Code of Conduct for suppliers

PowerField and PowerGo

1 General

PowerGo is a subsidiary of PowerField. PowerField’s and PowerGo’s (hereafter referred to as PowerField) Code of Conduct for Suppliers (hereafter called ‘the Code’) sets out the values and the principles about how PowerField works. The Code is not a set of rules and cannot cover every possible situation. We expect our suppliers to use their best judgement in applying the principles of the Code in line with the spirit of the Code.

The Code is a requirement for suppliers and is based on the UN Guilding Principles for Business and Human Rights. The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprices are additionally taken into account, as well as other international standards, norms and guidelines (see ‘References for a full list). The Code may occasionally be updated by PowerField.

PowerField is committed to working only with business partners whose standards are consistent with our own. The Code applies to anyone with whom we do business including our subcontractors, consultants and all suppliers of goods and services (together, referred to as “suppliers”). PowerField expects its suppliers to demand the same standards from their subcontractors, consultants and suppliers.

1.1 Compliance with laws and regulations

Suppliers shall comply with all applicable local and national laws, rules and regulations in the countries they operate. PowerField expects suppliers to meet the more strict requirements between the Code and applicable laws and regulations, and to work with their own suppliers towards that goal.

In case of contradictions or any inconsistencies between this Code and applicable laws and regulations, the supplier should immediately inform PowerField.

1.2 Commitment to continuous improvement

PowerField recognizesthat suppliers will be at different stages of maturity and commits to working with suppliers to achieve continuous improvement.

If PowerField finds that a supplier is not meeting the requirements and expectations set out in the Code, PowerField may offer guidance specifying which issues need to be corrected or improved. The supplier should then take corrective actions promptly and commit to showing progress.

PowerField also encourages suppliers to participate in initiatives aiming to raise the standard of an entire sector or across sectors, where applicable.

1.3 Consequences in case of violations

Suppliers shall address any violations of the Code or equivalent standards that come to their knowledge and to take appropriate remediation action including implementing a time-bound program of improvement works to ensure compliance. PowerField will pursue appropriate measures depending on the severity of the violation.

Continued non-compliance with the code or repeated and unjustified refusal to provide the required information may result in suspension or termination of the supplier’s activities with PowerField.

1.4 Due diligence and transparency

1.4.1 General

PowerField has the right to conduct thorough investigation on its suppliers. This can be done by regularly and systematically identifying and assessing human and labour rights and environment and business ethics related risks and impacts in its supply chain. PowerField can use this information to avoid or soften the effects in order to ensure responsibility.

PowerField expects suppliers to allow PowerField, or a third party authorized by PowerField and reasonably acceptable to the supplier, to conduct audits and assessments of the supplier’s operations relevant for the Code, including but not limited to the supplier’s facilities. Such supplier must cooperate by providing relevant information and by making individuals available, so that PowerField can conduct a meaningful audit. At the supplier’s request, the parties involved in such an audit shall enter into a confidentiality agreement regarding the circumstances disclosed in the audit or assessment.

In addition, PowerField expects its suppliers to conduct appropriate due diligence in their own operations and supply chain and report on any findings.

1.4.2 Conflict-affected and other high-risk areas
Suppliers shall assess whether their own operations, or supply chains, are located in or sourced from conflict-affected or other high-risk areas. In such cases, the due diligence requirements should be adapted to the specific context.

1.5 Management systems and monitoring
Suppliers should have adequate management systems and controls in place to ensure compliance with the Code or agreed equivalent standards. The functioning and quality of the supplier’s management system should be in proportion to the size, complexity, and risk environment of the supplier’s business. Suppliers should secure and monitor that their own suppliers and sub-suppliers comply with the Code or, where applicable, their own equivalent code of conduct.

2 Human rights and labour rights

2.1 General

PowerField expects its suppliers to respect internationally proclaimed human rights.

Requirements related to supplier personnel in the Code apply to all the suppliers’ workers including temporary, migrant, student and contract workers as well as direct employees. All workers shall have the right to enter and to terminate their employment freely.

Suppliers should take measures to avoid causing, contributing, or being linked to negative human rights impacts.

