Response by Siemens
We share your concerns regarding the general situation in the Amazon rainforest and strongly condemn every form of violence.
Respect for human rights is a core principle of Siemens. We are fully committed to the UN Guiding Principles and to their implementation as a global standard for preventing and combating the negative impact of a company’s business activities on human rights. We are committed to the OECD guidelines for multinational companies, and our own Business Conduct Guidelines expressly require that we act in accordance with them. The obligation to protect human rights, in particular, is of paramount importance for us.
Siemens systematically reviews its compliance with human rights. If we are involved in projects that – despite our previous examination – have adverse effects on human rights, we take steps to prevent or mitigate those effects. Siemens also expects its suppliers and business partners to respect human rights.
In addition to laws and regulations in individual countries, there are also many agreements with and recommendations by international organizations that are noteworthy in this regard. Although these documents are addressed primarily to member countries rather than companies, they nonetheless provide important guidelines for the behavior of global enterprises like Siemens.
We are aware of the obligations regarding Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) – above all, in cases in which indigenous peoples are affected. The resulting obligations to obtain consent lie with the parties that participate in developing projects locally. These parties are in the best position to meet such obligations since they know and can assess local conditions and the challenges facing local populations.
Siemens has no business activities in the indigenous areas in which the Brazilian government is planning to permit mining activities. Nor does Siemens have any plans to initiate business activities in those areas.
At our 14 factories and seven R&D centers in Brazil, we currently employ nearly 6,000 people. Our activities in Brazil contribute directly or indirectly about €5 billion to the country’s GDP and create directly or indirectly 260,000 jobs. In 2018, we were awarded the prize for Brazil’s most sustainable company in the electrical engineering field (Exame).
We are in intensive discussions with stakeholders from all sides of the political spectrum in Brazil. In addition, we closely coordinate our activities relating to Brazil with the Federation of German Industry. You may be assured that we are monitoring the developments in Brazil very carefully.