Code of Conduct

A. General

As a social enterprise, share bears and accepts responsibility. Alongside transparency, this covers responsibility to employees, the environment, and business activities. We also expect this from our suppliers. 

This code of conduct defines standards for fair, safe and non-harmful working conditions, environmental protection, and compliance with the conditions of fair competition, also along the supply chain. Here, share orients itself, among others, by the requirements of the ILO (International Labour Organisation). The requirements should be upheld by suppliers, their sub-suppliers and all other companies involved in the supply chain. Through our code of conduct, we also encourage our contractual partners to engage in continuous improvement of the conditions for employees and the environment. 

We expect our suppliers to comply with all relevant and applicable laws and ordinances in the country where employees are employed, including those at a federal, state/province and local level, our code of conduct and any collective agreements in force. The supplier hereby declares that share and third parties commissioned by share may carry out audits.

share and share’s suppliers are collectively responsible for ensuring social and environmental responsibility, and the integrity of our product content claims from farm to factory. The only way to reach this goal is to achieve transparency and traceability across all levels of the supply chain. share demands from its suppliers that they map all locations at all levels of their supply chain, continuously monitoring and tracking them, and provide transparency information on request regarding their own and/or sub-contracted farms, mills, works, factories and other locations involved in the manufacture of our products. The supplier agrees that unannounced audits may take place at the facilities in question.

All suppliers are obliged to put up information on social standards and codes of conduct, alongside a separate complaints telephone number/email, at a clearly visible location frequented by all employees in the local languages spoken by employees, superiors and managers; they must also undertake annual, documented training measures to inform current and new employees about the standards and codes of conduct, and the use of the telephone number/email for complaints.

B. Social responsibility

Nobody may be employed if they are under 15 or below the school leaving age, whichever is the highest. Young workers (aged 15 to 17) may not carry out any work, which, because of its type or conditions, could place them in moral or physical danger. (ILO Convention 138 and 182)

No forced labour may be used, including debt bondage, slavery, prison labour and hard labour. Human trafficking activities are also forbidden. Suppliers are obliged to monitor all third-party companies supporting them in recruitment or employee placement to ensure that persons seeking employment at their facilities are not compelled to do so by force, deceit, intimidation, coercion or as a punishment for the adoption or expression of political views. (ILO Conventions 29, 105, 182)

Employees must have the freedom to form organisations of their choice. Suppliers must recognise and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining. All suppliers must develop and fully implement effective complaints mechanisms to resolve internal labour conflicts and employee complaints and ensure effective, respectful and transparent communication between employees, their representatives, and the management. (ILO Conventions 87, 98 and 135)

Suppliers may not demand of their employees that they work longer than the regular working hours and overtime permissible under the laws of the land in which they are employed. The regular weekly working hours may not exceed 48 hours or the maximum working hours under the laws of the country of manufacture, depending on which is the lower. In every seven-day period, the employer must guarantee the employee at least 24 consecutive hours of rest. All overtime must be rendered on mutual agreement. The employer may not regularly demand extra hours. The total of regular working hours and overtime in a week may not exceed 60 hours or the legally permissible minimum in the country of manufacture, whichever is the lower value. (ILO Convention 1)

We look for and prefer suppliers that progressively improve the standard of living of their employees through improved wage systems, social services, welfare provision and other services beyond what is legally required. Every employee has the right to remuneration for a regular working week that covers their basic needs and those of their family, and provides a certain level of disposable income. Employers must pay wages corresponding at least to the minimum wage or the appropriate wage in force, depending on what is the greater, fulfil all wage requirements in law and offer all legally and/or contractually prescribed additional benefits. (ILO Conventions 26 and 131)

In addition to remuneration for regular working hours, employees must receive overtime pay at the required level for the country of manufacture in question or, where such laws do not exist, at a rate exceeding the regular hourly rate by at least 125 %. (ILO Convention 1 and 30)

Suppliers must provide a safe, healthy workplace, preventing accidents and damage to health arising from, connected with or occurring during work or the operation of the employer’s equipment. The employer must pursue a proactive approach with regard to health and safety by introducing guidelines, systems and training designed to prevent accidents and injury and protect the health of employees. (ILO Convention 155)

Nobody may be discriminated against in any aspect of the employment relationship, including recruitment, placement, remuneration, benefits, work tasks, access to training, promotion, disciplinary measures, termination or retirement because of religious belief, skin colour, sex, pregnancy, birth or connected medical conditions, age, nationality, origin, sexual orientation, gender identification, physical or mental disability, medical condition, illness, genetic characteristics, family, marital status, status as a veteran or qualified disabled veteran (only USA), cast, socio-economic situation, political opinion, trade union affiliation, ethnic group, illness or any other classification protected by valid law. All employment decisions must be made on the basis of equal opportunities and contain effective mechanisms to protect migrant, temporary or seasonal workers against all forms of discrimination. (ILO Convention 100, 111)

Every employee is to be treated with respect and dignity. No employee may be physically, sexually, psychologically or verbally abused or mistreated, or suffer financial or degrading punishments as disciplinary measures.

European suppliers must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679. Suppliers from third countries must orient themselves by this regulation. In particular, employee data protection must be striven for, e.g. secure storage of personal data.

C. Social responsibility

Sustainable activity and environmental protection are among our corporate values and we expect them of our business partners. Our partners commit to protecting the environment and the climate by complying with applicable environmental standards. In addition, effective measures should be taken that reflect their responsibility for the environment and avoid or compensate for externalities in the best possible way. For this reason, we require our partners to create written environmental guidelines and standards that reflect the valid environmental laws and take a progressive approach to minimising the negative effects on the environment. Compliance with these standards and guidelines should be documented at regular intervals.

Monitoring: factories must continuously monitor and disclose their consumption of energy and natural resources, emissions, discharge, carbon footprint and disposal of waste, and follow a progressive approach towards minimising negative effects on the environment.

Suppliers must respect animal welfare and work step by step towards introducing healthy and humane practices where animals are concerned on the basis of the best available technologies and standards.

D. Economic responsibility

The supplier declares compliance with the following anti-corruption measures. The universal legally binding instrument to fight corruption is the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. The extensive approach of the Convention and binding character of many of its provisions make it a unique instrument for developing a comprehensive answer to a global problem.

All employees and business partners commit without limitation to fair competition and uphold the laws limiting restriction of competition in all countries where they are active. Any agreements with competitors that lead to a restriction or prevention of competition are prohibited. Corresponding prohibitions in competition law also apply to customers, suppliers and other business partners. Furthermore, a dominant position on the market occupied by a business partner may not be used to influence competition. Confidential or sensitive information must always be treated with care and may not be handed on to third parties without agreement.

share does not allow sub-contraction without permission. All generic seller and wholesale production contracts must exclusively be offered to facilities approved by share in advance. Direct suppliers are obliged to check approved sub-contractors and suppliers for their social and ecological compliance.