Legal and ethical compliance form the basis of our actions. In the interests of completeness, we also include our entire supply chain.
Laws, directives and our own ethical principles are our yardstick for all our business decisions and day-to-day activities. Our employees, customers, business partners and shareholders can rely on this. Being a reliable partner to them is important to us. Violating the law can have severe consequences for the company. This is why we consider crimes such as bribery, corruption, acceptance of benefits, embezzlement, fraud and anti-competitive agreements to be among the possible risk factors. Our compliance management system is designed to prevent these risks while educating and bringing the entire organization on board.
Compliance management system update
The departure of our previous compliance officer prompted us in the reporting year to integrate the topic of compliance into the Legal department and accordingly place it under new management. The reporting line to the Chief Compliance Officer – our CEO – is not affected by this. As part of this process, we have launched a review of the overall concept with the aim of creating an integrated compliance management system. This refinement will include revised guidelines, imposing more stringent requirements, for example on suppliers, and newly defined processes. Like this, we are continuing to demonstrate that we do not tolerate any form of corruption, do not permit discrimination and give top priority to occupational health and safety. We utilize our resources responsibly and engage in fair competition.
Regulations, monitoring and reporting systems
The compliance officer appointed by the Board of Management develops the compliance strategy further in consultation with the Chief Compliance Officer and reports to him regularly. This also implies an ongoing review of the effectiveness of the system. The compliance officer also informs the Supervisory Board once a year about all relevant issues, processes and incidents. As a first neutral point of contact, the compliance officer supports employees with their questions, receives complaints or tips or offers advice in the case of legal violations. An externally appointed ombudsman also offers both employees and third parties the possibility of anonymously reporting compliance violations as a second point of contact. Supplementing these mechanisms, our Internal Audit department regularly checks for compliance violations.
The Board of Management and Supervisory Board have a responsibility to lead by example and are tasked with ensuring that the employees they supervise are informed about the rules and adhere to them. Employees, in turn, have an obligation to point out grievances or suspected violations of the law. To prevent corruption, it is crucial to make employees aware of the inherent risks of corruption and to address the issue openly. For their own protection as well as that of the company, the dual control principle is to be applied in all legally relevant business processes.