The AUTEFA companies AUTEFA Solutions Germany GmbH, AUTEFA Solutions Austria GmbH, AUTEFA Solutions Italy S.p.A., AUTEFA Solutions Switzerland AG, AUTEFA Solutions North America Inc. and AUTEFA Solutions Wuxi Co., Ltd. belong to Hi-Tech Textile Holding GmbH, Wegscheider Str. 15, 4021 Linz, Austria and are part of the China Hi Tech Group Corperation (CHTC).
AUTEFA Solutions operates worldwide in a wide range of institutional, economic, political, social, and cultural sectors. All AUTEFA Solutions' corporate activities are performed in accordance with the law and within a framework of fair competition. Our work is characterized by honesty, integrity and fairness towards our clients, all employees, and our business and financial partners.
We have established a comprehensive Code of Conduct for our AUTEFA Solutions companies operating in 6 different locations worldwide. We work in compliance with it, ensuring reliability and the good reputation of our companies. We aim for AUTEFA Solutions' conduct and working practices to be based on fairness, justice, integrity, loyalty and professionalism.
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The individual AUTEFA companies (hereinafter referred as AUTEFA Solutions) AUTEFA Solutions Germany GmbH, AUTEFA Solutions Austria GmbH, AUTEFA Solutions Italy S.p.A., AUTEFA Solutions Switzerland AG, AUTEFA Solutions North America Inc. and AUTEFA Solutions Wuxi Co., Ltd. are belonging to Hi-Tech Textile Holding GmbH, Wegscheider Str. 15, 4021 Linz, Austria and therefore are part of China Hi Tech Group Cooperation (CHTC).
AUTEFA Solutions operates in a variety of institutional, economic, political, social, and cultural contexts that are constantly and rapidly evolving.
All AUTEFA Solutions' activities must be carried out in compliance with the law, within a framework of fair competition, with honesty, integrity, fairness, and good faith, and with due regard for the interests of its customers, employees, commercial and financial partners and the communities in which AUTEFA Solutions operates.
AUTEFA Solutions has therefore decided to clearly define the set of values that the Company recognizes, accepts, and shares, as well as the set of responsibilities that AUTEFA Solutions assumes both internally and externally.
This Code of Conduct (hereinafter also referred to as the CoC) has been drawn up for this purpose, and its observance by AUTEFA Solutions' employees is of fundamental importance to the company's smooth operation, reliability, and reputation.
The Code of Conduct is designed to ensure that AUTEFA Solutions' conduct and working methods are based on fairness, equity, integrity, loyalty, and professional rigor, both in its internal dealings and in its dealings with external parties, and that the focus is on compliance with the laws and regulations of the countries in which AUTEFA Solutions operates, as well as on compliance with the company's procedures.
AUTEFA Solutions' board of directors has adopted this Code of Conduct in order to establish the above-mentioned principles of ethics and transparency and to reconcile the quest for competitiveness with the requirements of fair competition.
2. General principles
The subjects to whom the rules of this Code of Conduct apply are hereinafter referred to as " recipients ", identified as follows:
- AUTEFA Solutions' directors and members of its corporate boards, as well as any person in a senior position with representative, administrative or managerial functions (the "company representatives")
- all AUTEFA Solutions' employees, including temporary, part-time, and similar workers (the "employees")
- all those who, directly or indirectly, permanently, or temporarily, establish relations with AUTEFA Solutions, or in any case work to pursue its objectives, in all the countries in which AUTEFA Solutions operates (the “collaborators")
2.2. Scope of application
It is primarily the responsibility of the Company's management to give concrete expression to the values contained in the Code of Conduct, by assuming responsibility both internally and externally and by strengthening AUTEFA Solutions' trust, cohesion, and spirit.
In setting business objectives, the members of the board of directors are guided by the principles contained in the Code of Conduct.
AUTEFA Solutions’ employees, in addition to the already due compliance with the law and regulations in force, will adapt their actions and conduct to the principles, objectives and commitments set out in the Code of Conduct.
