Working well together: Responsibility to business partners and suppliers

Thanks to long-standing relationships with customers, anyone like Hermes who has been in business for over 40 years is sure to be considered a fair and reliable business partner. Hermes has set itself the strategic goal of becoming the partner for e-commerce logistics. That requires a high level of trust.

Aside from compliance with applicable laws of course, Hermes follows the principle of combining economic success with environmental responsibility and social involvement. To clearly inform all involved parties of this goal, the Otto Group and its subsidiary Hermes have established social standards that apply to all business partners and suppliers.

At the Otto Group, these standards are set down in two publications: the Code of Conduct for Services and Non-Merchandise (72 KB) and the Code of Conduct for Merchandise (79 KB). These are based on the core labour standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the UN Convention on Women’s Rights. Other important components include the standards of the BSCI and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

When they establish a business relationship with the Otto Group, suppliers and business partners commit themselves not only to observing these standards in their own operations, but also to ensuring that their subcontractors also comply with them. The codes of conduct form the basis for testing compliance with the standards by all trade and business partners. If a supplier does not commit to compliance with the codes of conduct, the Otto Group – and therefore the Hermes Group – does not enter into a business relationship with them.

Code of Conduct & Ombudsman

Hermes assumes responsibility for the people that work at the company. This applies to the company’s own 11,814 employees as well as to contractual partners and their employees. The standards that apply have been available in written form since 2011 as codes of conduct that apply to both parties and that regulate the treatment of employees and contractors in parcel distribution, the so-called “last mile”.

With its environmental policy, Hermes demonstrates the breadth and depth of the company’s sustainable activities in wide variety of areas. The spectrum ranges from environmental management at the top of the hierarchy to the company-wide Hermes – WE DO! initiative, with its core goals like the CO2 master plan, down to the comprehensive guidelines that guide and shape Hermes’ daily environmentally friendly business operations.

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