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Human rights

At KONE we respect human rights, and we expect the same commitment from all our suppliers, distributors, and other business partners across the entire delivery chain. Our human rights policy and program focus on the human rights topics that have been recognized by an external party as the most relevant to our business and operations. These fall into two broad areas: the health and safety and respect for the labour rights of our employees and workers in our supply and delivery chains.

KONE’s Human rights program

Our human rights program focuses on:

  • Governance and accountability for human rights
  • Implementing the Human Rights policy
  • Continual development of our supplier human rights assessment program
  • Regular human rights impact assessments for our own operations and supply chain
  • Increasing training and awareness on human rights for our employees and business partners
  • Identifying and taking actions to meet regulatory requirements

KONE’s Human Rights policy

  • This Human Rights policy describes KONE’s role, objectives and responsibilities in respect of our human rights commitment. We expect our employees, suppliers, distributors, and other business partners whose actions and omissions may directly impact our operations, products or services, to respect human rights and not limit or infringe upon them.

    This policy complements KONE’s Code of Conduct and related policies, including KONE’s Supplier and Distributor Codes of Conduct, which set out the principles and standards expected from KONE employees, KONE companies, suppliers, distributors and other business partners.

    This policy applies to all of KONE’s directors, officers, managers and employees globally, and covers all subsidiaries, branches and other entities where KONE exercises management control.

  • KONE is committed to respecting and endorsing internationally recognized labour and human rights standards including those set out in the:

    • International Bill of Human Rights
    • United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
    • Basic labour rights as defined by the International Labour Organization including the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
    • OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

    As a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact and its ten principles, KONE respects and supports human and labour rights across our entire delivery chain, including our own operations, suppliers, distributors and other business partners. We continuously improve our understanding of our human rights impacts and take steps to remediate the impacts we become aware of.

  • KONE’s Global Compliance Committee, comprising four Executive Board members, Corporate Controller, and Head of Global Compliance, is accountable for human rights at KONE.

    A Human Rights Working Group reporting to the Global Compliance Committee assists the Committee in ensuring that KONE has an effective human rights program and drives this program across KONE. The Human Rights Working Group, whose members are drawn from all parts of KONE, follows national and international policy developments to ensure we are compliant with all applicable regulatory requirements and standards. The head of each unit at KONE is responsible for ensuring that their unit and relevant employees are familiar with and comply with this policy.

  • We identify, assess and prioritize human rights impacts throughout our business and aim to prevent and mitigate those impacts in an ongoing manner. The following sections describe the different elements of our human rights due diligence process.

    IMPACT ASSESSMENTS

    We understand that human rights risks exist within our organization and across our supply chain and we therefore carry out regular human rights impact assessments to identify such risks. KONE prioritizes potential impacts based on the severity of the impact on potentially affected individuals and groups, the associated risks to the business and the likelihood of such impacts occurring. Impact assessments are reviewed regularly to reflect changes in our operations and in the business environment.

    THIRD PARTY DUE DILIGENCE AND SUPPLIER SCREENINGS

    We continuously develop our supplier assessment program in relation to human rights in order to identify and address potential risks in our supply chain.

    The results of a supplier’s human rights assessment, and whether it has signed up to KONE’s Supplier Code of Conduct, as well as any other compliance screening results, are taken into account in our periodic reviews of suppliers.

    KONE screens and monitors relevant suppliers, customers and other third parties with whom KONE does business, using a compliance screening solution which covers international adverse media, sanctions and watch lists. Third parties are included in the screening process on the basis of selected risk criteria, and adverse findings on human rights are flagged to the relevant KONE contract owner or category manager for follow-up.

    INTERNAL ASSESSMENTS AND SURVEYS

    We use internal surveys to assess human rights compliance in our own operations, including the yearly Pulse survey which measures employee engagement on a global level. We also use anonymous surveys to identify discrimination, bullying and/or harassment issues within a unit. Additionally, we carry out periodic on-site assessments of employee accommodation provided by KONE in order to identify and address any impacts on human rights.

  • KONE’s human rights program focuses on the human rights issues most directly linked to our business and operations. Considering the industry in which we operate and the structure of our supply and delivery chains, the most relevant human rights issues for KONE (our “salient” human rights) have been identified as falling into two broad areas:

    1. Health and safety of KONE employees and workers in the supply and delivery chain

      Safety is KONE’s top priority. We operate in an industry which presents various safety risks, as construction workers engage in many activities which may expose them to serious hazards. If not managed correctly, these risks could impact the safety of our own workers as well as that of our installation subcontractors and outsourced labour. To control our safety risks, we design our solutions and processes to enable us to conduct our business in a safe and sustainable manner. In all our activities we constantly strive to apply KONE Way for Safety, our global safety management framework that sets forth minimum requirements to ensure the health and safety of our workers, users of our equipment and partners. To enable workers’ participation and to ensure their consultation in implementing, maintaining and improving the KONE Way for Safety, safety committees (or equivalent safety forums with workers and their representatives) are held regularly at all levels.

      All workers receive health and safety training relevant to their work, so that it can be performed in a professional and safe manner. Everyone at KONE has the right to stop work if it is being performed in unsafe conditions, to seek support, and only continue when it is safe.

