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Sustainability

We strive to be a conscientious corporate citizen. We have decided to bring together our guiding principles into the set of rules – our Corporate Social Responsibility Principles which are integral part of our business strategies.

We foster awareness and commitment to these principles among our employees; to this end, we provide appropriate information to develop their skills. We also encourage our subcontractors to follow the same requirements as we do. This way we can work towards a global community of responsible citizens.

As GMS is further set to grow, we are continuously working to refine and develop these principles.

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CSR PRINCIPLES  

We strive to be a conscientious corporate citizen and take the responsibility we have as a global telecommunications service provider seriously. To this end, we have formulated a CSR mission statement which shall remind us of this responsibility:

GMS connects families, friends and business partners around the globe. Our goal is to create an interconnected world in which everyone can communicate freely, efficiently and securely. By doing this we promote business activities that bring economic, social and environmental benefits and are consistent with the interests of society and highest legal and ethical standards.

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GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CONDUCT

GMS is an international company employing people from all over the world. We are a fertilizer for cross-cultural understanding and interaction. On this basis, we have drafted our general principles of conduct which must be strictly followed by all our directors, officers and employees:

  • We seek to have a positive impact on people, cultures and communities in which we operate;
  • We are respectful of people, their values, traditions and culture and avoid discrimination in any way, shape or form;
  • We seek to minimize the extent of any adverse impact our daily activities may have on environment and society;
  • We strive to be polite, friendly, respectful and client-oriented;
  • We respect and adhere to all applicable laws and regulations;
  • We never offer or accept any form of bribe. 

GENERAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

GMS facilitates social change by allowing people to communicate across geographical terrains and societies. This opportunity obliges us to act in accordance with generally accepted societal standards.

Thus, we accept the responsibility to act according to the following social guidelines:

  • We proactively consider the interests of society;
  • We enhance positive and minimize negative impacts on society and environment;
  • We communicate with society in an ethical and lawful manner;
  • We contribute to a sustainable development;
  • We operate in an environmentally friendly manner;
  • We operate in conformance with international labor practices and health standards;
  • We promote positive ethical behavior towards the environment, community, customers, employees and investors and partners;
  • We integrate social responsibilities within decision-making processes;
  • We respect and adhere to any applicable law and regulation as well as international standards in the sphere of social responsibility, protection of the environment, health and human rights;
  • We avoid any form of corruption and bribery.

ETHICS 

               

Ethical Business Principles of GMS assemble a series of guidelines aimed at leading us through our daily activities. We integrate these Principles into our business operations. These Principles are applicable to all of our employees in all of the countries in which we operate.

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FAIR BUSINESS AND ANTI-BRIBERY

GMS forbids all its Employees to participate in any form of bribery active or passive. As such, any gifts, loans, incomes, bonus or all other advantages in order to obtain or to grant a favourable treatment in the business running are prohibited. Thus, our employees are prohibited from the following:

  • Offer, promise or give, whether actively or passively, a financial or other advantage, directly or indirectly, to another person to bring about or reward the improper performance by that person or someone else of a relevant function or activity.
  • Request, agree to receive or accept, whether actively or passively, a financial or other advantage where the requestor intends that a relevant function or activity should be performed improperly by the requestor or another person.

As a signatory member to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Officials in International Business Transactions, Switzerland has implemented this convention under national laws.[1] Consequently, Employees who commit an act of corruption expose themselves and GMS to criminal and civil penalties.

 

PRIVACY POLICY

GMS takes customer privacy concerns seriously. To secure protection of privacy, we have adopted a specific Privacy Policy.

First and foremost, GMS adheres to the legislation in force regarding the treatment of data.[2] These laws provide for broad protection of the interests of customers but may not be understandable for everybody. In essence, they mean that collecting, storing and editing data is allowed only for the purpose of providing services, managing and maintaining the customer relationship, ensuring high quality of service and the security of operations and infrastructure, and for billing purposes. GMS may also pass on data about customers to third parties to the extent necessary for the provision of services. GMS also makes every effort possible to ensure that its network is protected against third-party access. Full protection against such access can, however, not be guaranteed for which GMS is not responsible. The Swiss Government may require GMS to disclose certain information.

