Government Affairs at Siemens

Angela Merkel and Joe Kaeser visiting a factory

Siemens is politically neutral. As a global company with around 293,000 employees, we work with our customers on innovative solutions for some of the most urgent global challenges. Dialogue with political decision-makers is therefore of great importance as part of our social responsibility and for our corporate success. We are regularly asked our views by governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, business associations and civil society. All our political and external engagement is governed by the guidelines outlined below and carried out in full accordance with our company commitment to responsible and sustainable business.                           

Topics

Topics

We prioritize our political engagement in line with the topical areas relevant to our business strategies and innovation fields (Link). As part of this approach, our advocacy activities include the following focal points and policy areas: cybersecurity; digitalization (incl. internet of things/IoT, artificial intelligence/AI); decarbonization and combating climate change;  energy; research and development/innovation; trade policy; and automated mobility in rail and road transportation..

 

Examples of recent activity include:

 

Digitalization:

 

Siemens works with policymakers to promote policies that increase the adoption of digitalization across entire economies and all industry sectors. Siemens also aims to enhance the protection of assets, data, businesses and infrastructure through policies that build trust in the connected and digital world. Recent initiatives include:

  • Building Twin, which outlines the virtual 3D model of a building before it is built. Such twins ensure that buildings are tested for efficiency and sustainability prior to construction. Siemens advocates for an obligatory design plan for public tenders within the EU and supports policies to promote rapid uptake by incentivizing the use of digital Building Twin.
  • Artificial intelligence: Siemens is committed to fostering innovation in AI Excellence Centers and to increasing trust in AI within the EU. To this end, Siemens contributes to the public discourse on the use of AI, for example in Germany’s AI strategy.
  • Cybersecurity: Through its active role within the Charter of Trust for a Secure Digital World – an initiative first presented at the Munich Security Conference on February 16, 2018 – Siemens holds a pioneering position of Thought leadership in digital security.
  • Data: As part of the European Data and Cloud Strategy, Siemens is committed to simplifying data transfer within the EU. We’re contributing our expertise to the EU’s efforts to create European Data Spaces, especially in the individual verticals within the industrial sector.

 

Decarbonization:

 

Externally, our output is aligned with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and we strive internally to achieve a balance along the dimensions of people, planet and profit. In 2016, Siemens joined the World Bank’s Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) to promote the worldwide introduction of carbon pricing. Siemens’ general position on climate change can be found in its position paper on global decarbonization and climate change. Siemens also conducted an analysis of the energy transition in Germany. The results can be viewed here. In addition, we contribute to the energy-policy debate through internal developments and goals: Siemens was one of the first major industrial corporations worldwide to set itself the target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. To achieve this, we’re focusing on four levers: energy efficiency, distributed energy systems, optimization of the vehicle fleet and electricity from renewable sources.

Guidelines

Our Government Affairs Guidelines for Political Activities

“Continuous dialog with political decision-makers is highly relevant for the success of a global company. We are committed to political neutrality. Siemens activities with respect to politicians, parties, and positions will be non-partisan, and solely in support of Siemens business goals. We comply with the law and Siemens guidelines.”
Siemens Business Conduct Guidelines (SBCG), Chapter G.1. Fair competition: we place integrity at the heart of everything we do

Guiding principles

 

Siemens operates in nearly every country in the world, has customers in both the private and public sectors, and covers a wide range of industries.

 

As a result, the way parliamentary policy, government policy, regulations and legislation are shaped has a direct impact on Siemens. Therefore, maintaining a dialogue with political decision-makers is crucial for our company’s success and for our commitment to corporate citizenship.

 

Siemens defines political activities as any communication and policy advocacy with political leaders, policy-making institutions and authorities (collectively “policymakers”), whether directly, by Siemens employees, or indirectly, through our memberships in associations and through our use of external agencies. These activities are aligned with company goals and positions and are carried out in a coordinated and consistent way, as per the policies and guidelines below.

 

Governance and accountability

 

“We are open and honest. We take our responsibility seriously, we are reliable, and we only make promises we can keep.”
SBCG, Chapter C. We create trust

 

The overall responsibility for the dialogue with policymakers lies with our Managing Board, which has mandated a dedicated Government Affairs (GA) Department with the necessary company-wide coordination tasks and corresponding governance responsibilities. The GA Department is part of the “CEO Office” which reports directly to the President and CEO of Siemens, Dr. Roland Busch.

The central GA Department – together with the local units at our Regional Companies – is responsible for developing political and advocacy strategies to advance Siemens’ interests and to advise and support management regarding communication and advocacy with policymakers. In addition, the GA Department manages and coordinates our participation in relevant industry associations and membership organizations.

 

Siemens takes an integrated approach to managing our political activities in accordance with our company-wide compliance principles and procedures. Our employees must obey the laws and regulations of the legal systems within which they are operating, and compliance is firmly embedded throughout our company, primarily through our mandatory Business Conduct Guidelines (SBCG). These guidelines contain the basic principles and rules governing the way we act within our company and in relation to our partners and the general public.  Further details can be found on our sustainability and compliance website and in our most recent Sustainability Report.  

 

“Revolving Door” guidelines

 

To avoid problems such as conflicts of interest, Siemens has adopted internal guidelines for handling the so-called “Revolving Door” practices. These guidelines apply when people move between the private and public sectors. Among other things, these guidelines specify the following principles:

  • Examination of, and compliance with, relevant legal requirements
  • Thorough check of the subject matter and working environment (comparing the previous activities with the planned position) to avoid conflicts of interest; the Government Affairs and Legal and Compliance departments must be involved in any decision
  • Transparent and documented selection process
  • In all cases, the Siemens Business Conduct Guidelines need to be observed as well

As part of this approach, Siemens adheres to “cooling off” periods as required by local regulations.