      At KONE, we recognize that mistakes and errors can be made unintentionally and where this occurs, we do not blame individuals for incidents or near misses. However, deliberate violations of the KONE Way for Safety are not tolerated.

      Safety is a joint effort that also involves end users. We support customers and building owners in promoting the safe use of our equipment and provide training along with educational materials to our customers and the general public to help equipment users stay safe. Safety materials for end users are also available on kone.com.

    2. Respect for the labour rights of KONE employees and workers in the supply and delivery chain

      We take appropriate action to ensure respect for the labour rights of our employees in the areas of child and forced labour, discrimination, bullying and harassment, freedom of association and collective bargaining, and conditions of employment. We require our suppliers to respect the same labour rights with respect to their employees.

      Discrimination, harassment and bullying

      KONE is committed to maintaining a work environment where everyone feels physically and psychologically safe. KONE does not tolerate any type of discrimination, harassment or bullying. We are committed to assuring the equitable treatment of all individuals regardless of any personal attributes or characteristics. We have a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) program within KONE and provide regular training on DE&I, anti-discrimination and harassment. We also expect all of our suppliers, distributors and other business partners to treat their employees in a fair and equal manner, and to observe zero tolerance when it comes to discrimination, harassment and bullying. This expectation is clearly set out in our Supplier and Distributor Codes of Conduct.

      Child and forced labour

      We recognize that we operate in countries where child labour and forced labour exist. KONE’s highest risks lie in our supply and delivery chains. We prohibit any form of child labour and, in line with ILO standards, we do not hire workers under the age of 15 or under local mandatory schooling age, whichever is higher. Where allowed by local laws, the minimum age may be lower for light work (i.e. work that is not harmful to a person’s health or development, or does not interfere with their education or ability to benefit from education). For example, we may offer trainee positions or part-time summer work for students. The minimum age for hazardous work is always 18 years.

      We prohibit any form of modern slavery in our operations and supply chains. This includes any form of forced labour, such as indentured, bonded, or prison labour in which employees do not freely choose to participate in the work. We also prohibit the use of threats, violence, deception or coercion to force employees to work against their will. We hold our suppliers and distributors to the same standards, as outlined in our Supplier and Distributor Codes of Conduct, which we ask all suppliers and distributors to sign. We track the percentage of our spend that is with suppliers who have signed our Supplier Code of Conduct or equivalent as well as the percentage of distributors who have signed the Distributor Code of Conduct.

      Freedom of Association and collective bargaining

      We respect our employees’ right to freely associate and bargain collectively. While we recognize that freedom of association and collective bargaining is not always fully respected in the countries where we operate, our employees have the right to be represented in order to pursue legitimate interests, to form and join trade unions of their choosing, to bargain collectively and have access to internal and/or external employee representatives. Where trade unions are not permitted locally, we allow employees to gather independently and freely discuss work-related issues and raise collective concerns. We ensure that employees are not penalized for trade union activity.

      We require our suppliers and distributors to respect their employees’ rights to the same freedoms and to protect them from intimidation or harassment in the exercise of their legal right to join or refrain from joining any organization.

      Working conditions

      We adhere to all applicable local laws, relevant ILO conventions and industry standards with respect to working hours, wages, benefits, and overtime. Situations in which local laws conflict with ILO or other relevant standards are addressed by the Global Compliance Committee. KONE ensures that compensation is paid in a timely manner to our employees, including contractors, temporary and part-time employees, and that no unlawful deductions or withdrawals are made. We ensure that our employees are paid at least the applicable statutory minimum wage, and mandatory benefits are paid to our employees, including paid leave.

      We hold our suppliers and distributors to the same standards, as outlined in our Supplier and Distributor Codes of Conduct. In particular, these codes of conduct require our suppliers and distributors to ensure that all their employees are provided with employment documents that are freely agreed and which respect their legal and contractual rights.

  • We report on our Human Rights work annually through KONE’s sustainability report and annual review. These are available on kone.com and describe KONE’s human rights program, focus areas and actions taken to address potential and identified human rights risks. We communicate internally and externally about our human rights program on a regular basis, including progress on our supplier human rights assessments, trainings, awareness activities, third-party due diligence and screening. The human rights program is discussed and reviewed on a regular basis in the Global Compliance Committee and the Sustainability Board. Our Human Rights policy is available on kone.com and is reviewed annually.

  • We are committed to taking appropriate action to remediate situations where our activities have caused or contributed to an adverse human rights impact. We have an established and well communicated grievance mechanism in place, the KONE Compliance Line, for our employees and for workers in our supply and delivery chains. This reporting channel is available for employees, suppliers, distributors and the public at all times. It is operated by an independent third party and is accessible (anonymously, where permitted by local law) via phone and/or web in over 30 languages.

    KONE’s Code of Conduct, and our Supplier and Distributor Codes of Conduct, include instructions and links to the KONE Compliance Line. Our Speak Up guidelines include detailed instructions on the reporting process and are available internally on KONE’s Global Intranet. All reports are sent to the KONE Compliance function and treated as highly confidential. Retaliation in respect of reports made in good faith is strictly prohibited.

    If any employee, supplier or business partner witnesses or has knowledge of incidents violating this Human Rights policy, the KONE Code of Conduct, the Supplier or Distributor Codes of Conduct or the law, they are encouraged to report the incident or alleged violation through the KONE Compliance Line.

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