Our responsibility: Environmentally friendly and resource-saving
The responsible use of resources is at the center of our actions. The lowest possible burden on the environment is a matter of course for us. We buy our materials from the best possible producers in order to produce high-quality and trendy shoes. We strictly ensure that our suppliers comply with all environmental protection laws and related regulations. Our partnership-based approach leads to long-term and trusting business relationships.
These standards are precisely defined in our code of conduct.
The Code of Conduct is non-negotiable and all our suppliers and their sub-suppliers, without exception, must adhere to it. Important aspects of the code of conduct are health and safety at work, fair wages, and working hours. We do not accept discrimination, child labor, or forced labor. The AstorMueller Group monitors compliance with the requirements through systematic, unannounced controls.
Child labor is any work performed by a person under the age of 15. Unless local legislation provides for a higher minimum age for workers or longer compulsory education. In this case, older age is decisive. However, if the legal minimum age is 14 according to the exceptions for developing countries set out in ILO Convention 138, the lower age shall apply. A ''young worker'' is defined as any worker who is older than a child as defined above and younger than 18 years of age.
- The supplier may not use or tolerate any child labor in the above sense.
- The supplier must establish, document, comply with and communicate to its personnel and other interested parties methods and procedures that support the promotion (that is: all necessary supportive measures and actions to ensure the safety, health, education and development of children, who have been victims of, and have been released from, child labor as defined above) of children who were in a work situation that meets the definition of child labor above.
- The supplier shall establish, document, comply with and communicate to its personnel and other interested parties methods and procedures that promote the education of children and young workers affected by ILO – Recommendation 146 who are subject to local compulsory education laws or who attend school. These include measures to ensure that no child or young worker is employed during school hours and that the total time spent on daily transport (travel to and from work and school), school and work does not exceed 10 hours per day.
- The supplier shall not expose young workers to situations that are dangerous, unsafe or harmful to health, on or off the job.
Forced labor is any work or service demanded of a person under threat of punishment and for which said person has not volunteered. Supplier shall not use or tolerate forced labor, including bonded labor and prison labor. Employees shall not be required by the supplier to provide a deposit or personal documents upon hiring. The Supplier shall not engage in or allow the existence of physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.
Employees are entitled to a written employment contract that regulates at least the following points: start of work, working hours, remuneration, holiday entitlement, protection against dismissal, and maternity leave. The supplier must ensure that the wages paid for a standard working week are at least in line with legal standards and in any case sufficient to meet the basic needs of the personnel and to ensure a certain discretionary income. The supplier must ensure that there are no deductions from wages for disciplinary reasons and that the exact composition of wages and fringe benefits is made clear to workers on a regular basis. The supplier must also ensure that wages and benefits are paid in full compliance with all applicable laws and that compensation is paid either in cash or by check in a manner convenient to workers. The supplier must ensure that there is no sub-contracting of labor and sham apprenticeships intended to evade its obligations to personnel under applicable labor and social security legislation and regulations.
The supplier must comply with applicable laws and industry standards regarding working hours. Under no circumstances should employees be required to regularly work more than 48 hours per week. At least one day off must be granted per seven-day period. If overtime (more than the standard 48 hours per week) is required by the supplier, the supplier must ensure that this is always remunerated at a premium rate. Employees should always work overtime voluntarily.
Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
The supplier must respect the right of all workers to form and join workers' organizations of their choice and to bargain collectively. In situations where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted by law, the Supplier shall provide such employees with comparable avenues to independent and free association and bargaining. The supplier must ensure that employee representatives are not discriminated against and that these employee representatives can contact their members in the workplace.
In particular, the supplier shall not discriminate against any person based on their race, social class, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, membership in an association, political affiliation, or gender in hiring, remuneration, training, promotion, termination or retirement, or tolerate such discrimination. Supplier shall not prevent employees from exercising their rights to follow teachings or practices or to meet needs related to race, class, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, association membership, or political affiliation. The supplier shall not permit any conduct, including gestures, verbal expressions, or physical contact, that involves sexual assault, threats, abuse, or exploitation. Female employees must be granted the agreed maternity leave before and after the birth. Workers may not be dismissed because of pregnancy. Pregnant employees must not be employed in jobs that negatively affect their state of health.
Health and Safety
Assuming that the supplier has the best knowledge of the industry and possible special risks, he must ensure a safe, clean, and healthy working environment. He must take appropriate measures to prevent accidents or damage to health resulting from, related to, or occurring during work by minimizing the hazard(s) inherent in the work environment. The supplier must designate a management representative who is responsible for the health and safety of all employees and compliance with the health and safety elements of this policy. The supplier must ensure that all employees receive proper and documented health and safety training and that this training is repeated for all new and re-hired employees. The supplier must provide all personnel with clean sanitation facilities, access to clean drinking water, and, where appropriate, hygienic food storage facilities. The supplier must ensure that sleeping accommodation if provided to staff, is clean, safe, and meets the basic needs of the staff.
The supplier must comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations of the country in which it operates. The supplier must conduct its business in such a way that natural resources are used as efficiently as possible. Hazardous substances should be used to a limited extent wherever possible. They may only be used if they are used correctly and the environment does not suffer any damage as a result of their use. The environmentally friendly disposal of waste and containers must be guaranteed and proven on request. All waste generated during production must be disposed of correctly.
The supplier must take clear measures to comply with the requirements of this policy, to incorporate the policy into all of its operational processes, and to make it an integral part of its corporate philosophy and policies. The supplier must assign a manager with responsibility for all matters related to this Code of Conduct within his organization. The supplier's management must check the implementation of the requirements of this guideline at regular intervals. Supplier accepts responsibility for compliance with the requirements of this Policy in respect of all employees and workers over whom it has control and agrees to a) at each site it owns or manages, give someone responsibility for the implementation of this policy b) ensure that all employees and workers are aware of this policy by conveying the content in a language they understand. Training on the Code of Conduct shall be conducted on a regular basis. c) Refrain from disciplinary action, dismissal, or other discrimination against any worker who provides information regarding compliance with this policy. The supplier must prove by appropriate records that he meets the requirements of this guideline. He must be able to assist the parties employed by the AstorMueller group who want to check compliance with the requirements. Grant access to the records and provide appropriate information. The supplier must make compliance with this Code of Conduct a condition included in all agreements to be entered into with subcontractors. These agreements must require subcontractors to comply with all requirements of this policy (including this clause) and to participate in supplier control activities when requested.
Testing and Monitoring
In order to assess compliance with this Code of Conduct, we can also use independent auditors who carry out social and environmental audits on behalf of the AstorMueller group. We have the right to monitor compliance with this Code of Conduct through systematic, unannounced inspections. The inspections are carried out by members of the AstorMueller group or independent auditors. The AstorMueller Group Code of Conduct sets the standards that we expect our partners to uphold when operating their factories. We are aware that some of these relatively high expectations cannot be met immediately. It is important for the AstorMueller group that the supplier takes all necessary corrective steps in the event of non-performance, to improve the situation and meet the requirements within a reasonable time. This time delay depends on the type of action to be corrected. If repeated violations occur without the supplier attempting to take appropriate corrective action, we are committed to terminating our relationship with that supplier.