External Sustainability Audits

External Sustainability Audits are extensive on-site inspections to check generally accepted sustainability standards. They are conducted by external specialists.


The audits refer solely to the supplier's conformance and performance in relation to the six categories of the Code of Conduct for Siemens Suppliers. The assessments will be further tailored to the type of facility under assessment and only relevant sections are covered.

The audit process follows the following steps:

  • A kick-off meeting where management is briefed on the audit scope, methodology and audit process, as well as interviewed regarding policies and Code of Conduct for Siemens Suppliers topics

  • A physical inspection of the factory/facility to cross check records and documents with the actual situation

  • Employee interviews with a view to obtaining information about employee work conditions in the facility and checking the implementation of policies and procedures that safeguard Code of Conduct requirements

  • A review of records to accurately assess compliance with labor, wages and working hour conformance

  • A final review to discuss potential findings not in compliance with the Code of Conduct for Siemens Suppliers and confirmation of the corrective action plan

The auditor treats all information received in the course of the provision of its services as business confidential, to the extent that such information is not already published, generally available to third parties or otherwise already in the public domain.


The suppliers in focus for external sustainability audits are selected following a risk-based approach. This framework systematically identifies suppliers with a potential risk that have been processed within our supplier qualification process and in regular supplier quality audits.

An audit can further be initiated if we identify risk through external sources. Examples of such sources are non-governmental organization (NGO) databases, media reports or information channeled through our ombudsman or ‘Tell Us’ hotline.

Any report of a suspected breach of the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Siemens Suppliers may result in an external sustainability audit to assess the full scope of our Code of Conduct.

External sustainability audits also play an important role in the scheme of supplier development by improving the supplier's sustainability performance. In addition to the assessment approach, the awareness Siemens' suppliers have of the Siemens Code of Conduct requirements can be enhanced.


In the event of any discrepancies with the Code of Conduct for Siemens Suppliers, corrective actions have to be agreed upon between the auditor and supplier to mitigate these sustainability risks. For each corrective action a respective implementation time frame (grace period) is agreed, which depending on the type and extent of the breach, can cover a period of weeks or months. To ensure mitigation of the identified sustainability risks, a follow-up audit is scheduled where the auditor checks whether the corrective actions have been successfully implemented.

In the event of the required implementation of corrective actions proving ineffective, in spite of assistance from Siemens, the company will endeavor to resolve the problems in a meeting together with the supplier. If all efforts whether due to lack of supplier commitment or ability to develop the supplier remain unsuccessful, Siemens reserves the right to terminate the business relationship.