MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT
MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT
This slavery and human trafficking statement is made by Kärcher (UK) Ltd pursuant to section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the "Act") for the financial year ending on 31 December 2019. It sets out the steps taken by Kärcher (UK) Ltd to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not present in our business or direct supply chain.
Kärcher is a global company and the World’s leading provider of cleaning systems, cleaning products and services for recreation, household trade and industry. Our products enable our customers to solve their cleaning tasks in an economical and environmentally-friendly manner. In the UK we advertise and distribute Kärcher cleaning equipment and provide comprehensive installation, hire and after sales service.
Our range of products includes machines for private households (Retail Channel) and cleaning machines and systems for commercial, industrial and municipal operators (Professional Channel), as well as accessories, cleaning and maintenance products and spare parts.
We have a global presence with 40,000 trading partners and 50,000 service centres.
Every year, the Kärcher Group (which includes 120 companies in 70 countries) sells more than twelve million cleaning machines, manufactured at 22 Production & Logistic facilities located in Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Brazil, Mexico and China.
Organisational structure and supply chain
Our product supply chain is dominated by products produced by our manufacturing locations as noted above. We source all of these products for onward sale to customers from our European intermediate parent company, Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG. based in Germany. The only products we purchase ourselves are either for local marketing purposes or for internal consumption in running our facilities in the UK and Ireland. These, along with the services we procure, are almost exclusively sourced from UK suppliers.
The Kärcher Group undertakes the following due diligence when considering taking on new suppliers, and regularly reviews its existing suppliers.
Companies that apply for supplier status within the Kärcher Group are not only required to sign the Kärcher Code of Conduct and the Kärcher Environmental Standard but also to complete a questionnaire on their Social and Environmental performance utilising the SAP SLC system.
The Kärcher Group also carry out annual supplier audits through their Purchasing and Quality Management departments. All audits include the issue of quality as well as social, environmental and work safety standards. Our suppliers are obligated to adhere to our compliance rules.
Since 2011, the Kärcher Group has been a member of the UN Global Compact and is guided by the principles defined therein for all activities.
As a member of the Kärcher Group, Kärcher (UK) Ltd is committed to this initiative’s global principles in the areas of human rights, working standards, environmental protection, and the fight against corruption. Neither the Kärcher Group nor Kärcher (UK) Ltd will work with any suppliers who have demonstrably and repeatedly failed to comply with basic labour standards.
As a market leader, Kärcher feels obliged to demand the same high social standards for the employees and workers in supplier factories that apply to its employees in Germany.
Fair wages are just as important as the workers’ rights to free speech and assembly and their freedom of association.
Kärcher Code of Conduct
The Kärcher Code of Conduct, which was first published in 2008 and updated in March 2018, identifies nine principles of social responsibility. These principles include respect for human rights, the condemnation of child labour and forced labour and the rejection of corruption. Other issues relate to the freedom of association and fair remuneration for employees as well as work and environmental protection.
All suppliers must sign the code.
Relevant policies for Kärcher (UK) Ltd
The organisation operates the following policies that describe its approach to the identification of modern slavery risks and steps to be taken to prevent slavery and human trafficking in its operations in the UK.
- Whistleblowing policy
The organisation encourages all its workers, customers and other business partners to report any concerns related to the direct activities, or the supply chains of the organisation. This includes any circumstances that may give rise to an enhanced risk of slavery or human trafficking. The organisation's whistleblowing procedure is designed to make it easy for workers to make disclosures, without fear of retaliation.
- Employee code of conduct
The organisation's code makes clear to employees the actions and behaviour expected of them when representing the organisation. The organisation strives to maintain the highest standards of employee conduct and ethical behaviour when operating abroad and managing its supply chain.
To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our business, in our supply chains and in our business partners, we provide relevant awareness training to our staff as required.
This statement has been approved by the organisation's board of directors, who will review and update it annually.
Simon Keeping, Managing Director, Kärcher UK Ltd.27th February 2020
Mark Venner, Chief Operating Officer, Kärcher UK Ltd.27th February 2020