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Compliance, integrity and ethical business practices are part of the Bürkert culture and determine our entrepreneurial actions. Learn more in our Code of Conduct.
Code of Conduct (CoC)
Bürkert acknowledges its corporate social responsibility as defined by the guiding principles in the Code of Conduct published jointly by the industry Electronic and Digital Industry (ZVEI) and of the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA). The two bodies have jointly (with their members) developed a new code of conduct based on international best practices to conduct ethical business. This Code of Conduct forms an integral part of our value-based business approach. Bürkert expects its supplier network to adhere to the principles established therein as fundamental contractual obligation of our business relationship.
We appreciate any chance to improve ourselves and consider raising a concern an act of support to such end. If you would like to provide us with information concerning misconduct or any violation of our Code of Conduct including our Human Rights Declaration, let us know here.
We treat your concerns in confidence and – if you wish – anonymously.
Human Rights Strategy
Bürkert is committed to respecting human rights as part of its corporate due diligence obligations. This also includes environmental due diligence1. These corporate due diligence obligations are set out in our Code of Conduct, which expresses our expectations of our employees and our supplier network.
1The German „Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains” applies to Bürkert as of 2024 only.
Bürkert considers the following human rights and environmental due diligence obligations as a priority, which shall be re-evaluated as part of the risk analysis that takes place at least once a year:
Production-related environmental pollution
Occupational health and safety
The above risks that may occur with higher probability and impact in relation to our field of business/activity.
We take account of the different dynamics of risks with regard to possible violations of due diligence obligations in our business environment in a preventive manner through a risk-based approach in our own business area and in our supplier network.
To this end, we have subjected our business activities and our business relationships to an analysis to identify potential risks and actual violations of human rights and environmental due diligence obligations in a multidisciplinary team. For this purpose, internationally recognized indices on topic-related country risks (e.g. Human Rights Index), existing certifications (e.g. ISO 14001), declarations (Code of Conduct), the supplier's industry sector if applicable, the significance for our services or the business unit's activities, and the sales generated are used.
Depending on the assessment, we perform additional checks for purposes of the risk assessment or take measures or actions respectively.
Bürkert intends to enter into or continue business relationships only with suppliers who meet our requirements as set forth in the Code of Conduct. As a result of a general risk assessment, this may require mandatory signing or lead to an internal in-depth review process.
Direct suppliers, i.e. those whose supplies are necessary for the manufacture of Bürkert products or for the provision or use of the relevant service by Bürkert, are required to comply with human rights and environmental due diligence obligations.
Bürkert considers compliance with human rights and environmental due diligence obligations at its direct suppliers and in the international production network event-related or on the basis of a risk assessment and will further integrate this consideration into a general compliance management system in the future. We also carry out system-based audits as part of our export controls.
At present, the focus is on an appropriate risk-based auditing of direct inventory suppliers. This is followed by an abstract prioritization of the suppliers as a whole, and then, after weighing up the available resources and risk potential, suppliers who are not directly involved are subjected to a more detailed assessment or measures are initiated.
To provide professional support for legal and regulatory compliance at all locations worldwide, a governance structure managed at Group level is to be created or strengthened, comprising the areas of (governance) risk management and compliance management as well as process risk management. Within the scope of the legal framework, implementation will be risk-based and efficiency-oriented via the management of the respective national companies.
Specific preventive measures derived from the risk evaluation described above range from internal reviews, supplier discussions, additional declarations and, if necessary, on-site inspections and audits to contract adjustments or termination of the business relationship.
In case of notifications of violations in the supplier network, we will endeavor to eliminate them or - if this is not reasonably possible - terminate the business relationship. However, the primary objective is to enable our business partners to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct and, at the very least, to fulfill their human rights and environmental due diligence obligations.
If the implementation of international agreements in our own business area or in our supply network is restricted by national law, we develop innovative approaches to comply with the principles underlying the internationally recognized standards.
We implement appropriate preventive measures in our own business area.
We will review the effectiveness of the preventive measures once a year and on an ad-hoc basis, if a significantly changed or significantly expanded risk situation is expected in our own business area or at the direct supplier, for example as a result of the introduction of new products, projects or a new business area. If necessary, the measures are updated without undue delay and the findings from the processing of information provided are taken into account.
Bürkert encourages employees not to tolerate any misconduct. Various channels have been established to report potential misconduct. If this is not possible in a direct conversation with the supervisor / managing director, there is another internal reporting option at Compliance (company lawyer) and via designated law firm(s) (Ombudsperson).
Also, any other person affected by a violation may notify here the Human Rights Office or the Group Compliance Office.
In addition, a worldwide multilingual whistleblower system will be set up, which will be accessible to all Bürkert employees as well as external stakeholders (e.g. affected parties). Complaints or information about human rights violations can be reported and processed in accordance with the law.
The receipt of any reported violation or suspected case will be confirmed, followed by an internal assessment of the potential severity of the allegation or complaint is followed by a confidential, systematic and appropriate investigation of the matter, in which both sides are protected accordingly and, if applicable, existing participation rights of other stakeholders are observed.
The persons entrusted with the conduct of the proceedings by us shall act impartially; in particular, they act independently, not be bound by instructions and shall be bound to secrecy.
Reporting on the fulfillment of our obligations regarding human rights and environmental risks is carried out internally directly to our highest governance body as well as to bodies specified by law:
whether the company has identified any human rights and environment-related risks, and if so, which ones,
what the company has done, considering the measures, to fulfill its due diligence obligations with regard to human rights and environmental risks
Actions the company has taken in response to complaints,
how the company assesses the impact and effectiveness of the measures; and
what conclusions it draws from the assessment for future measures.
Bürkert establishes a multidisciplinary Human Rights Office. The Human Rights Office can be reached directly at the following email address: Human.Rights@Burkert.com.
Responsibility for the implementation of and compliance with this declaration lies with the Management Board at Group level, under the leadership of the CEO, and with the respective management at individual company level.