2.2 Indigenous people

Suppliers should respect the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples and their social, cultural, environmental, and economic interests, including their connection with lands and other natural resources.

Suppliers should follow the principles of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), and participation to obtain broad-based consent of indigenous and tribal peoples in their activities.

2.3 Community engagement and development

Suppliers shall respect the rights, interests, and development aspirations of affected communities during significant changes of suppliers’ normal operations. Community engagement should be carried out in an inclusive, equitable, culturally appropriate, gender-sensitive, and rights- compatible manner.

2.4 Child labour and young workers

Suppliers shall work against all forms of child labour. Suppliers should not participate in, or benefit from any form of child labour. If child labour is detected a remediation programme shall be put in place.

Suppliers shall not employ children below the minimum age of employment or the age for completing compulsory education in that country, whichever is higher. Suppliers should not employ any workers under the age of 18 to perform any work that is defined in national law as hazardous.

If suppliers need to support local communities and economy, they must inform PowerField of the principles and activities for minors’ employment.

2.5 Use of security personnel

Suppliers shall ensure that all security personnel, including contracted security personnel, respect the human rights and dignity of all people and in case of threat use reasonable force, proportional to the threat.

2.6 Modern slavery and forced labour

Suppliers shall not participate in, or benefit from any form of forced labour, including bonded labour, involuntary prison labour, slavery, servitude or work performed under the menace of a penalty or coercion.

All forms of modern slavery are unacceptable to PowerField.

2.7 Working conditions

2.7.1 Hours of work
Suppliers should ensure that normal working hours and overtime working hours are within the limits permitted by applicable laws and regulations or agreed to in relevant collective agreements. 

2.7.2 Wages, leave and benefits
Suppliers shall pay a wage including benefits that meets basic needs and strive for a discretionary income in compliance with applicable laws and/or relevant collective agreements as applicable. Correspondingly workers shall be compensated for overtime at pay rates greater than regular hourly rates. 

2.8 Health and Safety

Suppliers shall provide a safe and healthy environment across all locations where work is undertaken and when the supplier is providing housing facilities to its personnel.

All work shall be preceded by and be based on documented adequate risk management with implemented controls. This includesphysical, social and organizational health risks.

Risks shall be reduced according to the following hierarchy: elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls, and finally alternative, personal protective equipment.

2.9 Freedom of association and collective bargaining

Suppliers shall recognize and respect the rights of employees to freely associate, organize and bargain collectively, if desired.

In situations where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted by applicable laws and regulations, PowerField expects suppliers to allow alternate forms of worker representations.

2.10 Non-discrimination

Suppliers shall not practice any form of discrimination in hiring and employment practices.

Illegitimate grounds for discrimination include but are not limited to race, colour, gender, age, language, property, nationality or national origin, religion, ethnic or social origin, caste, economic grounds, disability, pregnancy, belonging to an indigenous people, trade union affiliation, political opinion, sexual orientation.

2.11 Grievance channels and remediation mechanisms

Suppliers should make available appropriate grievance mechanisms that are available to personnel and interested parties, including affected communities, to make comments, recommendations, reports or complaints concerning the workplace, the environment or suppliers’ business practices. Suppliers shall have routines for dealing with harassment and communicate that any form of harassment is unacceptable and must be reported.

3 Environment

3.1 General

PowerField expects its suppliers to manage their operations responsibly in relation to environmental risks and impacts, to adopt a precautionary approach, and to have a life cycle perspective in their business operations. Resources such as water and energy should be used efficiently and impacts on biodiversity as well as services provided by our eco-systems should be minimized.

3.2 Environmental Legislation

Suppliers shall obtain and maintain all required permits and licenses and comply with the operational and reporting requirements of such permits and licenses.

3.3 Environmental Protection

Suppliers shall aim to avoid or reduce any waste or emissions as a result of their business activities. Suppliers should use efficient technologies which aim to reduce the environmental impact as much as possible.

PowerField expects suppliers to adopt a precautionary approach and where applicable respect the polluter pays principles.

Suppliers shall manage hazardous substances responsible and where possible hazardous substances should be substituted for less hazardous.

3.4 Circular Economy

Suppliers should aim to procure goods and equipment that have the highest standard of durability, ability for recycling, and easy access for maintenance and repair.

