In conducting its businesses, Time Warner purchases products and services, such as office supplies, furniture, paper and printing for comic book production, DVD manufacturing and technology equipment and services. We also license our images, brands and characters to third-party licensees who obtain the right to manufacture and sell consumer products such as toys, clothing and other branded products. As of December 2011, Time Warner had approximately 4,000 licensees operating in factories all over the world.
In 2007, the Time Warner Board of Directors adopted ethical sourcing guidelines, which apply to vendors from whom we purchase directly and to whom we license our images, brands and characters. The Guidelines establish expectations for the vendors' business operations as they relate to Time Warner and its businesses and reflect our commitment to conduct business in an ethical manner and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Time Warner's Internal Audit department reviews contracts with vendors during its division and departmental audits to confirm whether the Guidelines have been incorporated.
We know that being a responsible corporate citizen is a dynamic process and we continually aim to improve and build upon our efforts in the area of ethical sourcing. For example, in 2011, we conducted a companywide assessment to identify and assess the risks associated with the conduct of the company's vendors and licensees in connection with the Ethical Sourcing Guidelines. Through this process, we identified select areas for improvement in implementing the Guidelines across the company.
We believe in the value of collaborating and sharing information to improve responsible sourcing efforts across the globe. Time Warner and its divisions are members of various industry working groups, including the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA) and the Toy Industry Association (TIA).
Diverse suppliers bring a variety of perspectives to the marketplace and help enhance our overall procurement process. Time Warner's Supplier Diversity program focuses on ten major areas, which we use to increase and manage supplier diversity throughout Time Warner:
- Training & Education
- External Outreach Activities
- Business Development
- Internal Networking Activities
- Goals & Measurements
- Tracking & Reporting
- Website & Database Management
- Second Tier
- Awards & Recognition
In January 2007, Time Warner launched a program to encourage large corporations doing business with Time Warner to utilize diverse suppliers as subcontractors. This "second tier" program, which gets its name because it is intended to reach subcontractors that are a tier below the companies we directly contract with, underscores the importance the company places on the inclusion of Diverse Business Enterprises (DBEs) at multiple levels. The program began as a pilot in 2007. In 2011, participants reported $20.3 million in annual expenditures with subcontractors that are DBEs. As part of this program, Time Warner and its divisions also provide scholarships to employees of DBEs to attend various advanced management and business courses.
Website and Database
The Supplier Diversity Website & Database (www.TWSupplierDiversity.com) serves as the primary resource tool for employees and diverse suppliers. The site is used both as an external site for suppliers to visit and begin the registration process to participate in Time Warner's program and as an internal tool for employees to receive updates on the program, new initiatives and supplier profiles to review when considering bid opportunities. Through this site, employees can access more than 20,000 diverse suppliers to include in their procurement opportunities. We upgraded this website in 2006, making it more user friendly with expanded and faster search capabilities, new reporting features, supplier testimonials and simpler navigation features. For the 2011 calendar year, the website averaged more than one million hits per month.
Each division of Time Warner reports its DBE expenditures on a quarterly basis. In 2011, Time Warner spent more than $300 million with DBEs, representing 3.9% of our total discretionary expenditures.
Awards and Recognition
Each year, our supplier diversity teams work with numerous DBEs locally and nationally, sponsoring and participating in events, activities and programs geared to support DBEs. The company has been recognized by many organizations for its support of minority business development.
- Time Warner has been named by DiversityBusiness.com as one of America's Top 50 Corporations for Multicultural Business Opportunities each year from 2008 through 2011.
- In 2011, Time Warner received the Corporate Leadership Award from the Women President's Educational Organization (WPEO) for completing the most "done deals" with women-owned businesses in the New York region.
- In 2010, Turner received the Corporation of the Year award from the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GHCC) and the Top 10 Corporation of the Year award from the Georgia Women's Business Council (GWBC).