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German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains ("LkSG”)

TÜV SÜD Human Rights Strategy

TÜV SÜD Human Rights Strategy

Our strategy to comply with human rights and environment-related due diligence obligations – Policy Statement as per Section 6 (2) of the German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (“LkSG”)

Respecting human rights, labor and social standards, and protecting the environment are key components of responsible and sustainable corporate governance at TÜV SÜD. Companies bear responsibility for the sustainable development of the economy, environment, and society. This is particularly pertinent for TÜV SÜD, whose social mandate has been an integral part of its corporate statutes from the outset. This has been TÜV SÜD's corporate purpose, since its establishment more than 150 years ago: We protect people, the environment and assets from technology-related risks. We mitigate the risks associated with the latest technologies so as to ensure that innovations in science and technology are accepted in society and people and the environment can derive maximum benefits from them. This way, we accompany and shape technological change and continually adapt our services with the aim of ensuring optimum safety and thus accomplish our mission at all times. Our services help to contribute to sustainable development around the globe.

TÜV SÜD is a globally active company. In approx. 50 countries around the world, more than 26,000 employees ensure safety. They come from more than 100 countries with different cultures, are of different ages, have different lifestyles, and bring with them a wide range of skills, views, and interests - all of which make us strong as a company and give us additional impetus in developing our services. Our suppliers are just as diverse and international as us. We are aware that there can occur human rights violations, particularly with a view to the intricacy of international supply chains. However, human rights, labor and social standards, as well as environmental protection standards must be observed at all times, both within TÜV SÜD's own business operations and in our supply chains around the globe.

We are explicitly unwilling to tolerate any type of forced labor and child labor, are particularly committed to taking a consistent stance against any and all types of discrimination and committed to respecting the freedom of association as well as the right to collective bargaining, to ensuring the observance of fair employment standards, the provision of a safe and healthy work environment, and to payment of fair-market wages that are enough for workers to make a living.

TÜV SÜD has adopted a uniform group strategy based on the principles set out in para. 3.-8. for compliance with human rights and environment-related due diligence requirements in its own business operations and supply chains. It applies to all TÜV SÜD group companies in which TÜV SÜD AG directly or indirectly owns a majority of shares or in which TÜV SÜD AG otherwise has a decisive influence. The uniform group strategy also applies to the subsidiaries of TÜV SÜD AG, which – like TÜV SÜD AG – are subject to the scope of application of the LkSG since January 1, 2023 or from January 1, 2024, namely TÜV SÜD Auto Service GmbH, TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH, TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH and TÜV Technische Überwachung Hessen GmbH; the same strategy and procedures described below apply throughout the group.

1. Outcome of risk analyses and related measures

The following primary human rights and environment-related risks have been identified through the analysis of risks in TÜV SÜD's own business operations and the analysis of risks at TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers:

1.1. Primary risks in TÜV SÜD's own business operations and related measures

Human rights and environment-related risks in TÜV SÜD's own business operations are generally considered to be marginal – considering the fact that TÜV SÜD's business model is that of a technical service provider which is made up of an overwhelming majority of highly educated employees. Nevertheless, issues relating to discrimination and health & safety issues connected to work load due to tight schedules or overtime have been identified as primary abstract risks across our various countries.

With respect to health & safety, a pronounced awareness of the problem can be observed for the most part, which is reflected in existing measures within the framework of company health management and in the increased focus on the various fields of action relating to the issue of human resources planning (including management of skills, strategic human resources planning, recruitment). Further, in October 2023, the Mental Health Initiative was launched. This new TÜV SÜD-wide campaign emphasizes the special importance of both physical and mental health for general well-being and, in particular, for resilience in stressful times.

With respect to risks of discrimination, however, there is, to some extent, still a need for offering training and taking action. As part of our "Diversity Boost" project which was launched in 2021 with a long-term sustainability focus, we have taken various steps which are primarily to promote diversity and thus counteract behavior and structures perceived as discriminatory. A global proportion of females at management level has been adopted throughout the group as a uniform quality benchmark across all countries. In addition, each region has committed itself to implement two further key performance indicators and corresponding regional targets by the end of 2026, depending on their relevant perspectives on the framework conditions, initial situation and key spheres of action. The measures to achieve these targets are correspondingly diverse: They range from group initiatives (global process specifications, managed succession planning, talent programs, etc.) to local measures tailored to the respective area (e.g., very specific training courses taking into account the respective focus areas and local as well as cultural circumstances and examples).

