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The KARL STORZ family-run company is committed to legal compliance, honesty, loyalty, transparency, sustainability, and fairness in everyday business operations. These values are not abstract requirements but rather essential guidelines for our corporate activity. Our company founder, Dr. med. h. c. Karl Storz, already practiced these values and recognized them as the key to long-term, sustainable success. Following laws and company-specific rules and principles of conduct is nowadays referred to as “compliance”. For KARL STORZ, this means that each and every employee, all supervisors, and the management board continuously ensure that our business activities are always conducted respecting the law and ethical rules. For this purpose, the company management in Tuttlingen puts in place global compliance standards in the form of a code of conduct and associated guidelines. At our worldwide sites, these standards are bindingly implemented through local instructions or expanded if national law requires.

Throughout recent decades, our company has worked hard to gain an excellent reputation for quality and innovation in endoscopy. Therefore, each and every employee is responsible for maintaining this excellent reputation and for further promoting it through positive action, for strengthening our customers’ confidence placed in us time and again and for safeguarding the company from any illegal or unethical actions. The compliance guidelines created for this purpose offer employees clear orientation, and to our customers and suppliers, they promise partnership in a fair and transparent business process.

KARL STORZ has a worldwide whistleblower system in place for the early detection of compliance violations, initiation of countermeasures, and determination of preventive measures for the future. KARL STORZ staff members and third parties may report relevant violations or concerns at any time.

Rules of Procedure

What is a compliance violation and what can be reported?

A compliance violation may have occurred if any regulation under criminal law, a regulation punishable by a fine, another regulation, e.g. one governing compliance with human rights, or an environmental regulation has been infringed in the context of KARL STORZ business activity. You may report, in particular, any actual or potential violations of laws within the material scope of the German Whistleblower Protection Act as well as any violations and risks within the material scope of the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act.

Internal reporting office

How do you make a report?

Via the KARL STORZ Compliance Hotline, you can report an incident online or by phone around the clock in various languages – even anonymously, if you so choose.

  1. Decide whether you want to make the report online or by phone.
    a. Reporting an incident online: Select the country in which you are located and the country to which your concern applies.
    b. Reporting an incident by phone: Select the country in which you are located. The telephone number to dial for submitting your report is displayed.
  2. You are then asked to read our privacy notice and consent to the processing of your data and information.
  3. In the next step, you are shown various defined categories. Select the category that most closely matches your concern.
  4. You are then asked to provide further information and details on your report and to describe the incident in more detail in your own words. Simultaneously, you are informed that you have the option of submitting the report anonymously.
    Finally, you are asked to generate a password for your report. Using the report key you were sent and this password, you can log in and check the status of your report, send additional information, or respond to our questions. This system makes it possible to communicate with the whistleblower anonymously.

What happens with the report?

  1. Receipt and initial evaluation of the report: Within 7 days, you will receive a confirmation of receipt of your report. This is followed by an initial legal evaluation of the report by the responsible, professionally independent, and autonomous compliance unit within KARL STORZ.
    a. Reports from the EMEA and APAC regions are processed by Global Compliance.
    b. Reports received from North America (including Canada), Central America, and South America are processed by Compliance North America.
    Depending on the report’s contents, other specialty departments may be involved in the investigation.
  2. Investigation:
    The received reports are examined independently, impartially, and confidentially. We do not tolerate any retaliation against or exertion of pressure on any whistleblowers acting in good faith. Until a violation has been proven, the principle of presumption of innocence applies. If a suspicion is found to be justified, the principle of proportionality is applied to determine appropriate measures to be taken in that particular case.
  3. Case closure:
    The whistleblower is notified about closure of the case.
    The data collected on the respective case are stored in accordance with retention periods specified under data privacy law and are subsequently deleted.

External reporting office

Additionally, you can contact the following external reporting offices: