Code of Conduct
We take social and ecological responsibility globally.
It is our commitment to excellence that drives us forward every day and allows us to grow. We have long since become one of the best providers in the world.
We have gained a reputation over the decades that we can be proud of. It is also this positive reputation that we have a special obligation to live up to.
We have therefore developed a guideline in the form of our code of conduct in order to help us to act responsibly and ethically at all times - both internally and externally. The code of conduct supports workable cooperation and creates the basis for healthy and sustainable growth. It is part of our DNA. Whatever position we may hold in the company, it is a binding code of conduct for us all.
We can be proud of our reputation. It is our joint responsibility to do justice to it.
Guidelines for us and for our Actions
Continuity and customer orientation, identification and growth are very important to us. We create an atmosphere that harmonises corporate success, people and the environment so that everyone can make their own contribution. The guidelines help us to achieve this.
- We are a medium-sized, independent family company and wish to remain so.
- We guarantee continuity in the development of the company, which is expressed in our particular dedication to our headquarters and production facility in Braunschweig.
- We generate sufficient earnings and appropriate returns.
- We use our financial resources efficiently.
- This allows us to secure financial independence and the expansion of the company.
- We operate globally as a company and continue to expand our facilities.
- We concentrate on the essentials and set priorities.
- We are a customer-oriented company because they customers dictate our success.
- We meet their expectations and contribute to solving their problems.
- We differentiate ourselves from our competitors and offer additional value from our expertise.
- We strive to continue being the preferred partner to satisfied customers in the future.
- We maintain fair conduct and reliability in all our business relationships.
- We conduct our business to have minimal impact on the environment.
- We are committed to civil issues beyond applicable legal requirements.
- We follow a code of conduct that aligns all our actions, without exception, with a legal and ethical framework in accordance with local laws and guidelines.
- We have a mutual duty of care towards all employees.
- We are aware that our team makes a substantial contribution to the success of the company.
- We have motivated staff that identifies with the company and that is committed to its goals.
- We work in an innovative environment and promote qualification and further education.
- We communicate information promptly and openly, forming the basis for trust and motivation.
- We cultivate teamwork and a situational management style and display mutual respect.
- We work with clear, agreed upon, realistic goals and with ongoing monitoring of success.
- We demand and promote personal initiative and responsible, goal-oriented and entrepreneurial action.
- We are proud of our company and identify with it completely.
We determine our company goals on the basis of the guidelines and every member of the PROTEGO® Group is actively involved in their implementation.
- We set ourselves new revenue targets every five years for solid and profitable growth and work persistently to realise them.
- An appropriate return on assets must be considered when assessing strategic objectives and operational measures.
- Our goal it to maintain technological leadership in the markets we serve.
- We want to provide our customers the highest level of service through our subsidiaries or qualified partners in all the important markets around the world.
- Targeted measures in personnel development are allowing us to train employees with special skills in all areas of operation.
- Excellence dictates our actions in the PROTEGO® team.
Excellence in Safety and Environment
Our promise of safety for people, the environment and the company is something that each and every one of us embraces daily. We invest in research and development in order to meet this responsibility. Our very good solutions are the result of our motivation to get even better and to consistently measure ourselves against new quality goals.
Occupational safety and health protection as well as environmental protection and sustainability determine our actions. It is our goal to minimise risk in order to not harm people or the environment, nationally or internationally.
We comply with laws, regulations and guidelines regarding occupational safety and we ensure that all legal requirements are fulfilled in the long term. We also have processes to ensure the safety of our employees in the workplace. Regular safety checks of work procedures, the maintenance of machines as well as systems and technical safety measures ensure the minimisation of health and safety risks at the workplace and avoids accidents and occupational illnesses.
Everyone is required to comply with safety regulations and to be actively involved in the improvement of working conditions. In this way we increase awareness of health protection and occupational safety, promote safe conduct and prevent occupational illnesses. We ensure a safe working environment using regular safety minutes. Our compliance and monitoring committee convenes four times a year (environment/ labour committee meeting). The contact person for questions related to work safety and health protection is our HSE Manager.
Employees who have been ill for longer periods are supported by an assimilation process and are reintegrated into the operational procedures.
Environmental protection and the promotion of sustainability are entrepreneurial tasks for the benefit of present and future generations. We are conscious of this responsibility. This is why we undertake to identify, fulfil and monitor all statutory environmental regulations. Environmentally conscious action is part of our corporate strategy and vision. Environmental goals and sustainability are therefore an integral component of the overarching planning premises.
We strive to sustainably reduce raw material and energy consumption, as well as emissions, waste water, waste and hazardous substances through clear targets and improvement strategies. The business sector we are in gives us direct influence on environmental protection. We work continuously on the development of sustainable solutions and products for our customers.
We demand and promote environmentally conscious action across our company. Our employees use resources responsibly and carefully and make a substantial contribution to the improvement of environmental performance.
We stand for Respect and Tolerance
Partnerly conduct is an important element in our corporate culture. We treat our colleagues with respect and tolerance. Bullying and discrimination is not tolerated. Diversity is a strength, because it gives rise to new ideas and opportunities. That is why we promote a work environment in which we treat each other fairly and with respect.
We support the observance of internationally recognised human rights, in particular the following in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN Resolution 217 A (III) of 1948):
- Protection of privacy: we protect our employees’ privacy.
- Health protection: we promote and ensure a working environment that is safe and promotes health in order to avoid accidents and injuries.
- Protection from harassment: We protect our employees from physical punishment and from physical, sexual, psychological and verbal harassment and abuse.
- Protection of freedom of opinion: we protect and grant the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
We respect the right of employees to freedom of association, assembly and collective bargaining insofar as this is legally permissible and possible in the relevant country.
We reject every form of child and forced labour in our Group and supply chain. The definition of child and forced labour is based on the core labour standards ILO 29, 105, 138 and 182 as well as the basic principles of the Global Compact of the United Nations (UNGC). The relevant national laws and provisions of each country apply.
We will not tolerate actions and conduct of a humiliating, intimidating or hostile nature. Interactions are characterised by esteem and respect. We shall express criticism in an appropriate and respectful manner. Inappropriate behaviour can be discussed with our HR Manager, Workers’ Council, Management or other trustworthy persons at any time.
The equal treatment of all employees is an essential principle of our corporate policy.
We respect cultural differences and encourage to inclusion of different ideas and competences in our company. We will not tolerate any disadvantaging or discrimination on the grounds of age, ethnic background, skin colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, religion or disability. These principles are applied in all HR decisions such as appointment, promotion, disciplinary measures and termination.
Here too, we are guided by the ILO core labour standards (111).
We undertake to adhere to the applicable legal working hour provisions around the world and to pay appropriate remuneration.
The (collectively agreed) pay and remuneration regulations applicable in the respective country must be adhered to.
Here too, we are guided by the ILO core labour standards (100).
We know and observe the Laws and Regulations
We comply with national and international laws, our internal rules and this code of conduct. Each of us is required to be familiar with these regulations and to make decisions on this basis.
We are committed to protecting and safeguarding our patent and trademark rights. We protect and respect the intellectual property of others. The inventions and new developments of our employees are protected and recognised.
We are committed to upholding the relevant valid legal and data protection requirements and regulations (including the EU General Data Protection Regulation 95/46/EC). These include the protection of natural persons in the processing of personal data and the free circulation of such data.
The guidelines are monitored by an external data protection officer. Our employees receive regular training and instruction on compliance. Each of us is obliged to protect the confidential, personal, secret company data entrusted to him or her from improper use and to protect business and trade secrets.
The personal data of our employees is also kept confidential.
Gifts, hospitality and evens for information, representation or entertainment purposes can be a legitimate means of developing and supporting business connections. However they may not serve to obtain unfair commercial advantage nor be carried out to the extent or in a way that may put in doubt the professional independence or judgement of the participants.
The giving or receiving of a gift or an invitation must also be in line with internal company regulations and the valid local laws. Certain situations demand the prior authorisation of a superior or another person authorised by the superior in order to protect the individual and the company.
