Taiga GmbH - Code of Conduct
Taiga GmbH hereinafter referred to as "Taiga", strives for more sustainability and transparency in the production and trade of products. Our claim is to protect the environment through Taiga's entrepreneurial actions and to pave the way together for a social and green future.
The challenges we face are manifold: the climate crisis is increasingly worsening, important resources and raw materials are becoming scarce, the world population is growing, and damage to nature and the environment is leading to the loss of biodiversity, fertile soils and vital ecosystems. At the same time, the global community is also facing enormous political and social challenges: The dignity of each and every individual must be preserved and protected, poverty reduced, and access to essential livelihoods sustainably secured.
To meet these challenges, we need to be aware of where we stand and have clear, ambitious goals that we want to achieve. That is why we are committed to maximum transparency in our actions and ambitious sustainability targets. We take a close look at our business activities and expect the same from all business partners from whom we purchase products, materials or services or to whom we offer them.
This Code of Conduct contains Taiga's basic expectations of its own actions and those of its employees, as well as of its business partners and their supply chains.
The basis is provided by the most important international standards and regulations, such as the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact, the International Bill of Human Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as well as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, as well as the international standards ISO 45001 and ISO 14001.
This Code is a prerequisite for any business relationship with Taiga. However, we would like to encourage all business partners to go beyond the basic agreements, laws and standards and have a positive impact on the environment and our fellow human beings. We would like to make these additional ecological and social steps as transparent and visible as possible to our customers, so that this results in a clear competitive advantage.
Only together can we meet the diverse ecological and political-social challenges and lay the foundation for a green future worth living.
2. compliance with laws and regulations
We expect all applicable laws and regulations to be respected and followed. We would like to emphasize that this also applies to the recognized guidelines and rules of conduct of the respective cultures and countries in which our business partners and Taiga operate. Fundamentally, we expect our business partners, as well as ourselves, to establish and maintain a system for monitoring compliance with these laws, rules and regulations.
3. social standards
Social commitment and respect for human dignity and rights are the basis for sustainable corporate action. This includes not only the legal provisions prohibiting child and forced labor, but also, for example, fair working conditions, health protection or equal opportunities and non-discrimination.
a) Respect for human rights
We attach great importance to ensuring that our business partners not only respect internationally recognized human rights, but also actively promote them. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights form the basis for this. This also includes the protection of local communities, indigenous peoples and human rights defenders.
b) Prohibition of child labor
Taiga does not tolerate child labor or any exploitation of children and youth in its supply chain in any form. The term "child" refers to anyone under the age of 15 (or under the age of 14, depending on the law of the country), or anyone of school age, or anyone who has not yet reached the minimum age for employment in the country in question. The highest age limit in each case applies. Workers under the age of 18 may not perform work that could endanger the health and safety of young workers. The definition of child labor is based on the International Labor Organization (ILO) guidelines. If a local law requires a higher legal minimum age for workers or a longer period of compulsory education, the higher age/stricter regulation applies. ILO Conventions No. 138 on the minimum age of employment and No. 182 on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor must be complied with. Our business partners also undertake to observe and respect the dignity and rights of children.
c) Prohibition of forced labor
Taiga strictly rejects all forms of forced labor and expects itself and its business partners not to force employees into employment through violence or intimidation. Slavery, servitude, forced labor, debt bondage, involuntary prison labor and human trafficking throughout the supply chain will not be tolerated. Workers' freedom of movement must not be restricted and personal documents must not be withheld. Workers must work voluntarily and must not be forced to pay fees for their employment. If such fees have been paid, they must be returned to the worker immediately.
d) Equal opportunities & non-discrimination
Taiga and its business partners are committed to a nondiscriminatory workforce and to preventing discrimination in hiring, employment or training opportunities based on race, color, pregnancy, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, nationality, social or ethnic origin, union membership or material status. In addition, business partners should take reasonable steps to accommodate workers in the practice of their religion and may not conduct medical tests or physical examinations that could serve discriminatory purposes. Instead, an inclusive, diverse and supportive work environment should be created and the principle of equal pay for work of equal value without distinction of gender should be ensured. The relevant ILO conventions shall be complied with.
