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 shared understanding of our fundamental values. It constitutes a mandatory framework for resolving conflicts of interest and ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulatory provisions and the inter-company and company-internal policy guidelines within all divisions of the Messer Group. The managing directors and senior management are fully committed to the Messer CMS. As a value system, it serves to foster a relationship with our internal and external stakeholders that is based on fairness, solidarity and confidence. It supports those in charge of its establishment and implementation and also seeks to prevent violations of the Messer Code, if possible in advance.
Messer Americas adheres to the Code of Conduct and also follows its own Code Supplement as well as a Supplier Code of Conduct. Other guidelines include a guideline on compliance with antitrust law, a guideline on anti-corruption (with the associated authorization form), a compliance guide for business partners (with a due diligence checklist and a sample agreement) and a data protection guideline for North America. These guidelines are available on the “Legal and Compliance” intranet site of Messer Americas.
Compliance violations and cases of justifiable suspicion
The managing directors and senior management organize their area of responsibility in a way that continuously enables employees to report violations of applicable law or the Messer Code ("compliance violations"), as well as cases of justifiable suspicion, in order to ensure prompt remedial action. In 2020, Messer received six reports through the corresponding hotlines.
New manuals for pesticides and Pharmaline gases
In 2020, the management of Messer approved new versions of the manuals for Plant Protection Products and Pharmaline gases within the Compliance Management System (CMS). The Plant Protection Products (pesticides) manual contains expanded guidelines on obligations pursuant to pesticides law for European companies concerning purchase of materials and products, production, quality control, release, storage, marketing and sale of pesticides as well as the associated controls. The manual for Pharmaline gases contains expanded guidelines for European companies on obligations pursuant to pharmaceutical law and requirements of pharmacy customers as well as Pharmaline gases.
At Messer Group GmbH, the Group IT Security Officer is responsible for coordinating security measures across all the individual companies, establishing standards, and developing the relevant expertise. By maintaining the crucially important availability of our systems, IT Security supports the sustainability of our digitalization, the physical security of our information, and the essential viability of our business processes. The IT Security services are elaborated by an international team of IT Security experts.
In the course of the year under review, we signed an agreement outsourcing most of the applications previously operated in the Messer Information Services data center in Gross-Umstadt, Germany. The purpose of this collaboration is the strategic and technical realignment of the Messer Group IT infrastructure with currently applicable, globally established standards, in order to make the IT infrastructure more effective, stable and secure, and thereby to create essential conditions for further efficiency and process improvements.
The realization of the project implements uniformly high security standards. Between December 2020 and the projected completion date of June 2021, all 110 locations of Messer Group and Messer Industries in Western Europe are to be connected to the IBM data center. Today’s very inconsistent security-related infrastructure at the locations will be standardized and uniformly administered from a central location by a team of experts of the outsourcing partner.
At Messer Americas, cybersecurity risk assessment is embedded within the company’s entire risk management program. This includes regular audits and analyses by third parties, in order to evaluate the overall cybersecurity situation and the fulfillment of the road map. The Executive Committee of Messer Americas is informed on the current cybersecurity status through regular updates provided throughout the year by the management, including the CIO and Information Services. The road map and the required financing for additional tools and resources are approved in this way.
Messer Americas regularly audits its Information Technology to protect against cybersecurity attacks and threats. Those audits cover end devices, servers, applications and data, along with cloud platforms, which are regularly monitored by members of the infrastructure and security organization, in order to ensure a rapid reaction to attacks, weaknesses or emerging threats. Messer Americas has IT security guidelines and procedures designed to ensure that the infrastructure, access and data are appropriately monitored and administered.
Employee awareness and training are an important part of Messer Americas’ cybersecurity program. This is achieved through a combination of training, communication and the use of online tools that apply social engineering concepts to assess the employees’ awareness and the potential vulnerability to threats and attacks (e.g. phishing, compromising of business e-mails, etc.).
Messer acknowledges its obligation to comply with applicable data protection regulations. Underscoring that obligation, appropriate structures have been established for the purpose of guaranteeing a continuously high level of data privacy.
Messer Americas complies with the applicable data protection laws. Data protection is handled in both Messer Group’s Code of Conduct for America and in Messer Americas’ Code Supplement. In addition, Messer Americas has adopted its own data privacy guideline for North America, which is available on the compliance web page of the Messer Americas’ North American intranet. Both the Senior Counsel & Regional Compliance Officer of Messer Americas and the Head of Human Resources for North America Business Operations are listed as contacts for questions and data protection topics. Members of Messer Americas’ legal and compliance teams are also available throughout the Americas to answer questions and address issues concerning data protection. Messer Americas also relies on external legal consultants, who provide advice on compliance questions as needed, especially in South America. Data privacy instruction is included in Messer Americas’ e-learning course on the Code of Ethics and Conduct, which includes a data privacy module. The “Code of Ethics and Conduct” e-learning course is mandatory for all Messer Americas employees.
