Modern Slavery Act 2015
Modern slavery is a crime that can lead to an abhorrent abuse of human rights. The UK government has taken steps to tackle modern slavery by the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the ‘Act’). The Act identifies modern slavery by reference to the offences of ‘slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour’ and ‘human trafficking’.
A key provision of the Act requires certain businesses to produce a statement setting out the steps they have taken to ensure there is no modern slavery in their business or supply chains. One way to achieve this is to increase transparency in those supply chains. This will ensure the public, customers, employees, stakeholders and investors understand what steps an organisation is taking to tackle modern slavery.
Endress+Hauser Ltd (Endress+Hauser) is proud of the way we conduct our business and we are committed to meeting our ethical and social responsibilities. Our corporate culture is vested in behaving ethically and we welcome the opportunity to set out in this statement the actions we take to tackle modern slavery. We recognise this to be an ongoing process and will continue to work with customers and suppliers alike to tackle the problem of modern slavery wherever we can.
The Endress+Hauser Group
Endress+Hauser is a UK-based sales centre that is part of a global process automation and engineering group. The Endress+Hauser Group is headquartered in Switzerland and remains privately owned by the Endress family. This means we have a unique culture that is referred to in detail below.
The Group specialises in the design, manufacture, supply, installation and servicing of process control systems and instrumentation to a range of sectors including oil & gas, technology, energy, food & beverages and life sciences. It consists of a network of 100 companies in 44 countries around the world generating net sales of over €2 billion globally and £40 million in the UK.
Our values and culture
We believe that family-owned businesses are different. We rely on robust values and follow clear principles. This attitude has grown into a unique corporate culture. That culture has a clear focus on behaving ethically and responsibly. Our values are set out clearly on our website and can be found here: Our corporate culture
We are very proud of our culture and encourage our customers and suppliers to familiarise themselves with the approach we take. We believe our values are aligned with the underlying aims, objectives and principles of the Act.
The vast majority of the instruments and products we supply are manufactured and sourced from our own European-based production centres. They have the same commitment to our culture and values as we do in the UK.
Where we engage with third party suppliers, we expect the same high standards of behaviour from them as we do from ourselves. Before we engage in business with a third party, they must go through a selection process and be accepted as an Approved Supplier, Service Provider and/or Approved Contractor for Endress+Hauser. This gives us comfort that our suppliers meet the standards we expect.
The steps we have recently taken to prevent modern slavery within our business and supply chains:
In 2016, our supplier selection process was reviewed in light of the Act. Our process now involves making very specific enquires of our suppliers in respect of the ethical standards of behaviour we expect.
Suppliers are specifically asked to confirm that they themselves comply with the Act as do any third parties employed by them to meet our requirements.
Our standard contractual terms of purchase and supply have also been reviewed and amended in light of the Act. We have introduced contractual obligations that reflect the requirements of the Act across our suite of standard terms and also ensure they are dealt with in bespoke contractual documents.
At Group level, the Endress+Hauser Code of Conduct has been reviewed and updated. The revised code was launched early in 2017. It included provisions that make it clear we protect our associates from unfair and unethical working conditions, we do not tolerate bonded, forced or child labour or any unsafe working conditions and we ban products and services resulting from bonded, forced or child labour or unsafe working conditions.
We shall take all reasonable steps in our business and supply chain, now and in the future, to comply with the provisions of the modern slavery and human trafficking regulations.
Our aims for 2018 are as follows:
Work closely with our Group associated production centres to increase due diligence further down our supply chains.
We are also in the process of considering whether it is appropriate to adopt a Supplier Code of Ethics and Conduct Policy and whether that would be an effective way of tackling modern slavery.
Finally, we are considering the introduction of a whistleblowing policy for employees. The aim being to adopt a system which would encourage employees to report any concerns either with their managers or confidentially via an independent reporting service.
All of our employees are aware of our Code of Conduct and the values under which the Group operates. New starters receive a cultural induction from a senior member of the Endress family so that they will understand our expectations.
We are committed to training our employees so that they fully understand their responsibilities and the behaviour required of them. They are encouraged to stay alert to the issues and enabled to spot risk areas where acts of modern slavery could occur. We will continue to develop our training for our employees across the business.
We encourage our customers, suppliers and contractors to be vigilant and raise any concerns they have about unethical conduct. By working together, we can make a real impact on eradicating modern slavery.