Our suppliers

Bristol Myers Squibb works with suppliers – including third-party manufacturers and contractors – to achieve the highest level of quality, expertise, experience and fit with our operating culture.

In order to fulfill our mission to create the most innovative medicines, it is imperative that our pursuit of high-quality goods and services extend to small and diverse suppliers. It is through diverse talents and ideas that we learn and grow together.

Supplier expectations

In accordance with Corporate Policies, Bristol Myers Squibb supports responsible practices by our suppliers and contractors. We expect our suppliers to comply with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements, and we established Standards of Business Conduct and Ethics for Third Parties (3P Standards). We also encourage our major suppliers to align their environmental management systems with the requirements of ISO 14001 and to establish goals that support our sustainability goals.

Supplier evaluations

Our Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Third Party Manufacturer Assessment Program is intended to further the Corporate EHS Policy and seeks to minimize the potential for EHS risks. Guidelines addressing contract manufacturers and suppliers require Business Units to conduct EHS assessments of the facilities and operating practices of contract manufacturers and selected suppliers.

We regularly monitor key supplier performance through a range of tools, including questionnaires, surveys, reference checks, publicly available information and site visits. We may send an EHS questionnaire to third-party manufacturers that manufacture, finish or package Bristol Myers Squibb products, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), intermediates or other critical non-commodity materials. Based on the results of the questionnaire, we may conduct an on-site evaluation. The evaluation team will make recommendations and then develop and track an action plan for the supplier or contractor. The questionnaire or site visit may be repeated periodically, based on a quantitative risk model. Assessments cover business interruption, loss prevention, chemical storage and handling practices; waste storage, handling and disposal practices and disposal facilities; permits; emergency preparedness and response; employee exposure; regulatory compliance history; and financial position.

In 2015, we conducted 67 EHS evaluations of suppliers and third-party manufacturers.

Waste contractor evaluation program

We evaluate proposed waste handling and disposal contractors prior to initiating off-site shipment of waste, in order to determine their qualifications and to review compliance records to the extent possible. This includes an evaluation of contractor adherence to EHS Policy and applicable laws and regulations. By design, we limit the number of contractors used by our facilities so that we can maximize our knowledge of their capabilities. We review the status of our current waste contractors periodically.

Packaging supplier survey

We conducted a supplier survey in Europe to ensure that heavy metals and other dangerous materials were not being used in packaging. The survey also confirmed whether packaging was environmentally recoverable through recycling, energy recovery or composting. Of the 135 responses we received, 133 of the suppliers were in compliance with environmental requirements. In the future, we plan to incorporate these environmental requirements into contracts with packaging suppliers.

Contract employees

We use agencies that provide temporary employees to perform a wide range of services, and our EHS staff is developing guidance that addresses key issues, such as training. EHS personnel also evaluate contracts for maintenance, mailroom, security, cafeteria and other services to make sure that they cover EHS performance issues. A guideline for developing a contractor safety program is published on the company’s internal EHS website.

Bristol Myers Squibb plans to actively partner with our key suppliers to identify and implement changes that will reduce the EHS impacts of these key components. We expect to pursue significant energy savings and natural resource conservation through our efforts, as well as improvements to the reliability of our supply chain.

California transparency in supply chains act

The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 governs companies that do business in California. The Act was designed to increase the amount of information made available by manufacturers and retailers regarding their efforts to address the issue of slavery and human trafficking, thereby allowing consumers to make better, more informed choices regarding the products they buy and the companies they choose to support. We are a strong supporter of human rights globally both in the workplace at our own facilities and in the external pharmaceutical supply chain. Further information can be found in our California Transparency in Supply Chains Act Disclosure.

Collaborative initiatives

Pharmaceutical supply chain initiative

We worked with other pharmaceutical companies to form and currently support the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI). In 2007, the PSCI released the Pharmaceutical Industry Principles for Responsible Supply Chain Management. These Principles address ethics, labor, health and safety, environment and related management systems. Bristol Myers Squibb's third-party manufacturer EHS assessment process is aligned with the Principles and the company is currently evaluating options for the other areas covered by the Principles.

Numerous supplier capacity-building efforts are provided through PSCI related activities. We have contributed documents to an on-line library available to suppliers that is accessible through the PSCI web site. We have also participated in multiple capability-building workshops for suppliers. To date there have been workshops held in Rome, Italy (2013), China (2014) and India (2015).


We are a member of Rx-360, a consortium of major pharmaceutical companies and suppliers that seeks to enhance patient safety by developing a global quality system that helps members ensure product quality and authenticity throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain. Rx-360 provides a forum for exchanging public information to allow firms to adopt best practices across industry.

Green suppliers network

Bristol Myers Squibb, in conjunction with other major pharmaceutical companies, became a charter member of the Green Suppliers Network (GSN), a collaborative venture between industry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 2004. With GSN support, suppliers can continuously improve their products and processes, increase energy efficiency, identify cost-saving opportunities and optimize resources and technologies with the aim of eliminating waste.

By 2006, five pharmaceutical suppliers in Puerto Rico completed an evaluation process which identified over $8 million in annual cost savings and $9 million in one-time savings. Environmental impact improvements included more than 1.5 million gallons of water saved and the reduction of almost 200,000 pounds of solid waste.