1.2. Primary risks at TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers and related measures 

The annual analysis of human rights and environment-related risks carried out in 2023 among TÜV SÜD's active direct suppliers from 2022 revealed a focus on abstractly risky suppliers from China and India. In the more specific risk assessment based on self-assessment questionnaires and on-site audits, very few specific findings were made to improve the human rights and/or environment-related risk situation. The suppliers concerned will soon be contacted individually to agree on customized appropriate measures to reduce the risks.

2. Expectations vis-à-vis TÜV SÜD's employees and suppliers

Based on the outcome of the risk analyses available, TÜV SÜD has the following human rights and environment-related expectations of its own employees and suppliers: 

2.1. Expectations vis-à-vis TÜV SÜD's own business operations 

TÜV SÜD expects everyone in its own business operations to comply at all times with the requirements as to equal treatment regardless of ethnic origin, religion, ideology, age, disability, gender or sexual identity, and for health & safety. These requirements can be found in the Code of Conduct and in group guidelines, such as in particular the guideline on Human Rights and Labor Law, Diversity and Inclusion, Fair and Equal Remuneration, and Global Health and Safety Management. Any notices with regard to potential wrongdoing can be reported via the TÜV SÜD Trust Channel so as to ensure that misconduct can be prevented or stopped immediately. 

2.2. Expectations vis-à-vis TÜV SÜD's suppliers 

TÜV SÜD expects all of its suppliers to consistently adhere to the standards set out in the TÜV SÜD Supplier Code of Conduct and to contact TÜV SÜD in the event of human rights or environment-related difficulties - either via the contact person from the Purchasing Group Department or via the TÜV SÜD Trust Channel

 

  • 3. Risk management

    Compliance with human rights and environment-related due diligence requirements has been a focus topic of the group-wide Compliance Management System (CMS) since 2022. The TÜV SÜD CMS is based on the following seven pillars:

                                                      LKSG Elements

    3.1. Compliance culture 

    The compliance culture is the basis of the TÜV SÜD CMS. It is characterized by the "Tone from the Top" by the managers. Compliance is of central importance at TÜV SÜD because the group is based on trust in the independence and integrity of its services for the protection of people, the environment and assets. TÜV SÜD's compliance culture includes all employees accepting, respecting and supporting the high importance of conduct in accordance with the rules. We also expect a corresponding compliance culture from our suppliers.

    3.2. Compliance goals

    One of the key objectives of the TÜV SÜD CMS is the compliant behavior of all TÜV SÜD employees and contracted third parties in the provision of our services. With regard to TÜV SÜD's suppliers, the goal is their compliance with the expectations set forth in the TÜV SÜD Supplier Code of Conduct. All non-compliance allegations are investigated and violations are sanctioned. TÜV SÜD pursues a zero-tolerance approach in this respect.

    3.3. Compliance risks

    Through regular group-wide general compliance and specific LkSG risk analyses, we identify those risks that could lead to violations of the rules to be observed and thus to a failure to meet compliance targets. For a globally operating group such as TÜV SÜD, networking between the various specialist departments and regions is essential. The identified risks are analyzed according to probability of occurrence and potential consequences. In addition, the Compliance Committee, which meets several times a year and consists of group executives, discusses compliance developments within the group and evaluates potential new risks. Based on the risk analyses, principles and measures are defined which are designed to reduce compliance risks and prevent non-compliance.

    3.4. Compliance program

    TÜV SÜD's compliance program primarily pursues a preventive approach. Potential breaches of rules are to be prevented in advance, in particular by raising the awareness of employees and educating them as well as by implementing preventive corporate processes. In addition to preventive measures, however, it also includes remedial measures in case of non-compliance as well as a whistleblower system, the TÜV SÜD Trust Channel. Since 2022, the compliance program has also included a focus on human rights and human rights-related environmental protection obligations.

    The core of the compliance program is the Code of Conduct, which sets out the basic rules for compliance at TÜV SÜD that apply throughout the group. The Code of Conduct includes a chapter on compliance with human rights and environmental protection obligations.

    The basic rules set out in the Code of Conduct are specified in guidelines that apply throughout the group and are issued by the responsible specialist departments. Consistent respect for human rights in TÜV SÜD's own business operations is ensured in the guidelines of the Human Resources Group Department, for instance with the guideline on Human Rights and Labor Law, Diversity and Inclusion, Freedom of Association, Global Health and Safety Management, Fair and Equal Remuneration, and other guidelines. Environment-related risks associated with human rights as defined by the LkSG are covered, in particular, by the Real Estate Group Department and the Environmental Policy. The Purchasing Group Department ensures respect for human rights in the supply chain and has defined the necessary and appropriate measures for this in the Purchasing Guidelines, the Purchasing Manual and the Supplier Code of Conduct.