All actions, operations and negotiations carried out and, in general, the conduct of recipients in the performance of their work and/or services rendered are inspired by the utmost fairness in terms of management, completeness and transparency of information, legitimacy in form and substance and clarity and truthfulness in accounting records in accordance with current regulations and internal procedures, in compliance with the confidentiality required by the relevant regulations and contractual commitments.
Each recipient is required to be familiar with the Code of Conduct and to actively contribute to its implementation.
For the full observance of the Code of Conduct, each employee, if he/she becomes aware of situations that, actually or potentially, may represent a relevant violation of the Code of Conduct, shall promptly report it to his/her direct superior and to the supervisor of the Code of Conduct, as identified in paragraph 2.7 below.
2.3. AUTEFA Solutions commitments
AUTEFA Solutions ensures, also through the designation of specific functions ("reference boards):
- the diffusion of the CoC among the recipients
- the updating of the CoC in order to adapt it to the evolution of civil awareness, of the corporate context and of the regulations of relevance to the CoC itself
- carrying out checks on any violations reports of the CoC
- the evaluation of the facts and the consequent implementation, in case of proven violation, of appropriate penalty measures
- that no one may be subjected to reprisals of any kind for having provided information on possible violations of the CoC or of the regulations of reference
2.4. Obligation for all employees
Each employee is required to be familiar with the rules contained in the CoC and the reference standards governing the activities carried out in the context of his or her function.
AUTEFA Solutions employees are obliged to:
- avoid conduct contrary to these rules
- consult their managers or the supervisor of the CoC if they need clarification on how the CoC is applied
- promptly report to his or her superior or to one of the reference organizations any information acquired directly or from others concerning possible violations, as well as any request made violate them
2.5. Additional obligations for the heads of business unit and functions
Each “Head of Business Unit/Function”, i.e. any person who exercises management and/or control of a business unit or division, is obliged to:
- conform their conduct to the principles laid down in this CoC and require compliance with them by employees and collaborators, supervising their work and taking the necessary measures to prevent violations of the CoC
- ensure that employees and collaborators understand that compliance with the rules of the CoC, as well as with safety procedures and rules, is an essential part of the quality of work performance
- carefully select, to the extent of their competence, internal and external collaborators in order to prevent the appointment of persons who do not provide full confidence in their commitment to comply with the rules of the CoC and the procedures
2.6. Validity of the code in relation with third parties
All recipients, by reason of their competencies, in their relations with external parties, must:
- adequately inform them of the commitments and obligations imposed by the CoC
- require compliance with obligations that directly affect their activity
- take appropriate internal and, if within its competence, external action in the event of non-compliance by third parties with their obligation to comply with the rules of the CoC
2.7. Relevant authorities
The reference authority for the application of the CoC is:
- the supervisor of the CoC, currently identified in the Chief Executive Officer until the supervisory board is appointed, with the task of examining reports of possible violations, promoting the most appropriate investigations and checks using AUTEFA Solutions' structures and then assessing and communicating to another corporate organ, competent for the nature and seriousness of the violation, the results of the checks for the corrective measures to be taken; the supervisor is the point of reference for interpretations of relevant aspects of the CoC
- the code supervisor also has the task of:
- to promote knowledge of the CoC within AUTEFA Solutions through the following channels:
I. hard copy transmission by delivery of a copy of the CoC to all “Head of BU/Department”
II. display of the CoC on the process landscape
III. display of the CoC on the internet visible for every stakeholder
- take appropriate disciplinary measures in case of violations of the CoC
2.8. Contractual value of the Code of Conduct
The CoC is an integral part of the employment contract.
Compliance with the provisions of the CoC must be considered an essential part of the obligations of AUTEFA Solutions' employees.
The employee must also comply with the instructions for the performance and discipline of work given by the employer and the employer's staff on whom he is subordinate.
Violation of the rules of the CoC may represent a violation of the primary obligations of the employment relationship or a disciplinary offence, with all the legal consequences, including with regard to the preservation of the employment relationship, and may lead to actions for compensation for damages caused by the violation.
For recipients who are not employees, compliance with the CoC is a prerequisite for the continuation of their professional/collaborative relationship with AUTEFA Solutions.
