CODE OF CONDUCT

CODE OF CONDUCT

Code of Conduct

Introduction

Our business aims at social and environmental sustainability not only for our own operations but also with respect to our partners, as well as across the wider supply chain. We live up to certain standards and seek continuous improvement for ourselves and the environment. The approach of responsible, respectful and thoughtful behavior applies also to our partners. The aware_ Partner Code of Conduct (aware_CoC) outlines the basic principles governing the cooperation with our partners.

Products

The products we create within aware_ or in cooperation with our partners shall contribute to the wealth of our planet, its resources and living organisms to ensure a safe and sound habitat. Products shall be designed to meet the complexity of our planet’s interconnected ecosystems and diversity. They shall favor the long-term gain over short-term profit and consider the entire life cycle. Please read our aware_ Charta for further information. 

People

We represent a diverse and respectful community in which any form of discrimination is not accepted. In particular, no person shall be disadvantaged on the grounds of their age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, ethnic background, race, skin color, religion or ideology, political persuasion, social background or marital status. We operate on the basis of fair treatment.

It shall be ensured that no rough or cruel treatment occurs in the workplace. This particularly includes sexual harassment, corporal punishment, mental and physical coercion and the verbal abuse of employees. No such conduct may be threatened against employees either.

We take for granted that our partners comply with all applicable laws, requirements and industry standards relating to appropriate wages and working hours.

Wages and other benefits must, at the very least, comply with legal requirements and the standards applicable to the local production industry. They must be clearly defined and paid and/or provided at regular intervals. The aim is to pay wages and other benefits that will cover the cost of living to the extent that the statutory minimum wage is insufficient in this regard. Any deductions for non-cash benefits shall only be permitted provided they are limited in scope and reasonable compared to the value of the non-cash benefit. The business partner shall pay the social security contributions required by law and the benefits to which employees are entitled under national law (e.g., insurance benefits, overtime pay and paid leave).

We respect the working hours defined by local law. 

Official public holidays shall be observed. In addition, employees may not be regularly asked to work more than 48 hours per week and, including overtime, more than 60 hours per week. Overtime must be performed voluntarily and must be remunerated separately in accordance with national law or with compensatory time. Every employee is entitled to at least one day off after six consecutive workdays. Our partners are committed to the right to freedom of association. Employees have the right to hold meetings in accordance with applicable laws and to establish or join unions and representative bodies. Employees also have the right to engage in collective bargaining in order to resolve workplace and wage issues. Under no circumstances may the exercise of such rights be met with threats of reprisal. 

Our partners ensure a safe working environment.

Workplaces and work equipment must comply with applicable laws and requirements. Any violations of human rights in the workplace and in operational facilities shall be prohibited. In particular, fire safety and emergency care standards must also be complied with. 

Disciplinary action shall be in accordance with national law and internationally recognized human rights. 

No unreasonable disciplinary action may be taken, particularly including withholding pay, social security contributions or documents (e.g., identification cards) or placing a ban on leaving the workplace. The business partner shall also respect its employees’ right of termination.

Our partners strongly reject child labour from direct and indirect supply chains and comply with requirements relating to the protection of minors. The minimum employment age may not be lower than the legal school leaving age. Under no circumstances may employees be younger than 15 years of age, or 14 years of age if permitted under national law pursuant to ILO Convention 138.

Planet

Our partners are committed to protect the environment and comply with applicable environmental laws and regulations, as amended from time to time. 

The business partner’s operations shall meet waste regulations, emission control and water protection standards and requirements. The business partner shall comply with all regulations relating to hazardous substances. This particularly concerns the storage, handling and disposal of hazardous substances. 

Environmental harm shall be avoided to the extent reasonably possible. Protection of the environment, climate and promoting biodiversity is an ongoing process which can only be met by consistently improving the level of protection, achieved by permanently reducing the consumption of resources, level of pollution and emissions and reducing waste.

Supply Chain

The Guidelines outlined above are applicable to the direct operations of our business partners and their supply chains. As sustainability is a complex field we need to incorporate the complexity of our economic system and we need to be aware of our direct and indirect impact.

In event of any breach of the guidelines provided in this Code of Conduct, our partners may be given a reasonable period within which to remedy the breach or, if this is not possible due to the nature of the breach, may be issued with a notice of breach. If a partner fails to remedy the breach within the set period or repeatedly breaches the Code of Conduct, the agreement may be terminated without notice. In the case of repeated or serious breaches, the agreement may be terminated without notice, without setting a grace period or issuing a notice of breach. Further rights, particularly any potential claim for damages, shall remain unaffected. furthermore comply with all professional standards applicable in the industry in which it operates.

Bribery and any other forms of corruption are prohibited. The business partner shall furthermore comply with all professional standards applicable in the industry in which it operates.

Appendix

The principles outlined in this aware_CoC act as minimum standards for our business relationships. The Code is based on the following international guidelines and principles:

  • aware_ Charta
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • United Nations Global Compact {UNGC)
  • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
  • OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
  • Paris Climate Agreement 

In addition to the principles contained in this Code of Conduct, national and other relevant laws and requirements applicable in the countries in which business is conducted must be complied with. Whatever applicable rules or regulations are best suited to achieve the protective purpose, those shall always be controlling.

The standards set within this Code of Conduct shall be implemented and monitored by appropriate company procedures.

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