Code of Conduct for Business Practices and Ethics
Our Code of Conduct guides our day-to-day activities and clarifies the values and principles that form the basis of our corporate culture. As a global company, we recognise our responsibilities to our customers, employees, business partners and society as a whole. As a result, social and environmental sustainability is of great importance in the way we work with our business partners and throughout our supply chain. The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to ensure that we always act ethically, with integrity and responsibility to achieve our business objectives and to earn and maintain the trust of all our stakeholders.
The KISTERS Code of Conduct is based on international guidelines and principles:
- the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN UDHR)
- the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact
- the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP)
- the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
- the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions on labour and social standards
- the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC)
- the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (UN-CEDAW)
This Code of Conduct applies to all employees of the KISTERS Group: to members of the Management Board and Supervisory Board, managing directors of Group companies, employees and persons who are functionally equivalent to employees (e.g. freelancers). When implementing the Code of Conduct, the Group companies shall comply with the respective national laws. Violations of the Code of Conduct may result in employment and disciplinary sanctions.
We respect the law and expect the same from our business partners. The national and/or international legal framework applies to every business activity of the KISTERS Group. We respect the cultures and ethical values of the countries in which the KISTERS Group operates.
The KISTERS Group is committed to good and responsible corporate governance. Management is responsible for the collection and maintenance of business records and documents and for reporting and disclosing information in accordance with applicable requirements.
We expect all KISTERS Group employees, as well as our partner companies, suppliers and subcontractors, to support these principles and to comply with their principles within the scope of their own responsibilities.
Combating corruption and fraud
KISTERS does not tolerate any form of corruption, white-collar crime, bribery, extortion or money-laundering activities and expects the same from its business partners.
Conflicts of interest
KISTERS behaves neutrally and fairly. Private interests must not be pursued at the expense of the company. Decisions are made on a factual level and personal interests are strictly separated from company interests.
Whistleblowing and protection from reprisals
Our culture creates a fear-free environment where employees can report concerns or complaints about suspected or actual violations of laws, regulations or ethical standards without worries. Reports are treated confidentially and sanctions are strictly prohibited. Whistleblowers will not be discriminated against or dismissed. Openness, trust and fairness are core values of our corporate culture.
Information security and data protection
We take responsibility for data protection and information security not only in our own company, but also for our customers and partners. Our information security management system, certified according to DIN EN 27001, enables us to constantly monitor and improve our technical and organisational measures. Our employees are continuously trained to ensure qualified handling of data and information technologies.
We are aware of the importance of technical know-how and intellectual property for corporate success. Plagiarism endangers fair competition. Therefore, we respect and protect intellectual property, know-how and trade secrets of KISTERS and our business partners appropriately.
Export controls and economic sanctions
We have a clear policy on compliance with export controls and economic sanctions. We are committed to strict compliance with all international export regulations and sanctions to ensure that our business activities comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Our suppliers are obliged to comply with our Code of Conduct. In the event of violations, we will take appropriate measures and draw consequences.
We prohibit any behaviour that violates or endangers the human rights of employees. This includes actions such as physical punishment, psychological or physical coercion, sexual harassment, sexual abuse as well as verbal attacks and bullying. KISTERS therefore ensures that all employees can work in a respectful and safe environment where their dignity and integrity are protected.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
At KISTERS we believe in the potential of uniqueness, equality and belonging for people with all their differences.
The diversity of our employees from more than 30 countries, their backgrounds, experiences and the appreciation of their individual differences are the basis of our success. We believe that a corporate culture based on equality, diversity and inclusion is important for creativity and innovation.
KISTERS provides equal opportunities to all employees and does not discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, disability, age or marital status or any other basis protected by law.
Prevention of forced labour and child labour
We strongly reject any form of forced or involuntary labour, modern slavery or human trafficking (see also https://www.kisters.eu/modern-slavery-statement-2/). All work must be voluntary and employees have the right to freely terminate the employment relationship. KISTERS does not tolerate child labour and adheres to the minimum age for employment in the respective countries. Young employees must no longer be subject to compulsory education and must be protected from working conditions that could affect their safety, health and development.
Payment and working time
KISTERS respects the rights of its employees and ensures fair pay. Remuneration complies with applicable local laws, including minimum wages, overtime regulations and legally required social benefits. In addition, wages and salaries are set according to employees’ qualifications and level of education.
We are committed to complying with statutory working time regulations. This includes provisions on overtime, breaks, rest periods, holidays, paid sick days, maternity and parental leave.
Freedom of association
KISTERS respects the right of employees to form trade unions or other forms of employee associations freely and democratically and to bargain collectively. Discrimination against employees on the basis of their trade union membership will not be tolerated. We promote an open corporate culture in which workers’ rights are respected and protected.
Occupational health and safety
Occupational health and safety is guaranteed by a certified occupational health and safety management system that meets the requirements of DIN ISO 45001. Processes for risk assessment of working conditions, emergency organisation (fire protection, procedures in case of accidents, first aid measures, evacuation planning), preventive health care, testing of equipment and elimination of defects as well as regular instruction and participation of employees are established and continuously monitored and improved.
Above and beyond the legal requirements, the health protection of employees and the promotion of preventive measures are of great importance. KISTERS has implemented a company health management system to promote and maintain the health of its employees. Various voluntary activities and measures are offered, such as health checks or training courses on workplace ergonomics. Risk assessments of mental workload are carried out at regular intervals, in which all employees are asked about their individual workload in order to plan improvement measures.
Environmental protection and sustainability
Avoiding environmental impacts
As a specialist for software solutions for the sustainable resource management of energy, water and air as well as for environmental protection and safety, it is a matter of course for us to live sustainability in our own processes. The KISTERS Group is not subject to any special legal requirements for environmental protection; nevertheless, we are committed to many activities to avoid and reduce as far as possible the negative effects of our business impacts on the environment.
KISTERS takes measures to save energy, to use water sparingly, to reduce and separate waste (paper, packaging, biowaste, electronic waste, waste glass, plastics) and to recycle and reuse valuable materials.
KISTERS is committed to complying with all national and international environmental standards and laws; this also applies to other environmental impacts such as air or noise emissions, damage to soil quality, impairment of biodiversity through land use or deforestation, and the handling of chemicals, insofar as these are relevant to our business activities.
Energy management and climate protection
Our focus is on the continuous reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Our DIN EN ISO 50001 certified energy management system ensures the control and reduction of energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, a high awareness of energy savings, the use of renewable energies and a continuous improvement process in terms of energy efficiency.
KISTERS is committed to the principle of sustainability and works continuously to improve its carbon footprint, minimise its greenhouse gas emissions and make a positive contribution to climate protection.
Aachen, August 10th 2023
Klaus Kisters (CEO)Download: Code of Conduct for Business Practices and Ethics