Sustainability policy for suppliers

The Zeller+Gmelin Group understands sustainability as a voluntary commitment and a core element of success- and value-oriented corporate management. The scarcity of resources and responsibility towards future generations are in particular focus.

In all our activities, we protect our employees, our equipment and the environment from harmful influences, preserve natural resources and promote environmental awareness. In doing so, we aim to simultaneously promote economic and social well-being in the countries and communities in which we do business.

The Zeller+Gmelin Group is committed to the principles of responsible and lawful conduct and asks its suppliers to also respect the following principles, to take them into account in their corporate policy and to pass them on in their own supply chain.

The following policy represents the minimum requirements for all suppliers regarding the sustainability policy. They are based on fundamental principles of economic, ecological and social responsibility.

Corporate ethics and compliance

Binding obligations such as applicable legislation at local, national and international level must be complied with at all times. ZG expects its suppliers to comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding corruption, bribery, fraud and prohibited business practices.

Combating bribery:

The supplier shall ensure that its employees and subcontractors do not offer, promise or grant any advantages to ZG employees which are intended to obtain a contract or other preferential treatment in business transactions. Invitations and gifts to ZG employees or their closely related persons are only granted if they are of insignificant financial value and comply with customary business practices. Similarly, the supplier shall not demand unreasonable benefits from ZG employees.

Fair competition:

ZG expects its supplier to behave fairly in competition and to comply with applicable antitrust laws. The supplier shall neither participate in agreements with competitors in violation of antitrust law nor abuse a possibly existing dominant market position.

Money laundering:

The supplier shall not engage in money laundering activities and shall comply with the relevant legal obligations for the prevention of money laundering.

Intellectual Property / Plagiarism / Export Controls and Economic Sanctions:

Fair competition includes the fight against plagiarism. The supplier shall handle business correspondence in a trustworthy manner. Confidential information, any kind of data worthy of protection, as well as the intellectual property rights of ZG shall be properly secured in accordance with the respective legal requirements. Relevant goods shall be reported for export control at the appropriate place and economic sanctions shall be complied with.

Protection of whistleblowers / Whistleblowing:

Employees and business partners are encouraged to report violations of law or misconduct in accordance with this Code of Conduct. ZG shall guarantee whistleblowers anonymity and protection against dismissal and shall do everything in its power to keep other disadvantages away from whistleblowers. Anyone who attempts to retaliate against the whistleblower shall be subject to the most severe disciplinary action.

Social and working conditions:

ZG expects its suppliers to recognize and commit to respect the fundamental rights of their workers and to treat workers with dignity and respect, as understood by the international community. Suppliers shall comply with the following provisions in particular:

Free choice of employment: All employment is on a voluntary basis. Forced labor, forced prison labor, forced labor conscription or human trafficking are strictly prohibited.

No child labor: The use of child labor is strictly prohibited in accordance with the provisions of the ILO, the United Nations Convention and/or national laws. Of these various laws, the one that imposes the most stringent requirements shall be applied in each case.

Compensation and benefits: All applicable laws, regulations and industry standards on compensation and benefits shall be complied with. Deductions from benefits as a disciplinary action are not permitted. Similarly, benefit deductions that are not provided for by national law are not permitted without the express consent of the employee concerned.

Working hours: All applicable laws, regulations and industry standards on working hours shall be complied with. Overtime must be on a voluntary basis.

No discrimination: Supplier shall comply with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, physical condition, sexual orientation, medical condition, political affiliation, gender, age, appearance or association membership, potential parenthood, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Freedom of association and right to collective bargaining: The supplier recognizes the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining within the scope permitted by law.

Health and safety: The supplier shall provide safe and healthful workplaces for its workers in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and industry standards. Harassment in the workplace shall not be tolerated.

Working conditions: The supplier must provide its employees with adequate working facilities. At a minimum, access to potable water and sanitation must be provided and care must be taken to ensure fire safety, access to emergency medical care, adequate lighting and ventilation.

Diversity, equality and inclusion: are integral parts of our culture. We enable our employees to contribute their personalities to help shape cultural movements and moments for ourselves, our customers and society. We consider diversity, equality and inclusion not only morally right, but also critical to our growth and success. We believe that with a team made up of employees from all demographics and with different backgrounds and experiences, we can develop more meaningful campaigns. We want to actively learn from each other, celebrate different perspectives and ensure that everyone is able to realize their personal potential and develop freely.

Rights of minorities and indigenous peoples: In the supplier's company, all employees are equal in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements. The protection of minorities and indigenous peoples, among others, is a point of cooperation with its customers and suppliers.

Land, forest and water rights and eviction: The supplier is required to avoid forced evictions as well as the deprivation of land, forests and waters when acquiring, developing or otherwise using land, forests and waters. It is expected that all relevant national and international legal and regulatory requirements in this regard are complied with and implemented.

Use of private or public security forces: During the deployment of private or public security forces to protect the company, it must be ensured that those affected are protected from extensive violence, torture and the violation of the freedom of association and the right to organize. The compliance of the security forces with internationally recognized human rights must be ensured.

Environmental sustainability / Environmental policy:

ZG expects its suppliers to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, as well as internationally recognized standards for the protection of the environment.

Environmental permits: The supplier shall ensure that all required environmental permits and approvals are obtained, kept up to date and followed in order to act in compliance with the law at all times.

Resource consumption, avoidance of environmental pollution and waste minimization: The supplier undertakes to optimize the consumption of natural resources, including energy and water. Sound measures are taken to prevent pollution and minimize the generation of waste, wastewater and air emissions. Wastewater and waste shall be appropriately labeled and treated prior to discharge or disposal in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Hazardous substances and product safety: The supplier undertakes to label hazardous materials, chemicals and substances and to ensure safe handling, movement, storage, recycling, reuse and disposal. All applicable laws and regulations regarding hazardous materials, chemicals and substances must be strictly followed. Substance restrictions and product safety requirements stipulated by applicable laws and regulations shall be complied with on a mandatory basis.

Animal protection: Suppliers shall pay attention to animal welfare and provide humane treatment in accordance with the five freedoms of animals formulated by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE):

Freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition;

Freedom from fear and distress; freedom from physical and thermal discomfort; freedom from pain, injury, and illness; and freedom to exhibit normal patterns of behavior.

Soil quality: Suppliers must also protect ecosystems and, in particular, areas important for biodiversity that are affected by their operations and avoid illegal logging in accordance with international biodiversity regulations, including the IUCN biodiversity resolutions and recommendations. The suppliers must routinely monitor and control their impact on soil quality to prevent soil erosion, nutrient depletion, soil subsidence, and contamination.

Noise emissions: General emissions from operational activities (air and noise emissions) and greenhouse gas emissions shall be standardized, routinely monitored, verified, and treated as needed prior to release. The supplier shall also be responsible for monitoring its emission control systems and shall be required to find economical solutions to minimize any emissions.

Environmental protection Climate neutrality

They ensure that products and processes make efficient use of energy and resources and comply with applicable environmental standards.

Suppliers shall make particular efforts as regards:

  • Reduction of energy and water consumption
  • Reduction of greenhouse gases / compliance with the climate targets of the Paris Agreement / EU / German government
  • Increased use of renewable energy
  • Suitable recycling / disposal concepts

For editing the Code, ZG shall periodically review it and make changes where necessary and appropriate. Important changes shall always be communicated to the suppliers.

Eislingen, 03.04.2023 / 03

Michael Halmel (Head of Purchasing)

Gülen Ak (Head of Management, Sustainability and Compliance)