Siemens Group Code of Conduct for Suppliers

English business man

We rely on trustworthy supplier relationships

The Siemens Group “Code of Conduct for Siemens Suppliers and Third Party Intermediaries” is based on company-wide, mandatory requirements and processes to ensure the effective establishment of the specified environmental, compliance and labor standards across all countries of operations.

        

Siemens’ global activities entail collaboration with many different partners all over the world. Mutual trust is essential to these relationships.

Siemens wants to be perceived as an integral part of the national society and economy in all countries. Due to the huge diversity of conditions in which we purchase goods and services, this maxim of Siemens business policy was considered in the principles of our Code of Conduct. It is based on – among others – the UN Global Compact and the principles of the International Labor Organization but also reflects the Siemens “Business Conduct Guidelines”, which establish fundamental principles of sustainability and apply to the entire company.

A competitive, globally balanced and localized network for suppliers and third party intermediaries is a precondition for further growth and the success of Siemens on a global scale. Therefore, both play a key role in a value chain focused on sustainability. Only in close cooperation with all stakeholders can we seize the opportunities and minimize the risks associated with the challenge of sustainable development.
Dr. Klaus Staubitzer, Siemens AG, Chief Procurement Officer

Legal Compliance

Siemens conducts business responsibly and in compliance with the legal requirements and governmental regulations of the countries in which we operate. 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.

Human Rights and Labor Practices

The Code of Conduct requires all Siemens partners to ensure respect of all internationally proclaimed human rights by avoiding causation of and complicity in any human rights violations.

The core internationally recognized human rights are contained in the International Bill of Human Rights (consisting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, coupled with the principles concerning fundamental rights in the eight ILO core conventions as set out in the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work). Depending on circumstances, business enterprises may need to consider additional standards.Partners should pay heightened attention to ensuring respect of human rights of specifically vulnerable rights holders or groups of rights holders such as women, children or migrant workers, or of (indigenous) communities. Specifically, Siemens expects its partners to respect the fundamental employment rights set out in international conventions of the United Nations (UN) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

We demand the elimination of all forms of forced labor and our partners must contribute to this by implementing appropriate measures and control mechanisms – not only within their own organization but also in their supply chain, e.g. when using labor brokers, temporary employment agencies, etc. Under no circumstances can we accept that e.g. employees’ IDs are confiscated, salaries are not paid periodically or only after long periods, or physical or psychological pressure is put on employees or their families.

 

We expect you as our partner to:

  • Neither use nor contribute to slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labor and human trafficking.
  • Implement respective control mechanisms in your own supply chain.

Siemens expects its suppliers to only employ workers with a minimum age of 15. This minimum employment age is laid down in several conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO). These conventions regulate internationally valid lower limits. If a higher minimum employment age is valid in the country in which a supplier maintains its business premises, then the supplier must adhere to it. In exceptional cases only, we will accept a minimum age of 14 provided that a statutory minimum age of 14 applies under ILO Convention 138 in the country where the affected supplier maintains its business establishment. For hazardous work according to ILO Convention 182, an age limit of 18 years is essential.

 

 

We expect you as our supplier to

  • Employ no workers under the age of 15 or, in those countries subject to the developing country exception of the ILO Convention 138, employ no workers under the age of 14.
  • Employ no workers under the age of 18 for hazardous work according to ILO Convention 182.

When appointing new employees, you verify their dates of birth and document them in the personnel files. Taking account of stricter country-specific legislation, you do not employ any workers under the age of 15 or – for hazardous work – the age of 18.

Our partners shall promote equal opportunities and treatment of employees during the recruiting process and their employment period, irrespective of skin color, race, nationality, ethnicity, political 

affiliation, social background, disabilities, gender, sexual identity and orientation, marital status, religious conviction, or age.

 

They refuse to tolerate any unacceptable treatment of individuals such as mental cruelty, sexual harassment or discrimination including gestures, language and physical contact, that is sexual, coercive, threatening, abusive or exploitative.

