Common standards for a successful cooperation

Maintaining and respecting human rights, rule-compliant working conditions, environmental management and business ethics: All of these are issues that German companies actually expect to be implemented as a matter of course due to the extensive German legislation. Unfortunately, you can find in the news almost every day that this is not always the case.


AZO has made it a principle to provide its customers with solutions for innovative raw material automation, which are produced by their employees in a responsible and ethical manner. That’s why the focus is on sustainable development based on economic, ecological and social aspects. As an independent family business, the company is to maintain sustainable growth and increase in value for future generations.


For this purpose, AZO has had its ethical and social sustainability confirmed by the independent organization Bureau Veritas in accordance with the SMETA guidelines (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit). Within four days, the audit carried out by two certified auditors ensures an objective assessment of the company. SMETA is one of the most widely used audit procedures for social and ethical behaviour in business relationships. The certification procedure based on the 4 pillars of working conditions, occupational health and safety, environmental management and business ethics is a compilation of all the best practices of audit technology. It includes the entire value creation and supply chain of a product. In addition to the resource-saving use of raw materials, all market participants also attach importance to ethical and social behaviour by companies due to the constantly increasing public awareness of the issue of sustainability. AZO's partner companies from the food industry demand that their suppliers face the challenges of the SMETA audit for future successful and permanent cooperation. But customers in other industries are also increasingly asking for evidence of a social audit.


As part of the audit, the auditor interviewed both the works council and employees from various departments on a voluntary basis. In addition to the employee interviews, the working conditions at the Osterburken site were also carefully examined. At a final meeting, the auditor collected and presented the findings to management in a detailed 150-page report.


After successfully passing the audit, AZO is entitled as a member to upload the audit report to the SEDEX database and to display the SMETA logo on the company website. SEDEX stands as the abbreviation for Supplier Ethical Data Exchange and is the world's largest, independent online platform for the transparent exchange of social and ethical behaviour by companies and their suppliers. The AZO Group, which operates around the world, is firmly convinced that economy, ecology, entrepreneurial action and social responsibility can be reconciled. This has been practiced responsibly by AZO’s employees every day since the company was founded.

SMETA - Common standards for a successful cooperation