The companies of Blechwaren Group are engaged in the production of packaging made of tinplate and plastic. The group consists of several capital companies in Germany and European countries, with a number of these companies operating as label companies without personnel, utilizing management and trust agreements. To the extent that individual companies have surveillance, controlling, or quality management systems in place, the compliance guidelines are intended to be incorporated into these systems.
Our market economy relies on companies competing with each other based on their performance and prices to attract clients and suppliers. The competitive pressure compels companies to offer favorable prices while delivering high-quality services. The companies of Blechwaren Group are committed to free and fair competition and strictly reject any illegal distortion of competition by companies.
The compliance policy serves to prevent violations of legal provisions, particularly competition law and internal guidelines, within the companies of Blechwaren Group. It is aimed at employees and management. Its objective is to educate about the key prohibitions of competition law and establish clear behavioral requirements to prevent violations. It focuses on the essential prohibitions that are relevant to daily work. In case of more complex questions, appropriate legal advice should be sought.
1.1 RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE REPUTATION OF BLECHWAREN GROUP
The reputation of our company is significantly influenced by the appearance, actions, and behavior of each individual employee. Unlawful or inappropriate conduct by even one employee can already cause considerable damage to the company. Each employee is required to respect, maintain, and promote the reputation of the corporate group in their respective country.
Integrity and compliance with legal provisions start at the top of the company. Each leader has organizational and supervisory duties to fulfill. Every leader is responsible for the employees entrusted to them. They must earn recognition through exemplary personal conduct, performance, openness, and social competence. This means, among other things, that every leader must consistently emphasize the importance of ethical behavior and compliance with policies in daily business, make them a topic of discussion, and promote them through their personal leadership style and training. Additionally, it is the responsibility of a leader to set clear, ambitious, and realistic goals and adhere to them as an example.
A leader should grant employees as much autonomy and freedom of action as possible while making it clear that compliance with laws and internal guidelines is of the utmost priority under all circumstances and at all times. The leader should also be approachable to employees for any questions or professional and personal concerns, particularly when it comes to compliance with legal provisions. However, the responsibility of the leader does not absolve employees of their own responsibility.
Every employee must be familiar with this policy. They must read and understand it. We must work together to comply with laws and internal guidelines. The following list of specific leadership tasks is intended to give employees an idea of the guiding and supportive actions they can expect from a leader.
The leader is responsible for ensuring that no legal violations occur within their respective area of responsibility that could have been prevented through appropriate supervision. Even when delegating specific tasks, the leader retains responsibility.
The duties of a leader include, in particular:
The leader must carefully select employees based on personal and professional qualifications and suitability. The duty of care increases with the importance of the task the employee is entrusted with (selection duty). The leader must provide precise, complete, and binding instructions, particularly regarding compliance with legal provisions (instruction duty). The leader must ensure that compliance with legal provisions is continuously monitored (monitoring duty). The leader must clearly communicate to employees the importance of integrity and compliance with legal provisions in daily business and emphasize that violations of laws will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary measures (communication duty).
Fair competition is a prerequisite for the development of free markets and the associated social benefits. Accordingly, the principle of fairness also applies to competition for market share. Every employee is obliged to comply with the rules of fair competition. Assessments under antitrust law can be challenging, particularly because the applicable rules can vary from country to country and from case to case. There are certain behaviors that can constitute a violation of antitrust law. Therefore, employees are not allowed, for example, to:
discuss prices, production capacity, distribution, tenders, profits, profit margins, costs, distribution methods, or other factors that determine or influence the competitive behavior of the company with competitors with the aim of inducing similar behavior by the competitor. enter into agreements with competitors regarding restraint of competition, restriction of business relations with suppliers, submission of sham bids in tenders, or the division of customers, markets, territories, or production programs. influence the resale prices of our customers or attempt to restrict the export or import of products within the entire company. Similarly, employees must not acquire competitively relevant information through espionage, bribery, theft, or eavesdropping, nor knowingly spread false information about a competitor or their products or services.
We win contracts through fair means based on the quality and price of our services and innovative products, not by offering undue advantages to others. No employee shall offer, promise, or grant unjustified advantages, directly or indirectly, to public officials in connection with business activities, nor approve such advantages.
Neither cash payments nor other benefits shall be made to influence official decisions or gain an unjustified advantage. The same applies to unjustified advantages towards individuals in the private sector. Any offer, promise, grant, or gift must comply with applicable laws and internal policies and must avoid any appearance of dishonesty or impropriety.
Such offers, promises, grants, or gifts must not be made if they can be understood as an attempt to influence a public official or bribe a business partner to obtain business advantages for our company.
