Human rights and labour – standards for today’s energy business

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The Responsible Business Alliance founded by leading electronics companies is dedicated to corporate social responsibility in global supply chains.

Among the newest members of the Alliance is German sustainable mobility powertrain developer Vitesco Technologies.

Accompanying its membership Vitesco Technologies says it has initiated the development of comprehensive measures for the implementation of human rights due diligence across its activities and along its entire supply chain.

To implement these processes, the company is setting up management systems along its business activities and is expanding existing mechanisms for risk assessment and monitoring of suppliers, among others.

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Awareness raising and training for employees and stakeholders in global supply chains, as well as providing effective reporting and remediation systems also play a crucial role.

Further, through its membership of the Alliance, Vitesco Technologies recognises its Code of Conduct and makes it binding for its employees, business partners and suppliers. The focus is on a clear commitment to respect human rights and to comply with labour and social standards, as well as principles for the protection of people and the environment.

“As an international company with more than 40,000 employees and a complex network of suppliers and business partners worldwide, human rights due diligence is a key issue for us and will be an integral part of our corporate culture,” Ingo Holstein, Chief Human Relations Officer at Vitesco Technologies, explains.

The Responsible Business Alliance was founded as the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition in 2004 and counts more than 170 electronics and other companies employing over 6 million people across the globe.

The implementation of the Alliance’s Code of Conduct by those companies extends its requirements to the thousands more companies that are their suppliers.

The Code of Conduct, which originated with the electronics industry in mind, is a set of social, environmental and ethical industry standards to ensure that working conditions in the industry, or industries in which electronics are a key component, and its supply chains are safe, that workers are treated with respect and dignity and that business operations are environmentally responsible and conducted ethically.

These draw on international norms and standards including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ILO International Labor Standards, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, ISO and SA standards, among others.