    3.5. Compliance organization

    The Board of Management of TÜV SÜD AG bears overall responsibility for the TÜV SÜD CMS and the structure of the compliance organization. The TÜV SÜD compliance organization consists of the Global Compliance Office, which is located at TÜV SÜD AG and has a global steering function, the Local Compliance Officers and Regional Compliance Officers appointed for all companies and regions around the globe, as well as the Corporate Compliance Committee, the Risk Committee Corporate and the Trust Channel Compliance Committee. The Global Compliance Office consists of the Chief Compliance Officer, the Head of Corporate Compliance, the Corporate Compliance Officers, the Global Human Rights Officer and other employees. TÜV SÜD's compliance organization is headed by the Chief Compliance Officer. He reports directly to the Chairman of the Board of Management and, in this function, is not bound by instructions. The Head of Corporate Compliance manages the TÜV SÜD Compliance organization both strategically and operationally. The Global Human Rights Officer oversees risk management with respect to human rights and environment-related due diligence obligations as defined by the LkSG.

    3.6. Compliance communication

    One of the most important elements of the TÜV SÜD CMS is risk-appropriate communication of compliance issues. On the one hand, such communication takes place vis-à-vis TÜV SÜD employees by written rules and training courses as well as other communication measures, such as the Compliance Moment to be presented by managers at least once every six months. The purpose of compliance communication is to inform employees about relevant compliance issues and to deepen their knowledge about compliance, as well as to demonstrate employees' responsibility for their own actions and to strengthen their awareness of the TÜV SÜD CMS. Amendments or new versions of guidelines are announced throughout the group via several channels. All TÜV SÜD employees around the globe are required to participate in the annual compliance e-learning, which - since 2022 - has also included a learning card on human rights and environment-related protection obligations as defined by the LkSG. In addition, there is target group-oriented communication, for example for TÜV SÜD's suppliers, or classroom training for employees with more risk-related activities.

    In addition to communicating with TÜV SÜD's workforce, the Global Compliance Office also reports to the Board of Management and Supervisory Board of TÜV SÜD AG once a year with a compliance report. The compliance report contains the compliance activities pursued in the previous year as well as compliance incidents including the measures taken. At least once a year, as well as on an ad hoc basis, the Global Human Rights Officer also prepares a report on the main activities in the context of monitoring risk management for compliance with human rights and environment-related due diligence obligations as defined by the LkSG. The report includes, in particular, the results of regular and, if applicable, incident-related risk analyses relating to TÜV SÜD's own business operations and its suppliers, as well as any measures resulting therefrom. Reporting is made to the Board of Management of TÜV SÜD AG and to the respective management of group companies that also fall within the direct scope of the LkSG.

    3.7. Compliance monitoring and improvement

    To verify the appropriateness and effectiveness, TÜV SÜD's CMS is regularly monitored, not only by the Global Compliance Office itself, but also by internal and external stakeholders. All relevant compliance activities are appropriately documented to this end. Systematic compliance monitoring should be highlighted as a special monitoring measure. Compliance monitoring is based on incident-related investigations, entries in the TÜV SÜD Trust Channel, and other relevant compliance-related information and data, such as the employee survey which is conducted at regular intervals. In addition, compliance monitoring is based on a regular and standardized compliance monitoring survey, which is addressed in particular to the Local Compliance Officers, as well as on regular compliance audits conducted by the Internal Audit Group Department.

    Where possible weaknesses are identified in the course of monitoring the TÜV SÜD CMS or breaches are detected, this is, on the one hand, reported to the relevant decision-makers and, on the other hand, appropriate measures are taken to improve the system.

  • 4. Risk analyses

    To identify and assess human rights and environment-related risks in TÜV SÜD's own business operations and at TÜV SÜD's suppliers, the respective responsible departments conduct risk analyses as described below. These are carried out at least once a year and on an ad hoc basis, i.e. if TÜV SÜD must expect a significantly changed or significantly expanded risk situation in its own business operations or in the supply chain, for example due to new projects, business areas or relevant company acquisitions, or if reports from whistleblowers suggest a changed risk situation.

