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Code of Conduct
1. Scope

Integrity guides our conduct towards our business partners, employees and the public. This basic statement of our company is the basis of the Code of Conduct. Both our strategic considerations and our day-to-day business must always be based on high ethical and legal standards. To a substantial degree, our company’s public image is determined by the actions and by the way each and every one of us presents and conducts himself or herself, and particularly by the respect we show each other. We all share the responsibility for having our company meet its corporate social responsibility worldwide.

2. Field of Applicability

The Code of Conduct guidelines are binding rules applicable to every employee. They shall help us meet ethical and legal challenges in our day-to-day work.

3. Terms

ethical: moral

integrity: sincerity, righteousness, trustworthiness

corruption: abuse of entrusted power for private gain, corruptibility

sanctions: coercive measure

4. Responsibilities

The compliance with the law and the legal system is a fundamental principle for our company. Every employee shall obey the laws and regulations of the legal systems within which he or she is acting. Regardless of the sanctions foreseen by the law, any employee guilty of a violation will be liable to disciplinary consequences because of the violation of his/her employment duties.

5. Description - Responsibility for the Image of Auer Lighting GmbH

To a substantial degree, the image of Auer Lighting GmbH is determined by our actions and by the way each and every one of us presents and conducts himself/herself. Inappropriate behavior on the part of even a single employee can cause the company considerable damage. Every employee should be concerned with the good reputation of Auer Lighting GmbH in society. In all aspects of performing his/her job, every employee must focus on maintaining the good reputation of, and respect for, the company.

5.2 Respect for the Fundamental Rights of the Employees

We uphold and affirm equal opportunity and equal treatment among our employees, regardless of their color of skin, race, nationality, social origin, handicap, sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs, sex or age.

We respect the personal dignity, privacy, and the personal rights of every individual.

We do not tolerate discrimination and harassment or offense, be it sexual or otherwise personal as well as mental cruelty. We do not tolerate any behavior (including gestures, language and physical contact) which is sexual, coercive, threatening, abusive or exploiting.

We refuse to employ or make anyone work against his will.

We comply with the maximum number of working hours laid down in the applicable laws.

We provide fair remuneration and guarantee the applicable national statutory minimum wage.

We recognize, as far as legally possible, the right of free association of employees and do not favor nor discriminate against members of employee organizations.

We are open and honest and assume our responsibility. We are reliable partners and make no promises we cannot keep.

These principles apply to both, internal cooperation and conduct towards external partners.

5.3 Prohibition of Child Labor

We do not employ workers under the age of 15. In those countries subject to the developing country exception of the ILO Convention 138, the minimum age may be reduced to 14.

5.4 Management, Responsibility and Supervision

Every manager bears responsibility for the employees entrusted to him/her. Every manager must earn their respect by exemplary personal behavior, performance, openness, and social competence. He/she sets clear, ambitious, and realistic goals, leads with trust and leaves the employees as much individual responsibility and leeway as possible. Every manager is also accessible in case employees wish to discuss a professional or personal problem.

Every manager must fulfill duties of organization and supervision.

It is the responsibility of every manager to see to it that there are no violations of the law within his/her area of responsibility which proper supervision could have prevented or rendered more difficult. The manager still remains responsible, if he/she delegates particular tasks.

The following applies in particular:

The manager must carefully select the employees for their personal and professional qualifications (duty of selection).

The manager must formulate the tasks in a precise, complete, and binding manner, especially with regard to compliance with provisions of the law (duty of instruction).

The manager must see to it that compliance with provisions of the law is monitored on a constant basis (duty of monitoring).

The manager must clearly communicate to the employees that violations of the law are disapproved and will have employment consequences (duty of disapproval).

5.5.1 Abiding by Fair Competition

Only fair competition enjoys the right of developing freely. The principle of integrity also applies to the struggling for market shares. Every employee is obligated to abide by the rules of fair competition.

5.5.2 Offering and Granting Advantages

We struggle for orders with the quality and the price of our innovative products and services.

No employee may directly or indirectly offer or grant unjustified advantages to others in connection with business dealings, neither in monetary form nor as some other advantage.

Promotional gifts from business partners to employees must be selected so as to avoid any appearance of bad faith or impropriety in the mind of the recipient.

Gifts must not be made to public officials or other civil servants.

Employees concluding contracts with consultants, intermediaries, agents, or comparable third parties must see to it that these also offer or grant no unjustified advantages.

5.5.3 Demanding and Accepting Advantages

No employee may use his/her job title to demand, accept, obtain, or be promised advantages. This does not apply to the acceptance of occasional gifts of insignificant value, but any other gifts must be refused or returned.

5.5.4 Special Rules for Awarding Contracts

Any bidder for a contract from Auer Lighting GmbH expects us to examine his/her bid fairly and without prejudice. Employees whose work involves the placing of orders must particularly respect the following rules:

The employee must inform his/her supervisor of any personal interest he/she could possibly have in connection with the execution of his/her professional duties.