As a matter of principle, we do not grant any cash payments to persons outside the company nor benefits to any public officials.
Payments to our company or to our employees may not be causally connected with a business transaction nor exceed the legally prescribed value. Gifts of a higher value that are offered must be declined and the management informed. Accepting cash is strictly prohibited.
We comply with anti-bribery laws and laws to combat corruption.
We do not make or receive any payments to or from business partners whom we do not know nor do we support any money laundering. New business partners are evaluated using official documents (e.g. extract from the commercial register, certificate of establishment, Creditreform).
Our correct accounting ensures that payments are reported accurately and transparently and that funds within the company are not used for illegal purposes. Management must be involved in any cases of doubt.
We are committed to fair and open competition and do not enter into collusion that distorts or limits competition.
We are committed to determining and monitoring all the relevant regulations on import and export controls that affect our company such as, e.g. checking anti-terror lists and upholding bans, embargoes, sanctions and trade controls. We have an export control officer and a safety officer for air freight for the compliance with and monitoring of these regulations.
We do not want conflicts of interest to impede the success of our company if uneconomic decisions are made, customers get upset or sensitive, confidential information is disclosed.
This can mainly occur when private interests of the individual conflict with the economic interests of the company. We separate private and business interests.
We have guidelines (e.g. the dual control principle) in place so that operational decisions are made by more than one person. This reduces the risk of company actions being influenced too greatly by the secondary interests of an individual.
The granting of contracts to relatives, life partners or other persons close to employees must be authorised in advance by a superior and/or the compliance unit. This also applies to business with companies in which relatives have direct or indirect interests.
We educate our employees by pointing out the possible negative consequences of disregarding conflicts of interest. Everyone is called upon to question his or her own actions and to speak openly about possible conflicts of interest.
We respect the right of our employees to carry out political activities in their free time as long as the relevant activities do not take place on our premises.
Employees may not use our name in a way that implies that we support any political position. They may not use their position at the company for political purposes. We do not make political donations.
We pursue the common goal of shaping social, environmental and ethical standards with our partners through sustainability in our supply chain. In doing so we focus on their products and services. We deal responsibly with our suppliers and rely on our suppliers also being responsible. We offer our support where necessary so that our partners can take this responsibility. Together with our suppliers we contribute to our cooperation becoming trusting and long term partnerships.
Our code of conduct for suppliers is based on the principles of the Global Compact of the United Nations, the ILO core labour standards and our human rights position. In order to meet our sustainability requirements it is important that our suppliers comply with this self-obligation or have their own standard that reflects our approach. They must provide corresponding methods in their companies in order to integrate sustainable principles into their guidelines and procedures. Whenever we identify deviations from the principles in our supplier code, we push to correct them.
Within the framework of our human rights requirements for purchasing, we emphasise on the prevention of child labour and modern slavery. Our suppliers must know and comply with all applicable international, national and local laws and regulations, contractual agreements and internationally recognised standards. The must also align their practices with the generally recognised sector standards, all applicable authorisations, certificates, licences and permits, keeping them up to date and adapting their activities at all times in accordance with the limitations and requirements in the authorisations is mandatory.
With our code of conduct for suppliers we aim to create awareness of sustainable actions in all our partners. It is applied in the selection and approval of suppliers. In order to achieve this we are developing a system for the evaluation of sustainability performance in order to audit suppliers and document the results. Discrepancies can be analysed exactly together with our partners and then resolved in order to ensure the further development of social, ethical and environmental standards.
Compliance with the Code of Conduct is our shared Task
Our Code of Conduct applies to all employees. We are all called upon to act in accordance with it. It is also our responsibility to ensure that violations are recognised in a timely manner.
Our confidential reporting system allows the anonymous reporting of violations of the code of conduct. We are aware that these contact points should be used especially in cases of serious misconduct or violations with a high risk for the PROTEGO® Group. If you have this type of information you can contact us at:
Braunschweiger Flammenfilter GmbH
CSR-Department – Compliance
Phone: +49 (0)5307 809 394