hide message

A message from Executive Director Phil Bloomer

Now more than ever, advocates in NGOs and business need the information we provide to continue to put human rights at the centre of business.

We are a small non-profit with a huge mission. We can only provide our global coverage and Weekly Updates with donations from people like you.

Please consider contributing to our work today. No gift is too small!

Thank you,
Phil Bloomer, Executive Director

Donate now hide message

Latest news & stories

The following answers relate to Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division (Siemens Wind Power) only.

With respect to large hydro power projects, as mentioned in your letter addressed to Siemens, it needs to be clarified that such business is not part of the portfolio of businesses of Siemens. Siemens has merely a minority share in the company Voith Hydropower GmbH & Co. KG, Heidenheim, Germany (Voith Hydro), which is a subsidiary of Voith GmbH. Voith GmbH is an independent company. They do not report to us, nor are they required to. We do own a minority equity position in Voith Hydro, one Division of Voith GmbH, but we have no other involvement with them. We do not collaborate on projects, share technology, engage in joint research, and we certainly cannot monitor their activities.

For further information on Voith GmbH please see the following link:

http://voith.com/de/index.html

Does your company have a publicly available commitment to respect human rights? If so, please provide a link.

Siemens is very serious about our commitment to, and support of, laws, conventions and recommendations of international organizations regarding human rights, compliance, and ethical business practices. In addition to the laws and regulations of individual countries, there are a number of Conventions and Recommendations from international organizations which are noteworthy. Although these documents are primarily addressed to Member States and not directly to companies, they nevertheless function as important guidelines for the conduct of multinational companies such as ours, and for our employees.

Siemens is a member of the United Nations Global Compact and regards its ten principles, as well as the rules laid down in the framework agreement of the International Metalworkers´ Federation (IMF), as binding for the entire Company. Siemens is also committed to embracing, supporting and enacting, within its further sphere of influence, the set of core values in the areas of human rights, labor standards, the environment, and anti-corruption included therein as an integral part of its business strategy and operations.

In line with its Global Compact commitment Siemens therefore expects its employees, suppliers and business partners around the globe to recognize and apply particularly the standards of the:

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950)
  • ILO (International Labor Organization) Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (1977) and ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at work (1998) (specially with following issues: elimination of child labor, abolition of forced labor, prohibition of discrimination, freedom of association and right to collective bargaining)
  • OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (2000)
  • Agenda 21 on Sustainable Development (final document of the basic UN-conference on environment and development, Rio de Janeiro (1992)
  • UN Convention Against Corruption (2005)

 

For further information please use the following link:

http://www.siemens.com/about/sustainability/en/sustainability-at-siemens/international-guidelines.php

Does your company identify its salient human rights issues and does it have a due diligence process to manage them? If so, please list the issues and describe the due diligence process (key steps include: impact assessment, integrating & acting on findings, tracking responses & communicating how impacts are addressed).

It is important to understand that Siemens Wind Power usually only offers the delivery, installation and commissioning of wind turbine generators. Siemens Wind Power normally does not by itself develop or own wind power projects.

Further, in its traditional markets (e.g. Scandinavia, United Kingdom, Germany, United States) the existing regulatory framework already ensures to a very high degree compliance with human rights. In these markets, a human rights due diligence is not being deemed necessary.

Does your company ensure its consultations include the perspectives and respect the rights of all affected community members (including those who may be marginalised for reasons of gender, social status, age, religion, wealth or income or other considerations)? How is this ensured?

Siemens Wind Power does identify potential such issues via the Regional Organizations of Siemens AG, i.e. subsidiary companies that exist in most countries in which Siemens does business.

In this context, it is important to understand that Siemens Wind Power usually only offers the delivery, installation and commissioning of wind turbine generators. Siemens Wind Power normally does not by itself develop or own wind power projects, nor is it responsible for the balance of plants of a certain wind park projects.

Has your company faced any challenges in its process to seek free, prior & informed consent for renewable energy projects? If so, please describe what steps your company has taken to overcome these challenges.

In this context, it is important to understand that Siemens Wind Power usually only offers the delivery, installation and commission of wind turbine generators. Siemens Wind Power normally does not by itself develop or own wind power projects, nor is it responsible for the balance of plants of a certain wind park projects.

What steps does your company take to ensure that its own personnel, private security companies it contracts with, and/or government forces providing security to its projects, respect the rights of workers and community members, including those who may oppose its projects?

The fundamental principles and rules governing the way we act within our company and in relation to or partners are laid down in the Business Conduct Guidelines, which also have a section on “Working with Suppliers”. In addition to that, all suppliers of Siemens have to commit to the respect of human rights via the “Code of Conduct for Siemens Suppliers”, a mandatory element in all contracts for suppliers to Siemens.

The Siemens Business Conduct Guidelines can be found under the following link:

http://www.siemens.com/about/sustainability/en/sustainability-at-siemens/internal-guidelines.php

The Code of Conduct for Siemens Suppliers can be found under the following link:

http://www.siemens.com/about/sustainability/pool/nachhaltige_entwicklung/code_of_conduct_for_siemens_suppliers_05-2007_e.pdf

In this context, it is important to understand that Siemens normally only offers the delivery, installation and commissioning of wind turbine generators. Siemens Wind Power normally does not have a contractual relationship to companies that are responsible for security on site.

Does your company have a grievance mechanism in place at each project site for affected communities and workers to raise concerns about local impacts, including human rights abuses? If so, were affected communities involved in the design of the grievance mechanism, including its set-up and the types of remedies it provides?

In this context, it is important to understand that Siemens Wind Power usually only offers the delivery, installation and commissioning of wind turbine generators. Siemens Wind Power normally does not by itself develop or own wind power projects, nor is it responsible for the balance of plants of a certain wind park projects.

Grievances can locally be addressed towards the respective Siemens Regional Company.

In addition, Siemens also maintains external reporting channels for compliance reportings such as “Tell us” and an Ombudsman who can be contacted on a confidential and anonymous basis.

For further information please see the following link: http://www.siemens.com/about/sustainability/en/core-topics/compliance/system/detect.htm

Case study related to this company *DISCLAIMER: This has been collected by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and is not part of the company's answer to the questionnaire

Western Sahara/Morocco: Foum El Oued Wind Park

In 2012, Siemens won the rights construct a wind farm in Western Sahara. The local indigenous population, the Saharawis, were allegedly not consulted and claim that Siemens and Navera Holding violated international law by occupying their land, infringing upon the people’s rights to self-determination. Africa Contact, a Danish NGO, claims that all trade with Western Sahara legitimises Morocco’s illegal occupation of Western Sahara, and sent a letter calling on Siemens to cancel the deal.

Siemens responded to the concerns stating that they did not infringe the right of self-determination or any other human right, and that a working infrastructure will help to improve the economic conditions in the area.

Siemens' response (Apr 2012)

Navera Holding's non-response (Apr 2012)

South Africa: Jeffreys Bay wind farm

Siemens is the wind turbine supplier of this project. The environmental impact assessment for Jeffreys Bay wind farm included stakeholder consultation as a prerequisite before operations. The consultation emphasised community involvement and included information meetings and open communication. Complaints from the community were assessed by the planning and environmental authorities. Various socio-economic development programmes were set up. Locals were employed to operate and maintain the wind farm. 6% of the wind farm is owned by community Amandla Omoya Trust which will use 80% of its social development budget for educational projects in low-income Port Elizabeth.