hewlett-packard-enterprises_building-signLast month, Seagate posted its fiscal-year 2016 Global Citizenship Annual Report, which describes the company’s approach to advancing sustainable and responsible business practices in all aspects of our products, services and operations. And now, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), has recognized our work in this arena with its Corporate Responsibility Achievement Award.

The award was presented to Seagate at HPE’s recent Supplier Summit in San Francisco; it marked the second time in four years Seagate has received this prestigious recognition.

A letter from HPE accompanying the award cites Seagate for demonstrating “continuous improvements, superior performance and leadership in environmental management and social responsibility in global operations, increasing attention to process integrity and attention to security assurance and increased level of commitment to protecting our customers’ data.”

Seagate has worked closely with HPE in setting industry standards around labor and human rights through the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a coalition of companies committed to supporting the rights and wellbeing of workers affected by the global electronics supply chain. Seagate also worked closely with HP last year (before it was split into two companies, HP Inc. and HPE) and other tech leaders to deliver health and safety training at supplier sites in Asia.

Sharing best practices is the right thing to do

“We work jointly with HPE and Intel on these training programs, as well as with our competitors,” explains Brian Martin, senior director, environmental health, safety and sustainability at Seagate. “We are very open about sharing best practices. It’s about doing the right thing.”

Seagate works hard to ensure that its components suppliers do the “right thing,” from treating employees fairly to listing every chemical that goes into a hard drive component.

“We have direct relationships with our suppliers, and that’s had a big impact on the environmental side,” Martin says. “We look at our suppliers’ individual sites and qualify their materials. We want lab reports on the materials used in their components. We want to know where the tin came from, for example, so that we know we’re not using conflict minerals in our products.”

Martin adds that HPE is genuinely committed to working with Seagate in making continuous progress in global-citizenship issues.

“Long-term, we have projects focused on chemical and product-process improvements,” he says. “It’s hard work, but it’s very gratifying to have a customer that’s also a partner with us in these areas.”

Balan Shanmuganathan, senior director, environmental health, safety and sustainability at Seagate, adds that the company extends that kind of transparency to its own factory audits.

“We’ve had auditors come in to our Woodlands, Johor and Teparuk sites to assess our EICC compliance,” he says, “and we’ve invited HPE to come in and witness those audits, which they did. I know that kind of transparency is something HPE really values. They see us as being proactive and having similar values.”

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