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 on the progress we have made, the measures we propose to implement and the targets and goals we have set ourselves.

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
  • the 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 on 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 integral part of our safety management system. We include contractors and other business partners in our training.
  • We use global surveys in all regions to verify 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 grievances, anonymously if they so wish.

(PDF:) Code of Ethics

Code of Conduct for Suppliers

(PDF:) Policy on health, safety and environmental protection

Labour standards

Safety and health

Suppliers

Compliance

Integrity Line

Progress in the reporting year

  • Global survey conducted within the Group on processes which ensure respect for human rights
  • Since the beginning of 2012, audits covering social topics have been conducted at more than 200 operating sites.
  • Occupational safety and health protection audits have been conducted at around 53 percent of the Group’s operating sites.
  • Global analysis of Linde’s safety culture
  • More than three quarters of our strategic suppliers have signed up to our Code of Conduct for Suppliers.
  • Training has been provided to around 20 percent of employees working in procurement across the Group on the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Suppliers.
  • Reduction of around 16 percent in serious transport incidents per million kilometres travelled since 2012
  • Training about workplace harassment delivered in India

Labour standards

Safety and health

Suppliers

Outlook

  • Implement measures to achieve our global targets:

    • Continuously reduce workplace accidents by 2020 (base year 2012)
    • Increase proportion of female managers

  • Set a new target for the reduction of transport incidents

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 guided here by the principles set out in 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 adopting a policy of 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 to the protection of human rights are set out in mandatory guidelines for 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 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 exclude any form of 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 exclude any form of 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 via the Linde Integrity Line, anonymously if so desired.

(PDF:) Code of Ethics

Code of Conduct for Suppliers

(PDF:) Policy on health, safety and environmental protection

Labour standards

Diversity

Involving employees

Suppliers

Compliance

Integrity Line

Progress in the reporting year

  • Global survey conducted within the Group on processes which ensure that human rights are being respected
  • More than 1,000 employees of contractors were involved in the global initiative designed to strengthen safety awareness on Engineering Division construction sites.
  • Since 2012, around 200 audits covering social topics have been conducted at our business locations
  • More than three quarters 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 is 23 percent
  • Proportion of women in the first management tier below the Executive Board is 11 percent
  • Proportion of women in the second management tier below the Executive Board is 16 percent
  • Support provided for networking events, workshops, training programmes for women with management responsibility and leadership potential, and mentoring schemes
  • Launch of an internal mentoring scheme which provides support particularly to women to enable them to continue to develop their personal and professional skills
  • Initiatives launched on diversity in the workplace, e.g. in Asia, North America and Europe
  • Training about workplace harassment delivered in India

Labour standards

Suppliers

Diversity

Outlook

  • Implement measures to achieve our global target: increase the proportion of female managers
  • Increase the proportion of women in the first management tier below the Executive Board to 14 percent by 2017 and 18 percent by 2022
  • Increase the proportion of women in the second management tier below the Executive Board to 17 percent by 2017 and 22 percent by 2022
  • Internal mentoring scheme to be expanded

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 context of our social commitment, we also support environmental protection.

Safety and the environment

Innovation and products

Clean Technology by Linde

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 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 water and drinking water as well as to clean waste water.

(PDF:) Code of Ethics

Code of Conduct for Suppliers

(PDF:) Policy on health, safety and environmental protection

Innovation and products

Clean Technology by Linde

Progress in the reporting year

  • More than 600 production sites around the world reviewed for their proximity to international protected areas; water supply studied at our key production sites.
  • Average energy intensity of our own installed air separation plants has increased by more than 6 percent since 2008; leading to savings of 2.5 m tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • Energy efficiency of globally installed hydrogen plants has increased by 2.7 percent since 2009, leading to savings of around 640,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • Around 200 projects identified which increase energy efficiency. Their implementation has generated cost savings of more than EUR 23 m and has reduced CO2 emissions by around 160,000 tonnes
  • We have conducted around 1,400 safety, environmental protection and health protection audits.
  • Around 65 percent of the employees in our Gases Division received training on environmental protection, occupational safety and health protection.
  • More than 50 percent of our research and development projects aimed to achieve an environmental benefit.
  • 500 patents in the chemical and environmental sectors, Clean Energy and hydrogen technologies
  • 30 m tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided just as a result of customers using two key Linde technologies
  • Over 17,000 tonnes of NOX emissions avoided at customers’ plants by using LoTOx™ systems
  • Around 750 m cubic metres of water brought up to drinking water quality using Linde’s Solvocarb® process installed by our customers

Safety and the environment

Innovation and products

Production

Energy and climate protection

Water

Outlook

  • Avoid a total of 6 m tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2020 as a result of technical improvements in plant design and more efficient production processes in our air separation plants and hydrogen plants (base year 2009)
  • Cost savings of over EUR 2 m expected between 2014 and 2016 due to optimised use of water
  • Training programme on topics such as saving water, water treatment and handling claims to be expanded

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 voluntary commitments.

The aim of our global compliance programme is to prevent misconduct and to investigate and follow up any 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 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 that 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

  • More than 55,000 e-learning sessions on our Code of Ethics completed since the programme was launched, over 138,000 sessions compliance sessions in total
  • E-learning programme introduced for employees who award contracts for consultancy and other services on Linde’s behalf
  • 10,000 participants in e-learning sessions on antitrust law
  • 22,000 employees provided with on-site training by qualified instructors
  • 6,700 queries answered by compliance officers

Compliance

Outlook

  • Further measures to expand the compliance programme

Targets