UN Goal 16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions
Child page UN Goal 16
Introduction UN Goals
In 2015, under the aegis of the United Nations, the international community adopted Agenda 2030. It lays out 17 global goals together with the call to implement measures to achieve those goals. In particular, the Sustainable Development Goals No Poverty, Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Resonsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions are of great importance to Messer. Both global and local projects and activities, as well as initiatives supported by Messer, contribute to various sustainability goals. The individual projects contribute to long-term improvement and can be viewed here:
Accordion UN Goal 16
The Messer Compliance Management System (Messer CMS) emphasizes our sustainable understanding of values. It is the binding framework for action to manage conflicts of interest and to comply with applicable laws, regulatory requirements and the rules and regulations of all Messer business units. The Messer CMS serves the goal of creating a relationship with our stakeholders that is based on fairness, solidarity and trust. It supports those responsible in establishing and implementing our value system. In addition, the Messer CMS is intended to prevent potential violations as far as possible in advance. Through their clear commitment, our managing directors and executives support the Messer CMS.
Messer Americas has signed up to the Code of Conduct and also uses its own Code Supplement as well as a Code of Conduct for Supplying Companies. Other guidelines include guidelines on compliance with competition law and anti-corruption, a compliance guide for business partners and a data protection guideline for North America.
Compliance violations and cases of justifiable suspicion
Employees can report violations of applicable law or of the Messer Code ("compliance violations") as well as well-founded suspicious cases to the managing directors and managers at any time via the appropriate hotlines. These ensure that remedial action is taken immediately. In 2022, there were 5 such reports at Messer, compared to 16 in the previous year.
The Group IT Security Officer of Messer SE & Co. KGaA coordinates responsible security measures for the individual companies. He establishes the associated standards and develops the relevant expertise.
Through our IT security measures, we support the sustainability of our digitalization process and the physical security of our information, as well as the availability of the systems that our business processes require. An international team develops the relevant IT Security services.
In the year under review, various measures were undertaken to reorient completely the IT infrastructure of Messer SE & Co. KGaA. The new IT infrastructure reflects current, globally established standards, which makes it more effective, more stable and more secure – essential preconditions for working even more efficiently.
Raising employees’ awareness of IT risks
At the end of March 2021, to sharpen employees’ awareness of the scope and risks of cyber attacks, we launched the first assessment initiated throughout Europe via an IT security platform. Among other things, content covered e-mail fraud, safe use of the internet, the creation of secure passwords, and the protection of mobile devices. Based on the individual results of that first assessment, employees were referred for relevant training in a second step.
Phishing simulations as training measure
In the context of the “European Messer Phishing Campaign,” several phishing e-mails were sent out to the employees in Europe in 2021. The phishing campaign enables us to use an awareness platform to provide employees with specific training relative to the dangers of cyber crime. In this way, we minimize potential risks and strengthen the expertise of our employees.
At Messer Americas, the assessment of IT risks is part of the risk management program. Regular audits and reviews by third parties assess the security level, and the Executive Committee of Messer Americas receives regular updates on the current state of cyber security. Regular monitoring protects end devices, servers, applications, data and cloud platforms from cybersecurity attacks and threats. Monitoring by the infrastructure and security organization enables rapid reactions to attacks, vulnerabilities or emerging threats.
To raise the employees’ awareness of IT risks, Messer Americas relies on a combination of training, communication and online tools. This improves our ability to detect potential threats such as phishing e-mails or compromised business e-mails and to prevent the problems that would otherwise result from them.
New IT infrastrucuture for enhanced future and data security
Messer is currently implementing one of its biggest IT projects yet in Europe: the complete reorientation and reorganization of our IT infrastructure. In the summer of 2021, we transferred our business-critical systems, such as SAP and trip planning for bulk and cylinder gases, to a new external computer center in Frankfurt/Main. The computer center complies with the applicable international IT security standards for protection against virtual and physical threats. Moreover, it has multiple levels of protection against the loss of power, water supply or Internet connection.
Messer undertakes to comply with applicable data privacy regulations. Appropriate structures are designed to guarantee a consistently high level of data privacy.
The Group Privacy Officer of Messer SE & Co. KGaA is responsible for coordinating corporate Data Privacy and provides managerial support for its implementation by the national subsidiaries. Pursuant to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG), we handle the data of our employees, customers and business contacts in conformance with the law. Messer also implements legally required data protection measures relative to organization and documentation. Messer’s European national subsidiaries and Messer SE & Co. KGaA publish their data privacy statements on their websites in their respective national language to facilitate understanding.
Messer Americas complies with the applicable data protection laws, the relevant Code of Conduct of Messer SE & Co. KGaA for America and the Code Supplement of Messer Americas. In addition, Messer Americas has adopted its own data privacy guideline for North America. The Senior Counsel & Regional Compliance Officer of Messer Americas, the Head of Human Resources for North America Business Operations and members of the Legal and Compliance Team of Messer Americas are available throughout the Americas for questions concerning data privacy. Messer Americas also consults with external specialists on compliance questions.
Training programs on data privacy are included in the Code of Ethics and Conduct of Messer Americas. The “Code of Ethics and Conduct” e-learning course is mandatory for all Messer Americas employees.
A sustainable supply chain is a prerequisite for Messer’s economic success. Relationships between Messer and its key suppliers play a crucial role here.
