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At a Glance

Successes and Actions

  • Revision of the Employee Code of Conduct
  • Setting up a new learning portal in five languages

BUSINESS ETHICS

Ethical business conduct is based on integrity, one of our core values, and is not only a legal requirement for us, but also forms the sustainable basis for responsible business activities. It is part of the trusting collaboration within our teams as well as with our customers and partners. The self-image of integrated and ethical action applies to everything we do and at all our locations worldwide.

We uphold ourselves and the industry to the highest standards in business ethics.

Video: Hilti: Employee training on business ethics
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Organizational anchoring

Our Group has a Compliance Department headed by the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO). The CCO has overall responsibility for compliance and reports to the General Counsel, who reports to the CEO. In addition, he may contact the Audit Committee on the Board of Directors directly. 

The CCO’s responsibilities include monitoring and assessing compliance risks in the context of Group-wide risk management, which is updated annually together with the internal Group audit. 

Management systems and policies  

In addition, the CCO is responsible for our Group-wide Compliance Management System (CMS), which is based on ISO 37301 as well as the IDW PS 980 audit standard. The CMS applies to all Group companies and addresses all formal compliance objectives and resolutions of the Board of Directors and the Executive Board. It includes guidelines, regulations, processes, organizational structures, roles and responsibilities as well as information on planning and implementing compliance measures. In addition to mandatory requirements for all companies, the CMS also contains recommendations on how individual Hilti organizations can work to meet objectives according to the nature and complexity of their business activities. 

The CMS’s internal policies are built upon the Hilti Code of Conduct for Employees and the Code of Conduct for Suppliers. The latter is also a mandatory part of all direct supplier contracts and indirect supplier relationships based on a risk matrix. 

More information: Supplier Sustainability

Integrity, one of our core values, describes ethical and responsible business behavior for us.

Mirko Haase,
Chief Compliance Officer

In addition, the CMS contains regulations on antitrust law, money laundering, discrimination, prevention of forced and child labor, health, safety and environmental protection (HSE), data privacy, product regulations, human rights, areas of export control and/or sanctions law as well as corruption prevention.  

Compliance Management System

Regulations concerning the following topics:
 

  • Antitrust Law

  • Money Laundering

  • Discrimination

  • Prevention of Forced and Child Labor

  • Health & Safety and Environmental Protection (HSE)

  • Data Privacy

  • Product Regulations

  • Human Rights

  • Export Control and Sanctions Law

  • Corruption Prevention

How we embed business ethics in our processes

We have introduced various measures to raise awareness for the topic of compliance among our employees and to keep this knowledge active. 

Comprehensive and target group-oriented compliance training concepts ensure that we inform our employees about these requirements. On-site training and case studies are also an essential part of our strategy. The training courses serve both the general introduction to compliance issues and to deal with individual aspects in more depth and are attended by approximately 1500 employees annually. The so-called “marketplace” in the entrance area of our corporate headquarters, and screens in the entrance areas of our market organizations, are also regularly used to draw attention to compliance topics. In some cases, this is also done in the form of exhibitions and events, such as the “Data Protection Marketplace”. 

E-Learnings and Workshops

   
Number of participants   
 201820192020
E-learnings antitrust law13,53615,4423,213
Face-to-face2 workshops on compliance, incl. antitrust law and anti-corruption23604229

1 Number of participants in EU countries, based upon the antitrust initiative 2019; plus participants in antitrust e-learnings in non-EU countries (CN, BR, IN, JP, AU, ZA)
2 General Compliance workshops (incl. antitrust law and anti-corruption) as well as workshops with focus on antitrust law for specific user groups

A monthly topic-specific communication of the Compliance Department on the intranet, in local channels and our internal communication platform “Yammer,” with concise easy-to-remember content for the entire workforce, increases awareness of current and relevant compliance topics and serves as a reminder for completed or optional e-learning courses. 

All new general managers of a market organization are trained on compliance issues in their area of responsibility as part of comprehensive training for general managers immediately after taking office.

Our workforce should not only be aware of compliance topics, but also live compliance. That is why we undertake great effort on making any conflicts of interest transparent. New employees must therefore disclose all relevant conflicts during the recruitment process and existing employees must participate in a conflict of interest survey at least every three years; this period can also be shortened at the discretion of local organizations.

All employees are encouraged to prevent and report violations of legal regulations or internal guidelines. We have numerous options and contacts for trustworthy – and, if necessary, anonymous – contact channels. These can be supervisors or mentors, our so-called “Sherpas”, as well as the HR department. Our employees can contact the local and regional compliance officers, the central compliance department, the CCO and the anonymous compliance hotline “SpeakUp”.

SpeakUp

is the name of our anonymous compliance hotline

We also investigate any suspected breach with due diligence in internal investigations to ensure that facts are clarified, and systemic problems are identified. In accordance with our compliance regulations, we ensure that the rights of both the whistleblower and the involved person are not affected (non-retaliation policy). 

Data protection-compliant behavior is supported by various technical and organizational measures, while employees are sensitized to data protection-related topics through training courses and automated IT security requirements. The approach follows a process design in line with data protection laws to the extent possible.

We see ourselves as an innovation and premium provider in our industry, fostering fair competition and driving technical progress and digitalization. We have established a Product Regulatory Compliance (PRC) position that reports to the CCO independently of the business units and supports and monitors the fulfillment of product regulatory requirements across the units. In this role, the Compliance Office also provides legal databases in addition to those of the technical departments to ensure timely access to information on regulatory developments.  

We are committed to the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and to respecting internationally recognized human rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of the International Labor Organization (ILO) on fundamental principles and rights at work; and we are committed to protecting these rights. They are reflected in our Code of Conduct for Employees, our internal policies and our Supplier Code of Conduct.  

More information: Supplier Sustainability

Photo: Hilti: 3 Employees with safety helmet in conversation

2020 Implementation Examples

In our sustainability strategy, we not only want to meet existing minimum legal requirements, but also to set a visible sign for responsible corporate governance. We have set this ambitious goal realizing that corporate attitudes and behavior cannot be changed in the short term. This involves constantly improving our internal organization, regularly questioning existing systems and making changes and optimizations as required. 

The revision of our Code of Conduct for Employees was one of our priorities in 2020 to achieve this goal.

In addition, a new learning portal, with more than 50 newly created topics and formats in many languages, was set up for all compliance areas. This enables implementation of modern and target-group-oriented learning concepts on the individual topics.

Based on our annual plans coordinated with the Executive Board and the Board of Directors, we are systematically implementing further measures both internally and externally to live up to our responsibilities as a globally operating company. This also means that we must continuously work on the measures to meet the constantly increasing legal requirements. Key priorities are the standardization and digitalization of processes, the further optimization of our training programs and a structured and reinforced auditing of compliance with ethical standards at our suppliers. Particular emphasis is placed on respect for human rights.