. Our components suppliers are concentrated around our system ODM sites, and through just-in-time production, we can rapidly provide ICT products like personal computers, tablet computers, smartphones, servers, projectors, and LCD displays, as well as BYOC and cloud-based value-creating products, enabling us to quickly meet market demands with our products.
We identify the critical suppliers based on the purchase spending, on-substitutable, strategic material, product or business and leading technology. Acer’s tier one suppliers can be classified into five groups according to the products/services they provide: final assembly plants (ODM & OEM), key components, assigned suppliers, logistics, and services. Our manufacturing suppliers are distributed around the globe, including Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Brazil, and Hungary, although our primary production base is located in China. Looking at our suppliers’ production locations, we see that local procurement in the China region accounts for 84% of the total procurement value. In terms of other supplier business locations, Taiwanese manufacturers account for more than 60% of procurement value.
We require all manufacturing suppliers should obey RBA Code of Conduct, that workers are treated with respect and dignity. We haves taken multiple actions to ensure social responsibility and labor rights in our supply chain.
Acer requires the management processes related to supplier risk evaluations, on-site audits, and education & training be in accordance with Acer’s requirements for social and environmental responsibility. We use the following methods to eliminate the possibility of forced labor or human trafficking taking place:
Child labor refers to the employment of children in any work that deprives the children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful. The term “child” refers to any person under the age of 15, or under the age for completing compulsory education, or under the minimum age for employment in the country, whichever is greatest. Acer believes that the wellbeing and education of our future generations are of utmost importance. Therefore, Acer prohibits child labor in its supply chain and conducts routine audits to verify conformance to these requirements. If child labor is discovered in the supply chain, Acer will remedy the impacts of this atrocious condition by implementing the following measures.
Child Labor Remediation Measures:
If child labor is found at an Acer supplier factory, the factory must immediately remove the child from the workplace.
The factory where the child labor was found must send the child to have special labor health check to make sure his/her health is not affected by the work. If affected, all the fees, including medical treatment cost and living cost, must be covered by the factory.
The factory where the child labor was found must contact the family and send the child home. All expenses related to transporting the child home must be covered by the factory.
The factory where the child labor is found shall continue to pay the wages until the child is of legal working age.
The factory where the child labor is found shall make sure that the child completes compulsory schooling. The factory shall provide Acer with the name and address of the school in which the child is enrolled.
The Corporate Sustainability Officer of Acer should notify the related head of the Acer BU and BG to discuss this core non-conformance situation.
Acer shall identify the risk of repeated child labor conditions through an unannounced audit of the affected factory within 6 months.
Forced labor refers to situations in which persons are coerced to work through the use of violence or intimidation. Forced labor takes on many forms that included debt bondage, human trafficking, and other forms of modern slavery. Acer believes that all work shall be voluntary and workers shall be free to leave work at any time or terminate their employment. Through its Code of Conduct, Acer prohibits any form of forced labor in its supply chain. Acer requires its suppliers to adhere to its Code of Conduct and verifies the conformance with routine audits. If forced labor is identified in the supply chain, Acer will take action to remedy the situation through the implementation of the following measures.
Forced Labor Remediation Measures:
Acer shall review and investigate the findings and relevant regulation to find the gaps and problems.
Acer shall communicate with supplier factory management and collect supplemental information.
If confirmed that human trafficking, slavery and/or any form of forced labor exists at an Acer supplier factory, Acer will work with experts and authorities to ensure that the worker is offered a safe place to live and provided with financial assistance, the cost of which shall be covered by the factory for a period of time deemed to be sufficient by the authorities
The Corporate Sustainability Officer of Acer will notify the related head of the Acer BU and BG to discuss this core non-conformance situation.
Acer shall identify the risk of repeated forced labor conditions through an unannounced audit of the affected factory within 6 month.
Management of Student Workers and Interns
Acer prohibits any form of forced labor in its supply chain, including forced labor involving student interns. We insist that the use of student interns throughout our supply chain be in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, not involve the use of child labor, and provide the proper protections, we also insist that it be managed following the five-step management system outlined below:
Our hope is that students interning in Acer's supply chain will all have access to the highest quality of internship opportunity, and we will continue to expand our requirements regarding management of student internships.
Supply Chain Working Hours Policy
Excessive working hours is one of the most common labor issues found in the supply chain. Excessive working hours are known to have negative effects on both the employee and the business related to employee health and safety, work-life balance, and reduced employee.
As a member of the Responsible Business Alliance, Acer requests its suppliers to adhere to the RBA Code of Conduct, which sets strict requirements for labor conditions and working hours. Acer has the following expectations of its suppliers in relation to the working hours of their employees.
To ensure conformance with these supplier expectations Acer will:
It is Acer’s goal through this policy to improve supplier communication and collaborative planning to eliminate excessive working hours, improve worker health and morale.
