Respecting and Promoting Human Rights
KONGSBERG is committed to respecting and upholding all internationally recognised human rights wherever we operate. This applies equally to respecting the rights of our employees, those employed by our suppliers and business partners and of those affected by KONGSBERGs activities.
The main part of our defence business delivers missiles, systems for weapons guidance and control, decision support and communications. KONGSBERG does not produce cluster bombs, land mines, nuclear weapons or chemical and biological weapons. We comply with all requirements and directions specified in the UN conventions.
We have set targets and indicators to support our ambitions and to ensure compliance and follow-up.
- We shall minimize adverse human rights impacts within our operations
- We shall secure a responsible value chain, especially regarding human rights, diversity and equal opportunity, occupational health – and safety, labour rights and working conditions.
Indicators for 2021
- Further develop our human rights due diligence program to prepare and align with new and existing regulations.
Indicators for 2021
- Continue to identify and manage human rights risk in company processes and due diligence.
- Investigate and address any identified or raised human rights concerns.
Indicators for 2021
- Further develop and distribute training program for human rights.
Our approach to Human Rights
KONGSBERG has a strong top-level focus on human rights due diligence and clear expectations towards all business partners.
Our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct and other global policies and guidelines are mandated under our governance system and support our commitment to human rights. The Governance system is approved by the Board of Directors and is embedded in our values and group wide processes.
During 2021 human rights has been embedded into the Compliance function. A steering committee chaired by the Chief Compliance Officer was established and a project team has been identified to lead and manage the improvement agenda going forward. The human rights steering committee will engage and anchor the plans with the corporate management committee and Board of Directors through regular meetings.
Our human rights policies set out our commitment to conduct human rights due diligence, in line with international standards. These are available at Kongsberg.com. In line with this methodology, we continuously work to identify, assess, and address our human rights impact. All employees are required to adhere to our Code of conduct and undertake annual training. We have developed a Supplier Code of Conduct which includes requirements for human rights in line with our policy, embedded into supply chain contracts.
Considering the high-risk industries and countries in which we operate and the respect and care we have for people, we are committed to minimise our adverse human rights impacts in all aspects of our operations and activities. Our responsibility to respect human rights is consistent with legislation and internationally recognised standards such as UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Labour Rights conventions and the International Bill of Human Rights. Of particular importance to KONGSBERG is the Norwegian, as well as international, export control regimes, which includes human rights considerations as part of the licence systems. This is of particular relevance to product risk in some of the countries in which we operate. Full overview of our worldwide operations is available in the section about KONGSBERG.
International best practices and standards are now increasingly being translated into legislative requirements, e.g. the Norwegian Transparency Act, “Åpenhetsloven”, requiring companies to assess and mitigate negative impact on human and labour rights and ensure the general public access to information. The EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities introduces the definition of minimum social safeguard, meaning that economic activities must avoid any negative impacts and comply with the human rights and labour standards. KONGSBERG encourages this development as it is beneficial to aim for common, higher standards in this area.
The most material risks related to people involved in our value chain are assessed when identifying the salient issues.
KONGSBERG delivers a broad spectre of world leading technology, including marine robotics and seaborne transportation, complex integrated defence- and communication systems, space and surveillance technology and digital ecosystems. Our business is diverse and dynamic, and so are the associated risks. KONGSBERG will work continuously to identify and mitigate emerging risks and is committed to preventing risks of illicit practices related to our products. KONGSBERG does not produce cluster bombs, land mines, nuclear weapons or chemical and biological weapons. We comply with all requirements and directions specified in the UN conventions.
Compliance with trade and export regulations
KONGSBERG’s defence systems and military equipment are included under the Norwegian export control regime, meaning they are subject to strict regulations by the Norwegian government.
KONGSBERG considers the Norwegian export control regime an integrated part of our Human Rights due diligence. Compliance with Norwegian, as well as international, export regulations are considered top priority. KONGSBERG has established specific routines and control mechanisms in this regard and work continuously to build and maintain a culture of export compliance across the organisation. We support and will follow up the Norwegian government’s proposed new legislation, which aims to ensure that Norway can implement the EU’s restrictive measures in Norwegian law. This includes the EU’s new sanctions regime against serious human rights abuses.
We have identified these salient issues as prioritised areas for our efforts to respect and promote human rights;
- A good, safe, and secure working environment in KONGSBERG and for those employed by our suppliers and business partners. We do not tolerate any form of forced labour or discrimination including but not limited to gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
- Human rights due diligence is a central criterion when we expand our operations into new countries with higher risk for violations of human rights, and when we assess potential mergers and acquisitions.
- As a producer of defence systems, we pay particular attention to the risk of potential human rights violations and acting in accordance with all trade and export regulations.
- Respect for human rights in the communities in which we operate.
In 2022 we will perform a more comprehensive salience mapping to further deepen our understanding of the human rights risks and impacts across the value chain. The mapping will guide our priorities and actions to improve due diligence and minimize potential adverse impact and related risk.
Activities to identify, prevent and mitigate human rights violations
To understand our potential human rights impacts more fully and to further embed human rights in our company wide processes, we did an extensive human rights impact and gap analysis in 2021. The analysis – conducted with the support of a specialised third-party consultant – considered current and emerging regulatory requirements as well as good practise.
We will improve and broaden our approach towards human rights due diligence, risk assessments and audits. Finalising and implementing the comprehensive human rights due diligence program, is our main ambition and as part of this we will identify relevant actions and performance indicators for 2022 and beyond. The roadmap will include updates to our human rights policy, governance system and our ethics and compliance program to fully reflect the importance of human rights as a stand-alone issue.