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) is integrated in our Corporate Responsibility Report. The Global Compact logo indicates content relevant to the Global Compact in the online report. This content is also listed in the GRI and Global Compact index.

Once again, our reporting complies with the Advanced Level of the UN Global Compact. 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 help us incorporate the principles of Global Compact in our business processes. We also report on the progress we made during 2013, and we specify 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, we commit to protecting and promoting human rights and the core principles of the United Nations international charter on human rights.

 

 

Our procurement guidelines align with the principles anchored in the core labour standards 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 early 2014, the Executive Board of Linde AG passed a position on human rights for the Group in which we reaffirm our support of human rights and describe Group processes that substantiate this commitment.

 

 

In 2013, we continued to investigate the extent to which the Group’s global guidelines take compliance with human rights into account. The guidelines and processes audited and adapted so far include the Code of Ethics; the procurement guidelines, conditions and agreements; the Integrity Line policy; and Enterprise Risk Management.

 

 

In 2013, the Executive Board of Linde AG approved a new global Code of Conduct for Suppliers that defines standards for safety, environmental protection, social responsibility and ethical business practices. At Linde Engineering, for example, all new suppliers have been required to comply with the Code of Conduct since it was introduced in 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

> More on labour standards

 

 

> More on human rights

 

 

> More on suppliers

 

 

 

 

 

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 procurement guidelines address the issues of forced and child labour, communication channels and negotiation structures between employers and employees as well as equal opportunities and fair treatment.

 

 

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

 

 

Linde has a central works council for the Group as a whole as well as a European Works Council, which is responsible for cross-regional topics and currently has 24 members. Representative bodies have been set up in other countries on a regional level.

 

Progress in reporting period

 

In 2013, we continued to investigate the extent to which the Group’s global guidelines take compliance with human rights into account. The guidelines and processes audited and adapted so far include the Code of Ethics; the procurement guidelines, conditions and agreements; the Integrity Line policy; and Enterprise Risk Management. In early 2014, the Executive Board of Linde AG also passed a position on human rights for the Group in which we reaffirm our support of human rights and describe Group processes that substantiate this commitment.

 

 

One of our main activities in the area of diversity is the promotion of female managers. We have taken a number of measures to achieve this objective. The proportion of women in the Global Leadership Development Circle, the major talent development programme for upper managers, nearly doubled to 23.4 percent in 2013. The proportion of women taking part in the programme for middle managers, the Global Talent Circle, was 35.6 percent (2012: 29.0 percent).

 

 

In 2013, the Executive Board of Linde AG approved a new global Code of Conduct for Suppliers that defines standards for safety, environmental protection, social responsibility and ethical business practices.

 

 

 

 

 

> More on labour standards

 

 

> More on diversity

 

 

> More on suppliers

 

 

 

 

 

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 policy defines the framework for implementation in this area.

 

 

Our environmental management system and our risk management system are geared towards minimising the environmental impact of our processes and products. This includes 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.

 

 

We have pooled our expertise and merged our activities into a central Clean Energy Group. This team, which operates across different business areas, develops innovative products and processes that help to make renewable energies economically viable, reduce the consumption of natural resources and cut emissions that are harmful to the environment.

 

 

Our corporate citizenship activities also support environmental initiatives.

 

Progress in reporting period

 

Our target is to improve the average energy intensity of our globally installed air separation plants by 5 percent by 2017. The reference year is 2008. By the end of 2013, we had already achieved a 3.8 percent improvement in average energy intensity. In 2013, we have identified around 300 projects that help reduce the Group’s energy consumption.

 

 

We have developed special risk assessments for product safety for sites that produce or handle particularly sensitive chemicals. The assessments are performed globally on a uniform basis. So far, we have carried out corresponding audits in 17 countries. In the reporting year, the focus was on the South-East Asia region.

 

 

More than half of the employees at Linde Gas participated in training sessions on occupational health, safety and environmental protection in 2013. Environmental audits were performed at around 52 percent of Linde’s sites.

 

 

In 2013, we worked together with another company to develop a mobile system for the treatment of ship emissions. The system makes it easier to clean vessels that carry chemicals.

 

 

Together with five partners from the energy and automotive industry, we signed a plan of action in September 2013 for the development of around 400 hydrogen fuelling stations in Germany by 2023.

 

 

 

 

 

> More on audits

 

 

> More on energy efficiency

 

 

> More on climate protection

 

 

> More on transport

 

 

> More on innovations

 

 

> More on products for environmental protection and energy efficiency

 

 

 

 

 

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 procurement guidelines (Ethical-Legal Principles Procurement).

 

 

The 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.

 

 

The Integrity Line offers internal and external stakeholders the possibility to report doubts and suspicions.

 

Progress in reporting period

 

In 2013, we introduced new global anti-corruption guidelines.

 

 

By the end of 2013, at Linde more than 42,500 e-learning sessions were held on the Code of Ethics as well as around 7,500 e-learning sessions on anti-trust law. More than 10,000 participants also received on-site training from qualified trainers. In addition, our compliance officers answered more than 3,500 inquiries regarding compliance topics in the 2013 financial year.

 

 

In 2013, the Internal Audit department, Human Resources, Legal Services and the department for Safety, Health and Environment carried out 88 investigations on the basis of reports received via the Integrity Line.

 

 

 

 

 

> More on compliance