Code of Conduct

Deutsche Post DHL Group has devised a Code of Conduct that has been binding for all regions and divisions since the middle of 2006. This Code of Conduct serves as an "ethical compass", providing guidelines for use by approximately 550,000 employees in their business lives every day.

It’s how we do what we do

The key pillars of this code of conduct are respect, tolerance, honesty and candor as well as willingness to assume social responsibility. The guidelines apply to all employees, irrespective of their place in the Group's hierarchy, and to divisions.

The Code of Conduct is based on international agreements and guidelines, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Global Compact of the United Nations and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Fundamental principles are observance of human rights, equal opportunity, transparency, and clear stands in the battle against discrimination, bribery and corruption.

Taken together, our two codes – the Code of Conduct and the Supplier Code of Conduct – constitute our human rights policy.

  • Deutsche Post DHL Group constantly deals with a variety of people and organizations and representatives of diverse interests. Our image as a company depends on how employees conduct themselves in the business world. There is no substitute for personal integrity and sound judgement. When faced with a difficult situation, our employees should consider these questions:

    1. Is my action or decision legal?
    2. Does it comply with the letter and spirit of this Code and other Group policies?
    3. Is it right and free of any personal conflicts of interest?
    4. Could my action or decision withstand public review? What would it look like in a newspaper?
    5. Will my action or decision protect Deutsche Post DHL Group's reputation as a company with high ethical standards?

    If the answer to each question is "yes", the action or decision complies with the following principles of conduct and is most likely the correct one.

  • Laws and Ethical Standards
    Deutsche Post DHL Group strives for sustainable development of its business founded on economic performance and corporate responsibility. We honour the diverse interests of our customers, employees and business partners with integrity, fairness and honesty. We strive for excellence in both our business development and our ethical behavior.We operate our business with integrity and comply with all laws applicable to our business in all regions and countries. We recognize that laws and ethical standards may vary from country to country according to national specifics.

    Human Rights
    Deutsche Post DHL Group is guided by the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. We respect the principles of the 1998 International Labour Organization "Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work" in accordance with national law and practice. We respect human rights within our sphere of influence and conduct our business in a manner that makes us an employer of choice. We are clearly committed to the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor and to the effective abolition of child labor.

  • Quality Focus
    Our commitment to quality is core to our business. In order to achieve the highest quality standards, we work constantly to improve our structures and processes for the benefit of our customers. This applies not only to our products, services and management, but also to our behavior.

    Customer Satisfaction
    We place the highest priority on making our customers successful, knowing that customer success guarantees our own success. Our activities are governed by our knowledge of the global and local requirements of our customers and markets. We include and prioritize the customer focus in our business processes, projects and dealings. We know that we will be measured by our ethical, social and environmental performance as much as by the quality of our service. We therefore strive for best practice in all these areas to secure customer trust.

    We are committed to openness in our dealings with our customers, shareholders, employees, suppliers, business partners and other organizations and institutions. Transparency and honesty are the guiding principles in all our communication activities, internally and externally. The public have access to information, in line with internationally recognized standards of corporate governance.

    Shareholders’ Trust
    We recognize the necessity of sound and transparent corporate management to maintain the trust of our shareholders and investors. We are committed to increasing shareholder value.

    Business Partner Dialogue
    We are committed to dialogue and partnership with our business partners throughout the world. We share principles of ethical behavior, social engagement and respect for the environment with our suppliers, subcontractors, agents and consultants. We communicate our principles to our business partners and encourage them to adhere to the same standards we do.1

    1 Details are specified in our Code of Conduct for Suppliers.

  • Individual Responsibility and Involvement
    The skills and commitment of our employees are our greatest assets. We expect our employees to conduct their business in an entrepreneurial way and accept their individual responsibility. We endeavor to involve our colleagues in our projects and decision-making processes in order to achieve our common goals with reliability and commitment.

    Mutual Respect and Openness

    It is part of our corporate culture that all relations between board members, managers and employees of all levels, units and regions shall be guided by mutual respect, openness, honesty and the spirit of trust and cooperation. We give and seek feedback and we communicate actively and openly with each other. We are committed to a fair and open debate and seek varying opinions. We encourage our colleagues to speak up promptly and to express their ideas and concerns. Team spirit is fostered by open-mindedness. We never encourage or direct our employees to achieve business results at the expense of compliance with the law, ethical standards or with this Code of Conduct.
    Deutsche Post DHL Group does not tolerate any kind of violence in the workplace, including but not limited to threatening and intimidating behavior. Each employee is required to contribute to an environment of respect that precludes any kind of harassment, including workplace bullying, unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted physical contact, inappropriate propositions or a working environment tainted with harassing jokes, words or demeaning comments. Our employees are free to join or not to join a union/employee representation of their choice, free from threat or intimidation. We recognise and respect the right to collectively bargain in accordance with applicable law.