3.5 Environmental Management Systems

Suppliers whose activities have an environmental impact shall have a structured and systematic approach to take environmental aspects into account that includes establishing suitable management systems to improve environmental performance, setting targets and performing follow-ups.

4 Business integrity

PowerField expects its suppliers to conduct business in compliance with all applicable national and international laws and regulations and adhere to internationally agreed standards of business ethics.

5 Anti-corruption

Suppliers shall not engage in or tolerate any form of corruption, bribery, money laundering, extortion or embezzlement. Suppliers shall not offer or accept any benefits or other means to obtain any undue or improper advantage. Such improper benefits may comprise cash, non-monetary gifts, pleasure trips or services and amenities of any other nature.

6 Conflict of interests

Suppliers shall avoid conflicts of interest that may compromise the supplier’s credibility in the PowerField group or other exterior parties’ confidence in the PowerField group.

7 Competition Law

Suppliers shall respect and comply with all applicable competition laws and regulations, including an obligation not to exchange commercially sensitive and strategic information with competitors or to enter into anti-competitive agreements with any business partner.

8 Protection of Intellectual property rights and confidential information

Suppliers shall respect PowerField’s intellectual property rights and protect PowerField’s confidential information by safeguarding it against misuse, theft, fraud or improper disclosure.

9 Reporting irregularities to PowerField – whistleblowing

In the context of the supplier / buyer relationship, if the supplier, its employees, its contractors, or any other stakeholder believes that the terms of the Code are not adhered to, or that PowerField is not acting in accordance with its own Code of Conduct, PowerField encourages such concerns to be raised.

10 Disputes

When the supplier enters into a dispute with a member of PowerField and is party to a contract with a different member of PowerField, the supplier accepts and agrees that information relating to the dispute can be disclosed to PowerField’s COO Kay Roderburg (roderburg@powerfield.nl) and shared with the relevant members across PowerField in order to protect the group’s business integrity.

11 References

In preparing the PowerField Code the following references were consulted:

  1. 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml
  2. Children’s Rights and Business Principles https://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/CRC.C.GC.16.pdf
  3. International Labour Organization, specifically the documents listed below: http://www.ilo.org
    • Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work from 1998
    • Forced Labour Convention (C.29-1930)
    • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (C.105-1957)
    • Minimum Age Convention (C.138-1973)
    • Prohibition and Immediate Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (C.182-1999)
    • Equal Remuneration Convention (C.100-1951)
    • Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (C.111-1958)
    • Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention (C. 87- 1948)
    • Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention (C. 98-1949)
    • Guidelines on Occupational Safety and Health (ILO-OSH-200)
  4.  ISO14001 http://www.iso.org/iso/iso14000
  5. ISO 26000:2010 Guidance on Social Responsibility http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/iso26000.htm
  6. OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict- Affected and High-Risk Areas http://www.oecd.org/daf/inv/mne/GuidanceEdition2.pdf
  7. OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises http://www.oecd.org/daf/inv/mne/48004323.pdf
  8. OHSAS 18001 (replaced by https://www.iso.org/standard/63787.html)
  9. Rio Declaration, Agenda 21 www.unep.org
  10. Social Accountability 8000 www.sa-intl.org/
  11. UK Modern Slavery Act http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/30/pdfs/ukpga_20150030_en.pdf
  12. UN Global Compact www.unglobalcompact.com
  13. UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights https://www.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/Documents/Publications/GuidingPrinciplesBusinessHR_EN.pdf&action=default&DefaultItemOpen=1
  14. UN National Human Rights Action plans http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/NationalActionPlans.aspx
  15. .N Sustainable Development Goals http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/
  16. United Nations Convention against Corruption http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/index.html
  17. Voluntary Principles of Business and Human Rights www.voluntaryprinciples.org
  18. OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict- Affected and High-Risk Areas www.oecd.org/corporate/mne/mining.htm
  19. Free Prior and Informed Consent – An Indigenous Peoples’ right and a good practice for local communities – FAO www.fao.org/3/a-i6190e.pdf

Download the Code of Conduct here (version: January 2023): Code of Conduct (January 2023)