    4.1. Risk analyses relating to TÜV SÜD's own business operations

    Risk analyses relating to human rights risks within the meaning of Section 2 (2) Nos. 1-8 and 12 of the LkSG in TÜV SÜD's own business operations are carried out under the responsibility of the Human Resources Group Department; the Local Compliance Officers are consulted for specialist support.

    Risk analyses relating to human rights and environment-related risks within the meaning of Section 2 (2) Nos. 9-11 and (3) LkSG in TÜV SÜD's own business operations are carried out by the Global Compliance Office; relevant departments such as the Real Estate Group Department or the Quality Management Group Department are consulted for specialist support.

    The risk analyses in TÜV SÜD's own business operations are monitored by the Global Human Rights Officer, who provides specialist support where necessary. 

    The risk analyses are carried out using the so-called countercurrent method: 

    "Top-down": Coordination with various stakeholders and definition of risk scenarios relevant for TÜV SÜD. Preparation of a risk-based questionnaire that inquires with respect to each risk scenario i) what the potential impact of the occurrence of a risk is in a realistic worst-case scenario without countermeasures, ii) which relevant countermeasures exist, and iii) what the probability of occurrence of the risk scenarios is, taking into account the existing countermeasures.

    "Bottom-up": Risk assessment by means of a questionnaire along risk scenarios by employees in key functions of TÜV SÜD companies. In particular, these are employees who can potentially influence the risk, such as local QM officers in the case of environment-related risks within the meaning of Section 2 (3) LkSG or local HR officers in the case of human rights risks within the meaning of Section 2 (2) Nos. 1-8 and 12 LkSG. In addition, the questionnaire is answered by the local compliance officers in order to maintain the dual control principle and to take into account different professional views.

     

            LKSG Risks table      

    The evaluation of the questionnaires, weighting and prioritization of the risks identified, as well as documentation and reporting, are carried out by the responsible specialist department. Further details can be found in the group-wide Compliance Risk Analysis Guideline.

    In addition to the risk analysis carried out subject to the countercurrent method described above, all TÜV SÜD group companies in which TÜV SÜD AG, TÜV SÜD Auto Service GmbH, TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH, TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH or TÜV Technische Überwachung Hessen GmbH directly or indirectly holds a majority stake or over which TÜV SÜD AG, TÜV SÜD Auto Service GmbH, TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH, TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH or TÜV Technische Überwachung Hessen GmbH otherwise exercises a decisive influence are monitored for potential human rights and environment-related risks using an artificial intelligence-based Internet screening software solution. This involves checking social media, news and other information available on the Internet 24/7 on the basis of a keyword search in order to find out reports on individual TÜV SÜD companies. Reports of potential risks are communicated to the Global Compliance Office by way of "risk alerts". The Global Compliance Office checks the "risk alerts" for adequate plausibility and deals with solid information in accordance with the procedure defined for notifications via the TÜV SÜD Trust Channel (cf. para. 7. below).

    4.2. Risk analyses regarding TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers and, if applicable, indirect suppliers

    Risk analyses relating to TÜV SÜD's suppliers are carried out under the responsibility of the Purchasing Group Department. This does not include risk analyses relating to TÜV SÜD's suppliers that are based on procurement transactions as per Annex 2 of the Purchasing Guideline and for which the Purchasing Group Department is therefore not responsible (such as insurance contracts or contracts with auditors and tax consultants); risk analyses relating to such suppliers are carried out under the responsibility of the Global Compliance Office.

    Risk analyses relating to all TÜV SÜD suppliers are monitored by the Global Human Rights Officer, who provides specialist support where necessary.

    The purpose of the risk analyses is to identify human rights and environment-related risks at TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers around the globe and to assess the identified risks, in particular, on the basis of the following criteria: the probability of occurrence of the risk, the severity of the breach typically to be expected if the risk occurs, TÜV SÜD's ability to influence the direct cause of the risk or breach, and the nature of TÜV SÜD's causal contribution.

    4.2.1. Annual analysis of risks at TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers

    The first thing obtained in the annual risk analysis is an overview of all current direct suppliers; of these, so-called exceptions as per Annex 2 of the Purchasing Guideline are filtered out and passed on to the Global Compliance Office for further analysis. Due to the large number of TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers and on the basis of an appropriate, risk-based approach, only those direct suppliers will be examined in more detail in the following until further notice where TÜV SÜD, due to its purchasing volume, exerts a certain degree of influence on the one hand, and on the other hand, a potential causal contribution to a possible breach would not be insignificant. In this way, priority is given to identifying those risks where TÜV SÜD's influence can be used to bring about a real positive change. This approach is reviewed on a regular basis.