Responsible lobbying

Responsible lobbying

No tolerance with non-compliant behaviour

 

We do not tolerate any form of corruption in our business dealings anywhere in the world. This includes our business dealings through our external partners.
SBCG, Chapter G.1. Fair competition: we place integrity ate the heart of everything we do

 

At Siemens, we take a zero-tolerance approach to corruption, violations of fair competition principles, and breaches of applicable law and of our own internal regulations, including our government affairs policies. This zero-tolerance approach applies to our employees, our suppliers and our business partners. If events of this nature do occur, we respond vigorously –worldwide and at all levels of the organization. For Siemens, integrity means acting in accordance with our values – responsible, excellent, and innovative – wherever we do business.

 

Siemens offers several channels for reporting compliance concerns to internal and external parties. More details can be found here. The handling of compliance cases at Siemens follows a clearly structured approach that encompasses all steps in the process, ranging from keeping reporting channels open to performing internal investigations of possible compliance violations and to implementing our responses to compliance-related incidents. 

 

Transparency

 

In the European Union, Siemens is listed in EU Transparency Register. In the United States, Siemens is registered in the U.S. Lobbying Disclosure Act Registration Database. You can view our most recent entries via these links:

 

EU Transparency Register

 

U.S. Lobbying Disclosure Act Registration

 

Expenditure:

 

Bribery is the act of offering, promising, or giving money, gifts, or other benefit to a public official or public or private employee with the aim of receiving improper advantages. Bribery is a criminal offense worldwide.
SBCG, Chapter G.1. Fair competition: we place integrity ate the heart of everything we do

 

Siemens does not make political donations or contributions (donations to politicians, political parties or political organizations). In addition, Siemens is politically neutral. Therefore, our internal guidelines prohibit all contributions supporting political purposes or the representation of political interests (for example, election events for political campaigns).

 

However, Siemens employees in the U.S. may make personal contributions to the Siemens Corporation Political Action Committee (SCPAC) as allowed by U.S. law. These are not Siemens Corporation contributions.

 

  • Siemens may and does provide administrative support to the SCPAC, which includes the costs of operating the PAC, including supplies and other operating costs (such as legal and banking expenses) as governed by the applicable federal U.S. elections law.
  • More information on applicable U.S. federal elections law can be found at www.fec.gov and www.fec.gov/rad/pacs/FederalElectionCommission-RAD-PACs.shtml.

 

Sponsorships, donations, charitable contributions, and memberships […] must be religiously and politically neutral […]
SBCG, Chapter G.1. Fair competition: we place integrity ate the heart of everything we do

 

All sponsorships, donations, gifts and hospitality, as well as memberships and the engagement of external business partners, agencies and lobbyists throughout the company, are subject to a mandatory approval process. Our internal rules clearly state that sponsorships may not be politically or religiously motivated (for example, sponsoring of politicians, political parties, political organizations, or churches). In addition, invitations of public officials to entertainment events require the approval of a compliance officer. In particular, further restrictions apply – as described above – to company donations.

 

The above-mentioned regulations are taken from our internal policy, “Principles for sponsoring activities, donations, charitable contributions and memberships.”

Relationship with third parties

Relationship with third parties

“Therefore, the company will under no circumstances tolerate illegal or non-compliant behavior. We have set ourselves globally binding Business Conduct Guidelines that require all employees and managers to behave in an ethical, law-abiding manner. Equally, Siemens expects its partners to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.”
Siemens Group Code of Conduct

I) External agencies and lobbyists

 

Although Siemens employees carry out the majority of our Government Affairs activities, we do engage the services of some external agencies to assist us. Siemens employees must adhere to an internal policy defining strict rules for engaging such agencies and external lobbyists and, as with all our external business partners, we use comprehensive procedures to select them. The selection of external lobbyists is subject to both our business partner process and approval from the Government Affairs Department and the Chief Compliance Officer. These relationships are continuously monitored and audited.

All our suppliers and third-party intermediaries are contractually obliged to adhere to our Code of Conduct, and compliance is monitored on an ongoing basis. Additionally, we apply special contract clauses for some business partner categories, such as external lobbyists. This process covers the entire lifecycle of the business partnership. Our compulsory company-wide Business Partner Compliance Tool supports implementation of the process and ensures documentation of relevant information and activities. More details can be found here.

 

II) Membership organizations

 

Siemens and its consolidated subsidiaries participate in a wide range of trade associations and membership organizations, some of which engage in political activities on behalf of their members. All such memberships are subject to mandatory approval processes to ensure compliance with Siemens’ Business Conduct Guidelines and, above all, to prevent any violation of the prohibition against corruption and the principles of fair competition. The section below lists our most important memberships in our three main markets (the European Union, the United States of America and China).

 

Europe:
Bundesverband Informationswirtschaft, Telekommunikation und neue Medien e.V. (BITKOM); BUSINESSEUROPE (only ASG); DIGITALEUROPE; European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT); EPC – European Policy Center; the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA); IBC – International Business Congress; the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA); the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI)

 

USA:
U.S. Chamber of Commerce; National Electrical Manufacturers Association; National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC); the Global Business Alliance (GBA); AAlliance to Save Energy

 

China:
European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC); the German Chamber of Commerce in China (AHK Greater China)

Contacts

Contacts

Siemens’ global Government Affairs team is led by Torsten Ende.

 

For general enquiries contact: government-affairs.gm@siemens.com

 

For sales and supplier enquiries.

 

Siemens offers a number of channels for reporting compliance concerns, you can find out more here.