Human and Labor Rights

Clariant is firmly committed to protecting human and labor rights in all business operations. This includes the entire supply chain and all contracted workers. The company expects all suppliers and business partners to comply with these human and labor rights standards.

Management approach

Management approach

The Sustainability Transformation team within Group Innovation & Sustainability, together with the Human Resources, Legal, and Procurement departments, manage human and labor rights at Clariant. Currently, Clariant does not yet have specific goals and targets in place for human and labor rights.

Evaluation of the management approach includes benchmarking against Clariant’s peers, using external benchmarks such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and participating in external networks, discussions, and report reviews. Read more about ESG Ratings & Rankings

Human and labor rights policies

Human and labor rights policies

Over the years, Clariant has built a comprehensive framework of policies, guidelines, and processes to ensure the implementation of its human and labor rights commitments. The company’s Human Rights Policy Statement is in line with the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Declaration and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. This policy statement applies to all direct operations and activities. It states clearly that Clariant expects its suppliers and contractors to uphold the same high standards.

Clariant’s Code of EthicsCode of EthicsThe Code of Ethics is laying down Clariant’s commitments and is intended to be a guide with ethical principles and examples to enable all personnel and associated parties to act with the highest standards of integrity.View entire glossary also includes requirements regarding key human and labor rights. It is compulsory for the company’s direct operations, including all joint ventures that it controls or in which it holds a majority interest.

Clariant’s general terms and conditions of purchase make reference to the company’s Supplier Code of EthicsCode of EthicsThe Code of Ethics is laying down Clariant’s commitments and is intended to be a guide with ethical principles and examples to enable all personnel and associated parties to act with the highest standards of integrity.View entire glossary . It extends to all its suppliers and their contractors. Clariant regularly assesses its suppliers in relation to social, governance, and environmental topics via the Together for Sustainability (TfS) platform, a cooperation with other large chemical companies.

Clariant’s 2018 Global Employment Policy and its employment standards guidelines protect workers’ rights with regard to nondiscrimination, forced labor, child labor, fair working conditions, freedom of association, privacy, effective remedies, and workplace health and safety. The documents are available in local languages. They are also part of the onboarding curriculum for all new employees.

Clariant supports collaborative initiatives that promote sustain­ability and respect for human and labor rights across the industry. The company is a signatory to the UN Global CompactUN Global CompactThe UN Global Compact is a corporate sustainability initiative that supports companies do business responsibly by aligning their strategies and operations with Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take strategic actions to advance boader societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Develpment Goals, with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation.View entire glossary and a member of the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and EcoVadis.

Upcoming priorities

Upcoming priorities

Clariant regularly updates its human and labor rights framework in anticipation of upcoming legislation.

In 2021, the company assessed its processes in relation to the Responsible Business Initiative in Switzerland. Even though the initiative itself was rejected in November 2020, a counterproposal based on it came into effect on 1 January 2022. It demands increased reporting on environmental and social issues and introduces due diligence requirements for multinational companies based in Switzerland, particularly concerning child labor and conflict minerals. Figure 003

A new supply chain due diligence law will come into force in Germany in 2023 (for companies with more than 3 000 employees, which applies to Clariant’s German subsidiaries) and 2024 (for companies with more than 1 000 employees). Companies will then be responsible for basic human rights in their entire supply chains – in particular with respect to forced and child labor. Environ­mental damages are relevant to the extent that they violate human rights.

Ensuring human and labor rights complianceComplianceCompliance is a key element of Corporate Governance. It refers to compliance with the law and directives as well as with company codes and ethical business practices and behaviors.View entire glossary in high-risk supply chains will remain a challenge and a priority for Clariant. This relates especially to supply chains for palm-based and other renewable-based materials.

Human and labor rights assessment

Human and labor rights assessment

Clariant relies on well-established management and monitoring systems that enable the company to detect and mitigate potential human and labor rights risks. Addressing and closing identified gaps in this framework will be a priority for the coming years.

In 2016, Clariant carried out a human rights due diligence assessment with the support of external human rights experts. It evaluated not only potential human rights impacts of its operations and activities, but also the effectiveness of its management and monitoring systems.