    We consider the diversity of our employees to be a real strength. We promote an inclusive work environment in order to attain the highest possible productivity, creativity and efficiency. The main criteria for employee selection and promotion are skills and qualification. We do not discriminate or tolerate discrimination with respect to gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or any other characteristic protected under law.

    Health and Safety at Work
    We firmly believe that the well-being and safety of our employees are essential to our financial success. We are therefore committed to compliance with our health and safety policies. We strive to foster the physical and psychological well-being of our employees sustainably. Our goals are continuously efficient and committed employees, as well as fewer illnesses and a lower accident rate. We promote healthcare as a key element of our sustained productivity and the quality of our services. We establish shared values through our commitment to health and safety.
    Our health and safety policies, active in all locations throughout the world, include a ban on illegal drugs in the workplace.1

    Company Property
    Each employee has a responsibility to safeguard and make proper use of Deutsche Post DHL Group property. The use of company property, including labor, supplies, equipment, buildings or other assets, for personal benefit is prohibited where not explicitly allowed by agreement. Intellectual property is a valuable asset and must be protected from unauthorized use or disclosure. Such property includes trade secrets, confidential information, copyrights, trademarks, logos, but also customer lists, business opportunities and product specifications, whether owned by Deutsche Post DHL, affiliated companies or business partners.

    Legal Proceedings
    Employees must avoid activities that could involve or lead to the involvement of Deutsche Post DHL Group or its personnel in any unlawful practice, including the employment of our personnel or use of company assets for illegal gain. Lawsuits, legal proceedings and investigations concerning Deutsche Post DHL Group must be handled quickly and properly in order to protect and defend the company. Employees who are threatened by a lawsuit or other legal proceedings or investigation in a business-related matter are required to contact their Deutsche Post DHL Group Legal Department immediately.

    1 More details are specified in our Corporate Health Policy and the Road Safety Code.

  • Accounting and Reporting Standards
    Deutsche Post DHL Group relies on the authenticity and accuracy of information recorded in its accounting records for proper decision making. It is of the utmost importance that records dealing with security and personnel, as well as accounting and financial data, are protected. All business transactions must be reflected accurately in our accounts in accordance with established procedures and auditing standards and generally accepted accounting principles. Accounting records will reflect and describe the nature of the underlying transactions.

    Ban on Insider Trading
    In order to maintain our shareholders' and investors' trust, it is essential that all employees respect the legal ban on insider trading. All employees are prohibited from using inside information for buying or selling insider securities, from disclosing inside information to a third party without authorization and from inducing a third party to buy or sell on the basis of this information. Inside information is any information not publicly known, relating to issuers of insider securities or to the securities themselves that would be taken into account by a reasonable investor when making an investment decision.1

    Conflicts of Interest
    We require all of our employees to maintain high ethical standards in handling conflicts of interest. They should disclose to a supervisor any relationship with persons or firms with whom Deutsche Post DHL Group does business, which might give rise to a conflict of interest. Such relations include a relationship by blood or marriage, partnership, business partnership or investment.

    Fair Competition
    We are committed to free enterprise and fair competition. Company business must be conducted solely on the basis of merit and open competition. We will hire suppliers, agents or other intermediaries only by careful and fair assessment. We are legally bound to make business decisions in the best interests of the company, independent of any understanding or agreement with a competitor. Deutsche Post DHL Group and its employees will avoid any conduct that violates antitrust laws.2

    Bribery and Corruption
    We trust that the excellence of our services is the key to our business success. Therefore we deal with all our customers, suppliers and government agencies in a transparent manner and in compliance with international anti-corruption standards, for example those in the United Nations Global Compact as well as applicable anti-corruption and bribery laws.3

    Gifts and Benefits
    Gifts and other benefits are permitted if they are usual business practice and ethical. None of our employees may solicit gifts or other personal benefits from customers, suppliers or other business partners. The giving and receiving of gifts and other benefits is prohibited in particular if they appear to influence upcoming business decisions or breach a law, regulation or policy.4

    Money Laundering
    Deutsche Post DHL Group requires all employees to strictly comply with all laws and regulations designed to combat money laundering activity. This includes those rules and regulations that state that currency transactions with blocked persons must be reported.

