Governance

We are committed to fair entrepreneurship. We act transparently, responsibly and in line with ethical principles in respect of all our stakeholders.

At VTG, governance is all about a good and fair approach to business. This commitment applies to every area subsumed under the headings of compliance, data protection, IT security, anti-corruption, customer satisfaction, supply chain management and stakeholder dialogue.

 

Compliance

A company with international operations like VTG has to deal with all kinds of laws, rules and regulations. Complying with the laws valid in all jurisdictions is fundamental to everything we do. Appropriate and efficient compliance management in line with our risk profile is therefore indispensable.

VTG AG’s Code of Conduct formulates guiding principles for the behavior of all governing bodies, executives and employees across the companies that make up the VTG Group. These principles touch on issues such as conflicts of interest, the fight against corruption, fair business relations, anti-discrimination, health and safety and the environment. The Code of Conduct is complemented by a set of Group guidelines promulgated by the Executive Board.


Compliance with current valid law
Complying with current valid law is fundamental to everything the VTG Group does anywhere in the world. The staff of the VTG Group are required to constantly stay informed about the legal prescriptions that apply to their sphere of responsibility. Management staff in particular are responsible for passing on relevant information to their people.


Fair competition
The VTG Group commits itself unreservedly to competition by fair means and expects the same of its business partners. For us, complying fully with the rules of competition and antitrust law in our dealings with customers, suppliers and competitors is standard practice. No employee of the VTG Group may offer, demand or accept any benefits that may be conducive to unfairly influencing any business decision.


Employees
Mutual respect is part of the bedrock of our corporate culture. The VTG Group upholds fair working conditions and equal opportunities. Discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. Conflicts between the interests of the VTG Group and the personal interests of the staff are to be avoided. Should any such conflicts arise, they must be disclosed and resolved.  All employees are under obligation to deal prudently with and protect the property and assets of the Group.


Information and data protection
All employees are contractually obliged to treat trade secrets and other information pertaining to the VTG Group and its business partners in the strictest confidentiality. The unauthorized dissemination or use of confidential information is strictly prohibited. The companies in the VTG Group uphold all legal provisions regarding the protection of personal data and expect this of their employees.


Health and safety and the environment
Health and safety are given high priority at VTG. The companies in the VTG Group comply with all safety-related measures at our plants, the regulations of the law on hazardous goods and all legal provisions on occupational safety, health and environmental protection.

 

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We are committed to fulfilling the requirements specified in the UK Modern Slavery Act. We submit an annual declaration outlining the measures we undertake in order to curb modern slavery and human trafficking.

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The VTG Integrity Line is a protected whistleblowing system. It can be used to report suspected violations of statutory prescriptions and/or VTG’s own internal directives. Reporting is anonymous unless you consciously choose to disclose your identity.

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Data protection and IT security

Within the EU, we operate a comprehensive data protection management system to ensure that personal data is handled responsibly within the meaning of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Company operations resident in non-EU member states are required to uphold the framework specifications laid out in a set of binding internal data protection directives. Employee awareness of this topic is also raised by an e-learning module and information published on the intranet. The secure and legal handling of data is likewise stipulated in our Code of Conduct. Moreover, VTG has implemented an information security management system that is accredited in accordance with ISO 27001 (ISMS).

 

Anti-corruption

Preventing corruption is central to business practices that are ethical, competitive and legally compliant. A strict prohibition of corruption in all its forms is placed on our employees, suppliers and partners and is enshrined in our Code of Conduct.

 

Supply chain management

Close cooperation with suppliers based on trust is critical to our success. This approach is built on shared values that govern the actions of all partners in the supply chain. As part of its supplier management, VTG carries out audits and spot checks on suppliers and partners to check the quality of occupational health and safety and ensure compliance with basic labor standards. All VTG employees are required to comply with the laws and ethical standards that apply in the place where they work. VTG is also committed to fair working conditions and equal opportunities.

 

Customer satisfaction

The interests of our customers are central to our entrepreneurial activities. We conduct regular surveys to check the quality of the performance we deliver and identify potential for improvement. These measures have proven to be very valuable: A 2021 survey of 220 customers in 23 countries found that VTG is perceived as a customer-oriented provider with a professional sales team that responds quickly and has an in-depth understanding of the needs of its customers. 81 percent of respondents were satisfied with our performance, putting VTG above the industry average of 77 percent.

 

Stakeholder principles

We actively engage in social discourse, maintaining a regular and intense dialogue with our stakeholders in order to do so. Our primary stakeholders include customers, suppliers, creditors, shareholders, investors and our employees. But we also attach importance to dialogue with associations, non-governmental organizations, trade unions, analysts, the media, academia and the political realm, alongside local governments and the local residents and neighbors around our business locations.

We use a wide variety of communication channels for this purpose, ranging from personal contact to surveys, events, workshops, political initiatives, press events and public relations work. Membership of associations and initiatives is another key way of facilitating dialogue with stakeholders. Social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn are increasingly adding to this list.

We see stakeholders’ expectations as important issues that we factor into our business decisions. They are, in essence, the measure of what we do.

We believe that dialogue which leads to constructive feedback must be rooted in the following attributes:

  • Respect
  • Openness and honesty
  • Transparency
  • Reliability
  • Understandability
  • Regular intervals

By engaging in open, trusting and ongoing dialogue, we aim:

  • To develop common solutions to complex challenges
  • To familiarize ourselves with a broad range of perspectives
  • To gain a better understanding of concerns and expectations
  • To learn from each other and take our company forward
  • To detect trends at an early stage and channel these insights into our business development
  • To constantly strengthen the trust that exists between VTG and its stakeholders
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