There must be no unfair discrimination for or against any suppliers in their competition for contracts.

Invitations from business partners may only be accepted if the occasion and scope of the invitation is appropriate and if refusing the invitation would be discourteous.

Gifts from business partners must be refused and returned unless they are occasional gifts of insignificant value.

No employee may have private contracts fulfilled by companies with which he/she has company business dealings if he/she could derive any advantage therefrom. This is particularly applicable if the employee is capable of exercising a direct or indirect influence upon having that company receive a contract from Auer Lighting GmbH. 

We point this Code of Conduct out to our suppliers and promote the compliance among business partners.

5.6 Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

The company considers it important to prevent its employees from succumbing to conflicts of interest or of loyalty in their professional activities. Such conflicts can come about if an employee is active on behalf of, or has interests in, another company. The following rules thus apply for all of us:

5.7 Prohibition of Competition

It is prohibited to operate a company which competes in whole or in part with Auer Lighting GmbH.

5.8 Sideline Work

Anyone who intends to begin paid sideline activities must inform his/her immediate superior beforehand in writing. Permission for such activities may be denied if it leads to a decrease in work performance, contradicts the employee’s duties within the company, or threatens to present a conflict of interest.

5.9 Handling of Company Property

The devices and equipment in offices and workshops (such as telephones, copying machines, PCs, software, Internet/Intranet, machines, tools) are to be used only for company business. Exceptions, and payment if applicable, can be agreed upon locally. In no case may any information be retrieved or transmitted which incites racial hatred, glorification of violence, or other criminal acts, or contains sexually offensive material which is sexually offensive within the respective cultural background.

No employee is permitted without the consent of his/her superior to make records, databases, video and audio recordings, or reproductions unless this is directly due to company business.

5.10 Handling of Information - Records and Reports

Open and effective cooperation requires accurate and truthful reporting. This applies equally to the relationship with employees, customers, and business partners, as well as with the public and all government offices.

Any records and reports produced internally or distributed externally must be accurate and truthful. According to proper bookkeeping principles, data and other records must always be complete, correct, and appropriate in terms of time and system. The requirement of truthful statements applies to business trip accounts as well. Without the consent of his/her superior, it is not permitted to make records, databases, video and audio recordings or reproductions unless this is directly due to company business.

5.10.2 Confidentiality

Confidentiality must be maintained with regard to internal corporate matters which have not been made known to the public. As an example, this includes details concerning the company’s organization and equipment, as well as matters of business, manufacturing, research and development, and internal reporting figures.

The obligation to maintain confidentiality shall extend beyond the termination of the employment relationship.

5.10.3 Data Protection and Data Security

Worldwide electronic information exchange and dialogue, electronic business dealings are crucial requirements for the effectiveness of each and every one of us, and for the success of the business as a whole. However, the advantages of electronic communication are tied to risks in terms of personal privacy protection and data security. Effective foresight with regard to these risks is an important component of IT management, the leadership function, and also the behavior of each individual.

Personal data may only be collected, processed, or used insofar as this is necessary for pre-determined, clear, and legitimate purposes. High standards must be ensured with regard to data quality and in technical protection against unauthorized access. The use of the data must be transparent for those concerned; and the rights of the latter must be safeguarded with regards to information and correction and, if applicable, to objection, blocking, and deletion.

6.1 Environment and Technical Safety

Protecting the environment and conserving its resources are high-priority targets for our company. We continuously improve our environmental management system and minimize ecological damage.

The environmental management department and all process managers ensure compliance with the law. At the product development stage, environmentally friendly design, technical safety, and health protection are fixed targets.

Every employee in his/her job must contribute to an exemplary performance in this field.

6.2 Work Safety and Health of Employees

Responsibility vis-à-vis employees and colleagues requires the best possible accident-prevention measures. Our work safety management department arranges for training to provide information on work safety to all employees. This applies both to the technical planning of workplaces, equipment, and processes and to safety management and personal behavior in the everyday workplace. The work environment must fulfill the requirements of health-oriented design.

Hazards have to be controlled and the best reasonably possible precautionary measures against accidents and occupational diseases are to take.

Every employee must constantly be attentive to safety.

7.1 Complaints and Comments

Any employee may lodge a personal complaint with his/her supervisor, the personal management or the works council or indicate circumstances which point to a violation of the Code of Conduct. The matter will be investigated thoroughly and corresponding measures will be implemented. All documentation will be kept confidential. No reprisal of any kind will be tolerated.

Employees should exhaust the internal possibilities of mediation.

7.2 Implementation and Controlling

The management of Auer Lighting GmbH actively fosters the widespread distribution of the Code of Conduct and sees to it that it is implemented permanently. Compliance with the law and observance of the Code of Conduct has to be monitored on a regular basis in the corresponding areas. This shall be done in accordance with the legal provisions.