California Water Service Group and its subsidiaries (together “Group”) conduct business based on the highest standards of ethics, integrity, honesty, and professionalism. Such standards are essential to our long-term success. As such, we encourage all suppliers to conduct their Group-related business at standards at least equal to those of the Group.
Specifically, in addition to complying with all applicable laws, the Group suppliers shall adhere to the following Code of Conduct:
- Suppliers shall not engage in coercive, collusive, corrupt, fraudulent, obstructive, or otherwise prohibited practices in any business relating to the Group, including during any competitive procurement.
Conflict of Interest
- Suppliers and their respective personnel and affiliates shall be free from conflict of interest when conducting business with the Group. A supplier may be considered to have a conflict of interest if:
- It has at least one or more controlling partners who have a significant financial interest in another bidder during a competitive procurement by the Group.
- It has a relationship that may provide access to undisclosed information about a competitive procurement that could influence the decisions of the Group.
- It participates in more than one bid for a single sourcing event for the Group.
- It has a family relationship with a member of the Group’s board of directors, senior executive team, or staff who is directly or indirectly involved in any part of a procurement decision, unless the conflict stemming from this relationship has been resolved in a manner acceptable to the Group.
- Suppliers have an obligation to disclose to the Group’s Procurement Department any actual or potential conflict that impacts their capacity to serve the best interest of the Group.
Providing a Safe and Secure Workplace
- Suppliers shall take all measures to comply with standards for the safety of persons and protection of property at the workplace.
- Suppliers shall have a written policy that reflects a zero-tolerance policy regarding the possession and use of alcohol, drugs, and firearms while on any Group property or directly engaged in work for the Group.
- We encourage our suppliers to have a Health and Safety Management Plan that is in compliance with the Group standards.
Maintaining Proper Conduct in Workplace
- Suppliers shall maintain a policy of nondiscrimination against employees or applicants for employment on account of race, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender, medical condition, marital status, disability, immigrant status, veteran status, or any non-job-related factor in all areas of employee relations in accordance with applicable laws.
- Suppliers shall prohibit unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment. Whenever present on a Group property or property of its customers, suppliers shall require their employees, subcontractors, and representatives to comply with standards prohibiting conduct that is discriminatory, assaulting, threatening, sexual or of a suggestive nature, hostile, or any other manner that might reasonably be construed as violating applicable laws.
- Suppliers shall provide excellent service and care of the Group customers and the general public. Providing excellent service and care includes treating all personal interactions with professionalism, friendliness, and courtesy, regardless of the circumstances of the interaction. At no time shall suppliers’ employees or subcontractors use profane language or insult, demean, or otherwise use any disparaging terms, colloquialisms, or racially biased language in communicating with the Group, its customers, government officials, government employees, or the general public in areas served by the Group.
Safeguarding Confidential Information
- Suppliers shall take all reasonable steps to safeguard information and prevent disclosure of confidential information to any third parties without prior approval by the Group. Confidential Information means any information designated by the Group or its suppliers that could reasonably be considered confidential or proprietary at the time of disclosure, including information relating to critical infrastructure or trade secret information.
- We encourage our suppliers to conduct business in a manner that actively manages environmental risks, conserves natural resources, and protects the environment.
- We encourage our suppliers to establish a systematic approach to manage risks, hazards, and opportunities associated with the environment.
- We encourage our suppliers to be able to demonstrate design and supply chain activities that enable reduction of the adverse environmental impact of its products and services during their entire life cycle by considering factors such as energy consumption, materials use, and end-of-life treatment.
- We encourage our suppliers to be able to, upon request:
- Declare the full material content of products supplied to the Group.
- Declare product energy consumption and product energy efficiency.
- Supply life cycle inventory data for supplier processes and products.
- Provide information concerning the process for handling and treatment of delivered products at the end of the products’ life.
- To ensure compliance with environmental management standards and product safety, the Group may from time to time conduct on-site audits and assessment of suppliers.
- Suppliers shall treat people with respect and dignity, encourage diversity, promote equal opportunity for all, and help create an inclusive and ethical culture.
- We encourage our suppliers to treat their employees and to interact with communities in a manner consistent with the UN Guiding Principles to Business and Human Rights in their business operations.
- We expect our suppliers to conform to the International Labor Organization Core Labor Standards, and the California Department of Industrial Relations Sweatfree Code of Conduct.
- Specifically, our suppliers shall comply with the following:
- Forced Labor
- Not to use involuntary labor or require payment of fees or the surrendering of identification (immigration or work permit documents) as a condition of employment.
- Not to traffic workers or in any other way exploit workers by means of threat, force, coercion, abduction, or fraud.
- Provide voluntary employment, where workers are free to leave work and terminate their employment or other work status with reasonable notice.
- Child Labor
- Ensure that child labor is not used in the performance of work. Child labor refers to any person under the minimum legal age for employment where the work is performed.
- Working Hours
- Follow all applicable laws and regulations with respect to working hours and days of rest.
- Collective Bargaining
- Recognize and respect the rights of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining in accordance with local laws.
- Not penalize or subject to harassment or intimidation workers for the non-violent exercise of their right to join or refrain from joining such legal organizations.
Supplier Code of Conduct Flow Down
- We encourage our suppliers to have practices in place to support compliance with laws, regulations, and expectations related to or addressed expressly within the Supplier Code of Conduct. We encourage our suppliers to implement their own written code of conduct, and to flow down the principles of a code of conduct to the entities that furnish goods and services to the supplier.