Integrated Annual Report 2018

Defence of human rights

The Viscofan Group highlights its support and contribution to the transmission and respect of Human Rights by adhering to the United Nations Global Compact and its ten principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the 2030 Agenda, as well as the incorporation of a Human Rights Policy approved by the Company's Board of Directors.

Based on this policy, the Viscofan Group seeks to respect Human Rights throughout all its activities, anywhere in the world. This policy is based on the following principles: universality, progressivity, integrity and complementarity, inalienability, transnationality and international protection.

Viscofan’s Code of Conduct states that all the employees, upon their scope of action, must contribute to the compliance and protection of human rights, and shall avoid any misbehaviour contrary to these principles.

Viscofan’s Code of Conduct states that all the employees, upon their scope of action, must contribute to the compliance and protection of human rights, and shall avoid any misbehaviour contrary to these principles.

The employees of the Viscofan Group, as for their geographical and cultural diversity, will especially abstain from any misbehaviour involving discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, nationality, language, religion, ideology or any other individual, social or personal circumstance (disability, economic position, trade union membership, etc.), and promote dignity at work, preventing any type of exploitation, with special care taken to avoid child labour.

The Anti-Corruption Policy also seeks to minimise the risk of acts of corruption, bribery, extortion and other acts of this nature that may undermine human rights and be an obstacle to sustainable development affecting the most vulnerable unprotected societies.

Therefore, the Viscofan Group puts all the means available to avoid our activities and decisions from having a negative impact on human rights. In this sense, the Group has mechanisms to address claims and concerns on this matter, covered by the Ethics Committee.

The Viscofan Group sets common basic guidelines on Human Rights, which are related to various areas of the organisation, from Human Resources, to supplier relationship management. Guidelines on aspects like freedom of association, abolition of child and forced labour, equality, or facilitating access to the labour market of anyone with a disability.

Viscofan understands that training in human rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a fundamental tool to improving human rights, therefore provides training in this area. In 2017, 398 employees in the main offices and production centres of Cáseda and Urdiain (Spain) received specific training in this aspect. This training was continued in the USA centres in 2018.


Human Rights training

Human Rights training Men Women
Training hours in Human Rights (*) 1.577 670
* RSC, Gender equiality, Harassment, Intimidation, etc…


This training plan has also addressed issues relating to gender equality and sexual harassment, and the use of non-sexist language through courses taught in Spanish centres. The breakdown by the number of hours of training in this matter in 2018 is as follows:

With regard to people with disabilities, Viscofan has 90 people with disabilities (82 men and 8 women) among its workers and has signed contracts with special employment centres to carry out certain tasks that contribute to the development of our production activity.

Furthermore, in line with the commitment taken on, in 2018 Viscofan successfully audited its Caseda plant in one of the most widely used social audit processes in the world, SMETA, which offers a globally recognised method for assessing chain of supply activities such as labour rights, health and safety, work environment and commercial ethics, and has joined Sedex, the largest collaborative platform to responsibly share data on supply chains.

As signatories of the Global Compact, the Viscofan Group protects free association of employees. Within equality and protection of employee's interests, about 62% of the company's employees are covered by general collective conditions governing their work activity, therefore improving the minimum conditions set by different labour legislations. The employees of the plants of Spain, Czech Republic, United States, Mexico, Brazil and Germany are protected by collective agreements.

China approved a new regulation in 2017 which enables employees' representation, thus bringing the possibility of employees' right to association in 100% of the companies that belong to the Viscofan Group.

The minimum remuneration of employees is considered in accordance with the salary level and regulations of each country where Viscofan carries out its activities. Given the training needs, the characteristics of the production process, and the internal policies of the Viscofan Group that respect current legislation in each country, the minimum remuneration of the workforce is above the minimum wage established in the country.

Within the Collective Bargaining Agreements of the different locations in which the Viscofan Group is present, certain specifications are determined in terms of the notice periods for operational changes.

Within the Code of Conduct, Viscofan rejects any form of child labour. As stated in the section on labour management, there are no staff under the age of 17 hired at Viscofan. Likewise, the Viscofan Group requires suppliers to have a similar commitment in accordance with our code of ethics.

To defend and protect human rights Viscofan promotes dignity at work and the prevention of forced labour. This risk has been specifically included by the Global Risk Committee in its risk matrix so as to detect any breach thereof.

Within these objectives, the Ethics Committee is responsible for opening, on its own account or at the request of a third party, the investigation of any situation that may give rise to a risk for the Viscofan Group, as a result of a breach of the internal regulations or any other circumstance. To this end, Viscofan has a channel for complaints that is also accessible to all employees, to communicate any evidence that might be seen as a risk, available through Vinsite (internal communication platform for employees of the Viscofan Group), mail or physical mail to the Ethics Committee at the Group's head offices in Navarre.

No cases of human rights violations were reported in 2018, nor has any case of forced labour or child exploitation been registered through the whistleblowing channel.

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