BlackBerry Communication on Progress

  • 2021/04/22
Time period
  • January 2018  –  December 2020
  • Stand alone document – Basic COP Template
Differentiation Level
  • This COP qualifies for the Global Compact Active level
  • Includes a CEO statement of continued support for the UN Global Compact and its ten principles
  • Description of actions or relevant policies related to Human Rights
  • Description of actions or relevant policies related to Labour
  • Description of actions or relevant policies related to Environment
  • Description of actions or relevant policies related to Anti-Corruption
  • Includes a measurement of outcomes
  • Statement of continued support by the Chief Executive Officer
  • Statement of the company's chief executive (CEO or equivalent) expressing continued support for the Global Compact and renewing the company's ongoing commitment to the initiative and its principles.

  • April 2021

    To our stakeholders,

    I am pleased to confirm that BlackBerry reaffirms its support of the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact in the areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption. In this, our first annual Communication on Progress, we describe our actions to integrate the Global Compact and its principles into our business strategy, culture and daily operations. We are also committed to share this information with our stakeholders using our latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, currently in development.

    John Chen
    Executive Chairman & CEO, BlackBerry

Human Rights
  • Assessment, policy and goals
  • Description of the relevance of human rights for the company (i.e. human rights risk-assessment). Description of policies, public commitments and company goals on Human Rights.

  • BlackBerry has always held itself and its employees to the highest standards when it comes to our respect for the rights and dignity of all people and we have developed a corporate human rights policy. We are committed to conducting business in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of all people, complies with the applicable laws and regulations of the countries in which BlackBerry operates and is consistent with internationally recognized industry standards of business ethics and social and environmental responsibility, including core tenets of the International Labour Organization's (“ILO”) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    These tenets include freely chosen employment, no child labour, humane working conditions, legally just wages and benefits, no harsh treatment and non-discrimination, freedom of association and collective bargaining, safe healthy and respectful working conditions, and supporting peoples universal right to privacy.

    BlackBerry’s business is based on trust, a trust maintained and grown by requiring our people, our suppliers and our vendors to conduct business in an ethical and socially responsible manner that meets and exceeds our customers’ expectations.

  • Implementation
  • Description of concrete actions to implement Human Rights policies, address Human Rights risks and respond to Human Rights violations.

  • BlackBerry is committed to fostering and maintaining strong principles and standards of business behaviour and integrity. In conducting business for BlackBerry, members of the Board of Directors, officers, employees and contractors of BlackBerry must not only comply with applicable laws, but must also engage in, and promote, honest and ethical conduct, including abiding by our Business Standards and Principles (BS&P). The reputation and success of BlackBerry is highly dependent on maintaining these high standards of conduct.

    BlackBerry has developed and implemented several policies to ensure we address Human Rights risks and respond to Human Rights violations. These actions include but are not limited to the following:

    BlackBerry's has developed HR policies and procedures that meet and exceed the expectations set by Human Rights laws.

    BlackBerry provides employees with a secure and independent resource to ask questions or voice potential concerns about any conduct of BlackBerry’s Board, officers, employees or contractors that is not consistent with the BS&P. Questions and concerns can be submitted anonymously.

    BlackBerry provides and requires the completion of employee training on key issues such as anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training, BS&P training and more.

  • Measurement of outcomes
  • Description of how the company monitors and evaluates performance.

  • Every employee is required to complete the aforementioned trainings and is responsible for complying with policies. Employees and third parties have accessible and confidential channels to report violations or suspected violations, including a 24-hour hotline. We investigate reports and take appropriate corrective action. Retaliation against any anyone who reports in good faith a concern to BlackBerry about actual or suspected violations of this policy is not tolerated.

  • Assessment, policy and goals
  • Description of the relevance of labour rights for the company (i.e. labour rights-related risks and opportunities). Description of written policies, public commitments and company goals on labour rights.

  • The BlackBerry Code of Business Standards and Principles sets forth the standards by which we conduct our business and it serves as a document that communicates our overall commitment to proper labor practices for our operations. It applies to all directors, officers and employees. Additionally, we include compliance with the BlackBerry Code in the standard contract language for our sales partners. The BlackBerry Code states that BlackBerry will not employ forced or child labor in any of our operations.

