This Code of Conduct for Business Partners applies to all companies of the Martin Braun-Gruppe in Germany and abroad.
The Martin Braun-Gruppe respects applicable laws and expects the same from its employees and business partners around the world. In particular, the Martin Braun-Gruppe expects its business partners to comply with all relevant laws and regulations as well as the requirements and standards set out in this code of conduct. This applies regardless of whether they are domestic, foreign or supranational laws, regulations, conventions, sanctions or embargoes; or other regulations or legal acts (hereinafter referred to as ‘laws’) insofar as they are relevant in the specific individual case. It is also prohibited to induce third parties to engage in illegal activities or to cooperate in such activities. It must also be recognised that legal and social norms change over time. Business partners should therefore continuously review their behaviours and adapt them to current requirements.
I. Environmental responsibility
The Martin Braun-Gruppe strives to use environmental resources as sparingly as possible, to avoid hazards to people and the environment; and to continuously improve all procedures and processes with the aim of further reducing environmental pollution. In order to achieve these aims, the Martin Braun-Gruppe expects its business partners to also meet their environmental responsibility in accordance with the objectives set out in this section.
1. Contribution to environmental and climate protection
The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must commit to contributing to environmental and climate protection and to acting with foresight in all business activities in relation to their impacts on the environment and climate. They must comply with all applicable national and international environmental laws and regulations and hold all necessary permits and/or licences.
2. Reduction of resource and energy consumption
The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must ensure that resource and energy consumption is minimised during production. This can be achieved through the use of suitable processes and measures in the production and operational processes, e.g. conservation, recycling processes or the use of alternative materials. Measures should also be put in place to ensure the efficient and environmentally friendly use of resources and make a positive impact on biodiversity, climate change and resource scarcity.
3. Protection of quality of life
The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must ensure that the manufacturing of the products supplied to the Martin Braun-Gruppe does not cause any harmful soil changes, water pollution, air pollution, harmful noise emissions or excessive water consumption, impair the quality of life, negatively impact food production, prevent access to proper drinking water, prevent access to sanitary facilities or damage health.
4. Environmentally conscious waste management and emission treatment
The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must ensure that the products supplied to the Martin Braun-Gruppe are treated, collected, stored and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner that complies with the applicable legal regulations at all times. Waste and emissions arising from it (air, noise and greenhouse gas emissions) that have a negative impact on humans or the environment must be disposed of, controlled or released into the environment only after treatment and in accordance with applicable legislation.
5. No use of specific chemicals
The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must not supply any products containing persistent organic pollutants as defined in Article 3(1)(a) and Annex A of the Stockholm Convention of 23 May 2001.
6. No use of mercury
The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must ensure that the products supplied by them to the Martin Braun-Gruppe are not manufactured with mercury or mercury compounds and that any mercury waste is handled properly.
II. Social responsibility
The Martin Braun-Gruppe expects its business partners to respect internationally recognised human rights and all human rights applicable at the relevant place of employment in compliance with the applicable laws. The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must work to ensure that at least these standards are adhered to by their own business partners, too. In order to achieve these aims, the Martin Braun-Gruppe expects its business partners to meet their social responsibility in accordance with the objectives set out in this section.
1. Contribution to health and safety at work
It is the duty of all business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe to avoid risks to people and the environment. Processes, facilities and equipment must comply with the applicable statutory and internal occupational safety regulations as well as health, fire and environmental protection provisions. Health, workplace safety and humane working conditions are important elements of corporate policy.
In addition, business partners must in particular ensure that:
• their employees have been instructed on general safety provisions, emergency measures and safe machine operation;
• a safe working environment is created and measures are otherwise taken to reduce work-related hazards;
• the necessary protective equipment is provided and the use thereof explained.
2. Compliance with working time regulations
The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must ensure that they adhere to the maximum permissible working hours in accordance with the applicable national legislation and the collective agreements within the framework of the ILO.
3. Avoidance of child labour
Business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must not utilise child labour at any stage of the service provision process. Business partners are requested to comply with the recommendations on the minimum age for the employment of children set out in the relevant ILO conventions and the fifth principle of the Global Compact. Accordingly, employment is only permissible if the employee’s age is not lower than the age at which compulsory education ends under the law of the place of employment or if the employment is permissible under Principle 5 of the Global Compact.
