In the long term, a company can only be successful if it acts with integrity, complies with statutory provisions worldwide and stands by its voluntary undertakings and ethical principles. Our Code of Conduct therefore applies for all employees. Its aim is to make it easier to comply with existing rules in the company and to offer employees guidance, assistance and advice in their daily work and decisions. Attention is focused in this respect on the responsibility of each individual to ensure compliance.
One decisive factor for the success of our Company is that all employees, from Board members and managers to each individual member of staff, must act with honesty and integrity and in an ethical manner. This also means that our internal and external reporting and communications must be truthful, comprehensive and timely. Our shared goal is to fulfill our responsibility to our Company and to protect the reputation of our Group brands. Sustainability requires of us an awareness of our responsibility for the economic, social and ecological impact of our actions. Such conduct also means that we all respect and observe the rules in force in the Company everywhere and at all times. Our Board members and managers bear a special responsibility in this context: they are role models and must prevent non-compliant behavior within the Company, protect their employees and conduct themselves with integrity both within the Company and externally. This Code of Conduct helps us by highlighting potential areas of risk and conflict, explaining their significance for our Company and illustrating them with examples. The information contained in this Code of Conduct is divided into three main sections:
The Code of Conduct serves as a binding guideline in our day-to-day business. It is supplemented by internal guidelines and provisions in employ-ment contracts. It also goes without saying that we all comply with national and international statutory provisions. This also means that we never take any part in any activity that involves fraud, misappropriation, extortion, theft, embezzlement or any other deliberate damage to the assets of our customers or any third party.Failure to observe the Code of Conduct can result in considerable damage, not only to our Company, but also to us as employees and to our business partners and other stakeholders. That is why the Code of Conduct is binding on all of us, irrespec-tive of whether our role is that of a staff member, a manager or a Board member.
We do not tolerate violations of the Code of Conduct. Anyone who violates the Code of Conduct must expect consequences, which, depending on the seriousness of the violation, can range from action under la-bor law to claims for damages under civil law, and may even extend to penalties under criminal law.To make sure that does not happen, it is up to each and every one of us to familiarize ourselves with this Code of Conduct, to integrate the Code of Conduct into our own behavior, and to bear the Code of Conduct in mind when making decisions. When in doubt, we seek competent advice.