Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility Policy
Version: February 2022
Updated: February 21, 2022
Dear colleagues and stakeholders,
As the owner of the company I, Ruud Rouleaux, recognized that to succeed in today’s global marketplace, corporate social responsibility must be embedded in the way we do business. It is my vision to integrate the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability into our core business strategy by ensuring that throughout our business we have a deep understanding of the megatrends that will affect our company and society at large for the next several decades. As the owner I recognized that our response to these megatrends must be integrated into our business’ processes, tools and priorities.
These megatrends should not be seen as a threat, but as an opportunity to adapt, change and grow our business. We will integrate sustainability into our company’s DNA by linking it to our core strategy of material development and increasing our B2B reach. It expresses the way we think, behave and act on sustainability – every day, again and again. I am proud to say that we now have a corporate social responsibility policy which supports the 17 interlinked United Nations global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all".
We acknowledge that to achieve long-term sustainable social responsibility we will need to work with suppliers, employees, partners and always be customer-centric. We describe sustainable social responsibility as a journey for our business that requires continuous learning, adaptation and improvement of our basic business processes and our response to the priorities of our diverse stakeholders.
We are working to optimize our impact, reevaluate our priorities and ensure that we are viewing our core business strategy through the lens of social responsibility. Helian Polymers and its brands (e.g. PHAradox) are in scope of this CSR Policy.
We organize the Corporate Social Responsibility around 6 core subjects:
- Respect for the Environment
- Role in the Society
- Our Company Values
- Customer Relations
- Responsible Employer
- Fair Business Practices
The company values are “Eager to learn”, “Passionate” and “Brave” and have shaped Helian Polymers from the very beginning, leading to its successes. This basis will also shape our future. We will master our challenges, no matter how big or small they are, whilst living these company values in mind and heart.
I am committed to these values and vouch for them being part of the core DNA in our companies — every day, again and again!
Yours, Ruud Rouleaux
1. RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Sustainable Resource Use: we will continuously strive for reduced energy consumption, waste reduction, less water usage and sustainable development of our environmental footprint. We will ensure our waste will be separated and re-used where possible. We will promote a circular economy and drive continual improvement through the implementation of energy management systems.
Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: we will prevent and reduce our greenhouse gases emissions CO² continuously by using solar panels, electrify our car fleet and likewise means.
Prevention of Pollution: we shall store hazardous and combustible materials in safe, secure and ventilated areas in such a manner that they cannot escape or be accidentally released into the environment. Incompatible materials should be stored separately. All waste shall be stored to prevent its escape to the environment and disposed of in a safe and legal manner. We will make provisions for notifying the local community / authorities in case of accidental discharge or release of hazardous materials into the environment, or in the case of any other environmental emergency.
Compliance with Applicable Laws: we will comply with all applicable environmental laws, regulations, permits and standards that apply to our business.
We strive to reduce our impact on the environment by continuous improvement of our practices around natural resources. Using natural resources more efficiently, we all can live healthier lives, save money and respect the limits of the planet. Objective is to obtain DIN EN ISO14001 (Standards Environmental Management) and ISO50001 (Standards Energy Management) in all our companies.
We ask all our affiliated companies to develop initiatives which support the respect for the environment core subject.
2. ROLE IN THE SOCIETY
We believe that governments are responsible for sustainable development of the well-being of people living in a weak environment but that companies have a responsibility as well. Because of that we will work with local administrations and organizations to achieve community goals. We are careful not to trade for short-term profit, but always to keep an eye on the long-term nature of our actions. This is very important to us, whether in the area of the environment and sustainability, in dealing with the resources of the company or in the area of our social commitment.
Future innovators: Help nurture and inspire the next generation to develop skillsets within areas such as 3D technology, engineering craftmanship, sustainable materials development and generative / natural design. We aim to do that by sharing insights and expertise, inviting them to our premises, host events, making the companies resources available for clinics and working with research institutes, schools and universities.
Charities and sponsoring: Our projects need to be charitable. Charitable means that the project funds/project resources need to benefit a larger group people and not just a single person. A project is charitable if a great amount of people benefits from the project and additional donations/earnings, if existing, are used only/exclusively for the project.
