We respect human rights and are committed to seeing that they are upheld within the Group and upstream along the value chain. Beyond this commitment, we aim to prevent the violation of human rights among our workforce and in the supply chain.
MTU respects the internationally proclaimed human rights set out in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and enforces and protects these rights within its sphere of influence. We view the respecting of human rights as a Group-wide issue that involves many different areas, including social labor standards/law for employees and sustainable supplier management.
Society’s expectations of companies regarding human rights are rising, as shown by legal regulation (e.g. the UK Modern Slavery Act) and political initiatives such as Germany’s National Action Plan (NAP) for Business and Human Rights. We are conscious of our responsibility as a company with global operations, and aim to carry out our due diligence with regard to human rights as best we can. MTU pursues the goal of preventing human rights violations from occurring in its own business activities (zero-tolerance principle).
Our contribution to the SDGs
As a signatory to the UN Global Compact, we support this important international initiative that aims to uphold human rights. Human rights principles also feature in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN’s 2030 Agenda. We want to further these global development goals as a company by respecting and promoting human rights and preventing adverse effects. We support SDG 5 (“Gender equality”) and SDG 8 (“Decent work and economic growth”), and see our role in achieving these SDGs primarily in enacting a responsible employment policy for our workforce.
Code of Conduct for Employees and Suppliers
MTU is committed to respecting the individuality and dignity of all, maintaining equality of opportunity in the workplace and preventing discrimination. The protection of human rights, the right to appropriate remuneration, as well as recognition of regulations governing employee and union representation under labor and works constitution law, are implemented Group-wide through the Code of Conduct. As an employer, we want to create fair working conditions based on legally binding employment contracts with appropriate remuneration. This includes the right to unionize and to adopt collective agreements. Compliance with the Code of Conduct and ethical principles is enshrined in the MTU Principles. In addition, MTU is bound by legal obligations that may differ from location to location; in Germany, for example, MTU must honor the General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG), which prohibits discrimination against employees and job applicants. For employees in Germany, we have also introduced internal guidelines on fair and cooperative conduct that are designed to prevent bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination. → More about MTU as an employer
When they join the company, new employees are informed about the regulations laid down in the Code of Conduct and—in Germany—in the General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG), and they undertake to comply with these requirements. In addition, MTU provides regular training on the Code of Conduct at all the company’s sites and across all hierarchical levels. → More about MTU’s Code of Conduct and associated training
The Code of Conduct for Suppliers applies to upstream value creation activities. MTU suppliers are obligated to uphold the Code of Conduct, which is informed by the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and the core labor standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The Code requires suppliers to observe and uphold human rights and to ensure that they are not complicit in any human rights violations. In addition, it calls for compliance with labor standards regarding the freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, the prohibition of forced and child labor, the equality of remuneration regardless of gender, and equal treatment of employees. And finally, MTU requires its suppliers to apply the Code to their subcontractors and reserves the right to terminate any contract with a supplier using child labor to manufacture products supplied to MTU, without prior notice. → More about MTU’s Code of Conduct for Suppliers
Established reporting procedures are intended to ensure that MTU follows up on all complaints or reports of human rights infringements. Reports may be made by employees or external stakeholders to the Compliance Officer (or ombudsman) as a confidential contact point in the Group. Additional points of contact for employees have been set up at each location, about which we provide information on site. Employees can also report grievances to managers, the works council or the head of human resources. The Executive Board is informed about infringements committed by MTU depending on the severity of their impact.
Across the entire Group, one substantiated complaint was submitted in 2018, and that was at MTU Maintenance Canada in Vancouver regarding the anti-discrimination law (BC Human Rights Code) in effect there. This complaint was followed up and appropriate action taken. Other than this, there were no substantiated breaches of the Code of Conduct within the MTU Group. Similarly, no infraction of the Code of Conduct or violation of human rights was determined to have taken place among our suppliers.
MTU considers the risk of human rights violations among its employees to be low at all its locations, as it is bound by the relevant national legislation that protects human rights and can play a direct role in upholding them. As for the supply chain, we conduct a risk analysis for suppliers of sites in Germany, Poland and Canada, looking at the individual countries as well as sourced products and services (for A and B suppliers). In this way we cover about 95% of our total procurement volume. The country risk analysis was based on the annual Global Slavery Index compiled by the Walk Free Foundation, which assesses countries according to standardized criteria on forced and child labor and legal frameworks. The OEM and MRO segments are assessed separately, since each handles procurement through its own organizational units. This assessment found no MTU suppliers in countries that represent a risk according to these criteria. MRO also conducts a supplier evaluation twice a year for suppliers of the German sites. In the future, the evaluation will cover sustainability aspects as well.
In procurement, we take various steps to safeguard the respect of human rights in the supply chain. This applies especially to the procurement of certain raw materials known as conflict minerals: for example, tantalum, tin, gold and tungsten, which can be found in certain components of engines manufactured by MTU. These minerals can cause problems in procurement because they are sometimes mined in Central African countries, where the profits are used to finance armed conflicts in which human rights are not respected. MTU’s commitment to sustainability includes a transparent value chain that excludes the use of conflict minerals. We never deliberately purchase conflict minerals, but they can find their way into our production or pre-production at the various levels of our global supply chain. According to the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act applicable to companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States, MTU’s American partners and customers require that MTU disclose the origin of minerals used and limit its sources to certified mining companies and primary-alloy producers (list of compliant smelters).
In turn, MTU demands that its relevant suppliers should specify the origin of such minerals, in order to ensure that the value chain contains only conflict-free raw materials. MTU’s procurement guidelines require suppliers to provide information about the source of minerals in accordance with the EICC/GeSi Conflict Minerals Reporting Standard. To date, no infractions have come to the knowledge of MTU that infringe on the principles of the Dodd-Frank Act. The Code of Conduct for suppliers moreover prohibits the use of child labor. MTU reserves the right to terminate any contract with a supplier using child labor to manufacture products supplied to MTU, without prior notice.
We keep an eye on developments in human rights law in the supply chain, such as the EU’s new regulation on conflict minerals for 2021 and NAP in Germany, so as to properly comply with relevant requirements in a timely fashion. → More about sustainable supplier management