 

We expect from you as our partner the following:

  • You have internal regulations governing respect for applicable employment rights.
  • When hiring employees, and in other personnel-related activities such as training and continuing professional development and advancement, you abide by the principles of equal opportunities and equal treatment, and implement internal regulations created for this purpose. For example, discrimination, including on the basis of race or skin color, is prohibited within your company.
  • You have established internal rules for the fair treatment of others and monitor their observance. Your employees are free to lodge complaints with their superiors without fear of reprisal.

Everyone has the right to fair remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity. Our partners, therefore, must pay appropriate wages and ensure reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. They recognize the legal rights of workers to form or join existing trade unions and to engage in collective bargaining; they neither disadvantage nor prefer members of employee organizations or trade unions. In the event of cross-border personnel deployment, all applicable legal requirements, especially with regard to minimum wages, must be adhered to.

 

We expect you as our partner to: 

  • Recognize the legal rights of workers to form or join existing trade unions and to engage in collective bargaining; neither disadvantage nor prefer members of employee organizations or trade unions.
  • Adhere to all applicable working-hours regulations globally.
  • Pay fair wages for labor and adhere to all applicable wage and compensation laws globally.
  • In the event of cross-border personnel deployment, all applicable legal requirements, especially with regard to minimum wages must be adhered to.

Siemens expects its partners to take responsibility for the health and safety of their employees.

 

Your contribution, as a partner, to actively implementing the Code of Conduct regarding health and safety for employees is to fulfill minimum requirements, depending on the category (see also chapter “Health and safety management system – categorization according to the supplier’s size or type of activities”):

 

There is a clear commitment by management to occupational health and safety.

  • You take measures to prevent accidents on building sites, in plants and in projects.
  • You eliminate unsafe and dangerous conditions immediately.
  • You control hazards and take the best possible precautionary measures against accidents and occupational diseases, which means: assessing hazards and effects of activities, products and services and implementing appropriate measures to eliminate or minimize the risks and their effects as far as possible.
  • You regularly develop minimum requirements further internally and keep your suppliers informed about them.
  • You have a person who is responsible for occupational health and safety matters and who trains and educates your employees.
  • You support your suppliers actively in implementing these standards also. If a supplier repeatedly or seriously breaches these standards, you exclude this supplier from further business transactions.
  • You have an occupational health and safety management system in place in accordance with ISO 45001 or equivalent. Implementing an occupational health and safety management system includes: risk assessment, risk minimization, systematic and complete description of process workflows, identification of requirements and efficient implementation, regular monitoring and assessment. In addition, our partners must adhere actively to the principles of occupational health and safety, both when selecting suppliers and in the conduct of their business relationships.
  • We act with integrity in business, and our behavior complies with our moral principles and values.

We defined stricter “Occupational Health and Safety Standards” for our contractors and made them mandatory in our procurement contracts. Important parts of this standard are the strict supplier selection and intensive training in each case before the contractor starts working on a Siemens site/project.

Health and safety management system – categorization according to the supplier’s size or type of activities

The supplier’s relevance and responsibility in terms of occupational health and safety depends essentially on the type of activities that its employees perform. A distinction is therefore made between suppliers that perform solely administrative/management or advisory functions, e.g. sales- and marketing-related activities (category 1), and those who also manufacture products or in any other way process or rework products (category 2 or 3).

 

Category 1 suppliers are expected to provide evidence of compliance with following occupational health and safety requirements:

  • Availability of safety specialists.
  • Instruction and training for employees.
  • Conducting risk assessments and risk control measures.

 

In addition to the requirements in Category 1, we expect Category 2 suppliers to provide: 

  • Written statement of commitment to occupational health and safety by the company`s management.
  • Written assessment of and plan for compliance with legal requirements.
  • Written emergency plan. 

 

Additionally, Category 3 suppliers have to show evidence of implementation of an occupational health and safety management system.