Social Projects: We know that we cannot solve all problems at once but that it is important to achieve little improvements constantly. We see ourselves as committed and responsible corporate citizen. As part of its socio-political responsibility, we are committed to non-profit institutions, projects and activities. As a value-based family business, we want to take on responsibility in the social sphere in the context of our social projects. We focus on supporting local communities with our CSR actions. Our commitment does not support a single person, but a community such as organizations for needy families, children and the elderly. We encourage individual employees to active, solidarity-based action. All employees are given the opportunity to contribute within the social projects. Not only can they suggest social projects every year, a participation of our employees within social projects is strongly recommended.
When donations are made, they are bound by criteria. In principle, the following criteria apply to the awarding of donations:
- Lasting impact
- Transparency (that is, the recipient and concrete purpose must be known; the purpose-built use of the donations will be tracked).
- No party donations
- No grant to organizations or entities that do not have universally accepted sustainable development goals.
We understand that our actions and vision play a foundational role in ensuring the success of future generations. Progress requires that we invest in the regions and locations where we operate, building healthy, resilient communities. We provide financial and societal benefit to our communities through employment, direct and indirect economic stimulation from our business activities, as well as charitable giving and social responsibility initiatives.
Social projects mean much more than just product donations or financial support. We want to engage in projects together with our employees and support volunteer organizations or clubs nearby. This means that we want to become active in areas where Helian Polymers’ expertise is in demand. Our goal is to improve the wellbeing of those in need with a long-term impact. We ask our employees in our companies to develop initiatives to support the „Corporate Citizenship” subject.
3. OUR COMPANY VALUES
Eager to learn
Across different fields of businesses and departments our employees are connected with one another and work as one team as one corporate entity. This is both for the benefit of our customers and of each individual – for their combined success – and it likewise means optimizing all operations at our company. We want to learn how our customers’ business operates, their needs, their challenges and can provide exactly the right solution at the right time. We want to improve ourselves by learning how to be more sustainable and act more responsible for our environment. We accept consequences from our deeds and are eager to learn from success and failures.
Accepting responsibility plays an essential role in our corporate culture. We are keen to work not only for short-term profit but always to keep in mind the long-term consequences of our actions. That is important for us, whether in the field of the environment and sustainability, when considering the company’s resources as well as where our social commitment is concerned.
As an employee of one of our companies:
- You’re curious and like to learn
- You're trying to understand what drives us
- You contribute effectively outside of your field
- You enable our customers to maximize their creative potential
- You are looking for simple and practical solutions to complex problems
- You put forward new ideas and break the status quo
We get things done and achieve our objectives, fully dedicated, every day. That is what makes the employees of Helian Polymers trustworthy and accountable.
Where markets change, where new trends emerge and customer requirements change we are not only on the scene but always a step ahead. We perceive trends as opportunities. For that reason we have taken it upon ourselves to digitalize our company and have entirely transformed it within a short space of time. With digital equipment for our sales experts, customer-orientated online sales channels and optimized purchasing and material research & development management we can reach our customers easily, wherever they are.
As an employee of one of our companies:
- You inspire others with your pursuit of operational excellence
- You are fully committed to making the customer successful
- You celebrate victories with us
- You're tenacious
Courage makes us accept mistakes, dare to undertake something new and achieve our goals together.
We firmly believe that we can only make our customers more successful if we strive for new things and stay in step with the times. Our employees are thus working on new ideas and sustainable material innovations for our products and solutions every day. Anyone who tries something new may sometimes fail. But this does not scare us, because only the brave will succeed. Thus our motto is always: be brave!
As an employee of one of our companies:
- You say what you think, even if it is controversial
- You are responsible and show ownership
- You are not asking for permission before, but for forgiveness afterwards
Our values empower us to face up to and overcome the challenges of today. They are at the heart of our corporate culture and how we do business every day.
We ask all our employees to live the Company Values as they are at the beating heart of who we want to be.
4. CUSTOMER RELATIONS
Fair Marketing: We will provide education and accurate information using fair, transparent and helpful marketing information.
Protecting Customer Health & Safety: We will minimize risks from the use of products, through design, manufacturing excellence, damage free distribution, correct and complete information provision and, if needed, provisional recall procedures.
