We encourage our suppliers to maintain rigorous ethics and compliance programs to ensure that they adhere to applicable laws and regulations. We expect our suppliers to act responsibly and ensure that no illegal conditions exist in their own supply chains. These key expectations are outlined in our Supplier Code of Conduct (PDF).
Our Supplier Code of Conduct enforces our expectations regarding business practices of our suppliers in the following areas:
- Human rights and labor standards
- Health, safety and the environment
Our goal is to work with our suppliers to assure compliance with these requirements. We may ask our suppliers to certify their compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct.
We also believe a diverse supplier base that reflects the diversity of our employees, communities and customers around the world is important. We work with many small and diverse suppliers in order to leverage the unique value and perspectives they lend to our shared success.
In 2017, our primary U.S. business directed approximately 24% of their purchasing spend to over 1,000 U.S. businesses owned by women, ethnic and racial minorities, veterans and service disabled veterans, as well as businesses designated as small business enterprises.
Slavery & Human Trafficking
In compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (SB 657) and the UK Modern Slavery Act of 2015, Lincoln Electric will not knowingly use suppliers who employ slave labor or support human trafficking. You can find these policies at:
Lincoln Electric is committed to actions to ensure a responsible supply chain and we comply with federal laws and regulations requiring disclosure of the use of Conflict Minerals. Conflict Minerals currently include the following three minerals and gold, commonly referenced as “3TG” which are derived from conflict-affected and high-risk areas:
- cassiterite (metal ore that tin is extracted from)
- columbite-tantalite (metal ore that tantalum is extracted from)
- wolframite (metal ore used to produce tungsten)
In 2013, we launched a cross-functional Conflict Minerals team, with oversight from the Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary. The team is responsible for maintaining our Conflict Minerals policy and compliance strategy that oversees related due diligence procedures globally.
The team’s preliminary determination is that substantially none of our arc welding consumables contains Conflict Minerals. The specific status of conflict minerals by consumable is available here. We are performing due diligence on any noted exceptions. We have also assessed the use of Conflict Minerals in our arc welding and cutting equipment and replacement parts. The results of that assessment were reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the report and related information can be found in our Conflict Minerals community area here.
In 2016, we included a provision in new and renewed supplier contracts that require suppliers to implement procedures to identify and mitigate the risk of purchasing Conflict Minerals sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or its surrounding areas (“Covered Countries”). The team has worked with local Lincoln Electric management to survey and identify whether suppliers and any downstream suppliers have obtained materials from the DRC or Covered Countries. If suppliers noted the name of a smelter or source mine, these entities were reviewed against the listing of smelters outlined in the Conflict-Free Smelter Program, thereby relying on that program’s processes.
While our ongoing efforts have not been able to conclusively determine if our products contain 3TG that directly or indirectly financed or benefited armed groups in the DRC or surrounding countries (Covered Countries), our efforts have increased the diligence and transparency in our supply chain review process and greater organizational awareness of conflict minerals.