    Trade Regulations
    Deutsche Post DHL Group believes that free trade increases prosperity and affluence throughout the world. While always seeking to comply with applicable laws, including sanctions and embargoes, we exist in order to serve customers – wherever they may be.

    Data Protection
    Our employees shall not disclose information that is not known to the general public for personal gain or the benefit of anyone other than the company. Such information includes technical data, financial data, operating data, customer information, memoranda and other information regarding the company’s business and operational activities and future plans. Employees shall adhere to relevant laws and company regulations with respect to personal data, especially that of customers, employees and shareholders. The collection, processing and use of personal data of natural and (where legally equivalent) legal persons must be in line with the applicable laws.5

    1 Further details are specified in the Guidelines for Dealing with Insider Information.
    2 Details are disclosed in our Competition Compliance Policy.
    3 Details are disclosed in our Anti-Corruption Policy.
    4 Details are disclosed in our Anti-Corruption Policy.
    5 Details are disclosed in our Deutsche Post DHL Group Data Privacy Policy.

  • Our corporate responsibility is based upon our will to make a positive contribution to society and the environment. As a global company we have an impact on the communities in which we work and the world in which we live. We want to live up to our responsibility as a global company and have therefore integrated corporate responsibility into our corporate strategy. This is further reflected through our commitment to fundamental charters and initiatives such as the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the United Nations Global Compact, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

    We aim to act responsibly in all of our activities and apply our core competencies and the expertise of our employees to make our planet a better place. We are in continuous dialogue with our stakeholders to take their views as citizens and consumers into consideration when we run our business.

    Living Responsibility
    We have combined our corporate responsibility initiatives under the motto “Living Responsibility”. We focus our efforts on improvements in areas in which we believe we can have the highest positive effect: environmental protection and socio-economic development. We advocate and support the spread of environmental and social standards throughout the world. We consider our employees’ commitment and active involvement to be an important success factor for our efforts.

    We support community development in partnerships with non-profit organizations. We recognize that we are measured by our actions outside the workplace and therefore call on our employees to respect the local culture and understand the issues of communities in which they work. We acknowledge the impact of our business activities on the environment and are committed to improving our environmental track record through precautionary measures and the use of environmentally friendly technology. We have set ourselves a measurable carbon efficiency target and regularly assess and monitor our impact on the environment.1

    By systematically identifying and leveraging ecological initiatives, we strive to support constant improvement of our environmental performance by means of environmental audits and risk management. We do this in order to use natural resources more efficiently. We measure our processes and services against the highest national and international environmental standards.

    1 More details are specified in our Environmental Policy and our Paper Policy.

  • Information
    We recognize that you may need help in understanding company policies, making difficult decisions, or helping the company live up to its Code of Conduct. There are several options for you to take action:

    • Consult your supervisor
    • Talk with Human Resources
    • Contact the relevant specialist department for questions related to particular policies
    • Contact department Corporate Culture/Diversity for questions related to the Code of Conduct.

    Reporting a Violation
    Should you become aware of a potential issue of compliance with this Code of Conduct, we encourage you to speak up. You can consult your supervisor, talk with your Human Resources department or make use of our Compliance hotline. You can contact this hotline via telephone or via a web-based system. You will find further information about how to use this hotline on the intranet site of our Global Compliance Office.
    All reports of a breach of the Code of Conduct will be kept confidential. No employee will be disadvantaged in any way for any efforts made in good faith to report a potential issue regarding compliance with this Code of Conduct. For the sake of an open working environment and a more efficient follow-up to your report, we encourage you to identify yourself when reporting a possible violation. However, should you find it necessary to make an anonymous report, we will also accept such reports.
    If required by the applicable law, information regarding the identity of the employee reporting a possible violation must, however, be disclosed to the relevant persons or authorities involved in an investigation or subsequent judicial proceedings under certain circumstances.

    Actions, Waivers and Changes to the Code of Conduct
    In case of non-compliance with this Code of Conduct, the company will take action and allocate the adequate resources to properly address any issues. First and foremost, the company will try to fix the issue by explaining the importance of our Code of Conduct to the employees concerned, thereby motivating them to change their behavior. However, employees who fail to adhere to this Code of Conduct may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, as stated in the applicable regulations.
    The company will not grant waivers from the requirements of the Code of Conduct without good reason. Waivers of provisions of the Code shall be granted by the Board of Management only. Deutsche Post DHL Group will review this Code of Conduct on a regular basis and the Board of Management will decide upon amendments as appropriate.