 

DATA SECURITY POLICY

SMS messages are transported as encrypted data via secure channels in the GMS network. However, when SMS messages are terminated over the network of an operator, such data leaves the GMS network and encryption on the network of the operator can thus not be guaranteed. If an intended SMS recipient is not reachable, the SMS is temporarily stored in security data storage. According to the protocol used, numerous attempts are made to deliver the SMS to its intended recipient during the lifetime of an SMS. The system that supports these functions is located in a security zone and is subject to a stringent security policy. Our network monitors SMS traffic to prevent infiltration by viruses and spam. This means that SMS messages are automatically filtered. If an SMS message is found to be infected, it will be blocked and not be delivered by our network. However, no actual content is read or viewed thereby guaranteeing the privacy of the senders and recipients of SMS messages.



[1] Cf art 322ter to 322octies of the Swiss penal code and art 4a of the Federal Law against Unfair Competition.

[2] Swiss Federal Constitution, Ordinance on Telecommunications Services (OTS), Federal Mail and Telecommunications Monitoring Act (BüPF), Federal Act on Data Protection (FADP), Swiss Criminal Code (StGB, Art. 143 ff.)

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PEOPLE 

Our employees are key to our success and we do everything to attract and retain highly-skilled and motivated specialists and managerial staff. Thus, we pay competitive wages and strive to provide our employees’ with a stimulating and challenging working environment.

 

Furthermore, GMS grants its employees four weeks of paid annual leave in each year of service, and continues to pay the salary if its employees are unable to perform their work due to illness, accident or pregnancy.

 

EMPLOYEES HEALTH AND WELLBEING

GMS promotes work-life balance by offering working conditions that enable employees to balance their professional and private lives. As a general rule, the normal weekly working hours for employees is 42 hours (at the office in Switzerland) and 40 hours (at the office in Ukraine) while overtime must be reimbursed by GMS. If the nature of work allows, employees may enjoy the possibility to work from home. This flexibility allows employees with family commitments, for example parents with young children, to coordinate their time at the office with their parental obligations at home.

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EMPLOYEES SAFETY 

We take care of our employees’ safety and take all precautions to ensure their physical and mental wellbeing. Our offices are equipped with modern work stations and ergonomic furniture to enable employees to work comfortably and effectively, with less risk of injury to the body. In turn, however, we require our employees to fully comply with all safety instructions and directions and take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by his or her actions or omissions.

Furthermore, it is strictly forbidden to consume alcohol and drugs before and during work. Exceptions are only granted for particular events and business meals with clients, with the limits of what is reasonable and after authorisation by the management. Smoking within the office premises is also strictly prohibited.

 

DIVERSITY AND ZERO TOLERANCE FOR DISCRIMINATION

Irrespective of our employee’s ethnical origin, we recognize and respect the cultural differences found in the worldwide marketplace. We strive to build and sustain diversity by attracting, developing, promoting and retaining the best people disregarding their gender and cultural background.

GMS does not tolerate any kind and form of discrimination based on gender, disability, age, colour, religion, marital status or sexual preference. We also take great care to ensure equal pay for men and women, and our salary system is structured in such a way as to award equal pay for equivalent duties, responsibilities and performance. This principle of equal treatment in employment matters is based on the employer’s statutory obligation to respect and protect the employee’s personhood. Racial discrimination can also amount to a criminal act which is prosecuted under the Swiss Criminal Code.

In order to protect the interests of our Employees in the best manner possible, GMS has established the following procedure. The employee, if she/he is in a position to do so, must clearly inform the person who is troubling her/him that she/he does not accept such behaviour. Should the harassment continue, the person being troubled may request a meeting with the HR Representative or the Legal Counsel of GMS. After having heard the parties concerned, an internal report will be established and necessary actions will be considered.

 

CHILD LABOUR AND FORCED LABOUR

GMS is not using child labour in any way. The absolute minimum age for employment is 15 years which should, however, be limited to employments for the purpose of apprenticeships which is conducted as part of a regulated training scheme.

               

ENGAGE IN DIALOGUE

We believe in constructive dialogue between employer and employees and support the principle of freedom of association. GMS is committed to fostering constructive dialogue with its employees. In line with the Federal Code of Obligations, we give our employees free choice to join, or not to join, employees’ organisations and labour unions.