Employees as well as companies’ stakeholders need the possibility of reporting misconduct – if necessary, anonymously.

We therefore ask our partners to implement a grievance mechanism which can, depending on the size of the company, vary from a complaint box to a sophisticated electronic tool and/or access to an external ombudsperson.

 

A grievance mechanism must ensure anonymous reporting and must guarantee no negative consequences for all those who report a possible misconduct or a reasonable suspicion.

 

Practical actions for implementing a Grievance Mechanism may involve:

  • Nominating a company responsible who is setting up a complaint process.
  • A roadmap for remediation and resolving complaints.
  • Timelines for resolving grievances. Processes to respond to complaints if agreement is not reached or if its impacts are particularly severe.

The compliance hotline “Tell us” is a secure way of reporting potential compliance violations. Reports can be submitted at any time of the day or night, anywhere in the world, in a safe, confidential and if desired, anonymous manner, either online or by telephone, in up to 150 languages. The call center and website are operated by an external provider specializing in the secure and confidential handling of sensitive content. Incoming reports are not traced and reporting parties are not automatically registered. The content of incoming reports is forwarded by the service provider to the Siemens Corporate Compliance Office for clarification. The decision on further actions to be taken is made there. All reports are treated confidentially.

In addition to the compliance hotline “Tell us”, possible compliance violations can also be reported to the Siemens ombudsperson. The attorney Dr. Sibylle von Coelln of the Dusseldorf law firm of HEUKING · VON COELLN Rechtsanwälte has been appointed to serve as an external ombudsperson for the company, in order to give employees a protected reporting channel for possible compliance violations. All our stakeholders can contact this impartial individual on a confidential and anonymous basis if they have observed any improper business practices in the company:

 

Dr. Sibylle von Coelln

Rechtsanwältin

HEUKING ∙ VON COELLN Rechtsanwälte

Prinz-Georg-Straße 104

40479 Düsseldorf

Tel: +49 211 44 03 57 79

siemens-ombudsfrau@hvc-strafrecht.de

 

“Tell us” can be reached via a secure external Internet server.

Environmental Protection

Siemens environmental protection policy is based on global standards for environmental management. Where our products are concerned, we take a holistic approach to environmental protection, ensuring that all products are environmentally compatible during the whole product life cycle, from development through manufacturing and use, to reuse, recycling or disposal. We also expect you, our partners, to make every effort to protect the environment, and to keep the impact your activities have on it as low as possible. Among other things, we expect your environmental management policy to include the efficient use of energy and other resources.

Siemens expects its partners to act in accordance with the applicable statutory and international standards regarding environmental protection in order to minimize adverse environmental impacts and make continual improvements in environmental protection.

We need your contribution, as a partner, to actively support us in implementing the Code of Conduct regarding environmental protection (See also chapter “Environmental management system – categorization according to the supplier’s environmental relevance”):

  • You have a process, or an organization of your own, that ensures compliance with statutory regulations and customer requirements governing operational and product-related environmental protection.
  • All the approvals and/or licenses required for the operation of your sites are documented, implemented and regularly checked.
  • You have a suitable management system (e.g. an ISO 14001-compliant or equivalent system) for environmental protection.
  • You have rules, guidelines, internal standards or similar governing product related environmental protection, for example with regard to product design, restrictions on materials, labeling, information obligations, reuse, recycling, environmentally compatible product use, maintenance and disposal and, where applicable, measures for protection against hazardous substances, and you train your employees accordingly.

Fair Operating Practices

Siemens conducts business responsibly and in compliance with the legal requirements and governmental regulations of the countries in which we operate and expects its partners to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

In order to ensure compliance with laws we expect you to:

  • Set up, implement and maintain a company-wide appropriate compliance program or process which reflects the company’s size and risks.
  • Define binding rules for all employees, including rules governing the offering and acceptance of gifts.
  • Provide your employees with regular training in respect of important compliance issues.
  • Appropriately respond to compliance violations.
  • Impose a contractual obligation on your suppliers to comply with the law, in particular the provisions governing corruption, and monitor adherence to it.
  • Emphasize the responsibility of the executive management for compliance matters.

