SMA practices corporate responsibility beyond their own boundaries

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  • SMA is a leading global specialist in photovoltaic system technology and currently sets the benchmarks for the decentralized, digital and renewable energy supply of tomorrow.
  • The company procures quality components for their products from a global supplier base.
  • Given the lack of transparency in the upstream value chain, there are risks here in relation to working conditions.
  • As part of our risk analysis, SMA has identified and prioritized risks for their own business area plus their supply chain.

“We are committed to our corporate responsibility for sustainable development beyond the boundaries of our own company and we continuously work to ensure compliance with human rights and to reduce negative environmental impacts”, said Jessica Mannocchi, Head of Sustainability and Human Rights Officer. “We outline the principles and values that guide our actions, our risk management system, and the measures and controls in our Policy Statement on Human Rights and Environmental due Diligence,” adds Mannocchi.

Related news: SMA ranks 10th in the Global 100 Index of the world’s most sustainable companies

“The people who are being forced to work in the supply chain for low pay or under inhumane conditions are paying the price for the availability of cheap goods in industrialized countries. That’s why it’s so important to establish transparency and to call attention to abuses. A lack of transparency causes disaffection and distance on issues for which companies and consumers bear a shared responsibility,” said Mannocchi.

SMA has a dedicated human rights and environmental risk management system. The risk analysis covers their own business area and direct suppliers. If there is substantiated knowledge of possible violations of human rights or environmental obligations by indirect suppliers, these are integrated into the risk analysis. SMA’s updates their risk analysis annually and on an ad hoc basis. The company systematically identifies and assesses risks concerning their own business area and direct suppliers with the help of external data sources.

Preventive actions

The SMA Code of Conduct for Employees also commits all employees to act ethically, sustainably and with integrity at all times, to assume corporate responsibility and to treat others with respect. Extensive training on the content of the Code of Conduct is delivered annually with various points of focus. Employees from the procurement department also receive training on our purchasing practices, procurement strategies and human rights and environmental topics.

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The SMA Code of Conduct for Business Partners sets out our standards and expectations in the supply chain and is binding for all direct suppliers as part of the general terms and conditions. They also undertake to pass on these requirements in their supply chains. Our Global Sustainable Procurement Policy describes our requirements and vision for responsible, sustainable partnerships with our suppliers.

To end any violations of human rights or environmental protection obligations by our direct or indirect suppliers as quickly as possible, an interdisciplinary team under the guidance of the SMA procurement department will work together with the relevant supplier to develop an action plan with set deadlines and responsibilities for correcting the violation.

Speak-Up Line

With the Speak-Up Line run by an external partner, SMA has implemented a complaints procedure that gives both group employees and all external stakeholders the opportunity to report human rights and environmental risks or violations within their own business area or at direct or indirect suppliers anonymously and in their native language.

The Human Rights Working Group monitors the implementation and effectiveness of the SME Group’s human rights and environmental risk management system and the associated requirements. Its members represent all relevant areas. As Chair of the working group, the human rights officer provides regular reports to the Managing Board on the work being done and the progress made.

The company provides information on the fulfilment of our human rights and environmental due diligence obligations on an annual basis in our Non-Financial Statement, which is part of our Annual Report.

Download SMA’s Policy Statement on Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence HERE

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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