e) Granting of freedom of association
Our business partners must respect the right of employees to freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and collective bargaining. In accordance with local laws, employees must have the right to organize freely and to appoint employee representatives. Membership in trade unions must not lead to unjustified unequal treatment. Workers must be able to communicate openly with management to share their ideas and concerns about working conditions and management practices without fear of discrimination, reprisal, intimidation or harassment. The right to collective bargaining to regulate working conditions and the right to strike must be granted within the framework of legal regulations and in accordance with ILO Convention No. 98.
f) Fair working conditions
We expect ourselves and our business partners to ensure that employees are not subjected to harsh or inhumane treatment, including sexual harassment, sexual abuse, corporal punishment, psychological or physical coercion or verbal abuse. Nor shall there be threats of such treatment. Clear disciplinary measures and procedures should be defined to ensure that these requirements are met and that all employees are informed accordingly.
Furthermore, we expect our business partners to refrain from hiring or using private and public security forces if, due to a lack of instruction or control on the part of the company, there is a risk of torture, cruel or inhumane treatment, injury to life or limb, or impairment of freedom of association and freedom of labor.
g) Occupational health and safety
Business partners are expected to ensure a safe and healthy working environment, including appropriate sanitary conditions, health and safety policies and procedures. It is essential to comply with all applicable laws on occupational health and safety, hygiene, fire safety and risk protection and to train employees regularly in these areas. All employees should be provided with appropriate protective equipment free of charge and be adequately protected from chemical, biological and physical hazards. Safety information regarding hazardous substances shall be provided and sufficient and clearly marked emergency exits shall be available in case of fire or other emergencies. Worker exposure to hazards from physically demanding work, manual handling of materials through heavy or repetitive lifting, prolonged standing, and highly repetitive manual tasks shall be identified, assessed, controlled, and improved. Psychological stresses such as persistent high time and performance-related demands or unfavorably designed shift work must also be taken into account. Abuses must be corrected immediately and all required permits, licenses and registrations must be complied with.
All business partners shall establish and apply an appropriate occupational safety management system.
h) Adherence to working time
In order to ensure compliance with the legal limit on working hours, Taiga expects itself and its business partners to work no more than 60 hours per week, including overtime, unless there are emergencies or exceptional circumstances. It is important to ensure that employees also receive their legally required breaks, holidays and vacation days, including time off for illness or maternity leave.
i) Fair remuneration
Taiga requires its business partners and itself to compensate employees appropriately and to compensate ordered overtime in accordance with legal requirements. Compensation must be paid regularly, on time and in full, and must comply with local laws, including minimum wage regulations. Wage deductions as a disciplinary measure are not permitted, except for serious violations that result in suspension. In addition, suppliers must pay overtime at a higher than regular hourly rate and provide workers* with an understandable pay stub. Temporary, contract and outsourced workers may only be used in accordance with local laws.
j) Protection from eviction and deprivation of land
Our business partners undertake not to carry out illegal forced evictions and furthermore not to illegally take land, forests and waters by acquisition, construction or other use.
4. environmental standards
High environmental standards for the protection of nature and ecosystems are a central component of our corporate philosophy. We expect all our business partners to take environmental protection seriously and to do their part to pave the way for a healthy world worth living in. In addition to environmental and climate protection, this includes the careful and prudent use of resources and materials.
a) Environmental protection & environmental management system
Our business partners must comply with all legal requirements and environmental protection guidelines and, in accordance with the precautionary principle, avoid hazards to people and the environment as far as possible. A suitable environmental management system (e.g. ISO 14001) shall be established and applied in order to minimize environmental impacts and hazards and to establish and improve environmental protection in daily business operations. Corresponding evidence and reports are to be provided upon request. We expect natural resources to be used sparingly and protected by seeking material reduction and substitution, collaborative use, maintenance, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling, and changes in production processes. To this end, all business partners should be committed to the continuous development and use of environmentally and climate-friendly products, processes and technologies.
b) Environmental Permitting & Reporting
Taiga requires its business partners and itself to obtain and keep current all necessary environmental permits, approvals and registrations. Operational and reporting requirements should also be followed, such as wastewater monitoring. Furthermore, all measures should be taken to prevent accidental discharge or release of hazardous materials into the environment and to act quickly and effectively in the event of an emergency.
