Supplier Code of Conduct

Last updated: November 20, 2023

The Financial Operations Supplier Code of Conduct (SCC) sets the ethical performance expectations for suppliers of goods, services or equipment to the University of British Columbia.

The goal of our SCC is to ensure safe and healthy workplaces for the people who make products or provide services for the University; where human and civil rights conditions are in compliance with the core labour conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Financial Operations will apply the SCC criteria as part of its contract award process. It is a requirement that all University suppliers and their subcontractors/suppliers follow the Supplier Code of Conduct to the best of their ability in intent and in spirit.

Financial Operations has adopted a complaint-based approach. Should an incident of noncompliance by a supplier with the SCC be brought to our attention, the Director of Financial Operations will be responsible for any investigation upon complaints of a credible nature (examples might include reports from one or more non-governmental organizations, labour groups or media sources.) The policy is not intended to interfere with the university's collective agreements. It is the supplier's responsibility to ensure subcontractors are compliant with the SCC. 

The Supplier Code of Conduct supports the four (4) Financial Operations Principles of Sustainability – leadership; social inclusivity; environmental stewardship and accountability.

Legal and Ethical Responsibilities

University suppliers and their sub-contractors will comply with national and other applicable laws of the country of manufacture of products including those laws relating to labour, worker health and safety, and the environment. Where the provisions of law and the SCC address the same issue, the provision that is most stringent will apply.

Child Labour

University suppliers and their sub-contractors:

Forced Labour

University suppliers and their sub-contractors will not:

Disciplinary Practices

University suppliers and their sub-contractors will:

  • treat workers with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to any form of physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.
  • ensure workers are free to express their concerns about workplace conditions without fear of retribution of losing their jobs. Workers should have access to a formal avenue to express concerns directly to factory management or University representatives.

Freedom of Association

University suppliers and their sub-contractors will recognize and respect that workers, without distinction, have the right to form or join trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively.

Wages and Benefits

University suppliers and their sub-contractors recognize that wages are essential to meeting the basic needs of employees. Employers shall:

  • pay employees, as a minimum, at least the minimum wage required by local law or the prevailing industry wages, whichever is higher, and shall provide legally mandated benefits.
  • will pay workers directly and provide workers with clear, written accounting of hours worked, deductions, and regular and overtime wages in a language they can understand.

Hours of Work

University suppliers and their sub-contractors will:

  • ensure regular working hours do not exceed forty eight (48) hours per week, and that the combination of regular hours and required overtime hours do not exceed sixty (60) hours per week except in emergency circumstances.
  • ensure that overtime hours are compensated either according to the law, or where the law is silent, at premium rates for hours in excess of forty eight (48) hours and that hours worked in excess of sixty (60) hours per week are on a voluntary basis.
  • ensure workers are provided at least one day off during every seven (7) day period.


University suppliers and their sub-contractors will:

  • consider employees for positions on the basis of their qualifications and abilities. The University will not work with suppliers who discriminate on the basis of race, gender, political or religious beliefs, social, ethnic or national origin, marital status, age, union affiliation, sexual orientation, or disability.
  • ensure pregnant workers are assigned work tasks appropriate for, and not threatening to, their condition.

Health and Safety

University suppliers and their sub-contractors will:

  • provide a safe and healthy working environment to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work or as a result of the operation of employer facilities.
  • provide with health and safety training appropriate for their industry.
  • ensure that any living facilities provided for personnel are safe and clean and meet the basic needs of personnel.

Environmental Commitment

University suppliers and their sub-contractors will:

  • ensure all waste materials, as a by-product of production, are disposed of properly in an environmentally responsible manner, and according to the local and international laws and regulations.
  • seek out leading industry practices aimed at conserving natural resources and reducing carbon emissions.
  • commit to packaging standards that reduce the amount of materials used/ or, have a recycled content with a minimum of 30% post consumer waste content.
  • ensure compliance with third party, bona fide, local and international standards for materials and ethical conduct.

Compliance and Implementation

The university expects all its suppliers to respect its Supplier Code of Conduct and to actively do their utmost to achieve the University’s standards. The University believes in cooperation and the University is willing to work with its suppliers to improve performance where necessary.

The university may require that suppliers provide details on factory and production facility locations of suppliers and subcontractors and may make this information publicly available (i.e. annual reports, web site postings, etc).

The university reserves the right to ask for proof of compliance with all applicable labour, health, safety, and environmental laws, and may inspect working conditions, at any time (or request independent verification of compliance). Suppliers must maintain current and sufficiently detailed records to substantiate their compliance with the SCC and the University may ask that they are independently verified at the supplier’s expense.