    Annual risk analyses are conducted in the following manner: 

    • Taking into account numerous recognized indices such as the Global Slavery Index, the ITUC Global Rights Index or the EPI - Environmental Performance Index, various indicators from the UN SDG database, or the Research Report 543 published by the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in July 2020, the first step is to determine which of TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers are subject to an abstract industry-specific or country-specific risk. Considering the large number of TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers, a software solution is used to support this process. 
    • In a second step, this abstract view is defined more precisely: The Purchasing Group Department i.a. uses information, on the one hand, obtained in the software solution through artificial intelligence-based internet screening and, on the other hand, supplemented by self-disclosures from suppliers. The Global Compliance Office carries out risk-appropriate, individual investigations. In this second step, the probability of occurrence and the severity of the violation when the risk occurs are also analyzed.
    • In a final step, the purchasing volumes are used to determine TÜV SÜD's ability to influence as well as any causal contribution, and, in this way, prioritize which of TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers must first respond to the identified risks with appropriate measures.

    In addition, at least once a year all employees of the Purchasing Group Department are specifically asked by means of a questionnaire about any risks at the direct suppliers supervised by the employees concerned and any indirect suppliers known to them. The same survey is conducted among the Local Compliance Officers regarding the suppliers in the respective region. The findings from these surveys are incorporated into the annual risk analysis.

    In the future, in addition to considering direct suppliers, indirect suppliers are also to be more strongly included in the consideration of TÜV SÜD's supply chain. Among other things, "Worker Voice" surveys are planned for indirect suppliers identified as critical. 

    4.2.2. Permanent monitoring of risks at TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers

    In addition to the annual risk analysis described above, the direct suppliers with the highest risks and certain significant suppliers are permanently monitored for potential human rights and environment-related risks using a software solution. This involves checking social media, news and other information available on the internet 24/7 on the basis of a keyword search to find out what the reports are on direct suppliers. Reports of potential risks are communicated as "risk alerts" to the employees in the Procurement Group Department responsible for the relevant product group or region and to the Global Human Rights Officer. Such notifications trigger a review process defined in the Purchasing Manual, which may lead to further measures (for more details, cf. para. 5.2. and para. 6.2. below).

    4.2.3. Risk analysis regarding new direct suppliers

    Notwithstanding the foregoing, TÜV SÜD subjects all new direct suppliers to an independent risk analysis as per the criteria set out in para. 4.2.1. for annual risk analyses prior to entering into the new business relationship. 

    4.2.4. Ad hoc event-related risk analyses with respect to individual indirect suppliers

    If TÜV SÜD obtains substantiated knowledge of the existence of factual indications that suggest the possibility of materialization of a breach of human rights or environment-related obligations by an indirect supplier, the information available will promptly be subjected to an initial review by the Purchasing Group Department or, in case of suppliers as defined in Annex 2 of the Purchasing Guideline, by the Global Compliance Office, depending on its origin in the supply chain. Subsequently, the probability of materialization and the severity of the breach in case of materialization of the risk are analyzed or, in case of an actual breach of a human rights or environment-related obligation by an indirect supplier, the effects are analyzed. Depending on the ability to influence and any causal contribution, it is finally determined to what extent appropriate measures can be taken in response to the knowledge obtained (for more details, see para. 5.2. and para. 6.2. below).

    The results of such an event-related risk analysis are used to review the outcome of the regular risk analysis in order to determine the extent to which the prioritized risks need to be adjusted.

    4.2.5. Ad hoc event-related risk analyses regarding the entire supply chain

    If TÜV SÜD anticipates a significantly changed or significantly expanded risk situation in the supply chain, the Purchasing Group Department and the Global Compliance Office will promptly conduct an initial review of the changed or added risks based on an abstract consideration of the relevant industry-specific and country-specific risks and then conduct targeted, risk-appropriate investigations. This is followed by an analysis of the probability of occurrence and the severity of the breach if the risk materializes in the supply chain. Finally, depending on the ability to influence and any causal contribution, the extent to which appropriate measures can be taken in response to the findings obtained is determined.

    The results of such an event-related risk analysis are used to review the outcome of the regular risk analysis in order to determine the extent to which the prioritized risks need to be adjusted.

