IntroductionAs 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 related business activities. We aim at identifying and assessing adverse impacts as early as possible and mitigating those responsibly.
Material Human Rights TopicsHuman rights due diligence can only be effective if the material topics are known, periodically re-assessed and integrated in a systematic due diligence approach. This is why we turn to our findings from our stakeholder consultations, our periodic dialogues with key stakeholders, such as investors, shareholders, employees, customers and NGOs as well as our findings from grievance channels or sustainability audits.
Human Rights Due DiligenceWe are committed to preventively identify actual and potential adverse human rights impacts, take prevention and mitigation measures, and strive for transparency in reporting results and progress. We are committed to continuously optimize our environmental, social and human rights due diligence, thus responding to rising stakeholder expectations and emerging regulation.
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 Group Code of Conduct for Suppliers and Third-Party Intermediaries. It reinforces the fundamental human rights of our suppliers' employees. Special attention is paid to preventively assess potential risks in areas such as child labor, forced labor, labor and environmental practices.
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.
Also, we have further strengthened our occupational health and safety management with the company-wide Healthy@Siemens and Zero Harm Culture@Siemens programs.
Human Rights Due Diligence in (Customer) Business Activities
We have introduced an optimized environmental, social and human rights due diligence tool (ESG Radar) to support us in identifying and assessing potential adverse impacts and derive mitigation pathways based on the business activities risk profiles and our leverage potential. Over 60 relevant risk indicators in relation to country, sector, counterpart and location risks are getting assessed prior to engaging in contractual agreements with our customers or other counterparts. The tool has been developed in collaboration with external human rights experts.
We have integrated the systematic ESG and human rights review in our overall due diligence process for mergers & acquisitions, where negative impacts and risks are being assessed in a proactive manner. This is also valid for divestments and joint ventures.
Grievance Mechanism and Channels
We help ensure that crucial issues are identified and dealt with at an early stage so that risks to people 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 alleged incidences of violations and implement remedial measures.
Complaints pursuant to §8 LkSG on incoming or potential violations of human rights or environmental in connection with Siemens’ own operations or suppliers of Siemens can be communicated via the already provided reporting channels ‘Tell us’ and/or the Siemens Ombuds person:
Awareness and Capacity BuildingHuman 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. We develop 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
As part of our yearly Sustainability Reporting, 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.