Supply chain und logistics

Introduction

blueplanet Investments AG has made it their goal to establish mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers, customers and partner companies. blueplanet Investments AG therefore expects its business partners to adhere to the following rules in order to act in compliance with the business principles of our company.

To achieve this goal, blueplanet Investments AG uses a 3x3 matrix comprising the three dimensions of sustainability: (i) economic profitability, (ii) social responsibility, and (iii) environmental impact as well as the process steps of (i) guidelines (requirements), (ii) selection procedure, (iii) and control mechanisms. blueplanet Investments AG applies all requirements placed on its partners and subsidiaries to its own actions.

In addition, the following standards apply as a condition for the granting of orders and partnership contracts:

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Core Labor Standards
  • The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact
  • The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
  • The ILO Trilateral Declaration of Principles on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy
  • ISO 26000: The guidelines on social responsibility
  • The OECD Convention on combating bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions

Requirements

The basic requirement for any cooperation with blueplanet Investments AG is that all partners comply with all applicable laws of the countries in which they conduct their business. blueplanet Investments AG will always act lawfully and fairly in its dealings with partners.

Staff

The requirements for the partners of blueplanet Investments AG as well as its participations are based on the "Fair Compensation" guidelines and the additional requirements of the company’s HR policy.

Partners must:

  • respect the human rights of their employees;
  • treat their employees fairly and with respect;
  • not employ children or use forced laborers;
  • ensure the safety of their employees.
  • To this end, regular training sessions must be conducted, target parameters set, and independent verification ensured;
  • protect the rights of their employees (personality rights, privacy rights, etc.);
  • recruit applicants based solely on their aptitude and exclude all discrimination;
  • provide applicants with all information needed in the context of the recruitment process in an understandable form;
  • pay their staff fairly, which means complying with statutory minimum wage standards o paying living wages on a full-time basis;
  • not hinder the formation of trade unions or works councils and recognize them as negotiators in wage negotiations;
  • abide by the applicable statutory health and safety rules;
  • prevent any exploitation or abuse of staff. This includes the prevention of discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior;
  • ensure compliance with these guidelines by their subcontractors.

Partners should:

  • design wages to reflect market conditions and serve as an incentive for their staff;
  • organize the working hours of their staff in such a way that they comply with the legal requirements and do not exceed a maximum average of 48 hours per week for more than four months;
  • develop processes to improve occupational safety;
  • introduce processes to ensure that requirements are met and can be verified;
  • provide additional staff benefits;
  • provide staff with a clear career path.

International trade and money laundering

A multitude of legislation, sanctions and customs regulations must be observed when doing business internationally. blueplanet Investments AG will comply with all these requirements in its projects and logistics and expects the same from its subsidiaries and partners.

Likewise, the blueplanet Investments Group expects all partners to prevent any form of bribery, corruption, extortion or embezzlement and to put in place appropriate processes to prevent such offenses. This also includes the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing.

Partners must:

  • use the export and import classification of goods, software or technology to determine whether an official permit may be required for export/import;
  • ensure that all necessary licenses or permits have been obtained prior to all export/import transactions and comply with all requirements, export permits or exemptions;
  • report all conflicts of interest in relation to the cooperation with blueplanet Investments AG and its investments. This also includes the involvement of political parties and individuals;
  • comply with all export controls, economic sanctions and customs laws governing the crossborder transfer of goods and technology;
  • provide complete and timely information on the import declaration and classification of goods, as well as a comprehensive product description;
  • make all business and commercial transactions transparent and record them in their books to prevent money laundering or terrorist financing;
  • prevent cash or other items of value from being given as a bribe. Other benefits such as (without being limited to) gifts, bribes or job offers may not be accepted or given if they exceed the value of 20,00€ cummulative for each half year;
  • ensure compliance with these guidelines by their subcontractors.

Partners should:

  • establish a monitoring system for all documents created in the import/export process in order to be able to respond to queries from blueplanet Investments AG without delay;
  • introduce the principle of dual control, particularly in dealings with public authorities, governments and other public officials, so as to minimize the risk of bribery;
  • be transparent in their communication with authorities and cooperate with them.

Impact on the environment

In order to protect the environment, blueplanet Investments AG undertakes to optimize all steps in the value chain of its investments in such a way that their effect on nature is as low as possible. The project includes increasing the efficiency of the raw materials used, avoiding environmental risks and harmful ingredients as well as raising awareness about sustainability among the workforce and engaging in CO² emissions-offsetting projects.