In discussing issues such as overtime and wages/benefits, we believe that the concept of a "living wage" as an important option for the improvement of the lives and conditions of workers. In Q3 2017 we began working with the Labour Education and Service Network (LESN) to conduct surveys in hopes of studying living wages and the relevant problems and opportunities involved with a focus on the ICT industry
California Transparency in Supply Chain Act
In 2010 the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (SB 657) was passed and has been into effected on January 1, 2012. This law requires large retailers and manufacturers who do business in the state of California and have annual gross worldwide sales of over $100 million U.S. dollars to be transparent about the efforts they have undergone to eradicate slavery and human trafficking in their supply chain.
As Acer is a member of the RBA, we require our suppliers to abide by the RBA code of conduct, especially with regards to their workforces. The RBA code of conduct specifically forbids malpractices such as using forced labor, underpaid labor, involuntary prison labor, or binding workers to unreasonable contracts. Acer also conducts risk management, on-site factory inspections, training courses, and other management procedures to ensure that our suppliers’ manufacturing operations accord with Acer’s social and environmental responsibilities. We have adopted the following measures to prevent the possibility of any of our suppliers engaging in forced labor or human trafficking:
Supplier Risk Assessments
Acer’s suppliers’ risk assessments are based on the following:
The results of the suppliers’ self-assessment performance;
The degree of risk associated with the location of the factory;
The nature of the business relationship between Acer and the supplier;
The results of previous audits.
Acer also takes into account the primary concerns of all of the stakeholders involved.
After the risk assessment – based on the above criteria – has been conducted, Acer then draws up a list of suppliers that require an on-site social and environmental responsibilities audit to be undertaken by an accredited 3rd party verification agency. We also take part in RBA’s VAP. Adopting a variety of audit models allows us to see the discrepancies in our suppliers’ implementation of their social and environmental responsibilities. We can then suggest what improvements can be made.
Acer requires all components suppliers to sign our Declaration of Compliance with Acer Supplier Code of Conduct. Suppliers must not only provide us with relevant information on social and environmental responsibilities, but must also verify that their own and their suppliers’ operations conform to Acer’s human rights standards, meaning that their workers are treated with respect and dignity.
In order to fulfill our responsibility to educate our suppliers so that they can remain abreast of the latest international trends, Acer holds its CSR communication meetings each year. The meeting provides an opportunity to discuss the latest international trends as they affect supplier social and environmental responsibilities. During the meeting we examine the EICC code of conduct, which forbids malpractices such as using forced labor, underpaid labor, or involuntary prison labor, and binding workers to unreasonable contracts. We will continue to communicate and cooperate with our suppliers in the future as we know that combining resources is the best way to effectively improving each aspect of our mutual social and environmental responsibilities.
Internal professionals training
Acer requires all employees to comply with the Acer Group Standards of Business Conduct (SBC). The SBC includes provisions relating to supply chain issues, including the use of child and forced labor. Any offense or violation against the articles in the SBC will result in corrective action proceedings according to the gravity of the offense committed. Serious offenders will face disciplinary action or be asked to leave the company accordingly. This set of standards is the highest-level behavioral criteria for all Acer employees engaged in corporate activities. Furthermore, all new employees are enrolled in orientation training and asked to honor these behavioral requirements when they first join the company.
We are committed to a programme of continuous improvement in our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains and in our business.
It is our policy to conduct all our business ethically and in accordance with the UK Government's Modern Slavery Strategy, as amended from time to time, and as outlined in the UK Home Office Guidance "Transparency in Supply Chains: a Practical Guide" published on 29 October 2015.
We therefore take a zero-tolerance approach to slavery and human trafficking both in our business and in the businesses of our suppliers. We are committed to acting ethically in all our business dealings and relationships wherever we operate and implementing and enforcing effective systems to counter slavery and human trafficking.
Our Policies on Slavery and Human Trafficking
We are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business.
Our Acer Group Standards of Business Conduct (SBC) reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains.
As a member of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) - a nonprofit coalition of electronics companies committed to supporting the rights and well-being of workers and communities engaged in the global electronics supply chain -- we demonstrate our commitment to environmental and social responsibility. RBA members commit publicly to the RBA code of conduct (the “Code of Conduct”) and are expected to actively pursue conformance to the Code of Conduct and its standards as a total supply chain initiative.
We require all manufacturing suppliers to abide by all applicable laws and regulations and by the RBA Code of Conduct, by treating employees with respect and dignity. We haves taken multiple actions to ensure social responsibility and labor rights in our supply chain.
Acer believes that all work shall be voluntary and workers shall be free to leave work at any time or terminate their employment. Through the Code of Conduct, Acer prohibits any form of forced labor in its supply chain. Acer requires its suppliers to adhere to its Code of Conduct and verifies the conformance with routine audits.
