Human rights - Our positioning
Our pledge to respect human rights
As an internationally active family business, we are aware of our responsibility towards our employees, the environment and society. We are therefore committed to complying with social standards, strengthening human rights and preventing human rights violations.
For more than 120 years, Miele has been synonymous with high-quality domestic appliances and commercial machines like no other company and is regarded as the epitome of reliable and long-lasting products. The immovable values of our company include the respectful and responsible treatment of both employees and suppliers. Consideration of human rights is a matter of course at Miele – and a key tenet of the corporate culture.
Implementation of SA8000 and Code of Conduct over many years
Miele also requires that its suppliers comply with social criteria. All of Miele’s suppliers worldwide must commit to complying with the above criteria within their own organisation in accordance with the internationally recognised SA8000 social standard, and must also monitor compliance on the part of their own suppliers. In addition to this, the principles and requirements contained in the Supplier Code of Conduct are an integral part of business relationships between Miele and its suppliers. Suppliers agree to the principles laid out in further detail covering human and employee rights, environmental protection, ethical business practices and corporate integrity, responsible supply chains and due diligence as minimum standards. They are also under obligation to ensure that these principles and requirements also apply to upstream supply chain structures.
With respect to suppliers, Miele monitors and regularly adapts its risk analysis process which has been established for years. To this end, direct suppliers are evaluated with respect to their risk potential on the basis of external risk indices and further information available within the company (including concrete insights and experience) and assigned to risk categories. This prioritisation forms the basis for focused and proactive risk and action management by Miele. Depending on the risk classification of a supplier, this results in a variety of different actions – up to annual on-site inspections to ascertain the compliance with required criteria and minimum standards.
In terms of processes, the risk analysis is performed regularly by Miele and documented accordingly – at least once per year. In addition, there is an ad hoc risk analysis where required by Miele's risk assessment or when there is immediate concern over a violation of duty, including by indirect suppliers. If, despite due precautions, there is reason to believe that Miele's business activities may have negative consequences on human rights, Miele can use its established escalation process to analyse, modify and/or correct behaviour which may include, as a last resort, the termination of business ties.
Miele encourages its employees to report presumed breaches of this policy statement on human rights via existing complaints channels or dispute resolution processes. These include local management, relevant HR departments and the compliance hotline. Our partners and third parties have various channels on www.miele.com through which to report potential breaches of this policy statement on human rights, including via an ombudsperson.
Areas of responsibility
Overall responsibility for implementing this policy statement lies with Miele's six-strong Executive Board. Responsibility for human rights due diligence lies with the relevant management of the various functions and departments within the Miele Group with respect to individual tasks and responsibilities. This ensures that each area within the company is clear about its own responsibilities for upholding human rights and the daily implementation of measures, both within its own business field and in the supply chain. Overarching coordination and management is assumed by a central Task Force – headed by the Sustainability & Regulatory Affairs and Legal & Compliance.
Miele Executive Board