2.9. Whistleblowing: reporting of illegal conduct
AUTEFA Solutions has set up a system for reporting violations of the organization, management and control model, including the code of ethics adopted by the company (whistleblowing), in the knowledge that fraudulent conduct damages the tangible and intangible assets of AUTEFA Solutions and that, in order to prevent it, everyone must cooperate.
To this purpose, the "addressees" referred to in paragraph 2.1 above, who become aware of violations of the organizational, management and control model pursuant to, including the code of ethics, are required to promptly inform the whistleblowing contact person, by traditional mail or at the following e-mail address: Christian.Ott(at)autefa.com.
Reports shall be sufficiently precise and circumstantial to make the conduct reported known.
Any report not based on precise and consistent facts shall be ignored and destroyed unless sufficiently substantiated circumstances are represented to make it clear that AUTEFA Solutions is exposed to concrete risks.
The identity of the whistleblower is kept confidential.
Any form of retaliation, discrimination, or penalization against those who make reports in good faith is prohibited.
AUTEFA Solutions reserves the right to take any action against anyone who knowingly makes untrue reports.
3. Business conduct
3.1. General business management
AUTEFA Solutions' business relations are based on the principles of loyalty, fairness, transparency, efficiency, and openness to the market.
Recipients acting in AUTEFA Solutions' name or on AUTEFA Solutions' behalf are required, in AUTEFA Solutions' business dealings and in relations with the public administration, to behave ethically, in compliance with the law and with the utmost transparency, clarity, fairness and efficiency.
Corrupt practices, illegitimate favors, collusive behavior, and the solicitation, directly and/or through third parties of personal and career advantages for oneself or others are prohibited.
In commercial or promotional relations and relationships, the recipients are also required to behave in line with AUTEFA Solutions' corporate policies, which, even if aimed at pursuing the corporate purpose, may never result in acts contrary to the law, the regulations in force or the corporate procedures adopted with reference to individual functions.
3.2. Conflict of interest
The recipients must avoid situations and/or activities that could lead to conflicts of interest with those of AUTEFA Solutions or that could interfere with their ability to make impartial decisions, in the safeguarding of AUTEFA Solutions’ best interests.
By way of mere simplification, this applies in relations with Suppliers, Customers and other third parties, as well as in the conduct of one's personal affairs, including transactions in financial instruments issued by the company.
It shall also be considered a conflict of interest to make available to third parties confidential information obtained in the performance of one's duties or to use it for one's own personal benefit.
Should a recipient be in a situation of conflict with AUTEFA Solutions’ interests, he or she must immediately inform his or her superior or one of the reference authorities and refrain from any activity connected with the situation giving rise to the conflict.
The recipient is required to promptly report to his or her superior and/or one of the reference authorities any information that may suggest or presage a situation of potential conflict at AUTEFA Solutions.
This is without prejudice to the rules governing conflicts of interest of members of company board pursuant to the law.
In this regard, each director is obliged to disclose to the other directors, as well as to the board of statutory auditors if appointed, any interest he or she may have on his or her own behalf or on behalf of third parties, in a certain transaction of the company on which he or she is called to decide.
Such disclosure shall be precise and punctual, i.e., it shall specify the nature, terms, origin and extent of the interest itself: it shall then be for the board of directors, after hearing the opinion of the board of statutory auditors if appointed, to assess its conflict with the interests of the company.
3.3. Gift, presents or other benefits
In relations with customers, suppliers and third parties in general, offers of money, gifts or benefits of any kind of a personal nature aimed at obtaining undue real or apparent advantages of any nature whatsoever (e.g. promises of economic advantages, favors, recommendations, promises of job offers, etc.) are not permitted.
In any event, acts of commercial courtesy are permitted within the framework and according to custom, and in any case of modest value, and such as not to compromise the integrity and reputation of AUTEFA Solutions.
Any recipients who receive gifts beyond the limits of normal courteous relations and not of modest value shall immediately inform his/her superior or the supervisor of the CoC and shall donate such gifts and/or benefits to charity or social benefit.
3.4. Relations with customer
AUTEFA Solutions achieves its success in world markets by offering high quality products and services on competitive terms and in compliance with competition rules.