Acer has released the Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement of 2017, which includes the policies on slavery and human trafficking, organization’s structure, our supply chains, due diligence processes for slavery and human trafficking and effectiveness.
Responsible Sourcing of Minerals
The potential social and environmental impacts of the raw materials and processes involved in the manufacture of our products are of great concern to us. Among these, one of the issues of the greatest concern in the international community is the mineral trade from the illegal mining and trading of the ores of tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold (3TG) from the DRC and neighboring countries, which is a major source of revenue for local armed rebel groups and a cause of serious armed conflict. Acer's commitment to ensuring that the procurement of minerals from the African Great Lakes region involves safe working environments where workers are treated with respect and dignity, and which are both morally upstanding and responsible for the potential impacts of their operations on the environment. Over the years, growing evidence has shown that mining is an intensive process involving social and environmental risks that must be managed and involves metals and minerals that extend beyond 3TG and the DRC.
As a result, in 2017, Acer began the transformation of its conflict minerals program into a responsible minerals sourcing program with a broader focus that seeks to strategically identify priority minerals and regions that are a high risk for negative social and environmental impacts. The mechanisms that drove the conflict minerals program are being adapted to address this broader focus, especially the supply chain tracing and due diligence processes that remain in alignment with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. In addition, Acer realigned the Responsible Minerals Sourcing policy and internal procedures to drive this renewed focus.
Acer began communicating the issue of conflict minerals with suppliers and participating in both the RBA/GeSI Extractives working group and the Extractives Due Diligence sub-working group. Acer also contributed to the development of the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template, which facilitates disclosure and communication of information regarding smelters that provide material to a company's supply chain.
We and our suppliers participated in the trial of the RBA Due Diligence Tool and the RBA/GeSI Extractives Working Group, submitting a smelter list and publishing our results, in addition to taking concrete measures to support the RBA/GeSI Responsible Minerals Assurance Process, RMAP . Acer joined the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) “Implementation Programme of the Supplement on Gold to OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-affected and High-risk Areas” in November 2012, building due diligence capacity in our supply chain and in the region, and sharing our experiences in program implementation.
Acer joined the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), and began using the version 2 RBA Due Diligence tool to launch surveys of our suppliers regarding smelting plants, including the use and sources of 3TG minerals (tungsten, tin, tantalum, and gold), along with gaining feedback through surveys of smelters. Through review and analysis of non-conflict mineral surveys conducted by suppliers in 2013, we have been able to identify a list of smelters/refiners that use conflict minerals in our supply chain. For more details, please see the 2013 Conflict Minerals Report and 2014 Conflict Minerals Report .
We continued to publish our smelter list, not only verifying smelter names and countries but also adding disclosures of newly added smelters. This information increases the transparency of Acer’s supply chain, while also providing stakeholders with information on the identification and compliance status of the company’s smelters and refineries. For more details, please see the 2015 Conflict Minerals Report and 2016 Conflict Minerals Report .
As a result of our conflict minerals due diligence measures in 2017, we were able to identify 298 unique smelters in its supply chain. The number was an increase of 3 smelters over the previous year. Acer also saw an increase in compliant smelters from 244 to 248 in 2017. The percentage remains unchanged. The data shows the continued trend toward identifying, engaging and driving more smelters toward the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP). Please see the 2017 Conflict Minerals Report.
Acer’s ultimate goal is to have a supply chain in which 100% of smelters are engaged in the RMAP, either compliant or participating in the process with the goal of becoming compliant. Due to the dynamic nature of our supply chain and the existence of a due diligence process that identifies risk mitigation opportunities, it is realistic to assume that there may always be a number of smelters that require outreach. In 2018, we set the target that 90% of smelters are RMAP compliant and 95% are either RMAP compliant or participating.
While experiencing success, we have also begun to realize the challenge associated with the smelters that have yet to cooperate and those that have participated in the past, but may waiver on participation in the future. The supply chain is very dynamic and due diligence is an ongoing process that if working properly will continue to identify risks and opportunities for mitigation. 100% RMAP-compliant smelters is on ongoing goal for Acer and not the only criterion for success. Qualitative measurement of the due diligence process and our ability to respond to risks is the goal and direction toward which we shall strive in the future. Acer has started to incorporate other tactics to assess and mitigate risk in its supply chain, including demanding the cease of sourcing from some smelters, monitoring and scoring suppliers on their conflict minerals performance and their use of smelters that participate in the RMAP, and reviewing incident reports from schemes such as the RMI. Acer also began using the Standards Comparison and Risk Readiness Assessment (RRA) tools offered through the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). The tool allows Acer to compare suppliers’ performance across many different standards, initiatives and certifications, improving our ability to assess and manage risk in our minerals supply chain. At the time of the writing of this report, Acer has connections with 85 smelters and has received 79 RRAs.
