Global Compact

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. Content relevant to the Global Compact is indicated as such in the online report. This content is also listed in the GRI and Global Compact index.

We report in accordance with the Advanced Level of the UN Global Compact. To meet the requirements of the highest COP reporting level, we provide voluntary information on 24 criteria alongside this report. This information is available on the website of the UN Global Compact. 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 which help us incorporate the principles of the Global Compact into our business processes. We also report on how we measure and monitor our performance and about the progress we have made, the measures we propose, and our targets and goals.

Human rights

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

Strategy

Linde undertakes to respect and protect human rights. We comply with international principles and guidelines such as:

  • the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
  • the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and
  • OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.


Our aim is to make a contribution towards supporting human rights within the sphere of influence of our company: in our business activities, in the protection of our employees and in relationships with our stakeholders.

Labour standards

Safety and health

Suppliers

Implementation and monitoring

Our commitments to protect human rights are set out in our Group guidelines which are binding for all our employees. These include our Code of Ethics and a position paper on human rights issued in 2014. Our Code of Ethics is supplemented by other global guidelines and standards. These include global guidelines on safety and health protection. In our Code of Conduct for Suppliers, we also require our suppliers to protect human rights and comply with minimum social standards.

We review our commitments to protect human rights by applying a multi-layer implementation and monitoring process:

  • We provide our employees with training on the contents of our Code of Ethics.
  • Training and audits are an inherent part of our safety management system. We include contractors and other business partners in our training.
  • We use global surveys in all regions to review the implementation of fair working conditions.
  • Our dialogue with employee representatives also includes discussions and consultation about labour standards.
  • We address the impact of our procurement practices and set out minimum standards for suppliers. We test compliance on a sample basis.
  • Employees and external stakeholders can use the confidential Linde Integrity Line to report suspected violations, anonymously if they so wish.

(PDF:) Code of Ethics

Code of Conduct for Suppliers

(PDF:) Safety and environmental protection

Labour standards

Safety and health

Suppliers

Compliance

Progress in the reporting year

  • The Group issued out its position on human rights
  • Global survey within the Group on processes which ensure respect for human rights
  • Since the beginning of 2012, audits covering social topics have been carried out at more than 190 business locations.
  • Occupational safety and health protection audits have been conducted at 57.4 percent of the Group’s operating sites.
  • A new global target for a reduction in workplace accidents is set.
  • 80 percent of our strategic suppliers have signed up to our Code of Conduct for Suppliers.
  • Training about workplace harassment delivered in India

Labour standards

Safety and the environment

Safety and health

Suppliers

Outlook

  • Implement measures to achieve our global targets:

    • Achieve a continuous reduction in the number of workplace accidents by 2020 (base year 2012)
    • Halve the frequency of serious transport incidents by 2017 (base year 2012)

  • Global analysis of safety culture
  • Implement measures to achieve our global target: Increase the proportion of female senior managers to between 13 and 15 percent by 2018
  • Provide more detail about the target to increase the proportion of female senior managers
  • Training on gender diversity

Targets

Labour standards

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

Principle 4: Uphold the elimination of all forms of forced labour

Principle 5: Uphold the abolition of child labour

Principle 6: Uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

Strategy

Linde is committed to upholding international labour rights and standards and to dealing fairly with its employees. We are committed to the core labour standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

These include

  • recognising the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining to the extent that this is permitted by local legislation and promoting open dialogue between employees and management where there are no designated employee representatives;
  • rejecting any form of forced labour or human trafficking;
  • complying with requirements about the minimum age of employees, as set out in local legislation and international agreements;
  • observing guidelines on equal opportunities and fair treatment and zero tolerance for any form of illegal discrimination or employee harassment.


We also expect our suppliers to comply with these labour standards.

Labour standards

Diversity

Involving employees

Suppliers

Implementation and monitoring

Our commitments in the area of labour rights and standards are set out in mandatory guidelines for employees and suppliers. These include our Code of Ethics and a position paper on human rights. In our Code of Conduct for Suppliers, we also require that suppliers comply with minimum social standards.

We have implemented various measures to ensure compliance with labour rights:

  • Linde has a central works council for the Group as a whole as well as a European works council which currently has 27 members and is responsible for cross-regional topics. In other countries, employee representation is at regional level. Our dialogue with employee representatives also includes discussions and consultation about labour standards.
  • Employees are provided with training on the content of our Code of Ethics.
  • Our diversity management programme aims to prohibit discrimination and actively promote equal opportunities.
  • We use a global survey to conduct a regular review of the extent to which systems are implemented to prohibit forced labour and child labour.
  • We set out minimum requirements in the area of social standards with which our suppliers must comply. We test compliance on a sample basis.
  • Potential violations can be reported using the Linde Integrity Line – anonymously if so desired.