c) Active climate protection
Our business partners should actively support climate protection, for example by increasing their energy efficiency and using renewable energies. They should also make their CO2 and other emissions transparent and set ambitious reduction targets. Significant energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions must be recorded and documented.
d) Water consumption and quality
Our business partners are committed to using water carefully. Particularly in areas where water is scarce, water withdrawal must be minimized and access to drinking water and sanitary facilities must be guaranteed. Standards for wastewater quality are to be defined and monitored within the framework of and in accordance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements. Business partners shall implement a water management program that documents, characterizes and monitors water sources, use and discharge, and controls pollution channels. All wastewater shall be characterized, monitored, controlled, and treated as required prior to discharge or disposal. The Business Partner* shall routinely monitor the performance of its wastewater treatment and containment systems to ensure optimal performance and regulatory compliance.
e) Air quality and soil quality
We expect all business partners to minimize pollutant emissions or eliminate them at their source. This can be achieved, for example, by installing pollution control equipment, changing production, maintenance and operating procedures, or other measures. Air emissions of volatile organic chemicals, aerosols, corrosives, particulate matter, ozone-depleting chemicals, and combustion by-products must be characterized, routinely monitored, controlled, and, if necessary, treated before discharge.
f) Materials and disposal
Our business partners are encouraged to conduct their business activities in as environmentally compatible a manner as possible and to use resources sparingly. Particular attention should be paid to the reuse of materials. When dealing with waste, our business partners follow the principle of avoidance before recycling before disposal. The applicable statutory regulations and official requirements must always be complied with. In addition, business partners must apply a systematic approach to the identification, management and responsible disposal or recycling of solid (non-hazardous) waste. This also applies to the use of water and energy.
g) Substances of Concern
Our business partners are required to comply with all legal regulations, customer requirements and standards regarding restrictions on certain ingredients. This includes recycling and disposal labeling. All substances and chemicals that pose a risk to the environment or humans must be identified, labeled and safely handled, stored and disposed of.
h) Transport and dangerous goods
Business partners are expected to comply with all applicable laws governing the transportation of goods and materials. When handling hazardous materials in the United States, Business Partners are expected to be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation as a hazardous materials transporter and to be trained, tested and certified in the packaging, labeling, marking and shipping of hazardous materials as required by law. When transporting hazardous materials outside the U.S., business partners are expected to be trained in and comply with applicable transportation regulations for air, ocean, and surface freight.
i) Material origin of plant materials
Plant or derived materials or products must be legally sourced, harvested and exported from their country of origin. Furthermore, business partners should implement policies and management systems in line with, for example, the EU Timber Regulation and similar laws. They must also require their entire supply chain to establish similar policies and systems.
5. Business relations
Taiga expects business partners to act fairly and to comply with laws, especially regarding competition, corruption, bribery, money laundering, data protection and export controls. The use of minerals and metals in production should be done in a manner that respects and protects the peace, security and human rights of countries. In addition, confidential information of Taiga and third parties must be respected and protected.
a) Avoidance of conflicts of interest
We require that our business partners make decisions based on objective considerations and are not unduly influenced by personal interests. If a business partner becomes aware of a potential conflict of interest, he or she is obligated to take internal measures to resolve the conflict and inform Taiga immediately.
b) Free competition
Our business partners have an obligation to act fairly in competition and to comply with the applicable legal provisions to protect free competition. In addition, they must not enter into any agreements or coordinated practices with other companies that have as their object or effect the restriction, distortion or prevention of competition in accordance with the applicable antitrust legislation, and must not take unlawful advantage of their dominant position in the market.
c) Corruption, bribery, taking advantage
It is our firm policy that corruption, bribery, extortion, fraud, embezzlement and insolvency offenses, as well as the acceptance of benefits, are not tolerated in any form. We ensure that all our employees, subcontractors or agents do not give, offer or accept bribes, facilitation payments, improper donations or other improper payments or benefits to customers, public officials or other third parties. In addition, we expect our suppliers not to offer, promise or give any gifts or gratuities to Taiga employees or related third parties in order to gain an advantage in business dealings.
d) Money laundering
In addition, our business partners must comply with the applicable legal provisions to prevent money laundering and duly fulfill their reporting obligations.
