Our Human Rights Engagement

Taking Responsibility for Human Rights throughout the Value Chain

We actively uphold human rights along our entire value chain. Within this area, we perceive the main risks to human rights are lying most of all in the upstream supply chain. Therefore, in our internal and external Codes of Conduct (CoC) we have integrated corresponding binding policies. By this we require both our employees and our business partners to uphold and promote human rights ever since.
Our own business activities and the cooperation with our business partners are based on the following principles and guidelines:

  • The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The Conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
  • All applicable country-specific laws and statutory requirements.

With our commitment to the UN Global Compact we further emphasize our belief and commitment to support human rights and that we actively promote its Ten Principles in any of our own companies as well as in our business partners’ organizations.

Uniform Ethical Principles for all Employees Worldwide

Our CoC for Employees requires all managers and employees worldwide to adopt and uphold our company values and regulations. This ethical guideline was most recently updated in 2019 and has been rolled out globally to all affiliates.

A Shared Understanding of Ethical Standards with our Business Partners

We also support responsible business in line with ethical and legal standards beyond our direct sphere of influence. In our CoC for Business Partners we promote both compliance with occupational health and safety standards as well as with fundamental employee rights regarding working hours, fair remuneration, freedom of association, and collective bargaining. The CoC for Business Partners forms the basis for all forms of collaboration with external partners, as their explicit written commitment to the CoC is compulsory for all suppliers within the Beiersdorf network. The implementation of the CoC for Business Partners is monitored in our Responsible Sourcing Program. It comprises a comprehensive due diligence and risk assessment and independent auditing of our suppliers – supported by our Sedex and AIM-PROGRESS memberships.

Effective Grievance Mechanism

For us, it is of paramount importance to find out about possible irregular behavior – whether intentional or not – to respond rapidly to any systematic or material compliance and other breaches. In doing so, we protect our company, employees, and consumers.
Through various whistleblowing channels, our employees as well as customers, consumers and other stakeholders have the opportunity to report potential incidents. Internally, our employees have the opportunity to contact compliance colleagues directly, either in a personal conversation, or they can report a violation via the compliance hotline. In addition, we have established an externally accessible whistleblowing system Speak up. We care. It is a protected, secure, and independent reporting channel for our employees as well as our customers, consumers, and all other stakeholders and is available in more than 40 languages in all countries where Beiersdorf and its subsidiaries do business. For our employees in Germany, there is also the possibility to contact an ombudsman.