Global Citizenship-Western Digital's Commitment

Western Digital's president and CEO, Stephen Milligan, has done just this by outlining in a letter on the company's website its commitment to “global citizenship.” Its policy statement is not the only document posted. It has informed the world of its commitments to protecting and preserving our environment, health, and safety, and of its global citizenship and how it is doing it.

As I read further on its website I saw that its management systems met ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001. It is living their management system structure according to international standards.[1]

Legal Commitment-Compliance

As a leader of your organization you have the responsibility of ensuring that you are following and meeting applicable legal and other requirements. You must demonstrate a commitment to complying with applicable laws and regulations, which you outlined in your policy statement. Understanding these requirements can keep you as a manager out of jail or prevent the paying of huge fines if not in compliance.

Programs and procedures need to be put in place that are tied to responsibilities, in order to ensure compliance.

1. Identify what legal and other requirements are applicable.

Do you as a manager have an understanding of your legal requirements? This is usually managed by someone else in your organization, however as a CEO, do you have a copy of this legal listing and the associated tasks?

2. What are the associated applicable tasks?

3. Who is responsible for legal activities (reporting to corporate, reporting to shareholders, government, media, etc., providing appropriate training to employees and contractors)?

Do they keep you updated on the status of compliance issues? How?

4. Compliance is an ongoing objective of the company. Include it in the change management process.

5. Communication log on compliance activities.

6. Monitoring and measurement of operations – various parameters to maintain legal compliance (environment, health and safety, quality). Who is responsible? Do they report on maintenance of these requirements to you?

7. Compliance review or compliance audit – third-party or internal? How often is this done? Yearly, as a minimum, would be advisable.

8. Noncompliance tracking – through nonconformance system.

Companies also commit to “other requirements,” such as corporate standards or policies and union agreements, which may go beyond the legal requirements of the country or area your business is located in.

Other requirements can also refer to industry standards or best practices, world-class manufacturing, requirements tied to contracts/ agreements, insurance, codes of ethics, and leases. These also need to be identified and managed.

Legal and Other Compliance Issues

Do we have any compliance issues? What are they?

1 Quality – customer satisfaction

2 Environment – prevention of pollution

3 Occupational health and safety – prevention of injury and ill health

4 Financial, etc.

5 Other

What reporting do I review tied to compliance? Is it sufficient?

  • [1] Western Digital Technologies. “Global Citizenship; Letter from the CEO.” Available at: /ceoletter.aspx.
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