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#12 Common values

We set high standards – for ourselves, our business partners and our service providers.


Common values

We aim for maximum integrity in everything we do. And we expect our business partners and service providers to do the same. This is why we have introduced a Group-wide Code of Conduct for Suppliers whose content is included in our procurement conditions for contractors and suppliers, and in the standard terms for our consulting and service contracts.


The Code of Conduct specifies the human rights and environmental standards to be met in these business relations and is based on the principles set out in the UN Global Compact and by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Our Code of Conduct – the basis for our contracts

We have made our Code of Conduct for Suppliers available on our website. It forms the basis of our business relationships with new business partners and service providers. In the past financial year, we focused on incorporating it in our contracts with those partners with whom we have master agreements. Measured by volume, roughly 80% of the orders handled by Aareal Bank's central purchasing department are now based on the Code of Conduct. And we aim to successively increase this figure.


The Code of Conduct is extremely important to us for two reasons. Firstly, it enables us to extend our environmental and sustainability management activities to the Group's indirect effects – something we cannot otherwise influence significantly Secondly, it protects us against potential risks from any failures to comply with environmental or social standards in our supply chain.

Data protection – a top priority

Guaranteeing that client data are handled responsibly and that IT systems are secure is another key element of our sustainable procurement activities. Data protection is a top priority in our business, which is why we also require our business partners and service providers to systematically comply with our requirements.


The main focus of our work in the last financial year was on developing and executing measures throughout the Group to implement the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We revised our procedures for personal data processing, for IT security, and for protecting data against misuse. As part of this, we also amended our contracts with IT service providers and with business partners who process personal data on our behalf.

What we are working on

  • Expanding our seasonal food offering and sourcing regional products from local suppliers

Our Code of Conduct for Suppliers

Our Code of Conduct for Suppliers defines the principles and requirements to be met
by our suppliers. Among other things, we expect them

  • to comply with statutory requirements and behave ethically,
  • not to tolerate any form of corruption and to actively take anti-corruption measures in their own operations,
  • to comply with relevant statutory anti-money laundering obligations and not to participate in money laundering,
  • not to employ anyone against their will and to respect everyone regardless of their ethnic origin, religion, ideology, disabilities, sexual identity, gender or age; to respect their dignity, rights and privacy; and to make efforts to be aware of and understand their ideas and concerns,
  • to take suitable measures to prevent forced labour, slavery and human trafficking in their own operations and in their supply chains,
  • to respect their employees' freedom of association,
  • to act responsibly towards the environment and to take responsibility for their employees' health and safety.

The UN Global Compact

Aareal Bank Group has supported the UN Global Compact Initiative – the world's largest and most important initiative for responsible corporate management – since 2012. By signing up to this initiative, Aareal Bank Group has undertaken to act in accordance with its Ten Principles at all times.

The Ten Principles: 

1. Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.

2. Businesses should make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

3. Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.

4. Businesses should uphold the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour.

5. Businesses should uphold the effective abolition of child labour.

6. Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

7. Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.

8. Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.

9. Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

10. Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.