Linde GmbH General Statement
Linde GmbH is subject to the requirements of the German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (LkSG) and publishes this General Statement for itself and its subsidiaries, on which a determining influence is exercised, and which are herein referenced Linde. Linde GmbH is a company belonging to Linde plc. As such, the Corporate Policies of Linde plc also apply to Linde GmbH and the aforementioned subsidiaries.
Compliance is the responsibility of everyone at Linde. Integrity is one of our core values, and our reputation for uncompromising ethical behavior is an asset. We always strive to achieve our goals ethically, both inside of and outside of the workplace, with the highest integrity. We expect transparent and respectful interactions among management, employees and our business partners, consistent with our Code of Business Integrity.
The Code of Business Integrity is based on the following five core values to which our company is committed and to which our actions are bound:
All of the company’s business conducted with suppliers and customers is based on fairness, honesty, lawfulness, safety, environmental stewardship and social consciousness. We expect the same high standards from our suppliers. We therefore see responsibility for the observance of human rights and the protection of the environment as an overarching obligation along the entire supply chain. As a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, we seek to strengthen human and environmental rights together with our business partners in the supply chain and to prevent violations of these rights.
2. Human rights and environmental stewardship in the supply chain
Linde plc has adopted the Human Rights Policy, which is published on the Internet under www.linde.com. Both our global Code of Business Integrity and the Linde Supplier Code of Conduct refer directly to the Linde Human Rights Policy.
The Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG) lists the following requirements for compliance with human rights in § 2 Abs. 2 LkSG:
- prohibition of child labor,
- prohibition of child prostitution and child pornography,
- prohibition of slavery and forced labor,
- prohibition of disregard of occupational health and safety,
- prohibition of disregard for freedom of association,
- ensuring equal treatment and equal opportunities,
- prohibition of withholding an adequate wage,
- prohibition of causing harmful soil change, water pollution, air pollution, harmful noise emission or excessive water consumption,
- prohibition of operational effects of entrepreneurial activity pursuant to § 2 Abs. Nr. 9 LkSG,
- prohibition of the deprivation of natural resources pursuant to § 2 Abs. 2 Nr. 10 LkSG and
- prohibition with regard to the assignment of security forces according to § 2 Abs. 2 Nr. 11 LkSG.
Linde’s commitments regarding these aspects are set out in the Linde Human Rights Policy, the Linde Code of Business Integrity and Linde’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines as well as the Health, Safety & Environment Policy and the Linde Conflict-Free Materials Supply Policy.
In addition to the Health, Safety & Environment Policy, Linde has bundled further key positions in statements on specific safety and environmental aspects. The following documents are to be mentioned:
- Linde’s Position Statement on the Importance of Ecosystems,
- Water Position Statement,
- Linde's Position Statement Regarding Chemicals of Concern and
- Responsible Animal Testing Policy
The present General Statement is a supplement to the Linde Code of Business Integrity and is not intended to replace local legal guidance or applicable laws and regulations. Linde strives to promote international standards without any conflict with local laws.
We expect our suppliers, who play a critical role in Linde’s ability to operate and provide products and services to its customers, to comply with the principles outlined in Linde’s policies. These expectations are also addressed to our suppliers in the Linde Supplier Code of Conduct as a prerequisite for cooperation. Our suppliers actions and practices also reflect on Linde and thus are expected to implement appropriate measures to comply with legal requirements and to act in a manner that is consistent with Linde’s values and the principles outlined in its Code of Business Integrity and this General Statement.
Through our corporate policies and targeted training, awareness is raised about the due diligence obligations on companies with regard to human rights along the supply chain which demonstrate the intended attitude and the desired behavior. Like the Corporate Policies, the content of this General Statement is accessible to our employees and our business partners via the Intranet or via www.linde.com.
3. Risk management framework
Linde manages risk every day by implementing its core values proactively in a number of ways, including through policies that demonstrate its commitment to human rights, environmental stewardship, safety and social consciousness, as further discussed below. The risk management framework consists of the due diligence obligations, as well as prevention measures and mitigation actions.
The due diligence obligations on companies with regard to human rights imposed by the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG), some of which are also laid down in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, are anchored at Linde and aligned with the specific requirements of the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act. Linde has extensive compliance measures in place to meet the responsibility to help protecting human rights along the supply chain.
