Introduction

Human rights and sustainable value creation

Siemens adds value to society in nearly every country in the world through our products and solutions, sustainable and responsible business practices, thought leadership and strategic partnership activities, and targeted community initiatives. Our activities directly and indirectly affect huge numbers of people. We are aware of the responsibilities resulting from this global impact and fully accept our responsibility to ensure respect for human rights in our activities worldwide. For us, this is a core element of responsible business conduct and therefore an integral part of our “Business to Society” concept. 

Our basic attitude

"We respect the personal dignity, privacy, and personal rights of every individual. We work together with individuals of various ethnic backgrounds, cultures, religions, ages, disabilities, races, sexual identity, world view and gender."

This principle is firmly anchored in our Business Conduct Guidelines. They set forth the fundamental principles and rules governing the way we act within our company and in relation to our partners and the general public.

Policies and Commitments

Conventions and recommendations recognized worldwide

In addition to local laws and statutory requirements in individual countries, there are several important conventions and recommendations issued by international organizations. They are primarily directed toward member states rather than individual companies. Nonetheless, they also serve as guiding principles for global companies as well as for the behavior of their employees. Siemens endorses the stipulations contained in these conventions and recommendations. Their basic principles are reflected in our Business Conduct Guidelines.

The principles of the United Nations

Siemens has been a participant of the Global Compact since 2003, and regards the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact, as well as the rules laid down in the framework agreement of the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF), as binding for the entire company. Otherwise, the company’s internal arbitration arrangements apply. Furthermore, Siemens is committed to implementing the UN Guiding Principles as the global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse human rights impacts linked to the company’s business activities within our value chain. 

Siemens therefore expects its employees, suppliers and business partners worldwide to recognize and apply the following guidelines:

Responsibility

Our guidelines and principles

Building on our Business Conduct Guidelines, we have defined the respect of human rights in additional guidelines and principles. Our focus is on fundamental employee rights, the code of conduct for our suppliers and third-party intermediaries, and the handling of conflict minerals in our supply chain.
Main topics

In which areas do human rights play a role?

Within our company and in cooperation with our business counter parts and other external stakeholders, we support and promote the respect of human rights with a wide range of preventive measures. Check out some examples of the work we do:

Work safety

Occupational safety is a top priority at Siemens, as is compliance.

Compliance- Ensuring responsible business practices

Siemens will not tolerate any violations of applicable law – and if it does happen, we will take strong action.

Sustainability in the Supply Chain

Integrity is the foundation of responsible and entrepreneurial behavior. It forms the heart and the basis of sustainable work.

Focus topics

Human rights due diligence

In the context of large infrastructure projects, it becomes apparent that human rights such as right to adequate standard of living, right to life, right to self-determination, right to freedom of expression are human rights potentially at risk for indigenous and vulnerable communities. Therefore, Siemens has derived human rights related focus topics, such as community impacts, labour practices and modern slavery in project business on the basis of a human rights risk mapping exercise which we have conducted with internal and external stakeholders.
Controversial projects

Siemens holding statements

Companies that are involved in big infrastructure projects run the risk of being criticized for their participation in projects that are facing allegations with respect to human rights violations. For the purpose of transparency we comment on the allegations we are facing.
Collaborations

Collaborative Dialogues

Human rights issues can be challenging to identify and complex to prevent or mitigate. Open and constructive dialogs with peer-group companies help us discuss progress, challenges and solutions and identify potential for joint action. We believe this will enable us to go faster than we could go alone. In this context, we have joined the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) and the European Business and Human Rights Peer Learning Group of the Global Compact Network to collaboratively discuss pathways to advance human rights in a business context through cross-industry peer learning, outreach and capacity building.