“The term Modern Slavery covers slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking; unacceptable offences that should not prevail in our modern working lives. I fully endorse the proactive approach taken in the UK through the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to encourage organisations to take action to conduct their business in an ethical manner that protects not only its own workers from the atrocities of modern slavery but those within their supply chains. The TÜV SÜD AG and the Group acknowledges its responsibilities under the Act and, accordingly, has produced this Statement of its position with respect to the prevention of Modern Slavery within its operations.”
This is TÜV SÜD AG’s first statement on slavery and human trafficking following the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“the Act”). TÜV SÜD fully supports the Act and is committed to tackling slavery and human trafficking where it can.
TÜV SÜD AG is the parent company of the TÜV SÜD Group (“the Group”). TÜV SÜD is a leading technical service corporation catering to the INDUSTRY, MOBILITY and CERTIFICATION Segments. Its range of services embraces consultancy, inspection, tests and expert reports as well as certification and training. Our objectives are reliability, safety and quality, environmental protection and profitability. By providing these services, TÜV SÜD delivers competitive edge to its clients throughout the world. Founded in 1866 as a steam boiler inspection association, the TÜV SÜD Group has evolved into a global, future-oriented enterprise.
At present, more than 22,000 employees around the world are committed to optimizing technology, systems and know-how. In 2015, TÜV SÜD increased its consolidated revenue from EUR 2.06 billion to EUR 2.22 billion. TÜV SÜD AG is not listed on the stock exchange. It is owned by TÜV SÜD e.V. and the TÜV SÜD Foundation, which hold 74.9 % and 25.1 % of the shares respectively.
This statement constitutes the Group’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31. December 2016. It further outlines the Group’s approach to tackling slavery and human trafficking where it can.
As a service provider, our supply chains are primarily related to the procurement of support services and materials to allow the delivery/execution of our specialist technical services. To meet the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, we intend to amend our standard procurement terms accordingly, to ensure that our supply chains are contractually obligated to comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. We engage with our suppliers regularly to collaboratively ensure compliance.
The TÜV SÜD Code of Ethics describes the set of values and principles that its employees and suppliers alike are expected to uphold. This is complemented by a robust Compliance organisational structure with representation at Local, Regional and Global level, culminating in an independent Ombudsman to whom ethics breaches may be reported. These ethics are addressed in greater detail through specific local level policies.
Our recruitment practices ensure that individuals are free to work. All workers benefit from working conditions and terms and conditions of employment that meet or exceed all applicable legislation on areas including working hours, holiday, pay and equality. All offers of work made by the Group are accepted on an entirely voluntary basis.
It is the Company’s intention to review and standardise existing vendor questionnaires, including making amendments, as appropriate, in relation to the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Our commitment to ensuring that Modern Slavery does not take place within our own business operations extends to our suppliers as demonstrated by the intention of including a clause in our Standard Conditions of Purchase obligating our suppliers to undertake all necessary action in order to ensure that any of its employees and its suppliers are compliant in all respects with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
TÜV SÜD conducts online and face to face training for its employees to emphasize the importance of acting with integrity and in line with our internal Code of Ethics.
We are in the process of briefing our key staff on Modern Slavery and on the requirements of our Anti-Slavery and Trafficking Policy. In addition, employees are briefed on the existence of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and of their individual and collective responsibilities.
This statement has been approved by the Board of TÜV AG on behalf of TÜV SÜD Group.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Axel Stepken - Chairman of the Board – TÜV SÜD AG