(PDF:) Code of Ethics

Code of Conduct for Suppliers

Labour standards

Diversity

Involving employees

Suppliers

Compliance

Integrity Line

Progress in the reporting year

  • Position paper on human rights issued by the Group
  • Global survey within the Group on processes which ensure that human rights are being upheld
  • Since the beginning of 2012, audits covering social topics have been carried out at more than 190 business locations.
  • 80 percent of our strategic suppliers have signed up to the Code of Conduct for Suppliers.
  • Proportion of women in our most important development programme for senior managers increased to 26.5 percent
  • Proportion of female senior managers increased to around 14 percent
  • Diversity Committee set up in the Engineering Division in Germany
  • Training about workplace harassment delivered in India

Labour standards

Suppliers

Diversity

Outlook

  • Implement measures to achieve our global target: increase the proportion of female senior managers to between 13 and 15 percent by 2018
  • Provide more detail about the target to increase the proportion of female senior managers
  • Training on gender diversity

Targets

Environmental protection

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

Strategy

Linde is committed to making a contribution towards protecting the environment. We focus in particular on the Group’s sites, the transportation of products and their use by customers. We concentrate on minimising safety risks and our environmental impact as well as on the efficient use of energy, resources and materials.

Our products and services support our customers’ efforts to make their business processes safer and more environmentally friendly.

Within the framework of our social commitment, we also support environmental protection.

Safety and the environment

Innovations

Social commitment

Implementation and monitoring

Our commitment to protecting the environment is outlined in our mandatory Code of Ethics. Our global guideline on health, safety and the environment defines the framework for implementation in this area.

Our environmental management system and our risk management system are geared towards minimising the environmental risks that might arise from our products and processes. Measures include risk analyses and certification of our sites in accordance with international standards, as well as monitoring tools such as audits.

Training is one of the ways in which we raise awareness of environmental and safety issues among our employees.

We have a wide-ranging portfolio of technologies which help reduce the current environmental impact of fossil fuels and cut CO2 emissions. We are also driving forward 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 waste water.

Safety and the environment

Innovations

Progress in the reporting year

  • Average energy of our own installed air separation plants has increased by 5.4 percent since 2008
  • Energy efficiency of globally installed HyCO plants has increased by 1.9 percent since 2009
  • 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions saved since 2008 as a result of improved energy intensity at air separation plants
  • A further 650,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions saved since 2009 as a result of improved energy efficiency at hydrogen plants
  • Around 250 projects identified which increase energy efficiency. Their implementation seeks to achieve cost savings of more than EUR 24 m and a reduction of 160,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions.
  • 39 plants in Europe were inspected to ensure sustainable use of water resources and a number of improvements were implemented
  • More than 20 projects were identified which could contribute towards water being used more efficiently and generate cost savings
  • By optimising water flow at sites in the Czech Republic and in the Netherlands, water consumption was reduced by 2.6 million cubic metres
  • More than 1,400 safety, environmental protection and health protection audits were carried out
  • Around 63 percent of the employees in our Gases Division received training on environmental protection, occupational safety and health protection

Safety and the environment

Energy

Water

Waste

Outlook

  • Implement measures to achieve our global target: increase energy efficiency by 2 percent at installed hydrogen plants by 2015 (base year 2009)
  • Decision about additional environmental targets
  • Cost savings of more than EUR 2 m expected by 2016 due to optimised use of water
  • Evaluation of findings from regional pilot projects for waste management and development of measures for other regions
  • Reduction of electrical waste generated by medical devices

Targets

Anti-corruption

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

Strategy

Good corporate governance is an essential prerequisite of our business success. It involves complying with laws, regulations and self-imposed commitments.

The aim of our global compliance programme is to prevent misconduct and to investigate and penalise potential violations.

(PDF:) Code of Ethics

Code of Conduct for Suppliers

Compliance

Implementation and monitoring

Our key compliance guidelines are set out in our Code of Ethics and other supplementary guidelines. To prevent misconduct, our global compliance programme is based on three pillars: communication, training and personal advice.

At the same time, we encourage our employees to report any violations of our Code of Ethics, other Group guidelines or legal regulations and we offer them advice on doing so. Employees and third parties can use our reporting system, the Linde Integrity Line, to report any doubts or suspicions they may have. Each report to the Integrity Line is examined. Our Integrity Line guideline defines the exact process to be followed and ensures that reports remain confidential and data is protected. If the suspicion proves justified, this entails consequences.

We apply the knowledge we gain from dealing with these cases to make further improvements in our compliance programme.

Compliance

Integrity Line

Progress in the reporting year

  • Global compliance guideline introduced in our Healthcare business
  • More than 49,000 e-learning sessions held on our Code of Ethics since the programme was launched
  • More than 14,000 compliance refresher courses run
  • 14,500 employees provided with on-site training by qualified instructors
  • 5,000 queries answered by compliance officers

Compliance

Outlook

  • Further measures to expand the compliance programme
  • Development of joint compliance projects

Targets