The definition of a public official includes representatives or employees of authorities or other public institutions, agencies, or legal entities, as well as officials or employees of state-owned enterprises and public international organizations at all levels. Furthermore, it is prohibited for all employees to indirectly grant cash payments or other benefits (e.g., to a consultant, agent, intermediary, business partner, or other third party) if the circumstances suggest that they are wholly or partly directly or indirectly
being passed on to a public official to influence an official act or obtain an undue advantage, or granted to a person in the private sector to obtain an unjustified business advantage.
2.3 ANTI-CORRUPTION: DEMANDING AND ACCEPTING ADVANTAGES No employee shall use their official position to demand, accept, obtain, or allow promises of advantages. This does not include accepting occasional gifts of symbolic value or reasonable invitations to meals or events, provided that local customs and internal policies are respected. All gifts, meal invitations, or event invitations beyond that scope should be declined.
Our company expects its suppliers to share our core values and comply with all applicable laws. In addition, we expect our suppliers to adhere to the following principles:
compliance with all applicable laws, rejection of corruption, respect for the human rights of their employees, compliance with laws against child labor, taking responsibility for the health and safety of their employees, compliance with relevant national laws and international standards for environmental protection, and encouraging the implementation/adherence to these core values within their own supply chain.
Our employees are obligated to make business decisions in the best interest of the company and not based on personal interests. Conflicts of interest arise when employees pursue their own activities or personal interests at the expense of the company's interests.
Employees must disclose any personal interest that may exist in relation to the performance of their duties to their supervisor. No employee shall subcontract private orders from companies with which they have business dealings on behalf of our company if it could result in personal benefits. This is particularly applicable when the employee has direct or indirect influence or can exert influence on the company's engagement for our company or any of its subsidiaries.
Other areas of conflict can arise from business relationships with or ownership interests in competitors or customers, as well as employees' secondary activities that hinder them from fulfilling their duties to us in a proper manner. It is important for all employees to recognize and avoid any conflicts of interest that may arise in the course of their professional activities.
This also applies to secondary employment that could create a competitive situation for our company. Taking up secondary employment for remuneration must be communicated to the responsible supervisor and requires prior written consent.
Our company has various facilities and equipment in its offices and premises, such as telephones, copiers, computers, software, internet/intranet, machinery, and other work tools like email and voicemail systems. These may only be used for company purposes and not for personal benefit. Exceptions and potential payment arrangements can be determined locally, provided that the use of the facilities:
is not related to illegal activities, does not create a conflict of interest or the appearance of such a conflict, does not result in significant additional costs, disruptions to business, or other negative effects for the company, such as conflicting with the professional duties of the respective employee or other employees. Under no circumstances should information be accessed or disseminated that supports racial hatred, glorifies violence, promotes other crimes, or contains sexually offensive content according to the respective cultural background.
4. DATA PROTECTION
Confidential or protected internal information that should not be disclosed to the public is subject to the principle of confidentiality. Non-public information about suppliers, customers, employees, agents, consultants, and other third parties must also be protected in accordance with legal and contractual requirements. Examples of confidential or protected information may include:
Details about the organization and facilities of a company, pricing, sales, profits, markets, customers, and other business matters, Internal reporting figures. The obligation to maintain confidentiality extends beyond the termination of the employment relationship, as the disclosure of confidential information, regardless of when it occurs, can harm the business or its customers.
Access to the intranet and internet, global electronic information exchange and dialogue, and electronic business transactions are crucial prerequisites for the effectiveness of each of us and for overall business success. However, the benefits of electronic communication are associated with risks to personal privacy and data security.
Effectively addressing these risks is an important part of information technology management, management responsibilities, and the behavior of each individual. Personal data may only be collected, processed, or used to the extent necessary for specific, clear, and lawful purposes. Furthermore, personal data must be securely stored and may only be transferred using necessary precautions. High standards must be ensured regarding data quality, technical security, and protection against unauthorized access.
The use of data must be transparent to the individuals concerned, and their rights to access and, if necessary, object to, block, and delete data must be respected. In certain legal systems (such as in the EU), strict laws and regulations apply to the storage and use of personal employee data and data of third parties, such as customers or business partners. All employees are bound by these applicable laws to protect the privacy rights of others.
Protecting the environment and conserving natural resources are high-priority corporate objectives for us. Through responsible leadership by management and the commitment of employees, our company aims to conduct its business in an environmentally responsible manner and continually work towards improving its ecological footprint. Each employee must contribute to these goals through their own behavior.
The health and safety of employees in their workplace is of high priority for our company. Each individual shares responsibility for supporting our company in its efforts to create safe working conditions. The responsibility towards employees and colleagues requires the best possible protection against hazards, and it applies to:
the technical planning of workplaces, facilities, and processes, safety management, and personal behavior in everyday work. The working environment must meet the requirements of a health-oriented design. Each employee must pay constant attention to occupational safety.
The management of our company actively promotes the comprehensive communication of compliance policies and ensures their implementation. Compliance with laws and adherence to internal guidelines must be regularly monitored in all companies within the group. The specific form of control is the responsibility of each individual company.