e) Conflict minerals
It is the responsibility of our business partners to ensure that the minerals and metals used in their production and products do not contribute, directly or indirectly, to conflicts in countries that are heavily dependent on the mining industry and do not fund or benefit armed groups that commit human rights abuses in certain areas. Appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that the procurement of these resources is done in a manner that respects and protects peace, security, and human rights in these countries. If the materials include tantalum, tin, tungsten, or gold, suppliers must disclose the presence of these minerals, provide information on processing, and implement a policy
f) Data protection and data security
Our business partners have an obligation to ensure the right to informational self-determination and the protection of personal data and all business information in all business processes. In doing so, they must comply with applicable data protection and information security laws and ensure the security of data in compliance with legal requirements.
g) Customs and export control regulations
Our business partners comply with international customs and export control regulations and are required to proactively share information regarding foreign trade to ensure a secure supply chain.
h) Protection of know-how, patents, trade and business secrets
Our suppliers are obliged to respect the know-how, patents and trade and business secrets of Taiga and third parties. Such information may not be disclosed to third parties, even in an unauthorized manner, without Taiga's express written consent. If confidential information is provided to our suppliers, this information may only be used for the intended purpose and may not be imitated.
6. whistleblower system
In order to limit possible violations of this Code of Conduct and to prevent future misconduct, we call upon every business partner, its employees or persons affected to report suspicious cases. For this purpose, business partners should either set up their own whistleblower system or join an industry-wide system. Reports can also be made directly to Taiga by email or phone. Our business partners are encouraged to inform their employees about the possibility of making a report. This is to minimize the consequences of violations of the Code and to avoid similar situations in the future.
7. compliance with the code of conduct
Compliance with the Code of Conduct by business partners is monitored by Taiga. In the event of violations of human rights or environmental obligations, business partners must take immediate action to end or minimize the situation. Violations affect the business relationship and may lead to termination without notice or withdrawal from the contract by TAIGA.
We reserve the right to monitor compliance with this Code of Conduct appropriately. Business partners are obligated to actively support the necessary inspections. Prior to each inspection, Taiga will consult with business partners to determine the scope, timeframe and location. Inquiries and requests for information from Taiga must be answered by the business partners within a reasonable period of time and in compliance with applicable data protection laws.
b) Remedial measures
If violations of human rights-related or environmental obligations occur, they must be terminated immediately. If termination is not possible within a foreseeable period of time, the Business Partner must immediately develop and implement a concept for termination or minimization. The concept must contain a clear timetable, and all measures introduced must be documented and checked for their effectiveness. If there is a suspicion of a violation of the Code, the Business Partner must immediately initiate an investigation and inform Taiga of the clarification measures carried out.
c) Consequences of violations
A violation of the obligations described in the Code of Conduct constitutes a breach of the contract between Taiga and the business partner and materially impairs the business relationship. The business partner is obliged to inform Taiga within a reasonable period of time of the internal measures he/she is taking to prevent future violations. If a business partner fails to comply with these obligations within a reasonable period of time, fails to take reasonable improvement measures or if the violation is so serious that a continuation of the business relationship becomes unreasonable for Taiga, Taiga reserves the right to terminate the contractual relationship in question without notice or to withdraw from the contract in question without this affecting its further rights.
Compliance with this Code is a prerequisite for becoming or remaining a business partner of Taiga. We also expect business partners to require their subcontractors and suppliers to comply with the principles of this Code. It is the responsibility of business partners to communicate the requirements of this Code of Conduct to their employees, agents, subcontractors and suppliers and to train them accordingly. In addition, we expect business partners to provide us with their compliance status upon request and to make any necessary improvements to ensure full compliance. Taiga will monitor the performance of its business partners with respect to this Code as deemed necessary. We encourage and expect our business partners to regularly monitor themselves and their suppliers for compliance. If non-compliance with this Code is identified, Taiga will work with you to ensure future compliance. In this case, we expect to develop a corrective action plan to bring you into compliance with the Code so that you can continue to do business with Taiga. If a business partner fails to develop or implement such a plan, Taiga will terminate the business relationship.
However, if a business partner not only complies with this Code, but also demonstrates additional commitment to improving the environmental or social sustainability of its operations, it can positively differentiate itself from its competitors. We encourage all business partners to take a proactive approach to responsible and sustainable business by adopting and implementing their own relevant policies and programs.
© 07/2023, Taiga Ltd.