Customer Data Protection: We ensure that we have all insights, processes and systems in place to successfully be compliant to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR). We will limit the collection of personal data to information that is either essential for the provision of products and services or provided with the informed and voluntary consent of the customer. We will only obtain data by lawful and fair means. We will protect personal data by adequate security safeguards.
Product Compliance: We will ensure that customer specific requirements on product safety are fulfilled. Materials supplied will not contain any substance which are prohibited by legislation or regulation applicable in the country of operation. We will review appropriate restricted substance lists and inform our customers of any substances that are prohibited or declarable when contained in material supplied. We will take care, that we will be compliant to all applicable product safety laws, regulations, permits and standards that apply to our business and customers.
Innovation: For the benefit of our customers we carry out innovative research in our certified laboratories daily. We encourage process optimization to improve customer margins through innovative specialist chemicals, right up to high-quality consumables, tools, lubricants and cleaning agents for maintenance, repair and servicing. We support a companywide idea management processes to trigger product and service innovation.
ISO Certifications: Our customers appreciate our companies to have specific ISO certification. Where possible and applicable the ISO 9001;2015 Quality Management System, ISO14001 Environmental System, ISO50001 Energy Management. We strive to obtain and maintain these certifications overtime.
We will ensure that our customer requirements are met and that we are prepared for upcoming market trends. We will adapt and follow all applicable laws. We will monitor and take actions to keep always a one step ahead.
We ask all our employees to be customer centric in every way possible. We expect leaderships teams to manage & steer product and process compliance, facilitate all needed resources.
5. RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYER
Working Conditions and Labor Standards: we comply with all applicable international conventions and national laws regarding working conditions and labor standards.
We ensure that the same conditions are applied to all of our workers including temporary and workers who are employed through labor agencies.
Discrimination and Harassment: we will comply with all local laws and regulations regarding unlawful discrimination. We will not discriminate directly or indirectly against our employees in practices related to hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement or any other operational activity based on their race, caste, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership, political opinion or affiliation, or HIV/AIDS status or any other characteristics that might give rise to discrimination.
Employee Wellbeing: we will provide safe and accessible drinking water for all workers and allow reasonable access to sanitary toilet facilities throughout the working day. A safe and sanitary place shall be provided for workers’ break periods and, if appropriate, sanitary facilities for food storage shall be provided. Where accommodation is provided for workers, conditions should be in accordance with legislation.
Employee Satisfaction: we will frequently ask our employees how they feel and think about their workplace, leadership and the company. The results will be reviewed, and corrective action taken where possible.
Health & Safety Compliance with Applicable Laws: we will comply with all applicable laws regarding working conditions, including worker health and safety, hygiene and sanitation, fire safety, risk protection, and electrical, mechanical and structural safety, by implementing a structured health and safety management system.
Health & Safety Management Commitment: we will appoint a competent qualified health and safety responsible person who shall report to an appropriate level within our organization.
Investigation and Reporting of Accidents and Incidents: we will put in place processes to record and investigate accidents, near misses and first aid events. Fining employees for having or reporting accidents or near misses is prohibited.
Safe Working Environment: we will assess our work environments for health and safety hazards and eliminate, control or otherwise mitigate identified risks. These assessments shall consider all activities that have the potential to impact any person having access to the workplace or other areas owned or controlled by us. Design of work areas, processes, installations, machinery, equipment, operating procedures and work organization are considered, in relation to protecting the safety, health and well-being of their workers.
Equipment Management: we will ensure that production and associated machinery is equipped with appropriate operational safety devices, and shall be maintained, inspected and serviced on a regular basis. We practice a lockout-tagout program such that all machinery and equipment is to be shut off, locked and tagged as appropriate when maintenance or service work is performed.
Emergency Preparedness and Response: we will provide and clearly identify adequate building exits, according to the size of the buildings and number of workers present, to allow for the evacuation of buildings in an orderly fashion in the event of a fire or other emergency. We will provide fire alarms and adequate fire suppression equipment for each area of their site used by people working for or visiting us.
Provision of Personal Protective Equipment: appropriate personal protective equipment (e.g. gloves, steel-toed shoes or boots, safety glasses, goggles, hearing and respiratory protection) will be used where applicable, as identified through a’s risk assessment, and to meet the needs of legal compliance. This equipment will be made available to workers at no cost and maintained in a suitable condition. Provisions will be made for storing such equipment in a hygienic manner.