    BlackBerry also expresses its commitment to opposing forms of modern slavery through the BlackBerry Human Rights Policy. This Policy expands upon key human rights issues to ensure a consistent understanding of our requirements and to facilitate implementation of our expectations throughout our own operations.

    We expect no less of our suppliers and manufacturing partners. The BlackBerry Supplier Code of Conduct specifies the standards by which we expect our suppliers of goods and services and our manufacturing partners to conduct their operations. The obligation to comply with the Supplier Code has been incorporated into our purchasing terms and conditions and partner agreements. The Supplier Code requires that no forced, bonded, indentured, involuntary prison labor, or child labor shall be used by our suppliers. We updated the Supplier Code in early FY2016, with considerable focus on addressing the risk of slavery and human trafficking by detailing our expectations for treatment of foreign and migrant workers. In FY2019, we made additional revisions to maintain continuity with global standards including that of the Responsible Business Alliance and our evolving business.

  • Implementation
  • Description of concrete actions taken by the company to implement labour policies, address labour risks and respond to labour violations.

  • At BlackBerry, we recognize that the ever-changing requirements of a diverse market and customer base require us to cultivate an agile, inclusive culture where we can share a broad spectrum of perspectives and ideas. This environment enables a high level of employee engagement and satisfaction. Our inclusive culture also helps us attract and retain a workforce that understands the diverse range of customers we serve and communities where we work and live. By fully utilizing the rich experience and skills of our diverse workforce, we deliver results for our diverse global customers. BlackBerry does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, bullying or violence, and has policies to enforce that.

  • Measurement of outcomes
  • Description of how the company monitors and evaluates performance.

  • BlackBerry requires all of its employees, contingent workers, and directors to take annual BlackBerry Code training and to acknowledge that we have read, understand and will comply with the BlackBerry Code.

    BlackBerry maintains trained subject-matter experts on staff to oversee implementation of the BlackBerry Code and related policies and manage enterprise and social responsibility risks.

    BlackBerry’s Code requires all employees to report observed or suspected violations of the Code, whether they occur internally or in external relationships. Our leaders have the additional responsibility of leading through example and cultivating a proactive ethical culture in which team members regularly raise questions and concerns with their managers. In addition to their managers, employees have multiple other mechanisms to raise concerns confidentially (and where permitted by law, anonymously). All reports are investigated thoroughly and promptly. BlackBerry does not tolerate retaliation against anyone making a good faith report of suspected unethical or illegal conduct.

  • Assessment, policy and goals
  • Description of the relevance of environmental protection for the company (i.e. environmental risks and opportunities). Description of policies, public commitments and company goals on environmental protection.

  • The Technology sector’s demands on energy are accelerating as urbanization and technology-adoption continues to expand. BlackBerry is tackling our sector’s impact on the environment through our commitment to be carbon neutral by 2021.

    Additionally, safe water sanitation is a vital enabler of access to education, in particular for girls, and a strategy for economic growth and reducing poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a further spotlight on the criticality of access to clean water, with handwashing being one of the key means to adequately prevent and contain disease.

    Therefore, BlackBerry has expanded our environmental focus to include clean water access.

  • Implementation
  • Description of concrete actions to implement environmental policies, address environmental risks and respond to environmental incidents.

  • BlackBerry is committed to be carbon neutral in 2021. Climate change, primarily driven by carbon emissions, is limiting the availability and quality of water and is expected to have significant further impact. Since 2013 BlackBerry has reduced its carbon emissions by 88%.

    BlackBerry has invested in wastewater treatment technology in Canada that will eliminate the environmental impacts of discharging raw wastewater into watercourses and the sea and consumes less energy than traditional systems.

    BlackBerry has invested in the rehabilitation and maintenance of water wells in Rwanda, where the population is currently fetching water from sources that expose them to bacteria. The economic benefits of improved water supply in the area will enable Rwanda's Smart Cities Blueprint, a framework aimed to accelerate the adoption of ICT-driven initiatives in cities across Africa.