In their dealings with customers, and in compliance with internal procedures, all persons concerned must promote maximum customer satisfaction by providing, among other things, full and accurate information on the products and services supplied to them, so as to encourage informed choices.
3.5. Relations with suppliers and external collaborators
The selection of suppliers and the formulation of conditions for the purchase of goods and services for AUTEFA Solutions is dictated by the values and parameters of competition, objectivity, fairness, impartiality, price equity, quality of the goods and/or services, with careful evaluation of the service guarantees and the range of offers in general.
Purchasing processes must be based on the pursuit of the greatest competitive advantage for AUTEFA Solutions, and on fairness and impartiality towards any supplier meeting the necessary requirements.
Suppliers must also cooperate with AUTEFA Solutions’ customers to ensure that their needs are met in terms of quality and delivery times.
The conclusion of a contract with a supplier must always be based on a relationship of extreme clarity, avoiding, where possible, the assumption of contractual obligations that entail forms of dependence on the contracting supplier.
In order to ensure respect for the individual, when selecting suppliers AUTEFA Solutions applies criteria that guarantee workers respect for their fundamental rights, the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination, and the protection of child labor.
3.6. Prevention of money laundering
The company and its employees must never carry out or be involved in activities that involve money laundering, i.e., the acceptance or processing of proceeds from criminal activities in any form or manner.
The company and its employees must check available information, including financial information, on business counterparties and suppliers in advance, in order to ascertain their respectability and the legitimacy of their activities before establishing business with these relationships.
The company is committed to complying at all times with the application of anti-money laundering laws in any competent jurisdiction.
4. Transparency on accounting and internal controls
4.1. Accounting records
Accounting transparency is based on the truthfulness, accuracy, and completeness of the basic information for the relevant accounting records.
Each employee is required to cooperate in order to ensure that management events are correctly and promptly represented in the accounts.
It is forbidden to behave in such a way as to jeopardize the transparency and traceability of financial statement information.
Adequate supporting documentation of the activity carried out shall be kept on file for each operation, so as to allow easy recording in the accounts, the identification of the different levels of responsibility, as well as the accurate reconstruction of the operation.
Each record must reflect exactly what is shown in the supporting documentation.
Recipients who become aware of omissions, falsifications, alterations, or deficiencies in the information and supporting documentation shall report the facts to their superior or to one of the reference organisms.
4.2. Internal controls
It is AUTEFA Solutions’ policy to spread a culture of awareness of the importance of an adequate internal control system throughout the organization.
The attitude towards controls must be positive because of the contribution they make to improving the efficiency of production and management processes.
By internal controls we mean all the tools necessary or useful to direct, manage and verify the company's activities with the aim of ensuring compliance with laws and company procedures, protecting company assets, efficiently managing activities, and providing accurate and complete accounting and financial data.
All addressees, within the scope of their functions, are responsible for the proper functioning of the control system.
Within the scope of their responsibilities, Managers are required to be involved in the company's control system and to involve their employees in it.
5. Human resources policy
5.1. Human resources
Human resources are an essential element for the life of the company.
The dedication and professionalism of our employees are both values and conditions for the achievement of the company's objectives.
AUTEFA Solutions is committed to developing each employee's skills and expertise so that the energy and creativity of each individual can be fully expressed, and their potential realized.
AUTEFA Solutions offers all employees the same employment opportunities, ensuring that everyone is treated fairly on the basis of merit, without discrimination.
Personnel to be recruited are assessed on the basis of whether the candidates' profiles match the company's expectations and needs, while respecting equal opportunities for all concerned.
The information requested is strictly related to the verification of the aspects foreseen by the professional and psycho-aptitude profile, respecting the privacy and opinions of the candidate.
Staff are hired under regular employment contracts; some forms of irregular employment are not tolerated.
As in the case of personnel management and development processes, as well as in the selection phase, the decisions taken are based on the correspondence between the expected profiles and the profiles possessed by the employees and/or on considerations of merit.
Access to roles and positions is also determined in consideration of skills and abilities.
AUTEFA Solutions expects its employees, at all levels, to cooperate in maintaining a climate of mutual respect for the dignity, honor, and reputation of everyone, taking action to prevent insulting or defamatory interpersonal attitudes.
