Published on: 2014-02-19

The Joint Audit Co-operation known in short as JAC is an industry initiative made up of 10 telecom operators (Belgacom, Deutsche Telekom, KPN, Orange, Swisscom, Telecom Italia, Telenor, Telia Sonera, Verizon, Vodafone,) with the common objective of raising social, environmental and ethical standards within the ICT supply chain. The initiative continues to monitor and improve the social, environmental and ethical conditions of common supply chains of the telecom operators and demonstrates that industry can put aside its differences to raise supply chain standards for people and the wider environment.

JAC held its 3rd Forum on Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility in Chengdu, China on the 16th January called “CSR, an integrative driving force” with the launch of the JAC Supply Chain Sustainability Guidelines that form the set of common requirements expected from the ICT industry. The Forum was held in Chengdu to allow key stakeholders to access the event and also to be close to one of the world’s major industrial and manufacturing hubs. The conference was attended by 137 participants representing telecom operators, industry forums, suppliers, audit firms, non-governmental organisations and institutions from all over the world to hear about the key issues found through the work of JAC and provide feedback to the initiative.

The JAC Guidelines cover a range of topics developed by the telecom operators and in dialogue with a range of stakeholders and international laws, standards and guidelines. The sections within the topics define expectations on child labour, forced labour, fair remuneration, disciplinary practices, discrimination, freedom of association, health & safety, the environment and ethics. Members of the JAC initiative also shared their intention to develop and measure key performance indicators (KPI) to accompany the guidelines. The first KPI to be developed being working hours.

Key issues highlighted from audit findings were working hours, fair wages and health & safety issues, and the initiative has closed out 374 of 638 issues found through audits and assessments. The member companies of JAC continue to work on corrective actions on issues found within the supply chain. The JAC initiative has audited supply chains in 15 countries, through 112 audits executed since year 2010. With Verizon and Buy-in added as 2 new members, the initiative hopes to increase its effectiveness.

The Forum presentations addressed the assembly with topics such as sustainable marketing in the telecoms industry, Sustainability in China, key issues and trends found through audits and assessments and panel discussions to provide guidance on the JAC guidelines and approach to implementing key performance indicators to measure effectiveness.


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