Human Rights

A clear commitment to ethical business practices and principles form the basis for responsible business conduct. At Siemens, we respect and promote human rights in our business relations and across the entire value chain.

Introduction

As a global company, we are aware of our social responsibility and are fully committed to respecting human rights along the entire value chain. We regard this as a central element of integrity and responsible corporate governance. Our holistic approach to respecting human rights not only encompasses our own operations, but also takes into account our supply chain and customer business activities. We aim at identifying and assessing adverse impacts as early as possible and mitigating those responsibly.
Human Rights App
  • Collaborative
    Dialogues

  • Awareness and
    Capacity Building

  • Human Rights
    Due Dilligence

  • Human Rights
    Disclosure

  • Material Human
    Rights Topics

  • Human Rights
    Policy and
    Commitments

Commitments and Standards

Human Rights Commitments

Siemens Commitments to International Standards and Guidelines

Human Rights Risk Issues

Material Human Rights Topics

As part of our holistic approach, respecting human rights has a central place at Siemens. We support this commitment every day through responsible business practices throughout our worldwide operations. However, we are confronted with areas of concern resulting from the business sectors and business portfolio we are in, the companies we are directly or indirectly serving, and the global presence we have in nearly 200 countries worldwide. Thus, Siemens takes on a holistic approach to anticipate the resulting environmental and social risks along the entire value chain and integrate them into the risk consideration and business decision making process.

Human Rights Materiality Survey 2021 

We believe it is essential to know the material issues for a well-established due diligence. In fiscal year 2019, we have conducted a first materiality survey with 500 stakeholders, including suppliers, customers, NGOs, think tanks, investors, shareholders, government representatives, and employees online. In fiscal year 2021, we would like to renew the survey and would highly welcome your contribution.

 

The fiscal year 2021 findings of the materiality survey will be published in our next sustainability report end calendar year 2021.

Materiality survey

What do you think should be our material human rights topics?

Human rights survey

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Materiality survey for
human rights

Misuse of data
Unlawful data collection or storage by third parties (violation of privacy)
Health and safety violations
(in our own operations)
Unhealthy working conditions and inadequate work safety in our own operations (e.g. from harmful emissions or work accidents)
Health and safety violations
(in projects or in the supply chain)
Unhealthy working conditions and inadequate work safety on construction sites or in the supply chain (e.g. from harmful emissions or work accidents)
Danger from security personnel
Excessive use of force or abuse from private or state security forces (e.g. in connection with an infrastructure project)
Modern slavery
(in our own operations)
Exploitation of workers – in particular, through short-term contracts – who are victims of human trafficking, forced labor, child labor or sexual exploitation
Modern slavery
(in projects or in the supply chain)
Exploitation of workers – in particular, through short-term contracts – (e.g. by contractual partners or other project participants), who are victims of human trafficking, forced labor, child labor or sexual exploitation
Detrimental impact on the population
(of our own operations)
Damage to local communities in connection with the construction or operation of a site (e.g. impact on children on their way to school from increased heavy-vehicle traffic)
Detrimental impact on communities
(of projects)
Damage to local communities, minorities or indigenous people by the purchase and use of land in the scope of a project (e.g. through resettlement, shortage of arable land) or through impact on religious or cultural heritage
Detrimental impact on the environment
Adverse effects caused by environmental damage in the course of infrastructure projects (e.g. contamination of local waterways) and restrictions on access to drinking water
Product misuse
Infringements caused by improper use of a product or solution for illegal or unethical purposes (e.g. torture)
Unsafe products
Danger to operators of products or to indirectly affected third parties, such as local residents (e.g. through a technical incident at a factory)
Please type 3-30 characters.
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Irresponsible handling of AI or other digital technologies
Irresponsible handling of artificial intelligence, robots and digital technologies which directly or indirectly increases the risk of human rights violations (e.g. the right to work, the right to safety, the right to life, the right to education)
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Violation of basic workers’ rights
(in our own operations)
Adverse impact on employees in our own plants (e.g. through payment below the legally required minimum wage, unpaid overtime or discrimination in the work place)
Please type 3-30 characters.
Special characters aren't allowed despite "-" and "&".
Violation of basic workers’ rights
(in projects or in the supply chain)
Adverse impact on employees of other companies in the course of projects (construction sites) or in the supply chain (e.g. through payment below the legally required minimum wage, unpaid overtime or discrimination in the work place)
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Special characters aren't allowed despite "-" and "&".
Degree of severity
The degree of severity indicates how serious the detrimental impact on human rights may be and how difficult it might be to counteract.
Probability
The probability indicates how high the risk is that Siemens will either cause or be implicated in a violation of human rights.
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Due Diligence

Human Rights Due Diligence

Our stakeholders are increasingly questioning the corporate responsibility of companies along the entire value chain, especially in their customer business activities. To meet with these expectations, we follow an ongoing human rights risk management process. We identify actual and potential human rights impacts, take prevention and mitigation measures, and strive for transparency in reporting results and progress. We ensure that our risk due diligence procedures are continuously improved, and we address human rights impact assessment at an even earlier stage.

