GKV Code of Conduct for the Plastics Processing Industry
As an umbrella organisation bringing together the member organisations AVK, IK, pro‐K and TecPart, the GKV represents a large section of the plastics converting industry in Germany. The member companies are committed to their social responsibility within the framework of their entrepreneurial activity (Corporate Social Responsibility).
The present GKV code of conduct (CoC) is a voluntary agreement, through which member companies wish to guarantee particularly the observance of global demands on ethical and moral actions as well as the standards of proper conduct in the areas of competition and antitrust law (compliance). This also means promoting fair and sustainable standards dealing with suppliers and customers as well as own company personnel.
The companies recognising the code of conduct regularly inform company members on the ethical goals and behaviour principles of this code of conduct. Moreover, they aim for suppliers to also accept the guidelines.
The GKV code of conduct is designed as a negotiated agreement. The certification of participating companies is carried out by the GVK or its carrier associations.
I. General regulations
This code of conduct is valid for all branches and production sites of the company.
2. Laws, standards and ethic behaviour
The company adheres to the valid laws and standards of the respective countries it is active in. It takes guidance from the general ethic values and principles, especially integrity, righteousness as well as human dignity.
3. Business partners, authorities and consumers
The company practices according to the generally recognised business practices of fairness and honesty. It deals truthfully with authorities. Standards protecting consumers are adhered to.
4. Trade secrets
Trade secrets of business partners will be treated strictly confidentially by companies and their members. Passing on confidential information to third parties or making this information publicly available is forbidden. This continues to be the case for company members even after the employment has been terminated.
II. Antitrust and competition law guidelines
1. Antitrust law
The company is committed to a fair competition. Laws protecting fair competition, particularly antitrust law and other competition regulating laws, are adhered to.
Collusion on prices or other conditions, sales areas or customers as well a misuse of market power contradict the principles of the company.
2. Bribery, bribability and corruption
The company opposes bribery and corruption and does not tolerate such behaviour. The employees are to take care not to create personal dependencies or obligations towards customers or suppliers. In particular, employees are not allowed to accept or make gifts which, under reasonable contemplation, could influence business decisions.
In case gifts are part of a country’s custom, it is important to note that no binding dependencies are created and local legal standards are adhered to.
Contravention will routinely have legal consequences.
III. Global guidelines
1. Human Rights
Internationally recognised human rights1 are supported explicitly and consistently. Equally, in the case of disciplinary measures, all company personnel are to be treated with dignity and respect. Such measures must only take place in accordance with the current national and international standards and internationally recognised human rights (General Declaration of Human Rights – UN‐Doc. 217, UN Human Rights Charter.)
2. Child Labour
Child labour and any kind of exploitation of children and adolescents is rejected. The corresponding
laws are adhered to.
3. Forced labour
Any kind of forced labour, debt bondage, slave work or slavery or similar situations are rejected. Company members must not be forced to work through means of violence or intimidation, neither
directly nor indirectly (See ILO Conventions 29 and 105).
All employees in full time employment shall receive a fair salary covering at least their basic needs. The wages are to be paid in a practical way (cash, cheque, bank transfer) and payroll accounting has to be made available to a reasonable extent (See ILO Conventions 26 and 131). The right of employees to freedom of association, freedom of assembly and collective bargaining in as far as this is legally admissible and possible in the respective country, shall be respected ( See ILO Convention 87 of 1948 and 98 of 1949).
5. Working hours
Working hours correspond to valid national laws, industry standards or relevant ILO conventions. Extra work has to be done on a voluntarily basis (See ILO Conventions 1 and 14).
6. Health and employment protection
The national and international regulations for securing health and safety at work are adhered to. Relevant systems to avoid risks for health and safety are to be set up (See ILO Convention 155).
7. Environmental protection
The company adheres to the goals of sustainable environmental protection. Environmentally friendly production methods are aimed for in this context. In accordance with the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development of the United Nations (27 principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, decided upon by the United Nations. Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), Rio de Janeiro, 1992), the company deals responsibly with natural resources.
IV. Ethical and social principles
The company opposes discrimination on employment or occupation, in particular a discrimination because of race, ethic or national origins, colour of skin, gender, or mental and physical disability, age, creed, membership of a trade union or any other personal traits (See ILO Conventions 100, 111, 158 and 159).
The company disapproves of physical, psychological or sexual violence.
3. Freedom of opinion
The right to freedom of opinion and free expression of opinion is warranted.
Privacy is respected.
V. Observance of the code of conduct
The company presents the code of conduct to company members in a suitable form and given intervals, and ensures that it is adhered to.
A requirement for the certification is a regular survey of members taken every two years within the framework of self‐disclosure.
The certified companies can be made public in an appropriate way through the GKV and its carrier associations. The participating companies acquire the right to use the GKV logo for the Code of Conduct.
If the companies do not fulfil or cease to fulfil the certification requirements, membership within the
compliance initiative will be withdrawn.
June 21, 2016