3.1 Observance of the Laws
The signatory company is to observe the valid laws and other legal provisions of the countries, in which it conducts operations. For countries with a weak institutional framework, it is to make a diligent examination as to what good corporate practice from its own home country should be applied as a supporting measure for responsible corporate governance.
3.2 Integrity and Organizational Governance
3.2.1 The signatory company is to orient its action on universally applicable ethical values and principles and in particular on integrity, probity, respect for human dignity, openness and non-discrimination with respect to religion, ideology, gender and ethics.
3.2.2 The signatory company is to reject corruption and bribery within the meaning of the corresponding UN convention (2). It is to promote, in a suitable manner, transparency, actions based on integrity and responsible leadership and control in the company.
3.2.3 The signatory company is to pursue clean and accepted business practices and fair competition. In competition, it is to orient on professional behaviour and work, which is of the appropriate quality. It is to maintain relations with regulatory authorities, which are based on cooperation and trust.
3.3 Consumer Interests
As far as consumer interests are concerned, the signatory company is to observe the consumer protection regulations and appropriate sales, marketing and information practices. Groups, which are in need of special protection, such as the protection of minors, are to be given special attention.
The signatory company is to communicate openly and dialogue-oriented concerning the requirements of this CoC and its implementation with respect to employees, customers, suppliers and other interest groups and groups having entitlements. All documents and papers are to be prepared in accordance with one's duty and are not to be changed or destroyed unfairly and are to be properly filed. Trade secrets and business information of the partners are to be treated sensitively and confidentially.
3.5 Human Rights
The signatory company is to support the promotion of human rights. It is to observe human rights according to the UN Charter of Human Rights (3) and in particular those named in the following text:
Protection of privacy.
3.5.2 Health and Safety
The protection of health and work safety and in particular the guarantee of a safe and health promoting work environment to prevent accidents and injuries.
Protection of employees against physical punishment and against physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse.
3.5.4 Freedom of Speech
Protection and guarantee of the right to freedom of speech and free expression of opinion.
3.6 Working Conditions
The signatory company is to observe the following core work norms of the ILO (4):
3.6.1 Child Labour
The prohibition of child labour, which means the employment of persons younger than 15 years old to the extent that local regulations do not require a higher age limit and to the extent that no exceptions are allowed. (5)
The prohibition of forced labour of any kind. (6)
The work norms with respect to remuneration and in particular with respect to the remuneration level according to the valid laws and provisions. (7)
3.6.4 Employee's Rights
The respect of the right of employees to freedom of association and freedom of assembly to the extent that this is legally allowed and possible in the particular country. (8)
3.6.5 Prohibition of Discrimination
Non-discriminatory treatment of all employees.(9)
3.7 Hours Worked
The signatory company is to observe the work norms concerning the maximum permissible hours worked.
3.8 Environmental Protection
The signatory company is to fulfil the provisions and standards for environmental protection, which apply to its particular business enterprises, and is to act in an ecologically aware manner at all locations. In addition, it is to responsibly handle natural resources in accordance with the principles of the Rio Declaration. (10)
3.9 Involvement as a Citizen
The signatory company is to contribute to the social and economic development of the country and the region, in which it conducts operations, and is to promote the corresponding voluntary activities of its employees.