  • 5. Preventive measures and review of effectiveness

    5.1. Preventive measures for risks in TÜV SÜD's own business operations

    At TÜV SÜD, preventive measures taken with respect to the prevalence of human rights and environment-related risks in its own business operations consist primarily of defining the relevant rules of conduct in written rules, communicating them throughout the group via various channels, and reinforcing the content in training courses. Local Compliance Officers have been appointed in all TÜV SÜD companies and regions around the globe to coordinate the communication of compliance topics and compliance training, including content on human rights and environment-related obligations.

    The core of this set of rules at TÜV SÜD is the Code of Conduct, which includes a chapter on compliance with human rights and environment-related protection obligations. The basic rules from the Code of Conduct are specified in group guidelines, such as the guideline on Human Rights and Labor Law, Diversity and Inclusion, Freedom of Association, Global Health and Safety Management, Fair and Equal Remuneration, and the Environmental Policy.

    All TÜV SÜD employees around the globe are required to participate in the compliance e-learning once a year. Since 2022, this training has also included a learning card on human rights and environment-related protection obligations as defined by the LkSG, which is reviewed annually for the need for adjustment. In addition, there is target group-oriented communication and classroom training for employees who perform more risk-related activities.

    In January 2023, the Compliance Moment was issued with a focus on human rights and environment-related risks. One Compliance Moment will be presented to all employees by their managers in each half year. In this way, all employees around the globe will be made aware in particular of the issue of human rights and environment-related obligations in a "Tone from the Top" approach.

    In addition to the preventive measures above, which cover all TÜV SÜD employees, there are further risk-appropriate, target group-oriented measures. These include, in particular, the wide range of measures taken by the Purchasing Group Department. TÜV SÜD's procurement strategy is geared toward sustainability; in any purchasing decisions, a special focus is placed on the social and ecological aspects of sustainability. All employees of the Purchasing Group Department are regularly trained on human rights and environment-related due diligence. Compliance with the binding purchasing practices specified in the Purchasing Manual is reviewed at regular intervals.

    The following preventive control measures were also carried out in 2023: The Internal Audit Group Department conducted an internal audit in the first half of 2023 with a focus on reviewing the implementation status of the LkSG requirements. No negative deviations were identified. In the second half of 2023, the Internal Audit Group Department conducted another internal audit in which the implementation status of the LkSG requirements was reviewed specifically at the TÜV SÜD group companies that carry out procurement without the direct involvement of the central Shared Service Center Procurement. No significant deviations were identified during this internal audit.

    5.2. Preventive measures for risks at TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers and, if applicable, indirect suppliers

    One of the most important preventive measures regarding human rights and environment-related risks at TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers is a consistent selection. Before a contract is signed, a supplier is screened and evaluated from a sustainability perspective. When selecting suppliers, TÜV SÜD consistently ensures that they meet sustainability requirements.

    Another important preventive measure is the TÜV SÜD Supplier Code of Conduct which was created in 2021; it is the core of TÜV SÜD's understanding of sustainability and compliance in purchasing. In particular, it sets out the human rights and environment-related expectations vis-à-vis TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers, in combination with the request that they adequately apply the same standards in their supply chain. The TÜV SÜD Supplier Code of Conduct was i.a. communicated to direct suppliers by e-mail and is published on the Internet in German and also in 15 other languages now. It also forms an integral part of TÜV SÜD's General Terms and Conditions of Purchase. The purchasing volume from suppliers who have committed themselves to compliance with the expectations contained in the TÜV SÜD Supplier Code of Conduct by contract is to be continually increased to 100% by 2026.

    TÜV SÜD also implements additional preventive measures to an extent appropriate to the risk. These include, for example, a training video targeted specifically to suppliers to raise awareness of human rights and environment-related protection obligations among direct suppliers, preventive self-reporting by suppliers, and on-site audits of suppliers to assess compliance with the expectations set out in the TÜV SÜD Supplier Code of Conduct.

    If TÜV SÜD obtains substantiated knowledge of the existence of factual indications that suggest a possible breach of a human rights or environment-related obligation at an indirect supplier and in case these indications are also confirmed in the risk analysis (cf. para. 4.2.4. above), the responsible specialist department will take appropriate preventive measures from the list of possible measures described above, depending on its ability to influence the party directly responsible for the risk and TÜV SÜD's own causal contribution, if any. In addition, TÜV SÜD will use the knowledge thus obtained to review this Policy Statement for any need for adjustment.

