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More Henkel Corporate Reporting 2015
We are aware of and assume our responsibility to respect and support the protection of human rights within our sphere of influence. As long ago as 1994, we declared in our corporate mission that we respect the social values of the countries and cultural spheres in which we operate. We underscored this when we introduced our Code of Conduct in 2000 and when we joined the United Nations Global Compact in 2003.
Our Social Standards, which we introduced in 2006, serve as a framework for decision-making within our sphere of influence, also in relation to human rights and fundamental labor rights. They are derived from the guidelines of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the Social Accountability Standard (SA 8000). Through in-person and eLearning training courses and “local ambassadors,” we ensure that our social standards are firmly anchored. Compliance is verified on a regular basis as part of our Group-wide audit program.
In 2010, we revised our Social Standards. As they should be used for daily guidance, our objective was to make them more precise and thus more easily applicable for our employees. Moreover, we wanted to ensure that they are up-to-date, in view of the further development in international standards.
We use these Standards as a framework for decision-making and constructive engagement within our sphere of influence, while respecting local legal requirements as well as the responsibility of governments to protect and promote human rights. Our Social Standards also apply to our suppliers, who are assessed through our five-step “Responsible Supply Chain Process.” This covers results and risks in regard to human rights as well as key commercial and operating indicators.
Social Standards (PDF)
We provide working conditions for our employees that reflect both our own and globally recognized standards.
The health and safety of our employees and business partners are top priorities for us. We also respect the right to rest and recuperation and offer our employees fair compensation and benefits in keeping with local standards.
Regarding child labor and forced labor, Henkel resolutely follows a clear policy of “zero tolerance.” Nor do we tolerate any form of discrimination.
We respect the rights of employees and freedom of association and are committed to an open and constructive dialog with our employees and their representatives. At locations where there are no representatives, or the employees’ right to elect employee representatives is restricted by law, we ensure an appropriate social dialog between employees and management.
Through presentations, training and eLearning modules, we ensure that our social standards are firmly anchored throughout the company. We place special emphasis on training the managing directors and human resources officers of our companies in each country, so that they can act as “local ambassadors” in raising awareness of the importance of our Social Standards. The Social Standards are made available to all employees, including those at the production level, in the form of bulletins, posters or brochures.
Cooperation and knowledge transfer with our partners throughout the value chain are decisive for the successful implementation of social standards. This is why we engage in international initiatives such as the Global Compact of the United Nations, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, as well as different workshops, expert groups and governmental initiatives. The exchange allows us to learn from others and share our own experience with our partners.
In 2015, we conducted 78 audits around the world. In the course of the audits, a total of 2,127 corrective actions were agreed upon. The main emphases in 2015 was on the following areas: sales and distribution (following the issue of a new corporate standard for this area); finance processes in the shared services; local human resources management; compliance at toll manufacturers and subcontractors; and processes relating to safety, health and environment (SHE).
Compliance with the SHE Standards was audited at 117 sites, resulting in the initiation of 478 optimization measures. Maintenance of our Social Standards and our Diversity & Inclusion Policy was examined in 21 audits. All audit results are included in the Corporate Audit department’s annual report to the Henkel Management Board and the Audit Committee of the Supervisory Board.
The results of the audits provide clear evidence that our social standards are firmly established throughout our organization. It is only in rare cases that we detect gaps at the audited sites, such as incomplete recording of work hours or overtime. In general, we have noted that the documentation and communication of our social standards has been significantly strengthened since these were included in our internal audits. Our experience shows that the core requirements of our Social Standards, such as those relating to the minimum working age and the establishment of employee representation, are now also regulated by local legislation in many regions.
The audit results play a key role in identifying risks and making Henkel’s operations even better, more efficient and safer. Due to the strategic importance of our Social Standards, the audit results are part of the Internal Audit department’s annual report to the Henkel Management Board. We react forcefully to violations of laws, codes and standards. Where necessary, we initiate appropriate disciplinary measures or terminate the business relationship.