Sustainability Report 2017

Selecting the best partners



Governance and Ethics


Our environment is undergoing constant changes and so do the expectations by stakeholders, industries and customers. Ethical and transparent business conduct is fundamental to our business success and active governance ensures to comply with those principles.

Stakeholder Engagement

Kuehne + Nagel has been continually developing tools and programmes to more effectively interact with its stakeholders. This involves the evaluation of how our business impacts the environment and the communities we work in. Such communication needs to be:


  • accurate – consistent, correct and transparent in data provided,
  • regular – interaction with internal/external stakeholders on topics addressed,
  • diverse – inclusion of culture, social, economic and environmental aspects, and
  • direct – related to our operations and to the environment.

Associations and Initiatives

Kuehne + Nagel actively seeks information from sustainability related programmes and projects that:


  • support setting global sustainability standards,
  • work towards improving the sustainability related conditions in which the industry operates, and
  • explore innovative ways to contribute to sustainability.

Interaction exists with industry partners in the following global projects and initiatives:


The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

Since 2009, Kuehne + Nagel is reporting its environmental performance to the CDP achieving outstanding results year on year. Kuehne + Nagel is committed to consistently and transparently make its environmental performance available by providing relevant data to CDP. In CDP’s 2017 performance ratings, Kuehne + Nagel obtained a B score in the climate change category and A in the supply chain category. 


Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG)

Different working groups aim to achieve optimal performance for carrier members. For instance, Kuehne + Nagel supports CCWG’s intention to set emission standards for the maritime industry.


International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA)

Kuehne + Nagel closely monitors revisions and facilitates the understanding and explanation of legislation, procedures, and regulations to promote more efficiency in the regulatory framework.  


European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services (CLECAT)

Kuehne + Nagel primarily observes legislation that affects international supply chains in the logistics industry. The company also welcomes initiatives that strive for efficient and streamlined procedures.


Global Logistic Emission Council (GLEC)

Kuehne + Nagel is an early adopter of the GLEC framework. The company assisted the Council during the development of the framework and also volunteered to apply the model to our operations.


International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Kuehne + Nagel closely follows IATA’s initiatives to support the promotion and understanding of proposals for future industry regulation aimed at continued efficiency.


Other initiatives in which Kuehne + Nagel participates

  • Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA)
  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
  • Carbon Trust Standard
  • SmartWay
  • EcoTransIT

Risk Management

In accordance with Art.13 of the organisation regulation for the Board of Directors and the Management Board, the Chairman of the Board of Directors entrusts the Risk and Compliance Committee of the Kuehne + Nagel Group to support the Management Board when adhering to the standards of good corporate management. In particular by evaluating the risks and certain proceeding of the Kuehne + Nagel Group in taking decision regarding correct adherence to external and internal regulations (“Compliance”). More information can be obtained from the Annual Report 2017.

Ethics and Compliance

Compliance with legal, regulatory and internal regulations, as well as the observance of common standards and rules of professional conduct, is essential to Kuehne + Nagel’s business. We are convinced that a comprehensive Ethics and Compliance Programme begins with our leaders. They are in charge of setting the priorities and drive our culture. Therefore, Kuehne + Nagel expects its leaders to integrate a culture of compliance within their respective areas of business.


Ethics and Compliance Programme
By considering integrity to be a key element of our business behaviour we are able to foster a sense of trust with our stakeholders and meet our responsibility of being a reliable and successful business partner.


Independent of function, geography or business area, Kuehne + Nagel’s Ethics and Compliance Programme provides guidance and suggests measures to our members and business partners throughout the entire Group. We are convinced that our Ethics and Compliance Programme – as a way of risk prevention – protects us from negative consequences such as sanctions or reputational damages. This programme is a unique opportunity to make a difference in the competitive and global market place. It is essential for our business success to pay attention to this programme on each organisational level and to be supported by Kuehne + Nagel's senior executives and managers around the globe.

Code of Conduct and Business Ethics

Kuehne + Nagel’s Code of Conduct forms the basis of the Ethics and Compliance Programme. The Code of Conduct states the general principles of the Group’s business conduct and behavioural requirements that Kuehne + Nagel members have to comply with. The Code of Conduct must be applied consistently and continuously in order to establish a solid cornerstone of integrity beyond legal regulations. 


The Code of Conduct applies to all Kuehne + Nagel members, irrespective of department, country, entity or business unit. Each individual is encouraged to read, understand and apply the principles, and be fully aware of the meaning and significance of the Code of Conduct and guidelines. To support this, consistent trainings are being conducted.


Kuehne + Nagel members are also expected to propagate the principles of the Kuehne + Nagel Code of Conduct to everyone in their sphere of influence. On a yearly basis, all Kuehne + Nagel members are asked to confirm having received, read and understood the Code of Conduct.