At Messer SE & Co. KGaA, the Logistics/Sourcing and Engineering/Production departments maintain close contact with these key suppliers. These central departments take charge of, or provide assistance with, the procurement of logistics services and commodities throughout Europe. The sustainable quality management systems of both departments are certified according to ISO 9001. Periodic audits of the key suppliers are an important part of their assessment.
The Production department helps the Messer national subsidiaries operate and maintain existing production facilities. The goal is to optimize production processes. Corporate computer-aided monitoring and control improves the cost effectiveness and energy efficiency of our systems, enabling us to reduce continuously the CO2 footprint of our plants. We consistently realize additional optimization potentials identified through regular process and energy audits.
The Engineering department is responsible, primarily in Europe, for the development, construction and modernization of units that produce technical and medical gases. In addition to plant design, project management, construction management, and start-up, this work also includes the procurement/purchasing of all required plant and equipment components. We apply the extensive experience gained during the construction and operation of existing plants to improve the efficiency of our plants continuously and to use technically high-quality, durable and energy-efficient components. Selected specialists work on advanced development for the continuous improvement of our processes – using, among other things, the latest process design programs and software tools.
In collaboration with Messer GasPack, the Logistics/Sourcing department ensures the availability and transport of all kinds of gases. This also includes the development of new logistics concepts and the rollout and operation of optimization and monitoring tools. In addition, procurement activities are conducted and coordinated throughout Europe. This applies for tank cars, stationary customer tanks, evaporators, electricity for the production plants, and gases from external sources. The leasing and periodic inspection of pressure vessels and fittings are another area of activity. The Logistics/Sourcing department also helps the national subsidiaries manage transport contracts and organize the transportation of heavy loads. Handling these specialized functions on a centralized basis not only provides economic benefits, but also serves to maintain consistently high quality standards throughout the company.
The Covid-19 pandemic sharply restricted the ability to conduct supplier audits again in 2021. Some outstanding audits have already been completed and others will be rescheduled for earliest possible completion. These audits focus primarily on the production process, the quality of the products manufactured, and sustainability. Since 2018, key suppliers have been obliged to adhere to the principles of the UN Global Compact, adding appropriate emphasis to sustainability, human rights, environmental awareness and working conditions. In the event of an unsatisfactory assessment, we work together with the supplier to develop adequate improvement measures. Critical non-compliance, however, leads to rejection of the supplier concerned.
Messer Americas also conduct regular supplier audits.
The procurement function concentrates on product category management, strategic procurement and expenditure management within the Procurement organization. This work also focuses on cost savings and occupational safety and health.
Messer Americas’ Sourcing team bundles expertise in the following categories: Indirect, Plants and Production, Merchant Packaged Gas, Customer Engineering Services, Logistics and Fixed Assets. In that context, it focuses on Category Management, Contract Lifecycle Management, Supplier Relationship Management and Compliance. The Sourcing team works closely with the operative team on all current investments. Messer Americas’ Sourcing team is subject to Messer Americas’ procurement policy and Messer Americas’ procurement guidelines.
Messer Americas’ Procurement group uses a supplier management system to guarantee quality and ensure compliance with standards that regulate operating performance, safety, the environment and social responsibility. Suppliers must submit a binding acknowledgment of Messer’s Code of Conduct Declaration. Moreover, Messer in the USA measures compliance with our standards by demanding compliance with our Conflict Minerals Declaration and our Supplier Quality Declaration.
Messer Americas’ Energy team manages the electricity demand – and with it, the Messer’s largest variable cost. In that context, the dedicated energy specialists work closely with the operations team to maximize utility and efficiency. To that end, power consumption is reduced during periods of high electricity prices or power grid emergencies.
In deregulated energy markets, the Energy team has implemented a direct power procurement strategy, which enables Messer to purchase electricity directly from wholesale energy markets. In addition, the Energy team uses an energy risk management program, which has resulted in lower and less volatile electricity costs. In regulated energy markets, the Energy team works closely with utilities, government agencies and other interest groups. This ensures that Messer obtains reasonable electricity rates that are in line with operating costs.
Messer Americas’ Energy team cooperates with local, state and federal authorities. This is the basis for obtaining allowances that reflect the operating flexibility and energy efficiency of Messer’s plants. Moreover, Messer participates in various industrial groups to help shape national and state energy policy. This primarily involves issues such as green energy, sustainability, reaction to energy demand, and the resilience of the electricity grid.
Messer’s “Integrity Line” offers a new communication platform that makes it easier for employees to report not only improvement suggestions but also perceived irregularities. Observations and suspicions regarding possible compliance violations can be directed to designated contact persons by phone or online – in compliance with the law and in the local language. It is also possible to remain anonymous. To protect not only the reporting individuals but also the employees implicated in the alleged irregularity, the Management Board of Messer issued applicable regulations that define the reporting process and implements the requirements of the EU Whistleblower Directive. The “Integrity Line” and the regulations are part of our Compliance Code of Conduct.
To pave new ways of working, Messer in America implemented the Messer Americas Management System (MMS). It forms the framework for fundamental guidelines, processes and procedures that enable our business to run smoothly. MMS replaces the previous Integrated Management System (IMS) and makes it easier for employees to understand the principal components of our business. MMS is consistent with our principles and with our vision of becoming a preferred supplier.