Human Rights

voestalpine is committed to respecting and upholding human rights in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the European Convention on Human Rights. Since 2013, voestalpine has supported the UN Global Compact (UNGC) whose ten principles address labor standards, environmental protection, and the fight against corruption above and beyond the promotion of human rights. The present CR Report simultaneously serves as the annual Communication on Progress (CoP) under the UNGC.

The commitment to respecting and upholding human rights is enshrined in detail in the chapter of voestalpine’s Code of Conduct entitled “Respect and Integrity.” Human rights are also a key element of the company’s binding Code of Conduct for Business Partners.

UN Global compact— the 10 principles

Human rights

Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and

Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Labor standards

Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;

Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and bonded labor;

Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labor; and

Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation.

Environmental protection

Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;

Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and

Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.


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

Collective bargaining and the right to freedom of association

About 80% of voestalpine’s employees are in an employment relationship that is governed by a collective agreement. Every employee has the freedom and right to join unions. The workforce in all voestalpine companies may elect representatives to the works councils. The voestalpine Group has both a European Works Council and a Group Works Council, which maintain good communications with management.

Child labor and forced labor

voestalpine is strictly against child, forced, and bonded labor. So far, there has been no known case of such forms of labor in the entire Group. Nor does voestalpine tolerate any form of child, forced, and bonded labor at its suppliers and business partners. As part of the Sustainable Supply Chain Management reviews, voestalpine’s suppliers are pointedly audited as to their compliance with human rights, particularly with respect to child, forced, and bonded labor (see Transparency in the Supply Chain).

The Code of Conduct for Business Partners states in this respect: “The Business Partner undertakes to respect and comply with human rights as fundamental values on the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Charter. In particular, this applies to the prohibition of child and forced labor, the prohibition of any form of human trafficking, the equal treatment of employees, and the right to employee representation and collective bargaining.”

Human trafficking and modern slavery

Companies of the voestalpine Group that are subject to the UK Modern Slavery Act fulfil the latter’s requirements by publishing a statement to that effect. Both the Code of Conduct and the Code of Conduct for Business Partners explicitly mention and expressly prohibit human trafficking and modern slavery.

Human rights training for security personnel

Plant security staff is largely made up of voestalpine’s own employees. The Code of Conduct also applies to third-party employees, and the Code of Conduct for Business Partners applies to their employers. Both documents stipulate compliance with human rights. voestalpine itself provides human rights training for its own employees; external security personnel are trained by their own employers.

Rights of indigenous peoples

As voestalpine operates solely in developed industrial areas, its business operations do not affect the rights of aboriginal peoples.


An online training program will be developed during the next business year to ensure respect for and compliance with human rights. The program will serve to sensitize all employees whose activities entail greater responsibility for this issue and provide them with important information and instructions on how to act.

About voestalpine

In its business segments, voestalpine is a globally leading steel and technology group with a unique combination of materials and processing expertise. voestalpine, which operates globally, has around 500 Group companies and locations in more than 50 countries on all five continents. It has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1995. With its top-quality products and system solutions, it is a leading partner to the automotive and consumer goods industries as well as the aerospace and oil & gas industries, and is also the world market leader in railway systems, tool steel, and special sections. voestalpine is fully committed to the global climate goals and is working intensively to develop technologies which will allow it to decarbonize and reduce its CO2 emissions over the long term. In the business year 2019/20, the Group generated revenue of EUR 12.7 billion, with an operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 1.2 billion; it had about 49,000 employees worldwide.


50 Countries on all 5 continents
500 Group companies and locations
49,000 Employees worldwide

Earnings FY 2019/20

€ 12.7 Billion


€ 1.2 Billion


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