Alongside legal requirements, our codes and standards provide a basis for decision-making and engagement within our sphere of influence worldwide. In this context, we adhere to international labor standards as a minimum, and local statutes where these are more exacting. Our codes and standards also reflect our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Conventions of the International Labour Organization and the UN Global Compact, as well as the expectations set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Our codes and standards cover a wide range of topics including working hours, occupational health and safety, data protection, non-discrimination, fair working conditions, freedom of association and collective bargaining, and zero tolerance of child and forced labor. We have formulated the codes and standards according to the expectations relevant to our specific business. We revise the documents on a regular basis to conduct our business in a way that reflects our commitment to support and respect internationally proclaimed human rights. Internally, we promote awareness of our obligation to respect human rights by integrating relevant content into eLearning courses and training sessions attended by our employees. We are in constant dialogue with external stakeholders on human rights issues and actively participate in industry initiatives.
The UN Guiding Principles were adopted in 2011 and, through their “Protect, Respect, Remedy” framework, contribute to clarity regarding the different roles that states and companies play in relation to human rights. Companies are expected to respect human rights, comply with national legislation, and establish reporting channels and provide access to remedy in the event of human rights violations. These guiding principles include key elements such as principles and policies, risk analysis, effective measures, and reporting and complaints mechanisms, which we have incorporated into our approach to respecting human rights. In addition, the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct acts as a benchmark for our approach, which we continuously review and develop as necessary.
At Henkel, we engage with our suppliers to drive sustainable practice and promote respect for human rights along the value chain. For example, we work with partners from across the chemical industry through our membership of Together for Sustainability (TfS), the chemical industry initiative for sustainable supply chains. Henkel joined forces with five other companies in the chemical industry to found this initiative in 2011, with the aim of harmonizing supply chain management processes with regard to environmental and social topics – and generating synergies across the chemical industry. At the heart of the audits and online assessments of the TfS initiative is the core idea: “An audit for one is an audit for all!”. Suppliers only have to go through one assessment or one audit, and the results are made available for all TfS members through a shared online platform.
You can find more information about Together for Sustainability in our Sustainability Report.