To meet and exceed the expectations of our stakeholders, we have made a company-wide commitment to create a supportive culture, with strong harmonized systems and processes. Helian Polymers strives to promote a culture where protection of human capital is built in our DNA. We need to work on our Health & Safety practices to do our outmost to establish a 100% safe and satisfying workplace with rigorous EHS risk management procedures and a supporting EHS facility performance, and a supportive HR department on employee satisfaction. We are commitment to eliminate hazardous substances from our products to minimize impact on human capital at our customers, our companies, our employees and suppliers.
We ask all our employees to develop initiatives to support this important core subject “Protect Human Capital” and live up to its requirements.
6. FAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES
Applicable laws: We shall conduct our business in an ethical and fair manner and operate in full compliance with international, national and local laws and regulations that are applicable to our business operations including, but not limited to:
- anti-bribery and corruption
- anti-trust and fair competition
- export and trade
- property rights
Substances of Very High Concern (SvHC) & conflict minerals: our policy is that we ask our suppliers not to provide us with products which contain conflict minerals (tin, tungsten, tantalum or gold) directly derived from conflict regions. We ask our suppliers to make the appropriate review of any restricted substances and inform us of any substances that are prohibited or declarable when contained in products supplied to us. We will provide upstream suppliers on restricted substances and possible alternatives.
Code of Conduct Suppliers: we are dedicated to exceeding our customer expectations and recognizing our social responsibility. We accomplish this goal through strong collaborative partnerships with suppliers who share values of integrity, fairness, sustainable, responsible ethical principles and compliance to legislation and regulation. Our suppliers are committed, and all signed the ”Code of Conduct Supplier”.
No Forced or Child Labor: we will not use enslaved or involuntary labor of any kind, including prison labor or debt bondage. We will not be involved in human trafficking. We will not use corporal punishment, physical or psychological abuse, threats of violence, or other forms of physical or mental coercion.
No original copies of employee identification documents (e.g. identity papers or passports) will be held by us. There will not be unreasonable restrictions on the ability of workers to enter or exit the workplace.
We comply with all laws preventing child labor. Only workers who meet the applicable minimum legal age requirements in the country where they are working or are at least 15 years old and are over the age for completion of compulsory education, whichever is greater, may be hired by us. We will not allow workers under the age of 18 to work during the night shift or be involved in any hazardous work as specified in ILO Convention 182 and as determined by national law.
Wages, Benefits and Working Hours: we will adhere to all applicable laws regarding working hours, wages, social security payments and overtime payments. Workers shall be paid at least the minimum legal wage. Where there is no legislated minimum wage, a wage that meets local industry standards shall be paid. Wages shall be paid promptly and in full. We shall conduct operations in ways that limit working hours and overtime to a level that ensures humane, safe and productive working conditions.
We will ensure that we will promote social responsibility in the value chain, upstream and downstream.
We ask all our employees to act responsible and fair in any business contact, partnership and transaction.
7. CSR GOVERNANCE
7.1 GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE AND EXECUTION
We believe these core subjects help us to prioritize our activities, allocate resources, and decide where we need to develop key processes and metrics to track our performance today and in the future. We will periodically review and assess these subjects through an ongoing analysis to ensure that we are concentrating our work in areas that address changing risks, opportunities and stakeholders' expectations.
The responsibility for corporate social responsibility at Helian Polymers rests with the CSR Council, which is chaired by the OWNER and / or CEO. Together, the members of the council ensure that social responsibility is integrated throughout our business and that we take a consistent, high-level approach to sustainability in all businesses.
The CSR Council is responsible for setting our social, environmental and economical sustainability development. It determines CSR strategy, priorities and goals. CSR council is accountable for the overall CSR agenda and its deliverables. In the CSR Council we will periodically review and assess these focus areas through an ongoing analysis to ensure that we are concentrating our work in areas that address changing risks, opportunities and stakeholders' expectations.
The CSR Council meets twice a year to review the CSR policy and strategy, assesses performance metrics, and reviews CSR initiatives. Each year a CSR report will be made available, containing an evaluation of our CSR initiatives, CSR performance results, CSR strategy and its organization. We ask all stakeholders to work together with us to enable actions which contribute to a sustainable environment, economy and society - both now and into the future.
Founder and CEO