At Linde, the health and safety of its employees, business partners and community are a top priority. Ensuring health and safety of people is as elementary as the protection of human rights. This includes activities like the production and sale of industrial gases, as well as for the engineering and construction of process plants, and all operations. All employees and onsite contractors are required to comply with Linde’s Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Policy.
Our culture of compliance is underpinned by regular trainings, safety instructions, guidelines, and contractual arrangements with partners. This culture of safety and well-being manifests itself in the following sentence: "Only start an activity if you can carry it out safely."
The fundamental components of the Linde Supplier Code of Conduct include human rights and environmental stewardship. Linde obliges its suppliers to comply with these criteria as part of its supplier approval process, as well as in the award and contract negotiation process (for established suppliers). It is also the expectation that Linde's suppliers will in turn apply comparable standards to their suppliers and thus pass on the obligations in the supply chain.
For equipment and goods to be procured that potentially contain conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold), Linde has established a systematic due diligence process of the supply chain, which is completed annually. Annual reporting is required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is publicly available.
We also strive to gradually reduce risks and their specific connection to our company through structured and documented risk assessments in our own business activities, the supply chain and in relation to our products and services.
Linde conducts an annual risk analysis for countries in which goods and services are procured, as well as for all material and service categories, regarding the criteria required by the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act. In addition to occasion-related analyses, this ensures that abstract risk areas are also singled out for an in-depth specific risk analysis. This specific analysis is also carried out annually and serves to examine abstractly assumed risks at selected suppliers as well as companies that belong to the Linde's own operations. Ideally, detailed information, such as self-disclosures or evidence, can be used to classify risks as unlikely. Otherwise, appropriate and effective remedial action will be taken.
Linde has established a compliance organization that, together with management, ensures that compliance with Policies, standards and laws is checked for the global business units and that violations are resolved through appropriate organizational measures.
In addition, Linde GmbH has appointed a Human Rights Officer who coordinates in particular the risk management required by the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act and acts as a central point of contact within the company, as well as for overseeing information on incidents arising from the supply chain. The Human Rights Officer belongs to the Compliance organization of the company.
4. Prevention measures
Consistent with Linde’s Code of Business Integrity, Linde maintains a system of procedures to apply with applicable regulations. The company is committed to protecting human rights and environmental stewardship. The compliance measures undertaken to ensure human rights and environmental standards are upheld in the supply chain includes a variety of steps taken at Linde. We are convinced that a clear stance on human rights and environmental standards must be firmly anchored in the company. We ensure this through core values that are part of the corporate culture, and which are internalized by our employees and thus lived every day. A clear stance is the prerequisite for ethical behavior. Linde has established these principles in its policies. These policies are regularly updated, and trainings are being conducted. The company chooses business partners carefully based on merit and a due diligence process. It is our expectation that business partners with whom Linde works apply comparably high standards and thus are committed to complying with them. This is ensured by anchoring the Linde Supplier Code of Conduct as the basis for business relationships. Furthermore, as part of the supplier approval process or when initiating specific contracts, supply and commodity related details are being checked on a case-by-case basis in order to minimize risks. One example are safety-related inspections that serve the safety and health of everyone who carries out work for and together with Linde.
The described risk management also serves prevention and sensitizes actors in one's own business area, as well as business partners in the supply chain.
Everyone at Linde is responsible for upholding and maintaining these standards and ensuring appropriate follow-through of concerns raised. Linde takes proactive steps to review compliance including, for example, by on-site audits, and to implement effective remedial action, as appropriate. This approach will be followed accordingly in relation to the obtained results of the annual abstract and specific risk analysis activities.
6. Complaints Procedure
Employees who have questions regarding this policy or a human rights matter in the supply chain, may direct their inquiries to their manager, compliance officer, or legal counsel. A key pillar of the company compliance program is the Linde Integrity Line, a global reporting system. It enables employees and external stakeholders to raise concerns about suspected violations of this policy and others by email to email@example.com, by telephone or by post, anonymously if they wish. See the Code of Business Integrity. Linde prohibits any form of retaliation against any individual for good faith reporting of what they believe to be non-compliance with this General Statement, the Code of Business Integrity, or any other policy.
7. Reporting obligations
We comply with the reporting obligations required by the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act and will publish the reports on our website at www.linde.com.
The effectiveness of the risk management framework, the prevention measures, the complaints procedure, and the effectiveness of remedial actions, if applicable, will be reviewed according to legal requirements.
9. Date of Issue
Pullach in July 2023, the Managing Directors of Linde GmbH