Siemens does not tolerate any form of corruption in its business dealings anywhere in the world.

This includes Siemens' business dealing through our external partners.

  • Bribery
  • Facilitation Payments
  • Gifts, Hospitality and other Benefits
  • Travel Expenses
  • Sponsorship, Donations, 
  • Contributions and Memberships
  • Involvement of Third Parties

The most common form of corruption is bribery. Bribery is a criminal offense worldwide. Siemens strictly prohibits its partners from any form of bribery, i.e. from directly or indirectly offering, promising, granting or authorizing the giving of money or anything else of value to a government official or to a counterparty in the private sector to influence official action or obtain an improper advantage for Siemens. Any offer, promise, grant or gift made by a partner in connection with Siemens business must comply with applicable laws and must not create the appearance of bad faith or impropriety.

 

Specifically, outgoing payments must be used lawfully. We therefore expect from our partners that they:

  • Use accounts or funds only for legitimate purposes.
  • Make payments only if they are lawful and have legitimate purposes.
  • Make payments only with proper documentation.

Bribery also covers facilitation payments. A facilitation payment is a relatively small amount of money, or the granting of any other benefit, usually to low-ranking public officials, for their personal benefit or to expedite the performance or a routine governmental action. Facilitation payments are prohibited and can be prosecuted.

In many cultures, gifts and invitations to entertainment events are important for developing and deepening business relationships. However, some gifts and invitations may unreasonably influence the recipient’s decision-making or create the appearance of improper influence.

 

Gifts, hospitality and other benefits must always be in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. In any case they must:

  • Be transparent and correctly recorded in the company’s books and records.
  • Be appropriate in terms of type, value, and frequency to the occasion and the position of the recipient.
  • Not be offered, provided, demanded or accepted with the expectation of any type of advantage.
  • Never give the appearance of dishonesty or inappropriateness.

Counterparts, especially public officials, often have their own internal rules that restrict their ability to accept gifts and hospitality. These rules can be very strict and must be followed.

Companies may be required to pay third party travel expenses for certain business transactions. However, excessive reimbursement may inappropriately influence the recipient or at least create the appearance of influence.

 

Therefore, travel expenses must be reasonable and allowable.

There are many legitimate reasons for involving third parties in business relationships. However, the use of third parties to unlawfully or improperly influence public officials or private individuals is prohibited. Therefore, we expect our partners to check relevant third parties at the beginning of their activities and to monitor them during business relationships. To prevent, detect and deter violations of any applicable law, particularly those relating to anti-corruption, Siemens deems it necessary that our partners maintain books, records and accounts which accurately reflect any and all payments made, expenses incurred, and assets disposed of and maintain an internal control system to ensure the proper authorization, recording and reporting of all transactions (see p. 48-53, Information for Third Party Intermediaries).

Siemens conducts business responsibly and in compliance with the legal requirements and governmental regulations of the countries in which we operate. Therefore, Siemens expects its partners to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, in particular in the field of fair competition and antitrust and to respect intellectual property rights of others.

Antitrust law protects free, undistorted, and effective competition for the benefit of customers, companies, and society as a whole. Antitrust laws, amongst others, prohibit agreements and concerted practices between companies that restrict competition. Anticompetitive agreements include bid rigging, price agreements, market, customer, or territory allocations, and project agreements with competitors. Abusing a dominant position is also prohibited. Siemens has a strict policy to act in compliance with antitrust laws and expects its contractual partners to do the same.

 

Inter alia, we expect you to handle confidential information from Siemens and third parties, such as competitors, customers, and sales partners, with care. Furthermore, Siemens expects its partners to respect the intellectual property rights of others, e.g. copyrights, patents and trademarks and trade secrets and to act within the limits of licenses granted (e.g. with respect to software).