    BlackBerry is committed to eliminate the use of single-use plastics globally, ahead of the Government of Canada's plan. The initiative will help tackle microplastics pollution, as well as ease the burden on oceans and streams where plastic waste ends up and harms marine life.

    In addition, BlackBerry will expand academic partnerships to leverage academic expertise and leadership in tackling climate change and clean water access.

    Government partnerships include BlackBerry’s free offering of Secure Credential Management System (SCMS) to state and local governments worldwide, accelerating the development of smart cities. BlackBerry is committed to working closely with government partners to expand the positive environmental impact of smart cities.

  • Measurement of outcomes
  • Description of how the company monitors and evaluates environmental performance.

  • BlackBerry participates in CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), an international, not-for-profit organization that provides a system for companies to measure, disclose, manage and share emissions and climate change information. Since CY2009, BlackBerry has annually disclosed and shared information about its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. BlackBerry’s CDP reports include all available data for BlackBerry operations worldwide and emissions were audited by Ernst & Young.

  • Assessment, policy and goals
  • Description of the relevance of anti-corruption for the company (i.e. anti-corruption risk-assessment). Description of policies, public commitments and company goals on anti-corruption.

  • BlackBerry has a number of measures in place to build and enforce a strong culture of ethical behavior across the organization. Ethical principles are central to BlackBerry’s corporate governance which includes Board Oversight, Business Standards and Principles Code of Ethics, Human Rights Policy, and Risk and Compliance Management.

  • Implementation
  • Description of concrete actions to implement anti-corruption policies, address anti-corruption risks and respond to incidents.

  • The BlackBerry Board of Directors, the Board committees and their respective mandates and charters help to facilitate effective corporate governance at BlackBerry. The Board’s management oversight role is also facilitated by its independence and diversity. In addition, the Audit and Risk Management Committee and the Compensation, Nomination and Governance Committee are comprised entirely of independent Directors. For more information regarding the company’s Board of Directors, please view BlackBerry’s Corporate Governance documentation. Additional information on corporate governance practices at BlackBerry is set out in the last BlackBerry Management Information Circular for its annual meeting of shareholders.

    To ensure that every employee understands what it means to act ethically, BlackBerry has created the BlackBerry Code of Business Standards and Principles. Subject to the application of local laws, BlackBerry employees are expected to read, understand, acknowledge and comply with these standards and principles — and apply them as they perform their daily work. Before beginning work at BlackBerry, all new hires are required to read and certify compliance with the Code. Additionally, all current employees receive ongoing education on the Code via periodic internal messaging and annual refresher training.

    As described in the Code, BlackBerry encourages and enables employees to discuss any issues or concerns with their manager, or other internal resources including Human Resources or the Legal department. In addition, BlackBerry has established BlackBerry EthicsLink, a reporting capability that allows employees and third parties, to report concerns anonymously by telephone or a web-based portal. Reports made through BlackBerry EthicsLink are investigated by appropriate functional teams and, depending on the nature of the report, may be referred directly to the Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Directors.

    We have created a Human Rights Policy to detail these tenets in terms applicable to our global operations. This provides our employees with a consistent understanding of our principles for assuring freely chosen employment, prohibiting child labor, anti-discrimination and promoting freedom of association and collective bargaining, among others, as they perform their daily jobs and interact with their colleagues, customers, partners, vendors, and other stakeholders.

    BlackBerry also employs a robust Compliance and Risk Management program. The Compliance and Risk Management program coordinates with, and relies upon, three committees responsible for oversight, reporting and communication of key risks and opportunities:
    1. Security, Risk and Compliance Committee
    2. Risk Management and Compliance Council
    3. Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Directors

  • Measurement of outcomes
  • Description of how the company monitors and evaluates anti-corruption performance.

  • In 2020, BlackBerry successfully filed its seventh public disclosure to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in accordance with the SEC rules.

    The Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Directors provides assistance to the Board in fulfilling its legal and fiduciary obligations with respect to matters involving the accounting, auditing, financial reporting, internal control and legal compliance functions of BlackBerry and its subsidiaries as well as the oversight of enterprise risk management, including risk compliance, the internal audit function, and the controls, processes and policies used by management to effectively manage BlackBerry’s risks.