5.2. Social responsibility
AUTEFA Solutions is committed to incorporating issues with social and environmental implications into its decision-making and management system, and to reducing its impact on the environment and the local context, in a responsible and transparent manner, in accordance with national and international legislation.
Based on the above, AUTEFA Solutions:
- agrees to support and respect the protection of human rights
- it abstains from using or supporting child or forced labor, which on the contrary will be reported to the competent authorities
- promotes the employment of physically and socially disadvantaged individuals, favoring processes of inclusion also towards people with disabilities
- promotes equal treatment opportunities for male and female employees, encouraging the development of a safe and caring working environment, ensuring that employees are regularly confronted, listened to and actively involved in order to promote wellness in the company
- supports the freedom of association of its employees and of all its collaborators, as well as the right to collective contracts
- it promotes ecology and respect for the environment, pursuing the objective of sustainable economic development, using the resources at its disposal, and avoiding waste
5.3. Harassment in the workplace
AUTEFA Solutions requires that no harassment takes place in internal or external working relationships, meaning:
- the creation of an intimidating, hostile or isolating working environment towards individuals or groups of workers
- unjustified interference with the performance of the services of others
- the hindering of individual job prospects of others for mere reasons of personal competitiveness
AUTEFA Solutions does not accept sexual harassment, as such:
- the subordination of decisions of relevance to the working life of the addressee to the acceptance of sexual favors
- proposals of private interpersonal relations, conducted despite an expressed or reasonable disagreement, which have the capacity in relation to the specificity of the situation, to disturb the serenity of the recipient with objective implications on his or her work expression
AUTEFA Solutions also regards as totally unacceptable any harassment or undesirable behavior such as that related to race or other personal characteristics, which has the purpose and effect of violating the dignity of the person to whom the harassment or behavior is directed both inside and outside the workplace.
5.4. Use of alcohol and drugs
AUTEFA Solutions requires each employee to personally contribute to maintaining a working environment that respects the sensitivities of others.
Disciplinary action will therefore be taken in accordance with the scope of contractual law.:
- working under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or substances with similar effects
- to consume or dispose of drugs for any reason during work performance
5.5. Cigarette smoking
Smoking is forbidden in all workplaces in order to avoid dangers to persons, plants, and materials, except in rooms and/or environments specifically designated for this purpose by the employer.
Failure to comply with this prohibition is sanctioned with disciplinary measures in accordance with the law and contractual provisions.
6. Health, safety and environment
AUTEFA Solutions is committed to spreading and consolidating a culture of safety, developing risk awareness, promoting responsible behavior on the part of all its employees and working to preserve the health and safety of its workers, especially through preventive measures.
AUTEFA Solutions' activities must be carried out in full compliance with current legislation on prevention and protection.
AUTEFA Solutions' operations must be carried out in full compliance with current legislation on prevention and protection, and its operational management must be based on advanced criteria for environmental protection and energy efficiency, with a view to improving health and safety at work.
AUTEFA Solutions places the utmost importance on respecting the interests of the community and considers the environment and nature to be constitutionally guaranteed values and the heritage of all.
AUTEFA Solutions undertakes to adopt a responsible attitude towards environmental protection, acting in scrupulous compliance with the applicable environmental protection regulations, as well as with the limits set by any authorizations and prescriptions received from the competent authorities, and avoiding behavior that is harmful to the environment.
7.1. Confidentiality of data and information
AUTEFA Solutions guarantees the confidentiality of the information in its possession, compliance with current legislation on the management of personal data and does not seek confidential data through illegal means.
7.2. Privacy protection
All information available to AUTEFA Solutions is treated with respect for the confidentiality and privacy of the persons concerned.
Employees in possession of information of interest to the company, or relating to any stakeholder, are in no way authorized to disseminate such information beyond the operational purposes for which they have been authorized by the management.
8. External relations
8.1. Relations with public authorities
This CoC defines public authorities as: agencies, representatives, members, employees, consultants, persons in charge of public functions or services, of public institutions, public administrations, public authorities at international, national, and local level.
