At Georgia-Pacific, we recognize the critical role we play in making products that improve lives and offer better solutions than other alternatives. Doing so sustainably requires that we balance the social, environmental and economic benefits and risks of our products, including how they are sourced, manufactured and used. Suppliers play a key role in our efforts to ensure that we manage our global supply chain in a sustainable way.
Georgia-Pacific's commitment to ensuring that its supply chain is maintained in a socially responsible way includes, among other things, an expectation that suppliers not use forced labor in any of its forms, including human trafficking and slavery, to produce the products they provide to Georgia-Pacific. These expectations are set out in the Georgia-Pacific Code of Conduct and the Georgia-Pacific Supplier Sustainability Guidelines.
To monitor compliance with the expectations of the Georgia-Pacific Supplier Sustainability Guidelines, Georgia-Pacific itself, instead of a third party vendor, assesses a number of its more than 30,000 suppliers. On an annual basis, suppliers are selected using a risk-based approach; supplier participation in this process is mandatory.
The three-stage assessment process includes a review of supplier responses to a detailed request for information. If during this review, Georgia-Pacific identifies any concerns or supplier responses require clarification, the supplier is moved into stage two, which includes a conference call or other meeting with that supplier to address the concern or clarification. If the issue cannot be resolved at this stage, the supplier is moved to stage three, which may include a supplier site audit. Depending on the nature of the concerns involved, these site audits may be unannounced. Failure to meet the Georgia-Pacific Supplier Sustainability Guidelines may result in discontinuation of the supplier relationship.
Since implementing this assessment process, Georgia-Pacific has educated its procurement organization and others in the organization on this process and the Supplier Sustainability Guidelines. Further educational efforts regarding these expectations may include face-to-face meetings, web-based seminars and computer-based training, and will focus on how employees can assist Georgia-Pacific in mitigating risks within its supply chain.