    5.3. Review of effectiveness of preventive measures

    All sets of rules that apply to all TÜV SÜD employees throughout the group, as well as those that TÜV SÜD bindingly agrees with suppliers and third parties, are regularly reviewed for their effectiveness and any need for adjustment. The same applies to the other preventive measures described above. This is done at least once a year on the basis of the results of the annual risk analyses as well as on an ad hoc basis, i.e., if TÜV SÜD must expect a significantly changed or significantly expanded risk situation in its own business operations or in the supply chain, for example due to new projects, business areas, or relevant company acquisitions, or if reports from whistleblowers suggest a changed risk situation.

    The regular review of the TÜV SÜD Supplier Code of Conduct has revealed a certain potential for further development. The next revision and publication will take place in the first quarter of 2024.

  • 6. Remedial measures and review of effectiveness

    6.1. Remedial measures in TÜV SÜD's own business operations

    If it becomes apparent that a breach of a human rights or environment-related obligation in TÜV SÜD's own business operations is imminent or has already occurred, TÜV SÜD will promptly take appropriate remedial measures to prevent or end the breach. TÜV SÜD pursues a zero-tolerance approach in this respect.

    The type of measures to be taken depends on various factors, for instance the type and severity of the imminent or actual breach. Depending on the circumstances prevailing in the specific case, disciplinary action may be imposed, and/or criminal or civil proceedings may also be initiated. Depending on the applicable labor law, disciplinary action could range from an informal employee notice and issuance of a formal warning letter to termination with or without notice. Other possible measures include the obligation to participate in special training courses, mutually agreed changes in the employment contract, and transfer. More details can be found in the group guideline on Compliance Tip-Offs, Investigations and Sanctions.

    6.2. Remedial measures at TÜV SÜD's direct suppliers and, if applicable, indirect suppliers

    As soon as TÜV SÜD becomes aware of the imminence or materialization of breach of a human rights or environment-related obligation at one of TÜV SÜD’s direct suppliers, TÜV SÜD will promptly take appropriate remedial measures to prevent or end the breach or mitigate the extent of the breach.

    It is determined which measure is appropriate in the specific case on the basis of various circumstances, such as the type and severity of the imminent or actual breach, as well as TÜV SÜD's ability to exert influence and any causal contribution. Depending on the circumstances prevailing in the specific case, the following measures may be considered: First, an attempt shall be made to develop a joint solution in collaboration with the supplier concerned and, if applicable, relevant stakeholders, in which TÜV SÜD can also assist with its many years of experience and expertise with regard to the protection of people, the environment and assets from technical risks. If it is not possible to end the breach in the foreseeable future, the supplier should draw up a specifically targeted concept for ending or mitigating it, in which TÜV SÜD can assist if and where necessary. The implementation of such a concept within the specified time schedule will be verified by TÜV SÜD. Also, TÜV SÜD will always check whether a collaboration with other companies, for example within the framework of industry initiatives, is expedient in order to increase the possibilities of exerting influence on the party that causes the breach. Further measures include temporary suspension of the supply relationship and, as a last resort, termination of the business relationship.

    If TÜV SÜD obtains substantiated knowledge of factual indications that suggest a violation of a human rights or environment-related obligation at an indirect supplier and if these indications are confirmed during the risk analysis (cf. para. 4.2.4. above), the responsible specialist department will take appropriate remedial action from the list of measures described above, depending on its ability to influence the party that causes the breach of duty and TÜV SÜD's own causal contribution, if any.

    6.3. Review of effectiveness of remedial measures

    All sets of rules that apply to all TÜV SÜD employees throughout the group, as well as those that TÜV SÜD bindingly agrees with suppliers and third parties, are regularly reviewed for their effectiveness and any need for adjustment. The same applies to the other remedial measures described above. This is done at least once a year on the basis of the results of the annual risk analyses as well as on an ad hoc basis, i.e., if TÜV SÜD must expect a significantly changed or significantly expanded risk situation in its own business operations or in the supply chain, for example due to new projects, business areas, or relevant company acquisitions, or if reports from whistleblowers suggest a changed risk situation.

  • 7. Complaints procedure and review of effectiveness

    The TÜV SÜD Trust Channel may be used to submit complaints or information regarding human rights or environment-related risks as well as breaches of human rights or environment-related obligations.