At GMS we practice a “SPEAK UP Policy” which ensures that your concerns and interests are taken seriously. This Policy consists of a two tier approach: first, if possible, speak to the person involved; and second, talk to GMS’ HR representative or Legal Counsel. GMS understands that it is not always easy to raise concerns about possible misconduct but we do encourage you to come forward with any concerns and SPEAK UP.

 

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ENVIRONMENT

 

GMS is committed to providing a quality service in a manner that minimizes its potential impact on the environment. Based on the nature of our business, we do not have a significant impact on the environment. Nonetheless, we are convinced that a strong commitment to our environment is important to underline our responsibilities as a corporate citizen.

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

While we operate in compliance with all relevant environmental legislation, our focus is on optimizing the energy efficiency of all our operations and infrastructure and on using 100% renewable energy as a key commitment to our environment. 

In view of this commitment to constantly improve our energy-efficiency, we have formulated a set of environmental guidelines:

  • We strive to use best industry practice and give high priority to the protection of the environment,
  • We ensure our business complies with all relevant environmental legislation and mandatory standards;
  •  We consider the environmental impacts of our services throughout their full life cycle and minimize the extent of any adverse impact our daily activities may have on the environment;
  • We strive to ensure resources are not wasted and that, as far as is reasonably practicable, materials and goods are recycled with the disposal of any remaining waste occurring in a responsible manner;
  • We seek to minimize the extent to which we use carbon dependant sources of energy (e.g. diesel generators);
  • We control our businesses environmental effects.

GREEN BUSINESS 

GMS complies with legal environmental requirements. In addition, we seek to minimise environmental risks. We actively choose suppliers and contractual partners which adhere to similar environmentally-friendly commitments. An efficient use of resources in our infrastructure is the strategic focus of our environmental program. We ensure that our employees have information and training about the environment and motivate them to adopt an environmentally-friendly attitude. We constantly aim to reduce our environmental footprint. We encourage our employees to travel to work by public transport and seek to comply with the thinkbeforeprinting.org policy. We strive for efficient usage of electricity. While we implement innovative and energy friendly technologies and equipment, we strive to rely on 100% renewable electricity (water). Any recyclable waste (paper, cardboard, PET bottles, toners, electrical waste) are collected and delivered to recycling collection points.

 

                

SUPPLIER CSR 

 

GMS has made the conscious decision to make a commitment to a sustainable future. In view of this commitment, we have presented a set of principles and standards of corporate social responsibility in June 2015, which are applicable to GMS as well as to its subsidiary in the Ukraine. Moreover, we share these principles with our suppliers and subcontractors. Suppliers and subcontractors in the context of this Code shall mean companies which provide GMS with their products and/or services.

 

We have adopted this Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure that we and our suppliers and subcontractors are constantly aware about our firm standpoint on sustainability.

 

This Supplier Code of Conduct (hereinafter - Code) is based and harmonizes with our social, environmental and ethical commitments put forward in our Corporate Social Responsibility Policy/s. We expect our suppliers and subcontractors to comply with the following requirements:

 

  • always seek to have a positive impact on people, cultures and communities in which we operate;
  • respect people, their values, traditions and culture and avoid discrimination in any way, shape or form;
  • minimize the extent of any adverse impact our daily activities may have on environment and society;
  • be polite, friendly, respectful and client-oriented;
  • respect and adhere to all applicable laws and regulations;
  • never offer or accept any form of bribe;
  • comply with all applicable laws which guard the interests and rights of individuals;
  • not employ children nor practice any form of forced labor;
  • not practice and tolerate discrimination towards anybody;
  • provide decent conditions of work for all employees;
  • use best industry practice and give high priority to the protection of the environment;
  • ensure their business complies with all relevant environmental legislation and mandatory standards;
  • consider the environmental impacts of their services throughout their full life cycle and minimize the extent of any adverse impact their daily activities may have on the environment.

GMS and individual supplier or subcontractor may contractually agree to comply with more specific requirements when appropriate or necessary.  If a supplier or subcontractor of GMS observes, is informed of, or suspects, any activities that may be in violation with this Code, the complaints shall be send via e-mail: suppliers@gms-worldwide.com

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