Throughout the Viessmann value chain, covering our own operations and day-to-day conduct, the operations, goods and services of our upstream suppliers as well as our downstream partners, all humans are equal. At Viessmann, everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitations of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. At Viessmann, everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of him-/herself and of his/her family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services. At Viessmann, motherhood is entitled to special care and assistance.
The protection of these human rights is ingrained in our company culture: At Viessmann, we refer to family members and not employees. Within our Vi Ways of Working, we define how family members do things at Viessmann, for example: “As a family, we care for each other, and value the relationships we have. We believe that all family members can be trusted. We support and empower our colleagues to choose how, where and when they wish to work.”
Other examples of how we ensure these fundamental human rights are our Viessmann’s Code of Conduct, our Supplier Code of Conduct, or our risk management process on value chain human rights due diligence. These documents are complemented with the Viessmann Group Policy Statement on Human Rights that anchors human rights throughout our value chain and within our strategy. In preparation for the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, our actual and potential human rights impacts are being systematically assessed in detail and we provide guidance for our suppliers. A last example are the philanthropic activities of our four Viessmann Foundations, for example in Ukraine or Malawi.
Viessmann recognizes its employees’ lawful right to freedom of association and rights to choose collective bargaining representatives, under applicable law and if desired. We do have collective bargaining agreements and formally-elected employee representatives in place in multiple locations.
We uphold the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor as well as the effective abolition of child labor. We prohibit any kind of discrimination based on race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, pregnancy or parenthood, marital status, birth or other status, any other reason covered by anti-discrimination laws. Within Viessmann’s Code of Conduct, our clear position and measures on anti-discrimination are stated. One example is our complaint mechanism that exemplifies the “speak up” culture we have built: Questions, concerns, discriminations, violations, risks, can and should be reported through our online internal whistleblowing system. All reported incidents are encrypted and comply with current data protection requirements. They can also be reported anonymously or directly to the Compliance Officer if needed.
Viessmann complies with all applicable laws governing the equal pay of employees globally. Demographic information, such as age, gender, or marital status, are not factored into remuneration. We have set up compliant and sensible processes to clarify matters should an employee feel discriminated against.
Advancing diversity is another vital focus of our wider ambition to contributing to a more prosperous and just society. Our corporate values therefore include diversity and we implement it through multiple means. For example, we hire qualified employees who best represent our buyer groups in the different Viessmann countries and who differ in characteristics, such as age, nationality, gender, physical ability, religion, sexual orientation, life experience, socioeconomic background, personality, etc. With regard to gender diversity, we face the fact – like many businesses – that there is a very low proportion of women working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As a result, the talent pool for recruiting is small. The challenge is to make us an attractive employer for young, talented women. As a family-operated company, uniting work and family life – for both men and women – is a topic we make possible through multiple measures such as e.g. childcare services, mother/father child rooms or empowering employees to choose how, where and when they wish to work.
Viessmann’s Code of Conduct defines corruption as the abuse of one’s own position, of whatever nature, for one’s own benefit or for the benefit of another person. Corruption includes bribery, extortion, protection payments and nepotism. Corruption does not correspond to our corporate values. It harms competition, hinders fair play and exposes the Viessmann Group and every family member to unnecessary liability risks. For this reason, we pursue a zero tolerance policy against bribery and corruption in any form.
To prevent any incidents of corruption it is the responsibility of each managing director to maintain the required level of awareness about the rules set in our Code of Conduct among his or her employees. For business areas, which have a higher risk for potential incidents, such as sales, procurement or the construction department, Viessmann’s Compliance Officer conducts regular trainings himself.