4. Prohibition of forced labour
Business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must not use forced labour, slave labour, serf labour, involuntary prison labour or other forms of forced labour. All work must be voluntary and employees must be able to terminate their employment at any time. There must be no unacceptable treatment of workers through psychological hardship, sexual harassment or personal harassment. A surrender of ID cards, passports or other documents or payment of a fee to the employer prior to the commencement of work must not be enforced under any circumstances.
Furthermore, any form of slavery, modern slavery or other forms of domination and oppression through financial or sexual exploitation or degradation is incompatible with the ethical principles of the Martin Braun-Gruppe.
The Martin Braun-Gruppe therefore expects all its business partners and all their business partners to take action against all forms of slavery and combat them.
5. Prevention of discrimination
The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must commit to prohibiting all forms of discrimination and to take decisive action against it. In particular, they must ensure within their sphere of influence that there is no discrimination based on skin colour, gender, age, nationality, political or religious belief, social or ethnic origin, disability or sexual orientation.
6. Ensuring of appropriate remuneration
The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must pay their employees a living wage in accordance with the work income regulations applicable at the place of employment. The remuneration must at least correspond to the statutory minimum wage applicable at the place of employment and must be customary in the industry.
7. Guaranteeing of freedom of association
The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must respect their employees’ right to freedom of association and respect all national and international laws applicable at their place of employment, such as the right to strike and the right to collective bargaining. Open and direct discussions with employees are encouraged in order to find solutions to potential problems.
8. Avoidance of unauthorised engagements of security forces
The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must not engage private or public security forces to protect the company if their engagement violates applicable human rights, freedoms or labour rights.
9. Avoidance of unlawful forced eviction
The business partners of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must reject any form of unlawful forced eviction and expropriation for the acquisition, development or other use of land, forests or water.
III. Ethical business conduct
1. Protection of business secrets
Business partners receive confidential information from the Martin Braun-Gruppe for negotiations, quotations and the subsequent execution of contracts. For this reason, business partners are obliged to maintain secrecy regarding all company and business secrets of the Martin Braun-Gruppe as well as other confidential internal matters of the Martin Braun-Gruppe. Information is deemed confidential when it is marked as confidential or can be assumed to be not publicly known or intended for public disclosure, for example because it is useful for competitors or could harm the Martin Braun-Gruppe or other business partners if disclosed. The duty of confidentiality applies during the term of the contractual relationship as well as after its termination. Confidential information must be protected from unauthorised access by third parties; within their company, business partners must ensure that confidential information may only be disclosed to employees who require it to perform their duties and are subject to a corresponding duty of confidentiality.
2. No violations of anti-corruption laws
Due to international conventions to combat corruption of public officials, of public administration employees and in business transactions, there are similarly strict rules that apply around the world, which means that corruption committed abroad (bribery and obtaining benefits) is also punishable under domestic law. Business partners must observe this accordingly. Business partners must therefore also observe that employees of the Martin Braun-Gruppe must not demand or accept unauthorised personal benefits from business partners in connection with their business activities, which means that business partners must not offer them either. Only low-value promotional gifts that are generally accepted are permitted for business use. Invitations (to business meals or similar) that have a business purpose, are within reasonable limits and are not capable of influencing business decisions in a dishonest manner are permissible subject to the applicable record-keeping obligations under anti-corruption laws.
3. Separation of private and corporate interests
The employees of the Martin Braun-Gruppe are obliged to make their business decisions in the best interests of the Martin Braun-Gruppe and not under the influence of personal interests. Business partners must therefore not affect or influence the personal interests of an employee of the Martin Braun-Gruppe or a person close to him or her. When deciding on a business relationship, the Martin Braun-Gruppe applies only objective criteria. Business partners are selected on the basis of appropriate and objective criteria, in particular price, quality and the existence of quality management, reliability, technological standards, product suitability and the existence of a long-term and conflict-free business relationship as well as on the basis of compliance with environmental and human rights. Under no circumstances are personal relationships or interests allowed to influence the conclusion of a contract. Business partners must disclose existing and potential conflicts of interest in writing.
IV. Indications and reporting of violations
If a business partner becomes aware of violations of these conduct principles through its own actions or through the actions of its employees, suppliers, competitors or employees of the Martin Braun-Gruppe, the Martin Braun-Gruppe expects to be informed immediately. Business partners and all affected parties have the option of reporting any violations to their point of contact at the Martin Braun-Gruppe, to their supervisor, to the Compliance Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via the digital whistleblower system. If business partners believe that they will be adversely affected by such reporting, they can request an initial confidential investigation of the possible violation when making the report to the Compliance Officer or through the whistleblower system.