Human Rights Due Diligence in the Supply Chain

The maintenance of sustainable supply chains is one of our guiding principles. Siemens expects its to commit to the obligation of the Siemens Code of Conduct for Suppliers and Third-Party Intermediaries. It reinforces the fundamental human rights of our suppliers' employees. Special attention is paid to ensuring respect for the human rights of particularly vulnerable right holders or groups of right holders such as women, children, migrant workers or (indigenous) communities.

Human Rights Due Diligence in Own Operations

Our human rights due diligence is organized through established management systems and processes. Specific attention is given to the prevention of discrimination, sexual harassment or other personal attacks on individuals or groups. In addition, the principles of equal opportunities and equal treatment are embraced regardless of skin color, ethnic or social origin, religion, age, disability, sexual identity, ideology or gender.

In recent years, we have further developed our occupational health and safety management with the company-wide programs Healthy@Siemens and Zero Harm Culture@Siemens.

Human Rights Due Diligence in (Customer) Business Activities

Reinforcing our ESG assessment from 2017, we introduced a new digital risk due diligence tool (ESG Radar) by end of fiscal year 2020 based on the material risk areas mentioned above. The ESG Radar will provide Siemens with even more comprehensive and timely support in identifying and assessing potential environmental and social risks and the associated human rights and reputational risks in customer business decisions. The tool can examine over 60 different risk indicators for individual business activities. Together with external human rights experts, targeted mitigation measures will be implemented in accordance with the risk profile and considering the Siemens reach.

Grievance Mechanism and Channels

By providing grievance mechanisms, we help to ensure that crucial issues are identified and dealt with at an early stage so that operational impacts can be better managed and potential damage can be better prevented. At Siemens, we provide different reporting channels for internal and external whistleblowers to report possible incidents of violations, such as human rights infringements, and implement remedial measures. 

Find out more

 

Siemens Reporting Channels

Training and Skill Building

Awareness and Capacity Building

Human rights capacity building is essential to establish a corporate culture that promotes values, beliefs and attitudes that encourage all individuals to uphold their own rights and those of others. Furthermore, it helps to raise awareness on areas of concern where people’s rights may be put at risk. Based on our existing trainings, we are developing targeted and function specific training concepts with the support of external experts and partners.

Black Lives Matter

Diversity, equity and inclusion is core to our success, and we are committed to advancing racial equality. The Black Lives Matter movement is about open and honest recognition of a painful legacy that continues to impact black Americans and other minorities in unacceptable ways. We believe that black lives matter. Siemens employees from the USA have established the Courageous Conversation Series. This dialogue platform invites employees to share their diversity experiences in a safe environment and to learn from each other.

The more comfortable we become discussing the topic of race, the more we can educate ourselves in ways that expand our worldview. In the workplace, this means we also become more open to new avenues to finding, attracting, and retaining diverse candidates; developing and mentoring employees; and creating a shared sense of belonging. Never underestimate the power we all have to connect with and support each other. Let’s forge new connections. And don’t think it’s ever too late, or there’s ever a wrong time, to have a Courageous Conversation with your team.
Nichelle Grant, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Siemens USA
Human Rights Chapter of Sustainability Information 2020

Human Rights Disclosure

Ensuring respect of human rights across the entire value chain requires continuous determination to raise collective efforts in the area of risk due diligence, capacity building and stakeholder dialogues. We are determined to provide transparency on our progress with regards to our human rights activities. In our Sustainability Report, we provide disclosure on the management and responsibilities regarding human rights issues, our continuous improvement measures, our human rights due diligence approach along the entire value chain, our commitment to human rights and international standards, our grievance mechanisms as well as our global business alliance platforms. Throughout the year, we are in exchange with key stakeholder, such as investors, shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and non-governmental organizations to ensure effective exchange on human rights related topics.

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Networks and Coalitions

Collaborative Dialogues

A regular dialogue with peer groups provides a reliable platform for an in-depth exchange on human rights issues. During the joint dialogues it is vital to discuss both challenges and solutions, address conflicts of objectives and identify opportunities for potential joint actions. We are convinced that we can make faster progress through joint and concerted action than by acting alone.