Sustainability performance report
8. Human rights (HR)
DMA-HR Management Approach to Human Rights
In terms of information and creation of awareness as well as controlling, human rights questions related to the business activities of the Geberit Group are primarily the responsibility of Corporate Human Resources for internal topics (see the aspects of equal treatment, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining) and of Corporate Purchasing regarding suppliers with respect to the aspect of procurement practices.
The → Geberit Code of Conduct is authoritative in the field of human rights, which means, among other things, the exclusion of child labor and forced labor. Compliance with the Code of Conduct is monitored as part of a binding annual survey of all Geberit Group companies.
Long-term cooperation, reciprocal commitment, sustainability and social responsibility are important guidelines for Geberit. These acquire particular importance in the procurement of raw materials, semi-finished products, finished products and services. Consequently, Geberit’s high standards with respect to environmental protection, safe working conditions and fair business practices are also expected from the suppliers. The → Code of Conduct for Suppliers is applicable for all Geberit suppliers worldwide. Verification is the responsibility of Corporate Purchasing.
With respect to measures and objectives regarding the Code of Conduct and Procurement, see also → www.geberit.com > Sustainability > Sustainability strategy.
HR1 Human rights aspects in investment agreements
There are no significant investment agreements which include human rights clauses or which have been audited in terms of human rights aspects. Agreements with suppliers include human rights clauses which must be audited and maintained by Geberit suppliers, see → HR2.
HR2 Screening of suppliers with regard to human rights aspects
With respect to human-rights violations, the greatest risk for Geberit lies with suppliers, who can be influenced only indirectly. Geberit does all it can to minimize this risk and requires that business partners and suppliers comply with comprehensive standards, above all with respect to consistent environmental protection, socially responsible working conditions and fair business practices. At the end of 2007, a → Code of Conduct for Suppliers was introduced for the first time, which is aligned with, among other things, the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. Upon request by Geberit, the supplier must prepare corresponding records in order to demonstrate adherence to the standards of the Code, and must make these available at any time. Should the supplier fail to comply with the regulations laid down in this Code, corrective measures must be taken. Any such failure to comply on the part of the supplier will be regarded as a serious violation of the contractual agreements. If the supplier does not correct this non-compliance, Geberit shall terminate the cooperation.
As of the end of 2011, 603 suppliers (prior year: 563) had signed the Code of Conduct. This equates to 93% of the total procurement value (prior year 90%), only slightly below the 2011 target of 95%. Among the top 200 suppliers, the proportion of companies that have signed is 99% (prior year: 98%). The Code of Conduct is binding for each new supplier.
Geberit has continuously expanded risk management in procurement in recent years. The Purchasing Excellence project PUREX begun in 2009 is targeted at the continuous restructuring and optimization of procurement throughout the Geberit Group. As a rule, the selection of new suppliers includes a quality audit. In the year under review, the planning system for the performance of systematic audits underwent further development. Existing suppliers are assigned to a sustainability risk category depending on production country and type of production process. This is the basis for the annual audit planning. No human rights violations became known in 2011. For further information, see → Business Report > Business and financial review > Logistics and procurement > Forward-looking procurement policy.
HR3 Human rights training for employees
In 2008, more than 98% of all employees received training on the topics contained in the → Geberit Code of Conduct. Since 2009, all new employees receive training in the Code as part of their job orientation. All employees have access to the Code of Conduct via the intranet. For additional details, see → SO3.
This information covers the requirements of the GRI indicator partially.
HR4 Cases of discrimination
The Code of Conduct forbids discrimination as defined in the ILO core labor standards. Compliance with the Code is verified annually as part of a binding Group-wide survey. No cases of discrimination were discovered in 2011.
HR5 Guarantee of freedom of association and collective bargaining
Employees are completely free to join labor unions, associations and similar organizations. No rights with respect to exercising freedom of assembly or collective bargaining as defined in the ILO core labor standards are subject to restriction at the Geberit Group. This is verified annually as part of a binding Group-wide survey. No restrictions were in effect in 2011.
HR6 Risk of and precautionary measures against child labor
Geberit's exposure with respect to child labor is considered low because of its industry and the countries in which business activities are carried out as well as its high quality requirements. Geberit commits itself to the protection of human rights in its Code of Conduct. Child labor is categorically rejected. According to the annual, binding Group-wide survey, no cases of child labor were discovered in 2011. Nor were any cases revealed during the course of the audits performed among the suppliers. The basic principles established in the Code of Conduct for Suppliers expressly include compliance with the ILO core labor standards for the exclusion of child labor.
HR7 Risk of and precautionary measures against forced labor
Geberit's exposure with respect to forced labor is considered low because of its industry and the countries in which business activities are carried out as well as its high quality requirements. Geberit commits itself to the protection of human rights in its Code of Conduct. Forced labor is categorically rejected. According to the annual, binding Group-wide survey, no cases of forced labor were discovered in 2011. Nor were any cases revealed during the course of the audits performed among the suppliers. The basic principles established in the Code of Conduct for Suppliers expressly include compliance with the ILO core labor standards for the exclusion of forced labor.
HR8 Human rights training for security personnel
At its production sites in Europe, the USA and China, Geberit is not confronted by the need for special security measures that increase the risk of human rights violations. To date, this problem has therefore not been relevant to Geberit in the scope of its global activities.
HR9 Violation of rights of indigenous peoples
To date, this problem has not been relevant to Geberit in the scope of its global activities.