Menschenrechte_5-2
Human Rights

K+S respects human rights

K+S conducts business in a manner that respects the human rights and dignity of everyone affected by our operations, i.e. employees, contractors and external stakeholders. We seek to implement our commitment through rigorous due diligence, ongoing stakeholder engagement, candid disclosure, access to complaint mechanisms and continuous improvement in our policies and processes.

Our commitment to human rights due diligence

We are a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact and our commitment to human rights is based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Guiding Principles) and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Our approach is further informed by the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We always follow the law. Where local law and international human rights law are not aligned, we will act in accordance with the higher standard. Where they are in conflict, we will adhere to national law, while seeking ways to respect international human rights to the greatest extent possible. 

Our commitment to human rights extends to all internationally recognized human rights. We comply with legal requirements. We strive towards implementing our commitment through a due diligence process consistent with the UN Guiding Principles and incorporate the following core elements as identified in the German National Action plan on Business and Human rights:

  • Declaration of principles of respect for human rights
  • Procedures for identifying the human rights impact
  • Implementation of measures and review of their effectiveness
  • Reporting
  • Complaint mechanisms

K+S Declaration of principles of respect for human rights

Procedures for identifying the human rights impact

Our commitment in the area of human rights is based on the "Business Ethics & Human Rights" field of action with the topics "Sustainable Supply Chains" and "Compliance & Anti-Corruption". By integrating the topic of human rights into our compliance risk analysis, we address the human rights due diligence obligations to our Group companies and take appropriate countermeasures when risks are identified. With our Code of Conduct for Suppliers, we also encourage our suppliers to observe human rights due diligence obligations in their area. In addition, we will integrate the topic of human rights into our supplier risk analysis by 2023. Human rights and environmental risks in accordance with the Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations for the Prevention of Human Rights Violations in Supply Chains (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz) can thus be identified and detected at an early stage through a documented process at our sites as well as at our suppliers.

Our commitment to human rights extends to all internationally recognized human rights. In particular, we focus on the most significant human rights risks, including: 

Forced and Child Labor

Non-Discrimination & Equal Opportunity

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining

Health & Safety, and Dignity

Indigenous Communities

Implementation of measures and review of their effectiveness

Since 2021, we have started to conduct risk analyses with our Group companies and implement a regular process. To ensure human rights due diligence at our suppliers, the topic of human rights will be integrated into the supplier risk analysis by 2023. If risks are identified, the first step is a detailed analysis. The specific circumstances are then examined and suitable measures are developed and introduced. These measures and their effectiveness are continuously monitored and adjustments are made if necessary. 

Reporting

Internally, we regularly report on the progress of the activities, such as in board meetings, in the Sustainability Committee and on internal company platforms. Externally, we report in the K+S Annual Report, in the UK Modern Slavery Act as well as at events or in discussions with political representatives. We face the questions of interested parties and are interested in a continuous exchange of experiences.

Complaint mechanisms

Our whistleblower system “SPEAK UP!” gives employees, contractors and communities the opportunity to express their concerns, also with regard to human rights. They can do this anonymously and in various languages.

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