    The TÜV SÜD Trust Channel is a secure and confidential channel which is available 24/7 and may be used by all TÜV SÜD employees around the globe, as well as all customers, suppliers and other third parties, to report concerns about suspected cases or breach; reports may also be submitted anonymously to the extent required. Whistleblowers have the option of providing their contact details or setting up a secure electronic mailbox through which they can communicate with the Global Compliance Office anonymously and confidentially. The TÜV SÜD Trust Channel is an Internet-based whistleblower system that is available in the 19 languages relevant for TÜV SÜD's business activities and it is technically managed by a third-party provider. Any reported content is processed exclusively by TÜV SÜD employees. Any and all data contained in a whistleblower report is stored on secure servers in Germany. Further information on the whistleblower system is available on the TÜV SÜD Trust Channel website which is hosted on a secure server; the TÜV SÜD Trust Channel is also linked on TÜV SÜD's website and intranet and it is promoted at regular intervals on various communication tools.

    Employees who report and submit information to the best of their knowledge and in good faith must not be disadvantaged in any way at TÜV SÜD. At the same time, TÜV SÜD recognizes the importance of protecting individuals against whom a tip-off is directed. Neither these persons nor whistleblowers may be compromised prematurely.

    The compliance organization investigates any and all incoming information locally, regionally or globally, if necessary, also involving the Internal Audit Group Department. Any and all information is treated as confidential and forwarded only to individuals who need to know this information in the context of investigation or subsequent action ("need-to-know principle"). The protection of the whistleblower and the person concerned is ensured in every investigative measure.

    If the whistleblower has communicated or set up a contact option, this person will receive an acknowledgement of receipt no later than seven days after submitting a whistleblower report. Within three months after sending the confirmation of receipt at the latest, the Compliance Officer in charge of the case will inform the whistleblower of any measures planned to be taken and, if applicable, already taken and the reasons for such measures, provided that this information does not adversely affect the investigation or the persons concerned.

    Whenever a tip-off has been confirmed, appropriate disciplinary measures will be imposed and, if and where necessary, criminal or civil action will also be taken. TÜV SÜD pursues a zero-tolerance approach in this respect. The relevant decision-makers are informed at regular intervals about human rights or environment-related risks confirmed as a result of a tip-off, as well as breaches of human rights or environment-related obligations. In order to prevent future risks and breaches, appropriate measures are taken in confirmed cases, such as process changes, communication measures, and target group-oriented training.

    Further details can be found in the group guideline on Compliance Tip-Offs, Investigations and Sanctions. As with all rules and regulations that apply to all TÜV SÜD employees throughout the group, this guideline is regularly reviewed for effectiveness and any need for adjustment. The same applies to the other procedures described above. This is done at least once a year on the basis of the outcome of the annual risk analyses and on an ad hoc basis, i.e., if TÜV SÜD must expect a significantly changed or significantly expanded risk situation in its own business unit or in the supply chain, for example as a result of new projects, business fields, or relevant company acquisitions, or if reports from whistleblowers suggest a changed risk situation.

  • 8. Documentation and reporting

    Compliance with human rights and environment-related due diligence obligations as per Section 3 LkSG is continuously documented by the respective responsible departments specified in para. 3.-7. above. Documentation will be archived for at least seven years from the date of issuance. The Global Human Rights Officer will monitor compliance with documentation obligations of the respective responsible departments and provides specialist support where necessary.

    TÜV SÜD AG, TÜV SÜD Auto Service GmbH and TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH will prepare a report as per Section 10 (2) LkSG for the first time no later than by April 30, 2024 regarding compliance with human rights and environment-related due diligence obligations as per Section 3 LkSG in the fiscal year 2023 and make it publicly available free of charge on TÜV SÜD's group uniform website for a period of seven years. The Global Human Rights Officer will coordinate and monitor the response to the questions by the respective responsible specialist departments specified in para. 3.-7. above and provides specialist support where necessary.

In December 2023    
     
TÜV SÜD AG     
The Board     
Dr. Johannes Bußmann   Prof. Dr. Matthias J. Rapp   Ishan Palit
     
TÜV SÜD Auto Service GmbH     
The Managing Directors     
Partick Fruth Stephan Jacoby  Axel Bischopink 
     
TÜV SÜD Industry Service GmbH     
The Managing Directors     
Ferdinand Neuwieser  Thomas Kainz  Simon Kellerer 
     
 TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH    
 The Managing Directors     
 Walter Reithmaier  Patrick van Welij  
     
 TÜV Technische Überwachung Hessen GmbH  
 The Managing Directors     
 Henning Stricker  Thomas Walkenhorst  

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TÜV SÜD TRUST CHANNEL

In order to report compliance violations at TÜV SÜD or in the supply chain, the TÜV SÜD Trust Channel is available to internal and external parties.

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