003KEY ELEMENTS OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS DUE DILIGENCE PROCESS

graphic: Clariant: Key elements of the human rights due diligence process

Additionally, in a series of interactive working sessions, several key functions and departments prioritized their activities as to their scale and relevance to the business and their probability of having adverse effects on the human and labor rights of workers, communities, and other groups. Subsequently, Clariant carried out a rights assessment for a number of priority activities, including both internal and external risk factors, such as complex subcontracting arrangements and vulnerabilities of specific groups. A particularly thorough investigation took place for those areas identified as high-risk in the 2016 human rights due diligence review.

The assessment aggregated human and labor rights risk levels of countries and industries. It found that the company’s potential impacts primarily relate to contract labor and supply chains for natural raw materials, particularly in regions with weak legal frameworks. For high-risk areas, it validated specific mitigation actions.

Human and labor rights in the supply chain

Human and labor rights in the supply chain

Clariant will continue to address supply chain risks connected to the geographical origin of particular raw materials. In 2020, Clariant reviewed its conflict minerals approach to ensure com­pliance with the new EU conflict minerals legislation. Clariant also complies with the Swiss ordinance on due diligence and trans­parency with respect to minerals and metals from conflict zones as well as child labor.

Based on its 2021 Palm Oil Policy, Clariant started a comprehensive analysis of environmental and social sustainability with regard to palm-based raw materials. To facilitate the transformation in palm oil procurement, Clariant intensified its collaboration with suppliers in order to increase transparency in the palm oil value chainValue chainThe value chain describes the series of steps in the production process, from raw materials through the various intermediate stages to the finished end product.View entire glossary .

Contract labor

Contract labor

Clariant focuses on securing the same working conditions for contractors as for employees, and supports the freedom of asso­ciation. As laid down in the Supplier Code of EthicsCode of EthicsThe Code of Ethics is laying down Clariant’s commitments and is intended to be a guide with ethical principles and examples to enable all personnel and associated parties to act with the highest standards of integrity.View entire glossary , contractors must have the right to strike and to be members of trade unions in accordance with national or local laws and practices. Clariant assesses this aspect of its suppliers via the Together for Sustainability (TfS) platform. This evaluation plays an important role in determining the extent to which Clariant appropriately mitigates adverse human and labor rights impacts.

In 2021, Clariant carried out a review of the legal requirements, conditions, and control measures related to contract labor in India. It found that the country organization has implemented a clear and comprehensive process including detailed evidence, checklists, and regular communication with authorities.

Clariant knows of no cases in 2021 in which the freedom of asso­ciation or the right to collective bargaining was jeopardized or breached.

Child, forced, or compulsory labor

Child, forced, or compulsory labor

Clariant condemns all forms of child labor and respects the rights of children. It expressly acknowledges International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions 138 (Minimum Age Convention) and 182 (Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention) as the minimum standard. Human Resources ensures that minimum age provisions of national labor laws and regulations are adhered to and that local Human Resources at Clariant workplaces use adequate and verifiable mechanisms for age verification.

Clariant assesses its suppliers in relation to child and forced labor via the Together for Sustainability (TfS) platform. The company is not aware of any cases of child, forced, or slave labor in the company or with its suppliers.

Employee training and involvement

Employee training and involvement

E-learning modules and internal trainings related to the Code of EthicsCode of EthicsThe Code of Ethics is laying down Clariant’s commitments and is intended to be a guide with ethical principles and examples to enable all personnel and associated parties to act with the highest standards of integrity.View entire glossary and to human and labor rights are mandatory for all employees. Participation in these trainings is registered with defaulters receiving a warning.

The company has established the »Clariant Integrity Line,« an independent, third-party operated channel. Clariant employees and external stakeholders can anonymously report all violations of the Code of EthicsCode of EthicsThe Code of Ethics is laying down Clariant’s commitments and is intended to be a guide with ethical principles and examples to enable all personnel and associated parties to act with the highest standards of integrity.View entire glossary , including discrimination or violations of human and labor rights. Read more in Business Ethics & Compliance

Human and labor rights clauses in investment agreements and contracts

Human and labor rights clauses in investment agreements and contracts

The Investment Subcommittee of the Executive CommitteeExecutive CommitteeManagement body of joint stock companies; at Clariant the Executive Committee currently comprises four members.View entire glossary (EC) must approve all investments with a total volume of more than CHF 1 million. The subcommittee bases its decision on financial, strategic, and sustainability criteria, which also include human and labor rights aspects.