Our code of conduct
Integrity and transparent business processes are key prerequisites for responsible management. The EWE Code of Conduct introduced in 2012 sets out the principles which guide our actions. The Code is based on the concepts of sustainability, fairness and safety and contains rules designed to avoid conflicts of interest and on how to treat business partners, gifts and sensitive company information.
Conduct consistent with the law and the rules is the highest priority of EWE: around 5,300 employees of the EWE Group – 75 per cent of our employees in Germany – took part in internal training courses on compliance in 2016. In order to establish the Code of Conduct throughout the Group, it was introduced by the Turkish subsidiaries in 2016 as well. The Code came into effect in the Polish companies in 2014.
Donations by the EWE Group and the EWE Foundation
Donations are part of EWE’s work in the public domain. We consider ourselves a responsible company with a sustainable business model and we dedicate our resources to selected projects. We primarily contribute to education, science, art, culture and social and humanitarian causes. EWE donated a total of 6.6 million euros in 2016.
New rules on donations were introduced by the Group in the reporting year. As a result, in future EWE’s charitable commitments will be largely pooled into the legally independent EWE Foundation. In line with its articles of association, the voluntary management board of the foundation decides on applications it receives for grants independently. The EWE Foundation is regulated by the regulatory agency of Lower Saxony and the German tax authorities. The capital of the foundation has been increased to 50 million euros, enabling it to support even more effective and comprehensive charitable projects.
Sponsoring is an element of EWE’s communication with customers. Besides marketing and sales objectives, sponsoring fulfils other corporate objectives such as improving the attractiveness of a location whilst taking the public responsibility of the EWE Group into consideration. We inspect our sponsoring activities regularly. In 2016 the decision was made to gradually reduce certain commitments to sports over the next few years. This was due to planned cost reductions.
Our Supplier Code of Conduct
EWE assumes responsibility for its business activities outside of its own sphere of influence, which is why it introduced a Supplier Code of Conduct in 2015. This Code sets out principles relating to human rights and working conditions, occupational health and safety, environmental protection and the integrity of business. In 2016 we had our business partners undertake to adhere to our Supplier Code of Conduct.
Information plays an important role in the business model of EWE. The security of information is therefore a crucial factor in the success of the company. EWE has established Group-wide information security management systems for this very purpose. These are based on the standard ISO 27001. The Group guideline on information security sets out the framework for information security.
Changes to the composition of the Supervisory Board and the Board of Management
The memberships of Stefan Brok, Dr Frank Mastiaux and Dr Hans-Josef Zimmer on the Supervisory Board ended on 21 April 2016. The Annual General Meeting appointed Peter Bohlmann and Beatrix Kuhl to be their successors on 17 May 2016. Dr Frank Mastiaux was also reappointed to the Supervisory Board. Jürgen Humer stepped down from the Supervisory Board on 31 January 2016. He was succeeded by Heike Klattenhoff by judicial appointment on 28 April 2016. On 17 June 2016 Dr Frank Mastiaux was reappointed Vice-chairman of the Supervisory Board.
The Board of Management of EWE AG currently consists of two members. Wolfgang Mücher joined the Board of Management with effect from 1 March 2016. He is responsible for the Finance department. Nikolaus Behr resigned from his office as Head of Human Resources and IT on 19 September 2016. Ines Kolmsee, Head of Technology, stepped down from the Board of Management on 1 January 2017. On 22 February 2017 the Supervisory Board accepted the recommendation of the Executive Committee and removed Matthias Brückmann from the Board of Management. The Supervisory Board will address the new appointment to the Board of Management in one of its upcoming meetings.
Percentage of women in managerial positions
EWE wishes to increase the percentage of women in managerial positions over the next few years. To do so we will rely on tried-and-tested and new measures to strengthen the work-life balance and promote diversity in professional and career development.
Key positions should be filled by the most suitable candidate, regardless of gender. In order to ensure that men and women have equal opportunities to occupy managerial positions and in line with the statutory regulations, EWE has set the following target percentages for women on the Supervisory Board, the Board of Management and other executive boards, as well as the two upper levels of management:
Target percentages for the Supervisory Board and Board of Management of EWE AG
|Board or level of|
(as at 31.12.2016)
|Supervisory Board||15.0 %||5.0 %||Supervisory Board|
|Board of Management||20.0 %||20.0 %||of EWE AG|
Target percentages for the top two levels of management of EWE AG
|Board or level of|
(as at 31.12.2016)
|Department heads||12.0 %||12.5 %||Board of Management|
|Team leaders||15.0 %||24.4 %||of EWE AG|
EWE has established an integrated risk and opportunity management system across the Group in order to quickly identify and actively manage potential risks and opportunities in connection with its business activities. This involves regular analyses of risks and opportunities. The Board of Management of the Group and its supervisory committees are notified of the results on a quarterly basis.
See PDF Integrated Report, page 55 et seqq.
Crisis and business continuity management system
We have established a crisis and business continuity management system to protect and maintain our most vital business processes and the infrastructure required for them to function. For this reason EWE NETZ identified all critical business processes and resources that, if impaired, would quickly cause major damage to customers or financial and reputational damage to EWE. In the subsequent stage, potential threat scenarios such as natural disasters, IT failures or attacks on EWE’s infrastructure were analysed and their effects estimated. Specific measures and plans that can be implemented in such cases to preserve business operations were derived from the results of these analyses. By February 2017 all of the critical processes of EWE NETZ had been integrated into the crisis and business continuity management system.
For the sake of optimal transparency, we update our investors, financial analysts, the media and the public on the situation of the company and on significant changes in its business promptly and regularly. Twice a year EWE reports on business developments and on the net assets, financial position and results of operations of the company, including its opportunities and risks. The annual financial statements of EWE AG, the consolidated financial statements and the combined management report are published within 120 days of the end of each business year. EWE uses the Internet as a continuously up-to-date publication platform. The website of the Group lists the dates of its major publications and events such as the Integrated Report and the financial reports released over the course of the year (half-year reports). In addition to our regular reports, we publish ad-hoc announcements of not generally known circumstances that, if become known, would have a considerable effect on the price of the bonds of EWE.