Governance & Compliance

Human Rights

Respecting human rights is a central element in corporate responsibility. We address the associated obligations throughout the company and along the value chain within our sphere of influence.

The German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chain sets out companies’ obligations to make sure that their business activities do not contribute to breaches of human rights. It requires them to respect the core labor standards issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to prevent forced or compulsory labor and child labor, the right to freedom of association, the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the employment protection regulations applicable at the place of employment. In additional, the law requires compliance with three international environmental conventions, including the MInimata Convention.  

Evonik has various tools, principles of conduct, and guidelines to ensure we observe our human rights obligations.

Elements of the compliance management system for human rights

Human Rights Risk Analysis

In 2022, Evonik conducted its first human rights risk analysis. This also covered environment-related aspects in its own business area and at direct and indirect suppliers. The analysis is based on Evonik’s existing human rights risk map. The identified risks were validated, weighted, and prioritized on the basis of criteria such as the likelihood and severity (scope and remediability) of possible breaches of human rights. We will perform annual and ad-hoc risk analyses in the future.  

Business Partner Integrity Checks

Various departments are involved in different aspects of business partner assessments at Evonik. To leverage synergies, avoid duplication of work, and create transparency, a standing committee has been set up. Its members are Legal & Compliance, Procurement, Marketing & Sales Excellence, Foreign Trade, Group Security, and Human Rights. Together with our external provider, SIGNUM Consulting GmbH, these functions have established an IT-based process to validate the integrity of business partners. To supplement their internal assessments, this enables the relevant departments to request integrity checks and to initiate and monitor any necessary action. If any of the findings are of potential relevance, the respective departments are automatically requested to evaluate them. This IT solution also facilitates interdisciplinary communication, collaboration, and documentation.