Facebook strives to have a positive impact on the communities and environments where we operate, and we work to ensure safe, healthy, and fair working conditions for workers within our global supply chain—all while minimizing our environmental footprint.
Through our Responsible Supply Chain program, we engage meaningfully with our supply chain partners, build supplier capacity, and respond quickly to challenges as they arise.
Setting Standards for Our Suppliers
Strengthening supplier relationships was again a key focus for us this year. In 2020, we continued to provide a framework of policies, standards, and implementation expectations to guide our supplier business relationships. Given how crucial communication is when working with suppliers, we work collaboratively with them to increase their awareness and understanding of our expectations and to ensure management systems are in place—and we expect suppliers to flow down these standards throughout their extended supply chain.
Our policies reflect our commitment to have a positive impact including: the Responsible Business Alliance Code of Conduct, which sets out standards on labor, environment, health and safety, ethics, and management systems; Facebook’s Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement; and Facebook’s Conflict Minerals Policy.
Our suppliers are also expected to follow Facebook’s best practices in creating and ensuring a respectful workplace. Our Materials of Concern Standard covers our product requirements around restrictions and use of hazardous substances in our products, while our Electronics Reuse and Recycling Standard provides expectations for recyclers that manage the end-of-life treatment of our hardware. Transparency and trust are essential to how we approach setting and implementing our standards.
In 2020, we conducted risk assessments to help us identify and prioritize the most critical issue areas and suppliers. We proactively engaged with priority suppliers to verify conformance through dialogue, independent audits and assessments, worker surveys, supplier questionnaires, and other forms of assurance. Any issues identified were actively addressed through our corrective action, key performance indicator programs, and deeper supplier engagement.
An example of deeper engagement is our effort to work with suppliers on targeted capability building. Partnering with third-party providers with experience in labor and health and safety issues, we helped suppliers identify areas for improvement and develop a structured plan with KPIs. We also conducted training for entire teams—from workers, senior management, supervisors, line leaders to the human resources team—on topics such as improving grievance mechanisms and communications, to help them build the skills they need to achieve target outcomes. We continued to monitor and track suppliers’ progress toward the goals outlined in the improvement plan through regular follow-up site visits or calls as well.
Advancing Hardware Circularity
In support of Facebook’s commitment to achieve net zero GHG emissions across our value chain in 2030, we are embracing circularity and resource efficiency as key levers to reduce our emissions. Part of that effort is evaluating each part of the product life cycle—materials, manufacturing, transportation, use phase, and end of life—and working to embed circularity principles into how we design, build, and operate.
We actively seek to include recycled materials in our hardware and product designs, as well as embed circular design principles into our product development process. We are building circularity into how we run and operate our server fleet, exploring ways to extend the life of hardware and components used in our data centers. When hardware and devices reach end of life, we partner with our downstream recyclers to ensure responsible treatment of electronic waste through our e-waste assurance program, which stems from the expectations set in Facebook’s Electronics Reuse & Recycling standard.
How We Approach Circularity
At Facebook, we strive to reduce waste by building and operating sustainable facilities. We see circularity as a key part of this effort and an essential evolution from a linear system that is extractive, polluting and finite to a circular one that is sustainable.
To achieve this, we will all need to change the way that we design, make, use, and dispose of the materials and items that we use, striving to:
- Specify designs that minimize waste, enable complete disassembly and maximize material recovery.
- Use materials with the highest possible level of recycled content.
- Recycle synthetic materials at the highest level of quality within technical loops.
- Recirculate natural materials and ensure their eventual safe return to biological loops.
- Eliminate toxins, pollutants and non-recyclable content from materials and products.
- Prioritize the use of materials that restore natural environments.
To scale circular systems, we need to look beyond Facebook. Therefore, we will use our products, family of apps and know-how to catalyze circularity in our industry and beyond.
Shape and operate healthy, waste-free workplaces
Our Data Centers
Build and run data centers with optimal resource efficiency
Make hardware re-use, refurbishment and recycling the norm
Our Products & Partnerships
Empower people everywhere to live in a more circular life
Advance circularity through collaboration and open-source
Engaging Suppliers More Deeply
During last year’s global pandemic and economic recession, the health and resilience of workers in our global supply chain was top of mind more than ever. To that end, Facebook worked with our priority suppliers to address labor, human rights, and health and safety focus areas that have the greatest impact in creating lasting change.
We also expanded supplier engagement through a program focused on collecting direct opinions and concerns from workers via mobile-based and tablet surveys, using sentiment and insights from these surveys to help suppliers improve management systems and working conditions. For example, we collaborated with a supplier to create and deliver an employee board as a way to share encouraging messages to boost worker morale and focus on building community in the workplace.
In 2020, we continued to strengthen our climate resiliency efforts throughout the supply chain, conducting physical risk assessments of key manufacturing facilities, and partnering across Facebook to ensure strong supplier business continuity practices. We also stepped up our supplier engagement program and continued to collect data from our suppliers to understand the environmental challenges they face, continuously identifying ways to reduce their GHG emissions impact.
We tailor our approach based on the maturity of our suppliers’ sustainability strategy as well as their needs and business priorities. Our program engagement includes building capacity on data reporting; supporting virtual or on-site energy assessments, and identifying energy and greenhouse gas reduction opportunities.
Advancing Industry Change
Collaboration is one of the best ways to drive more effective change. At Facebook, that means partnering and sharing ideas with others and developing solutions that promote best practices for a responsible supply chain. We are members of the Responsible Business Alliance, a multi-stakeholder initiative dedicated to advancing sustainability globally, the Responsible Minerals Initiative, and the Responsible Labor Initiative.