• 2014 CitizenShip Report
  • Social Impact on GPU
  • NVIDIA Foundation
Supply Chain Responsibility

NVIDIA's efforts to be socially and environmentally responsible involve paying close attention to our supply chain. We work with the subcontractors who manufacture our products to improve their social and environmental performance. And we require them to comply with international guidelines for responsible practices and material safety.

Our products are developed in two distinct operational areas: Silicon Chip Operations, which works with a few key suppliers in the design and manufacture of NVIDIA's GPUs; and Board Operations, which collaborates with several hundred various-sized global component suppliers in the design and manufacture of the printed circuit assemblies sold for use in computers and other devices.

Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition NVIDIA joined the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) in 2007. We comply with the EICC Code of Conduct and require our Tier 1 manufacturing suppliers to as well. Our membership has allowed us to raise awareness among our key manufacturing suppliers, and to improve factory conditions and operations in the areas of ethics, labor, environment, health and safety, and management systems. NVIDIA holds a seat on the EICC board of directors and participates in several of its work groups: Conflict Free Sourcing, Excessive Working Hours, Environmental Sustainability, Validated Audit Process and Transparency/Reporting.

Our corporate responsibility directive and the EICC Code of Conduct guide us as we find solutions to challenges and opportunities in our global supply chain. Through our participation in collaborative industry initiatives such as the EICC, we believe that we can have a greater positive impact on the sustainability of our organization and suppliers.

Ongoing Initiatives

Our ongoing organizational initiatives cover conflict minerals, management systems, excessive working hours and environmental responsibility.

Conflict Minerals
NVIDIA adopted in 2012 a conflict minerals statement that guides our actions in resource acquisition. (As defined by the Dodd-Frank Act, Section 1502, conflict minerals include tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo, or adjoining countries.)

Additionally, the EICC and GeSI (Global e-Sustainability Initiative) implemented a Conflict Free-Smelter Program to help EICC members confirm the sources of minerals used in their products to ensure that they are using conflict-free minerals. NVIDIA asks all our direct suppliers to report the name and location of smelters to confirm that they are not sourcing minerals from conflict regions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries. The identified smelters are being added to the EICC list of smelters to be audited. We provide an updated list of smelters to the EICC, and communicate with our customers quarterly on our progress.

Learn more about NVIDIA's conflict minerals program here.

Management Systems
NVIDIA tracks adherence to EICC standards in two ways:

  • Risk Assessment Approach: The EICC provides tools that include location- and relationship-based risk assessment and a self-assessment questionnaire. It also recognizes various audit types – such as customer-managed and auditee-managed audits – and provides an independent validated audit process overseen by a third party for member suppliers.

    Self-assessment questionnaires are completed annually by Tier 1 suppliers. These enable NVIDIA to evaluate the social and environmental performance of our supply chain, and identify any risks or grievances that may occur. We work closely with suppliers to understand the nature of the grievance and to speed its resolution.

    The validated audit process describes an EICC audit that examines management systems and includes sustainable solutions for labor, ethics, health, safety, and environmental conditions in the electronics industry supply chain. In NVIDIA's Silicon Chip Operations, 75 percent of key suppliers undertook validated audit processes from 2011 - 2013 (NVIDIA requests a new audit every two years). In 2014, Silicon Chip Operations will request new and existing Tier 1 suppliers to complete new risk assessments. In Board Operations, 50% of Tier 1 suppliers completed a customer-managed audit in 2013, with the other 50% having completed an EICC VAP audit in 2012. In 2014, Board Operations will work closely with Tier 1 suppliers to close any corrective actions. High-risk facilities will be required to undergo an audit unless the facility has completed one within the last two years. To foster collaboration and reduce cost and duplication, suppliers that perform validated audit processes for one EICC member customer can authorize their other customers to have access to the reports. Audit results do not disclose customer-specific information.

    Issues uncovered during audits are identified as major or minor, and NVIDIA works with each supplier—either directly or through the EICC-managed corrective action process—to ensure they correct major issues as soon as possible. Additionally, NVIDIA engages with each supplier to discuss the audit findings, progress in implementing corrective actions, and overall efforts to advance the supplier's social and environmental responsibility programs and performance. All new suppliers are reviewed under NVIDIA's extensive Supplier Qualification process, which includes an evaluation to determine if and when a validated audit process will be required.

  • Quarterly Business Reviews: We meet with our key suppliers for quarterly business reviews. These give us an opportunity to measure their adherence to the EICC Code of Conduct. The reviews include feedback regarding each supplier's performance during the previous quarter and priorities for the following quarter in the areas of technology, quality, responsiveness, delivery, cost and social and environmental responsibility. Suppliers are evaluated on a scale of 100 quarterly business review points, which includes a customary allocation of five points to the supplier's social and environmental responsibility performance.

Labor Conditions
Tier 1 suppliers are audited for labor issues (such as forced labor, excessive working hours, child labor) during the validated audit process. We work closely with Tier 1 suppliers to correct any actions related to these issues, and partner with other EICC members to determine what actions may be needed to improve performance in this area as an industry.

Environmental Sustainability
All Tier 1 suppliers in both product groups must be ISO14001 certified. Supplier environmental performance is evaluated as part of the EICC Risk Assessment and audit process; and environmental footprint data, including carbon emissions and water consumption, are collected as part of an annual survey of our suppliers through the EICC. Waste tracking capabilities were added to the system in 2013.

We are continuing these efforts to determine which natural resources our suppliers are using and what environmental impacts are created in the materials sourcing, manufacturing, delivery and use of our products. We expect over the next several years to continue engaging with suppliers and customers to achieve a more accurate understanding of our overall impact, and actions that can be taken to reduce it.

Manufacturing Compliance
Suppliers to NVIDIA's Silicon Chip Operations and Board Operations activities comply with the following major requirements:
  • EU RoHS: European Union regulations for restricted hazardous substances.
  • EU REACH: European Union regulations for safe chemical use (e.g., registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction).
  • EU ELV: European Union regulations for managing hazardous substances and end of life for automotive products.
  • Halogen-free: Products designed after 2008 are halogen-free. Our new-generation chip products are also free of brominated flame retardants.
  • ISO 14001:2004: All key suppliers are required to be independently audited and certified for conformance to this standard.
  • OHSAS18001: All key suppliers are required to be independently audited and certified for adherence to this health and safety management system standard (GB/T28001-2011 in China).