Kuehne + Nagel monitors the Code of Conduct live and computer-based trainings as well as the annual confirmation for ensuring constant participation rates of at least 95%.


The Code of Conduct is complemented by internal policies and guidelines. These supplementary materials address specific compliance topics and provide guidance to every Kuehne + Nagel member on standards and procedures that are specific to particular compliance risks, including Anti-Trust, Anti-Bribery, Conflict of Interest or Gift and Entertainment.


Annually, for dedicated and risk-based selected target audiences live training is conducted in the areas of Anti-Bribery/Anti–Corruption (“ABC”) and Anti-Trust. 


Integrity Due Diligence 

A significant number of Kuehne + Nagel’s business transactions and activities are performed by business partners, including suppliers or subcontractors that work with us or on our behalf. To protect Kuehne + Nagel from harm caused by such third parties, we expect our business partners and subcontractors to operate within the limits of our Ethics and Compliance standards. As a minimum they are required to sign the Kuehne + Nagel Supplier Code of Conduct. 


We have implemented a risk-based integrity Due Diligence procedure for both new and existing third parties to minimise our compliance-related risk exposure. Kuehne + Nagel regularly assesses the integrity of existing or potential business partners following procedures that address compliance risks or other concerns related to the involvement of such third parties. Key emphasis is focusing on Integrity Due Diligence procedures where customs clearance activities are subcontracted to third parties.


In case of doubtful findings we either support the business partner to improve its compliance environment by introducing reasonable safeguards, or else consider rejecting collaboration to prevent harm from our own business environment including our customers.



Confidential Reporting and Allegation Management 

Kuehne + Nagel members are encouraged to raise concerns about potential violations of the Code of Conduct to persons of trust within Kuehne + Nagel. Further, a global confidential reporting line has been implemented in all countries with Kuehne + Nagel facilities. This line allows for reports on potential violations in a safe, confident, and, if desired, anonymous manner. The confidential reporting line can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is operated by an external service provider enabling reporting in native language; either by phone, e-mail or a dedicated web-based reporting tool. 


The Kuehne + Nagel Independent Allegation Management Committee oversees the handling and follow-up of reported allegations received through any channel. The Committee ensures consistent professional standards and procedures for enabling thorough independent investigations where needed. Subject matter experts are involved to ensure competent and adequate assessments, appropriate decision making, and related follow-up activities.


Complaints or allegations made in good faith will not expose the submitter to counter-measure. However, knowingly providing false or misleading information may result in sanctions.

Compliance Governance 

The Chairman of the Board of Directors entrusts the Risk and Compliance Committee of the Kuehne + Nagel Group to support the Board of Directors and the Management Board when adhering to the standards of good corporate management (see Annual Report). This in particular refers to evaluating the risks of the Kuehne + Nagel Group and to taking adequate measures for minimising risks and safeguarding the adherence to external and internal regulations.


The functional responsibility for the design and implementation of the Ethics and Compliance Programme is delegated to the Chief Compliance Officer who has the expertise, independence and authority to implement the programme in all business areas and subsidiaries. This is accomplished in close cooperation and with the support of the Kuehne + Nagel management and other qualified resources and functions. In recognition of the crucial importance of the Ethics and Compliance Programme, the Chief Compliance Officer reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer. Further reporting exists to the Audit Committee Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Group General Counsel. The Chief Compliance Officer is supported by corporate, regional and local compliance representatives and also involves other internal functions, such as Internal Audit, Legal or Human Resources.

Supply Chain

Kuehne + Nagel evaluates and qualifies new and existing suppliers according to our Supplier Management System (SMT). The SMT is a web-based application of suppliers across Kuehne + Nagel’s business units and based on operational, legal and compliance criteria.


In the hazardous materials, pharmaceutical and high-value goods sectors in particular, this database can be used to identify the most suitable suppliers and business partners to fulfil individual customer requirements. It also serves to optimise the customers’ supply chains.


Kuehne + Nagel’s decentralised procurement organisation deals with a large network of suppliers and other third parties that contribute to our success. We carefully select our suppliers based on defined criteria being fully aware of our responsibility as a corporate citizen. Our suppliers play an important role as enablers of our sustainable growth and to promote overall success. Kuehne + Nagel has set forth principles that are key to economic, social and environmental sustainability and are designed to ensure long-term success of Kuehne + Nagel and its stakeholders. Objectives of the SMT are to


  • provide a standardised solution allowing all business units to evaluate and qualify their supplier base to ensure both compliance and service quality and to
  • reduce the number and increase the quality of the Kuehne + Nagel supplier base, which aims at improved operational efficiency, reduced costs and minimised risk.

Since launching the SMT, Kuehne + Nagel has identified over 38,000 suppliers globally. Of these, around 14,000 (36 per cent) have been approved. The remaining ones are either in a verification status or are rejected.