Making social responsibility a top priority is essential to being a sustainable company. This concept even goes beyond your own employees to comprise those employed by our suppliers and partners. For a global company, this isn’t always easy to accomplish. Read how Axis acts to promote safe and healthy working conditions throughout the value chain.
The understanding of just how critical sustainability is to our planet’s future is increasing steadily. And in this broadening perspective, it’s clear that organizations, apart from focusing on the environment, need to prioritize social responsibility as well.
A sustainable company cares for its employees, but also for those who have dealings with it. This also goes for their products and solutions, directly or indirectly, throughout the value chain. This includes supplier employees as well as people living close to production facilities.
Promoting better working conditions
Axis has always held a strong social responsibility. Meaning we provide good working conditions, a safe and secure workplace characterized by diversity, equality, and ensuring strong human rights for employees in the company’s own operations and at suppliers.
But how does that work in practice? In the past we have been open about our initiatives in helping to promote happier, healthier, and more diverse working conditions and initiatives, such as our support for the Pink Programming organization.
“At Axis, the aim is that there shouldn’t be a difference, regardless of where in the world you work,” says Louise Dolck Strömberg, HR Director Operations. “That means that we have nice offices, the same good working conditions and similar benefit programs across the world. Of course, in reality, there will be differences between regions and countries, depending on traditions, regulations and what is seen as most important in various places.”
Huge regional differences
When you compare the attitudes to working conditions, there are huge regional differences across the globe. In the Western Hemisphere, labor rights such as collective bargaining agreements, freedom of association and non-discrimination are taken for granted.
On a more individual level, things such as work–life balance and self-fulfillment are essential and something that employers must relate to. This is especially true as the growing shortage of talent makes employer branding and working conditions business critical.
However, in other parts of the world, attitudes, lax labor laws and other factors make the reality infinitely harsher for employees.
Supplier Code of Conduct shows the way
Axis does what it can to meet the challenge. Given the increasing number of Axis employees, and the global locations of our offices, we recognize that this is no small task. Especially considering that it also comprises the working conditions of those working for the company’s ever-growing partners and suppliers.
“We don’t manufacture the products ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t take responsibility,” says Ausra Reinap, Senior Environmental Engineer at Axis . “To us, it’s key that the manufacturing meets the highest environmental, social and ethical standards.”
Axis always strives for long-term collaborations and partnerships. These are always built on our Supplier Code of Conduct, which in turn is based on the ten UN Global Compact principles, covering human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
“It’s essential that our partners understand and adhere to the Supplier Code of Conduct,” Ausra says. “Each year we conduct supplier audits to ensure that this is the case”
Putting health, safety, and quality in focus
The Supplier Code of Conduct was updated in 2017, which for example lead to tightened requirements for overtime control, based on the Responsible Business Alliance’s code of conduct which limits working to 60 hours per week including overtime. In some countries, Axis’ rules even surpass local laws. Extensive overtime is a common problem in some regions, which can both endanger employees’ health and safety as well as impair productivity.
However, the awareness is growing, and more companies are starting to see their employees as a valuable resource, Ausra says: “The mindset is slowly changing, and we see how more suppliers are starting to care for their employees. For example, some are encouraging them to bring their families along. Others have built basketball courts and started sports tournaments or arranged excursions for their workers.”
The culture makes the difference
What it really comes down to, both for Axis and the company’s partners, is building a solid foundation, where the company culture is key.
“I believe that our employees are proud to work for Axis and that they revere our company values and our high ambitions,” Louise notes. “It really doesn’t matter what Axis employee you meet, and where they are located in the world, there’s a common humility and respect.”
“There’s a human perspective, and this is something that we want to spread throughout the value chain,” she continues. “It’s key that companies such as Axis nurture long-term relations and support their suppliers, distributors, and partners when it comes to social responsibility. In the end, it will benefit everyone.”