 

We expect from you, our partner:

  • To act in accordance with national and international antitrust laws and e.g. not to participate in price fixing, market or customer allocation, market sharing or bid rigging with competitors.
  • To respect trade secrets and the intellectual property rights of others.

Employees should always act in the best interests of their company. Therefore, a conflict of interest exists if the interests of an individual or of his/her close personal relations diverge from those of the company to which the individual belongs.

Conflicts of interest can hinder the success of a company, lead to economic damages and also tarnish the company’s reputation if they become public, for instance, if the conflict of interest leads to uneconomical decisions, if customers go elsewhere because they lose confidence in the integrity of the company or if restricted information is disclosed as a result.

 

Siemens’ partners undertake:

  • To make business decisions in the best interests of the company and not on the basis of personal interests.
  • To anticipate and avoid situations in which the appearance of a conflict of interest may arise.
  • To avoid engaging companies with which personal interests exist if it could personally benefit the partner.
  • To inform Siemens of any personal interest that might exist in connection with the business relationship.
  • To establish measures which prevent conflict of interests.
  • To avoid their employees using their position to offer gifts, invitations or other advantages to Siemens employees or other third parties. This does not apply to occasional gifts of purely symbolic value or meals or entertainment of appropriate value.

The following questions can help an employee to assess whether there is a conflict of interest or an appearance of a conflict

  • Is the decision we make for our company influenced by personal interests?
  •  What impression would the situation leave on third parties, such as customers, business partners, and investors?
  • How would the public react to the business decision?

Money laundering is the disguising of the origin of money or other assets from criminal activities and moving them into the legitimate economy.

In addition to monetary support, terrorism financing may include other assets such as goods or merchandise. Siemens strives to maintain business relationships only with reputable customers, partners, and companies whose business activities comply with legal requirements and whose financial resources are of legitimate origin.

 

How do you, as a partner, actively support us?

  • You support us in identifying relevant shareholder(s), ultimate beneficial owner(s) and legal representative(s), when necessary.
  • You take appropriate, risk-based measures to verify the identity and economic background of your customers, business partners, and other third parties, and the origin of payments to ensure they come from legitimate sources.
  • You follow up on suspicious business relationships, activities, and transactions immediately and report those to law enforcement authorities, when necessary.

Siemens’ partners undertake not to facilitate money laundering or terrorism financing, directly or indirectly

Personal data is information about specific or identifiable natural persons, such as name and address, photos, personnel number, bank data, digital identifiers, or health data.

The protection of personal data plays an important role in our digitized world. The loss or improper use of personal data can have serious consequences for the individuals concerned. It is therefore very important for Siemens to ensure that this data is effectively protected and used only for legitimate purposes.

 

We expect from our partners:

  • To collect and process personal data confidentially, only for legitimate, predetermined purposes, and in a transparent manner.
  • Only process personal data if it is protected against loss, modification, and unauthorized use or disclosure by appropriate technical and organizational measures.
  • Immediately inform our company’s local Data Protection Organization of possible data protection violations in connection with Siemens business

As a globally operating company, Siemens must comply with a wide variety of national and international customs, export control and embargoes regulations that govern and restrict the free movement of goods. Legal and related internal measures are anchored in our Internal Control Program Export Control (ICP EX) as well as our Internal Control Program Customs (ICP CU).

We expect from our partners:

  • To provide us with the applicable product-related export control classification numbers, harmonized system numbers, country of origin and, if asked, for free trade preferential origin.
  • To avoid purchasing products from sanctioned persons, companies or organizations, and in order to be able to continue to jointly employ efficient and secure import and export processes, their support concerning customs-related supply chain security programs and its requirements.

Compliance with these regulations is essential to protect Siemens and our global operations. In the same way, Siemens expects from its partners that the applicable foreign trade regulations are carefully complied with when goods are traded or transported, services are provided, or other technical know-how or software is transferred, including checking regulations on EU and US sanctions lists.