A sustainable supply chain is one of the foundations of Messer’s economic success.
The relationships between Messer and its key suppliers play a crucial role here. Those relationships are maintained by Messer Group GmbH’s Logistics / Sourcing and Engineering / Production departments in their respective areas of expertise. These central departments take charge of or provide assistance with the Europe-wide purchasing of logistics services and special commodities, merchandise, facilities, machinery, and transport equipment, as well as vessels and containers. They are both ISO 9001-certified and have put in place robust and effective quality management systems as part of the certification process. Periodic audits of key suppliers are an essential part of supplier assessment.
The Production department helps the Messer national subsidiaries operate and maintain existing production facilities (troubleshooting, maintenance planning, know-how transfer/training, standardization) with the goal of production process optimization. The centralized computer-aided monitoring and control of equipment are used to reduce energy consumption and thereby continuously improve the profitability and CO2 footprint of our plants. Optimization opportunities developed in regular process and energy audits are consistently implemented.
The Engineering department is responsible for all technical and procurement-related aspects concerning the implementation of projects for the production of all types of gases, primarily within Europe. This includes the development and construction or conversion of plants that produce technical and medical gases. In addition to plant design, project management and construction management, this work also encompasses everything ranging from the procurement / purchasing of all required components to plant start-up. Important factors in the design and construction of new plants include the incorporation of findings and values obtained through plant and equipment operation to improve the efficiency of production facilities along with the use of technically high-quality, durable and energy-efficient components. A small group of specialists focuses on the advanced development of our processes. In that continuous further development work, we use the latest process design programs and software tools.
In collaboration with Messer GasPack, Logistics / Sourcing ensures the availability of products (all kinds of gases) and their transportation, for both Messer and its customers. This also includes the development of new logistics concepts and the rollout and operation of optimization and monitoring tools. In addition, the department handles and/or coordinates the procurement of tankers, stationary customer tanks and vaporizers throughout Europe; the procurement, lease and periodic inspection of pressurized tanks and fittings; the procurement of electricity for the production facilities; and the procurement of gases from external sources. Logistics / Sourcing 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 it also serves to maintain consistently high-quality standards throughout the company.
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic sharply restricted the ability to conduct supplier audits. All outstanding audits will be completed as soon as the situation allows again.
The audits focus primarily on the production process, the quality of the products manufactured, and sustainability. Since 2018, the key suppliers are also required to adhere to the principles of the UN Global Compact, placing additional focus not only on sustainability but also on human rights, environmental awareness and working conditions, among other things. In the event of an unsatisfactory assessment, we work together with the supplier to develop measures to improve performance. Critical non-compliance leads to rejection of the supplier.
Messer Americas used the internal assessment system to audit more suppliers in 2020. About 28.8 percent of suppliers were rated “excellent,” 57.5 percent were rated “satisfactory,” and 13.7 percent were rated “substandard.”
Messer Americas’ Procurement group handles product category management, strategic procurement and expenditure management within the procurement organization, in order to achieve savings while complying with health and safety standards at the same time. Messer Americas’ sourcing team is strategically aligned to the business and has expertise in the categories Indirect, Plants and Production, Merchant Packaged Gas, Customer Engineering Services, Logistics and Fixed Assets. In that context, Messer Americas’ sourcing team focuses on Category Management, Contract Lifecycle Management, Supplier Relationship Management and Compliance. Procurement is an integral part of our organization and works together 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 maintains a supplier management system to guarantee quality and compliance with our standards of operating performance, safety, the environment and social responsibility. Messer’s suppliers must submit a binding acknowledgment of our Supplier 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 has a highly dedicated team of energy experts who manage electrical power, Messer’s largest variable cost. The energy team works closely with the operations team to maximize utility and efficiency by reducing power consumption during periods of high electricity prices or electrical grid emergencies.
In deregulated energy markets, the energy team has developed and implemented a strategy for direct wholesale electrical power procurement, which enables Messer to purchase electrical power directly from wholesale energy markets. The energy team uses an energy risk management program, which has provided Messer with lower and less volatile electrical power costs. In regulated energy markets, the energy team works closely together with utilities, authorities and other interest groups to ensure that Messer obtains fair and reasonable electrical power rates in line with operating costs. Messer Americas’ energy team works closely together with local, state and federal authorities to obtain allowances that reflect the operating flexibility and energy efficiency of Messer’s plants. Moreover, Messer’s participation in various industrial groups also helps shape national and state energy policy concerning current issues such as green energy, sustainability, reaction to energy demand, and the resilience of the electricity grid.