6. Rules and Processes

The company discloses how the sustainability strategy is implemented in the operational business by way of rules and processes.

Firmly anchored in the process organization at Werner & Mertz, sustainability is a core value for us in the context of process examination, analysis and optimization. The strategy is reflected in the major instruments used to ensure behavior that complies to the rules: our corporate culture, our understanding of the Learning Organization, the Codes of Conduct for employees and business partners, and our Compliance Guidelines.  

The Learning Organization – Our Development Instrument          
The Learning Organization is conceived as the central instrument we use to establish our corporate culture and related internal rules. We thereby reinforce the high value of sustainability within the company and in our daily work. The Learning Organization allows us to make appropriate adjustments in the processes of our company so we can meet continuously changing market demands. During our development into a Learning Organization, we conducted workshops and interviews in 2019 in which we analyzed our corporate culture (strengths, but also what we wanted to change) and, in cooperation with top management, developed it into our target culture, that is, the culture to which we aspire. The values of our target culture are described in the categories of Goal Orientation, Cooperation, Innovation and Improvement, Personal Development, Performance and Leadership. Our maxim of sustainability stands above all of them. On the way to turning our target culture into our new habits, all employees and their managers took part in workshops in 2019 and worked out ways to implement the new culture. Later on, all employees attended culture establishment workshops in which measures were devised that would embed the target culture in all areas of the company. To gauge the success of the new concept, we check employees' knowledge of corporate culture, which we defined as a measured variable and incorporated in our Sustainability Roadmap 2025. The feedback from our employees tells us to what extent the culture is accepted and practiced in everyday work.  

Codes of Conduct, Compliance Guidelines for Rule-compliant Behavior
Codes of Conduct for employees and business partners and new Compliance Guidelines are core sets of rules and standards for monitoring rule-compliant behavior within our organization. Our Code of Conduct for employees covers the principles of our sustainability mission and summarizes the most important compliance rules for legal and ethical business behavior. The Code of Conduct for business partners of the Werner & Mertz Group also contains principles, which are incorporated in the guiding principle "sustainability". Among those principles are respect for human rights, ensuring socially acceptable working conditions, ethical behavior in business life and observance of environmental standards.   Our Compliance Guidelines serve as an orientation aid for employees by setting rules for behavior that apply to all employees in their interaction with business partners and the general public. 

Integrated Management System and Audit as Control Instrument
An Integrated Management System (IMS) is a merger of separate management systems (e.g., Quality Management, Environmental Management, Energy Management) into an integrated all-in-one solution. Our practiced IMS helps the Werner &  Mertz  Group to implement requirements from norms and standards in a systematic and uniform way. In internal and external audits we put our organization and our processes to the test at regular intervals and diligently work on the continuous improvement of our Environmental, Energy and Quality Management systems.  For many years we have received certification in accordance with the following norms and standards: