Code of Conduct – Your chance to contribute!
While price, reliability and product quality are key criteria when making trading decisions, more and more companies are looking beyond those criteria and also aim to ensure that suppliers or customers are upholding adequate ethical standards. Especially where new business partners come together it is important that they firstly agree on those basic ethical standards.
As a consequence, many Metalshub users have created their own standards and expect that new suppliers or customers sign their so-called Code of Conduct to ensure ethical business practices throughout the supply chain. This is particularly important in the automotive industry where regular audits have become a routine in the industry.
However, the practice of signing individual codes of conduct leads to inefficiencies and additional costs as every company has to review and sign numerous codes for every new business relationship. Considering that many individual codes of conduct cover the same subjects it is quite an administrative burden to keep track of it and check and maintain who has signed what and when.
Aspects of a Code of Conduct
Always looking for ways to make the metals trading business more efficient at Metalshub we have reviewed several codes of conduct from several industry players. We analyzed the main areas that require safeguarding. The key areas identified are:
- Human rights
- Complying with basic human rights is one of the aspects which has the highest priority in the industry.
- Lawful conduct
- All reviewed codes require to comply with the law in general – international and national. Often, special attention is paid to laws regulating trade.
- Labor rights
- The industry cares about how people are treated in the work environment, with a special focus on preventing harassment and discrimination. They also oppose any form of child labor and ensure that their employees have adequate remuneration and the right of collective bargaining.
- Health and safety
- Another important aspect of the work environment is the health and safety standards. Machines, equipment, workplaces, and processes should be safe and without risk to health. For any safety risks, policies should be in place to reduce them.
- The environment should be protected. Environmental responsibility is a high priority in the industry and processes should be designed to reduce the risk of harming the environment.
- Ethical conduct
- The industry upholds high ethical standards when it comes to (fair) competition and condemns corruption and money laundering.
- Personal data and privacy
- The industry respects the privacy and (sensitive) personal information of individuals.
After this thorough review, we have taken the initiative to draft an exemplary, industry-wide Code of Conduct covering the main subjects. This first draft is not only a common denominator of different versions from a variety of companies but actually includes the key formulations that should cover a broad range of issues in the Metal Industry.
Comparison of different codes of conduct
Table 1 shows the comparison of our first draft Code of Conduct with those of different companies from the industry.
- Green indicates that the Metalshub Code of Conduct is equivalent to the other codes in addressing the topics.
- Yellow indicates that the Metalshub Code of Conduct has addressed this issue in more detail.
- Red indicates that this topic has not been covered at all by the company.
- Blue indicates that the company put more emphasis on this aspect by being more specific.
The analysis also concluded that some industry players have additional documents regarding key areas of their Code of Conduct. This comparison is only based on the statements in the respective code and not on the supporting documents.
Table 1: Comparison of different codes of conducts
Your chance to contribute
To make sure that we have a comprehensive Code of Conduct for the Metal Industry we would like your input. So please contact us or send us an e-mail with feedback, questions and/or suggestions firstname.lastname@example.org
Once we have concluded the feedback phase every user on Metalshub has the opportunity to sign the Code of Conduct electronically while we will be working together with sellers, buyers but also industry associations and quality auditors of the automotive sector to accept this Code of Conduct as an equivalent and sufficient. With these companies don’t need to insist on having their own code of conduct being signed before starting the business.
Signing the Metal Industry Code of Conduct will become visible for other users in the Metalshub company profile through an icon next to the company name. Thus, even before considering doing business, companies have the assurance that their trading partner upholds the same high ethical standards.
To conclude, we have created the first draft of an industry-wide Code of Conduct, that can be signed by the users of Metalshub: A simple and effective way ensuring high ethical standards throughout the Metal Industry.