Declaration of principles Respect human rights and the environment

How we respect human rights and the environment

]init[ AG für digitale Kommunikation ("]init[") is committed to respecting human rights and the environment and to taking responsibility for its supply and value chain.

We are committed to respecting human rights and environmental concerns within our own business activities and in our supply chains and to ensuring that human rights and environmental violations are prevented and that those affected have access to remedies.

This declaration of principles applies to our employees in all areas of the company and contains the obligation to always behave fairly towards colleagues, business partners and suppliers and in compliance with legal requirements.

Similarly, we expect our business partners and suppliers to be equally committed to respecting human rights and protecting the environment, to endeavour to establish appropriate due diligence processes and to pass these expectations on to their own suppliers.

Recognised guidelines and standards 

In accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), ]init[ is committed in particular to the following internationally recognised human rights and environmental standards:

  • United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations
  • Core labour standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on labour and social standards
  • United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP).

The aforementioned standards are supplemented by further directives. These include in particular

  • Our Code of Conduct
  • Our guidelines on internal organisation
  • Our supplier code of conduct
  • Our voluntary commitment to the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), under which we have installed an environmental programme in addition to an environmental policy.

Respect for human rights and the environment in detail

We oppose any violation of internationally recognised human rights and working conditions. 
On the one hand, this concerns direct human rights violations such as

  • Child labour & dangerous youth work
  • Slavery & forced labour
  • inappropriate health & safety measures
  • Violation of the freedom of assembly
  • Use of private security forces that use excessive force 
  • Violation of local minimum wages and fair pay
  • Discrimination against principles of equal treatment,

but also human rights violations due to environmental risks such as

  • Soil contamination 
  • Water pollution
  • Air pollution
  • Excessive water consumption
  • Noise emissions
  • Use of mercury and other banned substances and chemicals in products/processes
  • inappropriate waste management, including illegal import and export of hazardous waste materials.

How we implement our duties in accordance with the LKSG

Respect for human and environmental rights and their consideration within the supply chain is a continuous process. Compliance with due diligence obligations is therefore subject to regular review and further development in line with changing conditions and our business and entrepreneurial activities.

Therefor we have defined structures and responsibilities and subject our business operations and the associated supply chains to regular risk analyses, from which preventive and corrective measures are derived and implemented accordingly where necessary.

Responsibilities for the fulfilment of and compliance with all human rights and environmental due diligence obligations are defined in risk management.

The Managing Board is responsible for respecting human rights and the environment in our business activities as well as in the upstream and downstream supply and value chains. In addition, ]init[ has appointed a Human Rights Officer who monitors risk management as defined by the LkSG, ensures operational implementation through coordination and monitoring activities and reports to the Management Board at least once a year.

Specialist departments are involved in the operational implementation of the due diligence processes, which are in close contact with the Human Rights Officer and report to her.

Risk analysis

As part of our regular risk analysis, we gain knowledge of potential and actual detrimental risks and effects of our business operations along the entire value chain.

In particular, this includes analysing the human rights and environmental risks and impacts of all procured goods/products and services. Company-wide risk and supplier management in accordance with the LkSG is based on this, including the implementation of additional measures, such as preventative and remedial measures, the adaptation of internal guidelines and processes or training to raise awareness. Reported complaints and other criticism from third parties are also taken into account. 

We develop and improve processes and procedures and standardise them wherever possible. The conformity of internal processes is regularly checked by external auditors. This applies, for example, to our ISO 9001 certification (quality management) and our EMAS seal of approval.

We communicate this policy statement both internally (e.g. to employees) and externally (e.g. to suppliers).

Complaints management

]init[ takes violations of human and environmental rights very seriously and provides a reporting system through which any person can report actual or suspected violations by ]init[ or its business partners or suppliers, including confidentially.

All kinds of information and complaints about the behaviour of ]init[ or its direct and indirect suppliers can be submitted here by name or anonymously, also in English. You can access the complaint system here. We have defined, documented and internally communicated processes for our complaint system.

Confidentiality and the protection of whistleblowers are a matter of course for us. We ensure, as far as possible through our influence, that whistleblowers are protected from discrimination and punishment in connection with the information/complaints they report. 

We follow up every complaint conscientiously, as it is our declared aim to use reports/complaints and the knowledge and insights gained from them to continuously improve our care processes with regard to human rights and the environment. 

We report on the further implementation and development of the LkSG in our report to the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA). The report will also be published on this website.