Code of conduct

Living out values together

Both directly and through its business divisions, Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH (Haniel) conducts its diverse business activities in a wide variety of economic, regulatory, cultural and social environments.

Since it was founded, Haniel's business practices have been characterised by integrity, honesty, fair business conduct and compliance with all applicable laws. Haniel stands for sustainable and socially responsible behaviour regarding the economy, the environment and social issues, and we expect the same of our business partners. Haniel employees support and live by this commitment in their day-to-day work. Our Code of conduct describes the standard by which we judge all our activities. It is the direct responsibility of every individual to "do the right thing". This responsibility cannot be delegated to others. Employees are required to seek counsel whenever they are unsure as to the correct course of action in a given situation.

All business divisions in the Haniel Group are obliged to study the content of this Code of conduct and issue appropriate regulations for their respective organisations. The Code of conduct rests on the principles of the UN Global Compact. We therefore recommend that our business divisions join the UN Global Compact.

Haniel has a fundamental value system based on openness and integrity. All Haniel's business activities are governed by the following basic principles:

  1. In our actions, we obey the law and comply with internal policies and regulations. Haniel respects internationally recognised human rights and supports observance of them.
  2. Business decisions are made exclusively in the interest of Haniel, the Group as a whole or the respective business division. Outside one's employment relationship, personal interests and considerations, especially those of a financial nature, must not play a role at any level of decision-making.

    If employees experience an actual or even merely potential conflict between their business and private interests, they must inform their superiors and seek a solution - if necessary, by consulting the next level of management.
  3. Business decisions at Haniel are based on objective criteria such as a business partner's reliability and integrity, the services offered, achievement of market prices and adequate quality of products and services. Decisions must never be influenced by the prospect or granting of personal or financial benefits.

    Therefore, incorruptibility is the highest precept of our business conduct. As a result, Haniel employees are prohibited from giving monetary gifts or demanding such for themselves under any circumstances. They are also not allowed to accept monetary gifts from business partners or third parties when conducting business.

    This does not mean that they can no longer offer or accept business meals, invitations from business partners or small, non-cash gifts. However, gifts of this nature must fall within normal boundaries. They must not result in expenses that exceed the scope of the respective event or give the impression to others that a business favour is expected from the recipient.

    When in doubt, employees must report to their supervisors that a favour has been given or received. Transparency is the best means of avoiding even the appearance of bribery or corruption.
  4. Treating one another with respect and appropriate treatment of business employees and colleagues are essential parts of Haniel's culture. Any form of discrimination based on personal traits such as gender, age, ethnic background, nationality, social status, political opinions or sexual orientation will not be tolerated.
  5. At Haniel, our fundamental beliefs include the conviction that free and fair competition within the company and on the markets where we do business leads to the best possible allocation of human, financial and economic resources. For that reason, we expressly commit ourselves to the guiding principle of fair competition and observe the regulations of competition law. Haniel takes part neither in unfair arrangements nor in illegal sharing of competition-related information with competitors.
  6. Haniel is committed to safe and fair working conditions. We take responsibility for the health and safety of our employees. This includes allowing our employees to organise under the existing legal framework. We tolerate neither child labour nor forced labour. This standard applies to our business partners as well.
  7. Responsible treatment of the environment and natural resources is a matter of course for Haniel. We use natural resources appropriately and economically to ensure that our activities have the least possible impact on the environment. We promote environmental awareness in our employees and are committed to the dissemination and application of environmentally friendly technologies.
  8. As a responsible member of society, Haniel donates financial and material resources to education, science, art and culture, as well as social and humanitarian projects. Haniel does not make political donations (to politicians, political parties or political organisations). We encourage our staff to undertake volunteer work.
  9. The careful handling of confidential, personal information pertaining to our employees and business partners is a key element of the spirit of trust required to work together. We make sure that personal data are protected against access and illegal use by unauthorised individuals. We ensue that intellectual property belonging to Haniel is safeguarded against attack or loss, and we respect intellectual property belonging to others.

This Code of conduct cannot predict every conceivable legal or moral situation, much less offer answers for them.