Global Compact

Linde supports the United Nations Global Compact. Every year, we report on how we incorporate the ten Global Compact principles into our business activities. This Communication on Progress (COP) forms part of our Corporate Responsibility Report 2012. We use the Global Compact logo to indicate content relevant to the Global Compact in the online report. This content is also listed in the GRI and Global Compact index.

The Global Compact

Once again, our Corporate Responsibility Report 2012 complies with the UN Global Compact advanced level. To meet the requirements of this top COP reporting level, we provide voluntary information on 24 criteria alongside this report. This information is available on the UN Global Compact website. We also consider the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership, which is an action plan initiated by the Global Compact LEAD platform.

The following table provides an overview of the commitments, standards and management systems that we use to incorporate the principles of Global Compact in our business processes. We also report on the progress we made during 2012, as well as specifying future plans. Further information about our support for the principles is provided in the text boxes for each action area.

Incorporation of UN Global Compact principles in business processes

 

 

 

 

Human rights

 

 

 

 

Principles

 

Principle 1:
Support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights

 

 

Principle 2:
Make sure that the company is not complicit in human rights abuses

 

Systems

 

Our Code of Ethics is binding for all employees. In it, Linde commits to protecting and promoting human rights and the core principles of the United Nations international charter on human rights.

 

 

Our global Ethical-Legal Principles Procurement align with the principles anchored in the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

 

Our global SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) policy defines how we protect the health and safety of our employees. We also include contractors and other business partners in our occupational health and product safety management programme.

 

 

The primary aim of our compliance programme is to prevent misconduct and identify possible compliance violations. Suspected abuses can be reported to the Linde Integrity Line.

 

Progress in reporting period

 

In 2012, we again conducted a uniform internal survey on social standards and human rights worldwide. The aim is to check whether our subsidiaries have implemented processes to protect social standards. These should prevent child and forced labour as well and discrimination, while upholding the right to exercise freedom of association and negotiate collective bargaining agreements.

 

 

We also expect our suppliers to uphold social standards. In 2013, we intend to expand on the sustainability requirements for suppliers that are currently in force in the different divisions and merge them into a single policy. To raise employee awareness, we also integrated a new information portal on this topic into our company intranet at the start of 2013. We conducted over 100 site audits of engineering suppliers during 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

> More on labour and social standards

 

 

> More on supply chain management

 

 

 

 

 

Labour standards

 

 

 

 

Principles

 

Principle 3:
Uphold freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining

 

 

Principle 4:
Eliminate all forms of forced labour

 

 

Principle 5:
Abolish child labour

 

 

Principle 6:
Eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

 

Systems

 

In our Code of Ethics, we commit to protecting and promoting human rights. This includes the prohibition of discrimination, harassment, slavery and servitude as well as upholding the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and the right to fair remuneration.

 

 

Our global Ethical-Legal Principles – Procurement address the issues of forced and child labour, communication channels and negotiation structures between employers and employees, and equal opportunities and fair treatment.

 

 

Our diversity management programme also aims to prohibit discrimination and actively promote equal opportunities.

 

Progress in reporting period

 

In 2012, we again conducted a uniform internal survey on social standards and human rights worldwide. The aim is to check whether our subsidiaries have implemented processes to protect social standards. These should prevent child and forced labour as well as discrimination, while upholding the right to exercise freedom of association and negotiate collective bargaining agreements.

 

 

From 2012 onwards, several new task forces have been considering various aspects and measures related to gender equality in the Group. In 2012, around 20 percent of our employees were female, and over 11 percent of our top managers. The proportion of women in our major talent development programme for middle managers increased to 29 percent.

 

 

 

 

 

> More on labour and social standards

 

 

> More on diversity and equal opportunities

 

 

 

 

 

Environment

 

 

 

 

Principles

 

Principle 7:
Support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges

 

 

Principle 8:
Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility

 

 

Principle 9:
Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

 

Systems

 

Our commitment to protecting the environment is outlined in our binding Code of Ethics. Our global Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) policy defines the framework for implementation in this area.

 

 

Our environmental management system, our risk management system and our product safety programme are geared towards minimising the environmental impact of our processes and products. This includes preventative measures such as risk analyses and certification of our sites in line with international standards, as well as monitoring instruments such as audits.

 

 

Raising employee awareness of environmental and safety issues is also an important factor, and one which we address through various channels, including training initiatives.

 

 

We are helping to tackle major ecological challenges of our time through our energy and environmental technologies. Our comprehensive technology portfolio helps reduce the current environmental impact of fossil fuels and cut CO2 emissions. We are also driving the development of alternative fuels and renewable energy sources. Furthermore, our gases are used to improve the quality of untreated and drinking water supplies and to clean wastewater.

 

 

Our corporate citizenship activities are also supporting environmental initiatives.

 

Progress in reporting period

 

In 2012, environmental audits were conducted at 53.6 percent of our sites. We also performed over 530 audits at customer sites to ensure the conditions were in place for proper gas handling.

 

 

Almost half of the employees at Linde Gas took part in training sessions on occupational health and safety and environmental protection.

 

 

We set ourselves two new global targets for climate protection. By 2017, we aim to improve the installed design energy intensity of our air separation plants per air gas produced by 5 percent relative to the reference year 2008. Additionally, by 2015, we aim for a 2 percent increase in the actual energy efficiency of our installed hydrogen (HyCO) plants compared with the 2009 level.

 

 

We have also set ourselves a new target in relation to transport safety: to halve the frequency rate of serious transport incidents by the end of 2017 relative to the 2012 baseline.

 

 

We continuously develop new application areas for our gases and work to improve processes and plant technologies. Among other solutions in 2012, Linde developed a method to reduce emissions of environmentally harmful nitrogen oxides released when glass is manufactured.

 

 

 

 

 

> More on audits

 

 

> More on energy efficiency

 

 

> More on climate protection

 

 

> More on transport safety

 

 

> More on innovations

 

 

> More on products for environmental protection and supply security

 

 

 

 

 

Anti-corruption

 

 

 

 

Principles

 

Principle 10:
Work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery

 

Systems

 

Our Code of Ethics prohibits corruption for all employees worldwide.

 

 

This commitment is backed by additional, supplementary guidelines, including regulations governing competitive and anti-trust laws as well as our Ethical-Legal Principles – Procurement.

 

 

The primary aim of our compliance programme is to prevent misconduct and to investigate and penalise possible violations. Suspected abuses can be reported to the Linde Integrity Line.

 

 

 

In 2012, we approved a new, global anti-corruption guideline, which took effect at the start of 2013.

 

 

To make current information about compliance guidelines and points of contact even more accessible to employees, Linde set up a new intranet compliance portal in 2012.

 

 

By the end of 2012, we had held more than 36,000 e-learning sessions on our Code of Ethics, while over 6,000 employees around the globe were provided with on-site training between 2009 and 2012. In 2012, Linde launched a new online course on anti-trust law, in which 3,500 employees have already participated.

 

 

 

 

 

> More on compliance