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Human Rights and Labor Standards

Upholding High Standards

At SAP, we believe that we have a responsibility to respect human rights throughout all our business operations. Upholding high labor standards supports diversity and helps us to attract and keep top talent. Providing fair, ethical conditions for our employees also results in greater innovation and productivity.

SAP is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact. This is a voluntary undertaking to align our strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labor, the environment, and anticorruption.

By integrating human rights considerations into our standard business practices, we also support the values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the International Labor Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. To ensure that our commitment to human rights translates into practice, we take guidance from the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework.

Making a Commitment

The SAP Global Human Rights Commitment Statement details our response to the international standards mentioned above. Based on the SAP Code of Business Conduct and approved by our Executive Board, the statement focuses on three main areas: our employees, our ecosystem of partners and suppliers, and our solutions.

Our commitment statement applies to all our operations and subsidiaries globally and is reviewed on a regular basis. It also contains references to our other guidelines such as health and safety management, and data protection and privacy.

Enforcing Our Standards

Our sustainability organization is responsible for making sure that we fulfil our human rights commitments across the business. The team works with colleagues from human resources (HR), procurement, and product development to manage an integrated approach.

To assess our human rights measures, we consider external benchmarks, performance ratings, audit results, and stakeholder feedback. In addition, since 2012, we conduct regular internal audits to verify that our subsidiaries adhere to our standards and to check internal compliance with this policy. In 2016, we conducted a labor audit at our SAP India and SAP Labs India locations in Bangalore. There were no material findings within the audit. However, areas for improvement were identified and include improvement of security escorts, comprehensive distribution of access cards, as well as improvement in air-conditioning.

Respecting the Rights of Our Employees

We have a long-standing policy of nondiscrimination in our dealings with employees and provide training on human rights issues that are most relevant to our business. These include security, privacy, and antidiscrimination.

We encourage any employees who feel they are subjected to conduct that violates our antidiscrimination policies to report it. They can reach out confidentially to their managers, HR officers, a compliance office, or colleagues who are trained to be part of our internal mediation pool.

In addition, our global ombudsperson investigates employee complaints and mediates fair settlements. The ombudsperson also helps the Executive Board analyze HR-related complaints and consider ways to address potential issues before they occur.

Further Measures to Ensuring Fair Labor Practices

At SAP, we strive for constructive labor relations across the world, working within each country’s requirements. We currently have works councils in place in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In addition, we have a European works council that represents employees from all SAP subsidiaries in Europe.

These councils consist of both elected union members and non-union members, and are consulted by SAP management on topics that define the work environment and work processes. These include HR initiatives, talent development, payment and benefits, equal opportunities, changes in work or IT processes, privacy protection, and health and safety protection.

Collective bargaining agreements with unions are only made in countries where legally required. Overall, about 50% of employees are represented by works councils, an independent trade union, or are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

Maintaining High Standards Across Our Supply Chain

We expect all of our business partners to respect human rights and to avoid complicity in human rights abuses. Our codes of conduct for suppliers and partners require them to uphold labor rights and to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all employees.

We work collaboratively with our suppliers and partners on the implementation of these codes. In addition, we may carry out on-site audits to assess performance.

Respecting Human Rights Throughout Our Product Lifecycle

As a business software company, we are committed to respecting and protecting human rights throughout the lifecycle of our products – from design through development to use. We develop innovative solutions that help customers embed human rights standards into their business and supply chain strategies. We also develop solutions that help to advance human rights in areas such as healthcare, education, and public services. For example, our healthcare solution SAP Medical Research Insights delivers software that addresses the areas of patient care, cancer research and cancer prevention.

When designing any solution, our development teams ensure that the product complies with human rights standards. For example, accessibility is a key area of focus and we follow Web content accessibility guidelines such as Section 508 to ensure inclusive design in all our software.

The protection of personal information is another key area of focus for our development teams. To help ensure that our products enable our customers to respect digital rights, we adhere to robust privacy and security standards. These are defined in our global product development, quality, product standards, and data protection and privacy policies.

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