The management of negotiations, the assumption of commitments and the execution of relations, of any kind, with public functionaries are reserved exclusively to the corporate functions appointed and/or authorized for this purpose, in compliance with the following conducts:
- Gifts and acts of courtesy and hospitality towards government representatives, public officials and public employees are allowed when they are of modest value and in any case such as not to compromise the integrity and reputation of one of the parties and not to be interpreted, by an impartial observer, as aimed at acquiring improper advantages. In any case, this type of expenditure must be authorized by the persons indicated in the procedure and adequately documented.
- No AUTEFA Solutions employee/collaborator must promise or pay sums of money, material goods, benefits of any kind to public officials on a personal basis with the aim of promoting or favoring the interests of the Company, including as a result of unlawful pressure.
- No AUTEFA Solutions employee/collaborator may avoid the aforementioned requirements by resorting to other forms of aid or contributions which, disguised as sponsorships, assignments, consultancy, advertising, etc., have the above-mentioned prohibited purposes.
- Any employee/collaborator who is instructed to do so must immediately inform the supervisor or an AUTEFA Solutions manager.
8.2. Relations with control authorities
AUTEFA Solutions undertakes to base its relations with the supervisory authorities (board of statutory auditors, auditors) on the utmost cooperation, in full respect of their institutional role, and to implement their instructions promptly.
All AUTEFA Solutions employees, in relation to their duties, must:
- operate consistently with the required laws and regulations
- observe internal procedures for managing relations with control authorities
- provide accurate, complete, and truthful information to enable an informed decision to be made
- report to their superiors or to the supervisor any behavior that appears to be contrary to this CoC
8.3. Relations with political parties, unions, and associations
AUTEFA Solutions does not make direct or indirect contributions to political parties in any country, nor to their representatives or candidates.
All employees must recognize that any involvement in political activities takes place on a personal basis, in their own time, at their own expense and in accordance with the laws in force.
Moreover, AUTEFA Solutions does not make contributions to organizations with which there may be a conflict of interest (such as trade unions, consumer, or environmental protection associations).
8.4. Relations with the media
AUTEFA Solutions' relations with the media are managed by the designated corporate functions and must be carried out in accordance with the defined communication policy and tools.
9. Use of it and telematics tools – protection of company assets
The addressees of this CoC are required to use the computer and telematic tools made available to them exclusively for company purposes during daily working time and in compliance with the security measures and procedures established to protect the computer system and the information assets of the company and third parties (public administration; customers; suppliers; competitors).
9.1. Company IT systems
All IT equipment, as well as personal computers, whether fixed or portable, their software and applications, entrusted to company users are working tools and therefore:
- must be stored properly
- may only be used for professional purposes and not for personal purposes during daily work time
- may not be used for unlawful purposes as well
9.3. Use of IT equipment
Acts or behavior with the above indications should be avoided:
- The use of software not authorized by AUTEFA Solutions in accordance with copyright law is not permitted.
- It is not permitted to change the configurations set on the computer equipment unless expressly authorized by AUTEFA Solutions.
- It is not permitted to install and/or connect additional peripheral equipment to the computer equipment that has not been authorized by AUTEFA Solutions.
- Listening to audio or music files is not permitted; nor is the viewing of videos and films, except for strictly business purposes.
- It is not permitted to leave unattended and/or accessible to others any mobile computer equipment (portable personal computers, video projectors, etc. ...).
9.3. Use of internet web
- Browsing websites not related to the performance of duties is not allowed.
- Downloading, storing, and sending documents of an insulting and/or discriminatory nature on grounds of sex, language, religion, race, ethnic origin, opinion, and trade union and/or political affiliation is not permitted.
- It is forbidden to download any type of software, except with the express authorization of the company's top management.
- Any form of registration on sites whose content is not related to work is prohibited.
- The use and consultation, for non-professional reasons, of services such as forums, chat lines, newsgroups, electronic noticeboards, or similar and guest registrations is not permitted.
10. Adoption, effectiveness, and amendments of the code of conduct
This Code of Conduct was adopted by resolution of the board of directors of AUTEFA Solutions, with immediate effect from that date.
Any update, amendment or revision of this Code of Conduct must be approved by the board of directors of AUTEFA Solutions.
The Board of Directors