Disclosure 103-1: Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary
As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, Sika promotes the protection of universally acknowledged human and labor rights. With operations in more than 100 countries, Sika is active in many regions ranking high on human rights risk indices. Sika takes seriously its responsibility to assess its own operations in relation to potential human rights violations, and to implement adequate measures to prevent any violation.
For this purpose, Sika in its Code of Conduct, Supplier Code of Conduct and the annual GRI Compliance Confirmation has defined minimum human and labor rights standards to be implemented globally, including the prohibition of forced, slave, compulsory or child labor, the freedom of association, the prohibition of any form of discrimination, and the guarantee of fair compensation and equal opportunities for all employees.
Disclosure 103-2: The management approach and its components
Sika’s management approach to the protection of fundamental human and labor rights is reflected in a number of internal policies and processes, as described below:
COMMITMENT TO UN GLOBAL COMPACT AND GRI STANDARDS
For nearly a decade now, Sika has demonstrated its firm and continuous commitment to normative frameworks promoting fundamental human and labor rights, such as the UN Global Compact and the GRI Standards.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
As stated in its HR policies and employment contracts, Sika is an equal opportunities employer. It thus is committed to treating all staff equally, refraining from any discrimination based on race, color, gender, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, citizenship, disability, or any other legally protected factor.
SIKA CODE OF CONDUCT
Sika’s Code of Conduct requires all employees to comply with applicable laws and regulations. At all locations where Sika operates, forced, slave, compulsory or child labor are strictly prohibited. For the reporting year, Sika has received no indication nor any report of human rights violations concerning its own entities. In their GRI Compliance Confirmation for 2020, 100% of Sika’s GMs confirmed that no cases of human or labor rights violations have occurred at their respective entities.
SIKA SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT
Given the broad supplier base in many countries with high human rights violation risks and the sourcing from industries where labor rights potentially are at risk, Sika actively promotes the respect of human and labor rights among its suppliers, by means of its Supplier Code of Conduct and periodic supplier audits and reviews.
By signing Sika’s Supplier Code of Conduct, suppliers undertake to respect the provisions of the UNO’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the core Conventions of the International Labor Organization regarding:
Prohibition and elimination of child labor and forced labor
- Freedom of association and collective bargaining
- Promotion of equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment and occupation
- Safe and healthy working conditions
- Payment of living wages and regular employment entitlements
- Non-excessive working hours
Suppliers further undertake to put systems in place for the proper information, training, and auditing of their personnel and subcontractors to ensure compliance with these principles. To the extent that Sika is directly concerned, suppliers are required to inform Sika immediately of any identified violation of Sika’s Supplier Code of Conduct.
GRI COMPLIANCE CONFIRMATION
GMs and their local management team are obliged to ensure, supervise, and monitor the protection of human and labor rights at their entities and within their areas of responsibility. The GRI Compliance Confirmation asks all GMs to confirm that they have implemented and communicated the following to their staff:
- the prohibition of forced, slave, compulsory or child labor,
- the freedom of association,
- the right to fair compensation, and
- the non-discrimination and equal opportunity principle.
- promotes equal opportunities and fair treatment in employment and occupation and prohibits any form of discrimination, whereas discrimination “is the act and result of treating people unequally by imposing unequal burdens or denying benefits rather than treating each person fairly based on individual merit”;
- ensures the right of workers and employees to establish and join organizations of their own choosing without the need for prior authorization;
- prohibits forced, slave or compulsory labor, which refers to work and services exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered herself or himself voluntarily (the most extreme examples being slave labor and bonded labor, but debts can also be used to maintain workers in a state of forced labor, for example by withholding identity papers or requiring compulsory deposits).
- strictly prohibits child labor, whereas the term “child” refers to any person under the age of 15 years or under the age of completion of compulsory schooling, whichever is higher.
In the 2020 GRI Compliance Confirmation, all Sika GMs confirmed that they provided adequate information and training to their staff regarding the above-mentioned human and labor rights.
INTERNAL AUDITS AND INSPECTIONS
Through mechanisms such as audits and inspections, Sika also ensures and monitors the protection of human and labor rights among its Group companies. Corporate Compliance, in close cooperation with Corporate Legal and Internal Audit, runs periodic checks and audits to monitor implementation of Sika’s human and labor rights standards and to implement improvement measures if deemed necessary.
SUPPLIER AUDITS AND ASSESSMENTS
In February 2020, Sika joined “Together for Sustainability” (TfS), an industry-driven organization including all major chemicals companies. Goal of TfS is to develop and implement a global assessment and audit program for the supply chain of all members, with a particular focus on the implementation of human rights and environmental standards. Through TfS, Sika today has access to more than 10,000 supplier assessments and audits. Every member is obliged to organize per year between 100 and 150 self-assessments among its suppliers as well as 20+ in depths CSR audits. In exchange, it has access to the self-assessment and audit reports submitted by all other members. TfS greatly increases Sika’s ability to ensure compliance by its suppliers with broadly accepted CSR norms, including fundamental human and labor rights. By the same token, Sika’s organization and processes will be measured against the same norms. This, in turn, will help Sika to continuously improve its own CSR record and performance.
SCREENING OF NEW SUPPLIERS
Based on the requirements set out in the Supplier Code of Conduct, Sika requires its new suppliers to perform a self-assessment.
- The results of the self-assessments help Corporate Procurement identify suppliers representing a potential CSR risk.
- Suppliers representing a CSR risk are screened by Sika personnel, using desktop research and performing targeted supplier audits.
- Compliance with the set of human rights included in the Supplier Code of Conduct is one of the basic contract renewal requirements.
- If human rights violations are identified, termination of the relationship with the supplier is the only option.
DISCLOSURE 103-3: EVALUATION OF THE MANAGEMENT APPROACH
The management approach has been reviewed and has proven to be effective.