Auditing for a Safer Supply Chain

Southwire relies upon an uninterrupted supply of high-quality raw materials to continually meet our customers’ demands for superior wire and cable. To ensure a dependable supply of raw materials, Southwire has developed and implemented a Supplier Sustainability Program, which includes audits of our key raw material suppliers (excluding metals). While these supplier audits cover many aspects of the customer-supplier relationship, no aspect is more important than environmental, health and safety (EHS) performance.

A great number of Southwire’s suppliers have a deep commitment to environmental, health and safety compliance and a strong EHS culture within their respective organizations. Many are ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified, while some would even be considered “world class” in their respective industries.

Even though the supplier audit program is relatively new, it has already produced important findings that will help our business partners further improve safety within their facilities and the communities in which they operate, making them more sustainable partners for Southwire. Southwire has asked all suppliers participating in the audit process to take action to address these findings and report corrective actions on all EHS recommendations.

In the first year of our audit program, Southwire has helped identify opportunities to reduce the risk of potential explosion hazards from electrical arc flashes within supplier facilities and possible sources for combustible dust explosions, and also recommended improved handling practices for hazardous chemicals.

“We have learned so much from these audits already,” offered Gary Hubbard, a Divisional EHS Manager at Southwire. “It’s not just about identifying improvement opportunities for our suppliers. Our team has walked away with some best practices that will improve our EHS performance as well.”