Compliance at SMA
Compliance, the observance of legal requirements and internal guidelines, has gained increasing importance at SMA over the last few years. Rapid growth and increasing internationalization have made SMA's business operations much more complex. We are active in a growing number of countries and therefore must observe additional laws.
Compliance issues will receive increasing public attention. A company's reputation and economic success can suffer significant damage from violations of laws. In this case investors and business partners ask us: “What are you doing about compliance?” Therefore, a risk-oriented, preventive compliance strategy is more important than ever.
At SMA, Corporate Compliance coordinates our worldwide compliance activities and assists executives, employees and our business partners whenever they have questions regarding this matter.
Compliance violations can be the result of a lack of knowledge, insufficient awareness, imprudence, or even criminal activities. Corporate Compliance has the goal of systematically reducing the risk of non-compliance through the following measures:
- Clear guidelines and training to facilitate correct and responsible behavior
- Raising awareness among employees that allows them to properly assess compliance risks and to detect the signs for possible compliance risks early
- Compliance helpline available to all SMA employees providing immediate support
Global and systematic compliance protects every individual SMA employee, as well as the Managing and Supervisory Boards.
It is sometimes quite difficult for business professionals to fully understand the legal requirements for business conduct. Therefore, the Managing Board decided to detail our values specified in the SMA Mission Statement by establishing SMA’s Business Principles. The 10 Business Principles provide concise and clear guidance to each SMA employee and our business partners. These Business Principles provide the fundamental framework for correct business conduct and they are also the backbone of the new SMA Corporate Compliance program.
The Business Principles were developed by a working group consisting of members of the Works Council, our principal operating divisions and Corporate Functions. Ten Principles tackling the most crucial compliance risks were established. They apply to all SMA employees and business partners, at all times, everywhere.
The topic of compliance continues to gain enormous significance within global business. An increasingly regulated environment and a strong public perception with regard to compliance bring about constantly expanding requirements, which also apply to SMA employees and business partners.
Guideline for the Acceptance of Gifts
Gifts are a common and legitimate business practice, but one that sometimes leads to a conflict of interest. To avoid this, the following guidelines must be observed by all employees when receiving gifts in the workplace (or work related gifts).
Basics Rules for the Acceptance of Gifts:
- All gifts will be entered into a raffle. Thereby, all SMA employees can benefit from the gifts.
- Gifts that cannot be considered as “socially adequate”, such as those with an inappropriately high value, must be refused.
- In any case, money, vouchers, all kinds of financing, discounts that are not available to all SMA employees as well as lottery tickets, must be rejected. The same applies for gifts mailed to an employee’s private home address.
Guideline for Hospitality
Like gifts, hospitality is a common business practice that sometimes leads to a conflict of interest. The following internal guidelines have therefore been put in place to avoid such situations.
Basic Rules for Hospitality:
- Common business lunches or dinners, as well as invitations to events with exclusive professional content, can always be accepted.
- Invitations exceeding common business meals and invitations that offer entertainment are subject to the prior consent of the direct superior. Such consent will only be given if there is no upcoming or pending business with the host and if the event is socially and financially appropriate (or viable). In such case SMA will pay any travel and accommodation costs.
- Business meals and invitations which do not relate to the basic rules for hospitality need prior consent from the supervisor.
Our actions are characterized by clearly defined values and principles which are listed in our Mission Statement. Our Mission Statement serves as a guideline for our employees and demonstrates the principles according to which we shape our relationships with business partners, customers and the public.
Code of Conduct issued by the German Association of Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics (BME)
The BME code of conduct encompasses fundamental rules to combat corruption and violations of cartel law, to eliminate child and compulsory labor, and to support compliance with human rights, environmental and health protection, and fair work conditions.
UN Global Compact
The UN Global Compact is a worldwide voluntary initiative with the goal of bringing together the forces of the United Nations, businesses and civil society in order to act in the interests of sustainable development. At the core of this initiative are 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption.
Supplier Code of Conduct
As a responsible supplier of photovoltaic inverters of all classes on a global scale, SMA Solar Technology relies heavily upon its valued suppliers of components, subsystems and services. In order to promote and actualize our corporate-wide commitment to legal and ethical conduct in all of the markets we serve, SMA requires all suppliers to agree to the SMA Supplier Code of Conduct, separately appearing on this website.
The Supplier Code of Conduct is a foundational piece of our supplier relationships, and requires knowing adherence to national and international business standards such as the EICC, United Nations principles, and statutory requirements on matters as diverse as Conflict Minerals, anti-bribery, worker rights to organize, and avoidance of child/slave labor practices.
It is SMA’s policy to require supplier compliance with the Code of Conduct, and SMA will periodically survey approved suppliers to monitor their compliance with the Code. SMA will also assess compliance of proposed new suppliers as part of its supplier qualification due diligence processes.