Partners must:

  • be able to demonstrate the safety of their products and processes;
  • deal with waste water in a sustainable manner;
  • measure the impact of their business activities on the environment;
  • measure the amounts of water and paper used as well as CO² emissions;
  • protect biodiversity;
  • remove harmful ingredients from their products and processes;
  • take precautions to prevent hazards and accidents with a negative impact on the environment;
  • participate in a recycling system to reduce their environmental footprint;
  • ensure compliance with these guidelines by their subcontractors.

Partners should:

  • imonitor their processes with regard to sustainability and continuously improve them;
  • use resources and raw materials as efficiently as possible. This can be done, for example, by reusing packaging or replacing raw materials;
  • reduce their CO² emissions. The goal is to balance the CO² equation;
  • keep emissions from transportation as low as possible and optimize logistics accordingly;
  • train their employees in sustainability;
  • ensure visibility of environmental problems in the public debate;
  • obtain ISO certifications according to ISO 14001, ISO 14040, ISO 14044, ISO 14064, ISO 14067, and ISO 14046.

Selection and cooperation

The above conditions apply to the selection of partners. While the "must" criteria are regarded as the minimum requirements for a cooperation with blueplanet Investments AG and its participations, the "should" criteria are to be understood as potentials for development. They are taken into account in the assessment of the competitive position of different providers. blueplanet Investments AG promotes the development of all partner companies towards sustainability and is committed to ensuring that its
investments support the development of their partners.

Prior to entering into a cooperation with a supplier or partner, blueplanet Investments AG will verify the above-mentioned aspects. The scope of such verification shall be proportionate to the scope of the cooperation.

In the case of one-off transactions (up to a certain amount) and low-value transactions, an internal analysis may be carried out by the company making the selection on the basis of publicly available information. In addition, partners should be asked to provide information about themselves. Such selfdisclosure should be a truthful representation of the management guidelines and processes ensuring the sustainable provision of services and products.

Information regarding the following are positive factors in the assessment of partners:

  • Proof of certificates relating to sustainability (e.g. in the area of environmental protection or labor standards)
  • Compliance with non-certifiable standards
  • Assignment of the responsibility for sustainability to a top management position
  • Membership in relevant industry initiatives and associations
  • Publication of sustainability KPIs
  • Own Sustainability Code of Conduct
  • Results of previous audits, specifying the auditor and scope of the audit

More extensive cooperation projects require a closer review of compliance with the requirements. In this case, either an external auditor should be appointed to assess the partner or screening should be done by own staff. The following aspects should be assessed:

  • Site inspection: Visual assessment of location for visible violations
  • Discussions with the management: Company policies and implementation, use of management systems, salaries, working hours, etc.
  • Discussions with staff: Possible topics include working conditions, use of resources, gender equality, etc. Discussions should be held with a representative number of employees.
  • Evaluation of documents: Verification of HR files, health and safety documentation, information on working hours, data on emissions, materials, etc. and energy consumption.

Once a partner has been selected, all candidates of the selection process are informed of the outcome and the associated selection criteria. blueplanet Investments AG and its subsidiaries then enter into a partnership with the selected company and work together to improve the implementation of sustainability within the supply chain.

Monitoring

blueplanet Investments AG ensures that the above-mentioned guidelines are also observed during the cooperation with its partners. To this end, internal and external measures are taken to identify any breaches of the cooperation conditions at an early stage and to be able to take action.

blueplanet Investments AG actively monitors media and NGO reports on sustainability. It also ensures that the staff of its participations are trained in sustainability topics and that an option is available to report violations directly to blueplanet Investments AG. This is an anonymous reporting option and does not entail any disadvantages for the whistleblower.

The criteria for assessing suppliers and partners are also subject to internal review at regular intervals to ensure that they are up to date and in line with to country-specific circumstances to ensure that all affiliates have a proper decision-making basis. To this end, contacts are established with experts in order to be able to draw on the latest findings.
The aim is to cooperate with the partners of blueplanet Investments AG and its subsidiaries to design and implement projects that lead to sustainability improvements on both sides and are conducive to a mutual learning process.

Partner information is verified on a random basis to ensure the information is sufficiently valid even for one-off and low-value transactions.

A modified Code of Conduct for suppliers is planned, which must also be signed before a contract is executed. This Code of Conduct will be established on the basis of this document and the minimum requirements to the partners on both sides will be specified in writing.