Embedding compliance principles comprehensively in its daily business is a constant challenge for the management of the KION Group. In this regard, communication activities are particularly important to raise awareness of compliance and to keep employees up to date with regulations. In the reporting year, the KION Group expanded its face-to-face training sessions within the compliance organisation globally, and ramped-up its compliance risk analysis activities at a national level.

The KION Group is also increasingly requiring its business partners to comply with its compliance principles. Current focus areas of the KION Group’s compliance activities include anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing, liability of board members and the responsibility of managers, data protection and IT security, as well as foreign trade and export controls.

In fiscal year 2017 its strategic priorities in the area of compliance will be its systematic Group-wide compliance risk analysis, the integration of Dematic together with the establishment of a uniform Code of Conduct, the implementation of the IT-based Business Partner Check tool, and the development of its compliance activities to tackle money laundering.

Compliance organisation

The Executive Board of the KION Group bears overall responsibility for the compliance management system in the Group. The Compliance department reports directly to the CEO of the Group and is headed up by the Chief Compliance Officer. He and his team further develop the compliance management system, provide advice and information on compliance topics and ensure compliance training. The Compliance department supports the operating unit heads in implementing the compliance programme.

At a local level within the units, local and regional compliance representatives are appointed who ensure that operations within the Group company or region comply with statutory and regulatory requirements. Consequently, they serve as the first port of call for questions or the reporting of possible instances of non-compliance. Together they form the Group-wide compliance team, and their work is managed by the central Compliance department.

Actual or suspected incidents of non-compliance can be reported by telephone, post, e-mail or fax. Furthermore, any employee can also report violations of compliance via a whistleblowing hotline, anonymously if preferred, no matter where in the world they are located. The local compliance representatives report to the Compliance department on a monthly basis – and on an ad-hoc basis in serious cases. The Chief Compliance Officer reports significant incidents and developments directly to the CEO of the KION Group as well as to the Audit Committee of the Supervisory Board.

As part of its work, the KION Group Compliance department works closely with the Legal, Internal Audit and Human Resources departments. The KION Compliance Committee is staffed by the heads of these departments, operating as a cross-functional committee that primarily advises on, examines and, if appropriate, punishes incidents of non-compliance that are reported.

The KION Group compliance management system is based on the IDW PS 980 auditing standard, which focuses on preventing compliance violations. Within the framework of its regular audits as well as through ad-hoc audits, its Group Audit department checks compliance in the subsidiaries with the KION Group’s compliance requirements. If its audits confirm cases of non-compliance, it is the task of the Human Resources or Legal department to remedy the violations and sanction those responsible.

In the reporting period, various reports were submitted to the Compliance Committee, including suspected conflicts of interest, misconduct towards employees, unauthorised payments and invitations to events, the sharing of company data, and fraudulent job ads and e-mails. Each individual report was followed up without exception, and notices on the fraudulent job ads were published on the corporate website and sanctions were imposed in case of confirmed wrong conduct.

Since 2016 the KION Group has been expanding its analysis of compliance risks across the Group using a standardised system according to which these risks are assessed and recorded in all Group entities. This will remain one of the main focus areas of its work next year.

It is currently developing an IT-based Business Partner Check tool to screen its business partners for potential compliance risks (see the Compliance management system section in the Annual Report 2016).

Extensive training

To the KION Group, employee training is the cornerstone of a good compliance management system. Through this, its employees learn which rules apply to their field of work, which stance the Company and its representatives take on certain business practices, and what behaviour is expected of its employees. It communicates its Company’s culture in great detail through its training measures; every new employee at the KION Group is obliged to complete an e-learning course which covers all aspects of the KION Group Code of Compliance. In 2016 it expanded its compliance e-learning course to all Group companies, which resulted in a considerable increase in training compared to the previous year. For employees without a PC, it provides face-to-face training. Those employees who are exposed to particular compliance risks owing to their activities, such as those in the area of purchasing, receive special face-to-face training. The KION Group aims to train all employees regularly on the most critical topics (anti-corruption, competition law, anti-money laundering, data protection, IT security and human rights). Besides findings from its compliance management system, changes to legislation or jurisprudence are also incorporated into its face-to-face training courses.