The present code of conduct (CoC) is a voluntary agreement, through which member companies wish to guarantee particularly the observance of global demands on ethical and moral actions as well as the standards of proper conduct in the areas of competition and antitrust law (compliance). This also means promoting fair and sustainable standards dealing with suppliers and customers as well as own company personnel.
The companies recognising the code of conduct regularly inform company members on the ethical goals and behaviour principles of this code of conduct. Moreover, they aim for suppliers to also accept the guidelines.
The code of conduct is designed as a negotiated agreement
I. General regulations
This code of conduct is valid for all branches, participations and production sites of the company.
2. Laws, standards and ethic behaviour
The company adheres to the valid laws and standards of the respective countries it is active in. It takes guidance from the general ethic values and principles, especially integrity, righteousness as well as human dignity.
3. Business partners, authorities and consumers
The company practices according to the generally recognised business practices of fairness and honesty. It deals truthfully with authorities. Standards protecting consumers are adhered to.
4. Trade secrets
Trade secrets of business partners will be treated strictly confidentially by companies and their members. Passing on confidential information to third parties or making this information publicly available is forbidden. This continues to be the case for company members even after the employment has been terminated.
II. Antitrust and competition law guidelines
1. Antitrust law
The company is committed to a fair competition. Laws protecting fair competition, particularly antitrust law and other competition regulating laws, are adhered to.
Collusion on prices or other conditions, sales areas or customers as well a misuse of market power contradict the principles of the company.
2. Bribery, bribability and corruption
The company opposes bribery and corruption and does not tolerate such behaviour.
The employees are to take care not to create personal dependencies or obligations towards customers or suppliers. In particular, employees are not allowed to accept or make gifts which, under reasonable contemplation, could influence business decisions.
In case gifts are part of a country’s custom, it is important to note that no binding dependencies are created and local legal standards are adhered to. Contravention will routinely have legal consequences.
III. Global guideleines
1. Human Rights
Internationally recognised human rights are supported explicitly and consistently.
Equally, in the case of disciplinary measures, all company personnel are to be treated with dignity and respect. Such measures must only take place in accordance with the current national and international standards and internationally recognised human rights.
2. Child Labour
Child labour and any kind of exploitation of children and adolescents is rejected. The corresponding laws are adhered to.
3. Forced labour
Any kind of forced labour, debt bondage, slave work or slavery or similar situations are rejected. Company members must not be forced to work through means of violence or intimidation, neither directly nor indirectly.
All employees in full time employment shall receive a fair salary covering at least their basic needs. The wages are to be paid in a practical way (cash, cheque, bank transfer) and payroll accounting has to be made availableto areasonable extent
5. Working hours
Working hours correspond to valid national laws, industry standards or relevant ILO conventions. Extra work has to be done on a voluntarily basis.
6. Health and employment protection
The national and international regulations for securing health and safety at work are adhered to. Relevant systems to avoid risks for health and safety are to be set up.
7. Environmental protection
The company adheres to the goals of sustainable environmental protection. Environmentally friendly production methods are aimed for in this context.
IV. Ethical and social principles
The company opposes discrimination on employment or occupation, in particular a discrimination because of race, ethic or national origins, colour of skin, gender, or mental and physical disability, age, creed, membership of a trade union or any other personal traits.
The company disapproves of physical, psychological or sexual violence.
3. Freedom of opinion
The right to freedom of opinion and free expression of opinion is warranted.
Privacy is respected.
V. Observance of the code of conduct
The company presents the code of conduct to company members in a suitable form and given intervals, and ensures that it is adhered to.