Acer continues to follow the OECD Due Diligence Guidance as the basis for its conflict minerals management program and seeks to implement program elements that strengthen Acer’s conformance to those guidelines. We also continue to conduct smelter outreach and communicate smelter details and the results of our efforts to the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) Smelter ID team, as we believe the smelter/refinery identification and disposition are critical components of our due diligence procedure and of maintaining RMAP smelter data.
Acer communicates the following expectations to its suppliers with respect to the responsible sourcing of minerals:
Acer suppliers must conduct their operations in a socially and environmentally responsible way.
Acer suppliers are expected to make sure that the products they are supplying to Acer are DRC conflict-free and do not contain metals derived from minerals that directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country. These minerals include columbite-tantalite (tantalum), cassiterite (tin), gold, and wolframite (tungsten)
Acer suppliers shall exercise due diligence based on national or international recognized standards or guidance on the source and chain of custody of these minerals (such as the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas) and make their due diligence measures available to Acer upon request. These measures shall include the completion of the RBA/GeSI Due Diligence Template tool and the support of the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process ( RMAP).
Once CFS program smelter lists are sufficiently available, Acer suppliers must only accept metals from smelters that have been audited and are deemed compliant by the RMAP.
To confirm that suppliers implement our requirements, we work with third-party auditing companies. On-site audits check that minerals are sourced with due diligence and according to our policies. We make all efforts to verify that the materials used to make Acer products are not from conflict minerals.
Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA)
Phase one of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA) concluded in August of 2017. Acer continued its involvement in the PPA by committing to the phase 2 MOU, an additional 5-year partnership. The PPA is the multi-sector and multi-stakeholder advocacy group that aims to publicize the issue of conflict minerals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the African Great Lakes Region and propose supply chain solutions. In October of 2017, Acer attended the annual multi-stakeholder face-to-face meeting in Santa Clara, California to discuss the outcomes and lessons learned during phase one and to participate in a discussion seeking to develop a phase two framework, the goal of which was to scale up economically sound and socially responsible minerals supply chains. The discussion included identifying priority outputs, required resources, implementation partners, and success factors.
Cobalt & Indonesia Tin
In 2016, to support this expansion of raw material priority, Acer became part of the initial group of companies that signed the Declaration of Support of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) Responsible Raw Materials Initiative (RRMI). Initially, the RRMI operated as a separate working group, which was co-sponsored by the RBA and the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI). In 2017, the RMI was combined with the CFSI and rebranded under the name Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI). This merger added several sub-working groups that were born out of the RRMI and combined them with the existing working groups of the CFSI.
Within the new RMI, Acer continues to be involved in various sub-working groups related to conflict minerals in the DRC and has joined the Cobalt Sub-working Group and the Tin Working Group.
The Cobalt Sub-working group is focused on child labor issues in the DRC and, in 2017, made progress defining the cobalt refiner and the choke point in the rechargeable battery supply chain, developed relationships with other cobalt focused organization and initiatives such as the Responsible Cobalt Initiative to begin collaboration on processes and tools, and began to draft an audit standard for cobalt refiners to support a future audit pilot in 2018.
In 2017, Acer participated in the initial development and pilot of the supply chain mapping tool that was based on the RMI Conflict Minerals Reporting Tool and Acer was a contributor to the initial cobalt refiner list that is now being maintained by the RMI. Acer will continue its efforts to survey its battery supply chain, identify cobalt refiners and drive their participation in the developing audit program.
The Tin Working Group is focused on the environmental impacts and safety concerns of mining tin in Indonesia. The Tin Working Group was originally convened by IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative during phase I of the project. In 2017, the convening role began its transition to the RMI to oversee phase II. Acer joined in the third quarter of 2017. Major progress in 2017, includes the drafting of the phase II work plan, the establishment of a local advisory committee in Indonesia, engagement with stakeholders and local government, and the review of draft proposals for pilot projects to address occupational health and safety as well as land restoration and reclamation.
Acer is aware of the poor labor conditions and environmental degradation associated with tin mining on the Indonesian Bangka and Belitung Islands. Therefore, Acer will commit to the following activities regarding addressing this situation in Indonesia:
Acer continues to believe that working together as an industry and in partnership with all stakeholders is the most efficient way to enable success at driving meaningful improvement in the social and environmental conditions associated with raw materials extraction. If you have a question or concern, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acer works with its suppliers throughout the product lifecycle, from design, manufacture, assembly, use and end-of-life treatment to reduce the environmental impact of its products. With Acer products, consumers are able to reduce their own environmental impact by reducing their energy consumption, and waste generated through a recycling plan, which ensures products are properly handled for reuse or recycling.