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“Respect” is a core value for Elkem. Respect for us means being fair, open and honest, trusting our colleagues and partners and appreciating diversity. It naturally follows that Elkem respects and supports internationally proclaimed human and labour rights; the UN Declaration and International Conventions on Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the ILO core conventions on fundamental principles and rights at work.

Human rights program

Our Human rights program is guided by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and protects the rights of the employees and the stakeholders that are specifically vulnerable to our activities. It includes the following key elements:

  • Clear commitment and requirements embedded in relevant governing documents
  • Organisational ownership

Human rights due diligence: Continuously identifying, preventing and mitigating human rights violations

  • Regular risk assessments
  • Clear and visible communication of expectations at all levels in the organisation
  • Risk-based training, awareness and lessons learned programs
  • Risk-based integrity due diligence of business associates
  • Contractual clauses in agreements with business associates
Monitoring and reporting
  • Risk-based inspections, reviews and audits
  • Effective channels for reporting of concerns / whistleblowing
  • Adequate investigations of all reported concerns / whistleblower reports
  • Regular reporting to Audit Committee and in annual Sustainability Report

Our commitment and principles are codified in our governing documents, some of which are available here. However, human rights concerns are by their very nature multi-faceted and linked to multiple business processes, and Elkem therefore strives to integrate human rights considerations into its daily business activities. This approach also facilitates a company culture where human rights risk is considered as part of core business, rather than as a separate exercise. To adequately address the company’s human rights risks, particular focus is paid to the governing documents for functions such as Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), Compliance, Human Resources, and Supply Chain.

Links to key documents:


Own operations

Our most important responsibility is to ensure a physically and psychologically safe and healthy environment for anyone working for Elkem and at our premises.

Health and safety

Health and safety are always our first priority. We do not accept that our processes cannot be run without injuries and therefore base our operations on a zero-harm philosophy. The protection of health and safety covers all people working at all Elkem locations.

Follow this link for more information on our health and safety policies and management/follow up.

A strong health and safety culture is the essence of our licence to operate. Elkem employees, and contractors working on Elkem property are expected to be fully committed to a safe and healthy workplace, and to minimise the effects of our operations on the environment

We show our commitment by:

  • Having clearly defined responsibilities and accepting accountability for HSE at all levels of the organisation.
  • Always prioritising individual health and safety when choices have to be made.
  • Setting ambitious goals and striving for continuous improvement in HSE.
  • Using the same HSE systems, tools and methods, and having the same expectations to HSE performance wherever we operate around the world.
Health and safety targets
  • Zero total recordable injury rate (TRIR)
  • Ensure reporting of all first aid injures
  • Ensure reporting of all high-risk incidents (HRI)
  • Zero work related illness

The progress towards our targets are reported in Elkem's annual report and ESG report.


Labour rights

It is Elkem’s desire and responsibility to provide a sustainable working environment with fair terms of employment for all our workforce. At the core of this is including freedom of association, right to collective bargaining, and avoiding the use of forced or child labour.

Elkem fully endorses employees’ freedom of association and collective bargaining rights. These rights give employees the ability to influence changes and find solutions together with their employer. Elkem has a strong tradition for good and constructive dialogue between the employees and the leadership.

Elkem thus recognises and respects the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining in accordance with local, national legislation and practices. In countries where the local laws, practice or traditions do not support this, Elkem encourage channels and arenas where the employees are informed about the company’s status and allowed to get information, raise concerns, and influence decisions affecting them.

Elkem does not accept or use any form of forced labour or slavery in our operations in accordance with the definitions provided by the ILO. Employment in Elkem shall always be on a voluntary basis and without any form of threats, force or unlawful recruitment. Elkem does not allow children below the age of 16 to be employed in our operations. Elkem accepts programs for apprenticeships below the age of 16, but only where such programs enhance the child’s education and development.

More details can be found in Elkem's People policy.

Labour targets
  • Zero tolerance of behaviour that conflict with basic human rights
  • Zero tolerance of any form of harassment, discrimination, threatening or inappropriate behaviour
  • All employees to receive annual development discussions with closes leader
  • Report on employees covered by bargaining agreements
  • Report on incidents of child and forced labour in Elkem or supply chain

The progress towards our targets are reported in Elkem's annual report and ESG report.


Diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunities

At Elkem, we believe that our people are our most valuable asset, and we are committed to creating equal opportunities for all employees.  We are focused on building and sustaining a culture of equity and belonging that attracts and retains our people and, in turn, fuels our global business results. We know that inclusion is the key to unlocking the power of our people. We strive to collaborate and work well together, independent of our diversity dimensions, by building trust through transparency, open communication and a willingness to actively listen allowing us to be open to new perspectives.

We tolerate neither direct nor indirect negative discrimination, any form of harassment, threatening or inappropriate behaviour, or degrading treatment towards colleagues or business partners.


Business partners

We also have a responsibility to use our leverage to promote human rights and decent working conditions towards our business partners. Our Code of Conduct for Business Partners outlines Elkem’s expectations with regards to ethical and legally compliant business practises, human rights, worker’s rights and environmental protection. Suppliers, subcontractors, and other contracting parties of Elkem, including companies in which Elkem own a minority stake, are expected to adhere to standards which are consistent with applicable laws and Elkem’s Code of conduct for business partners, and Elkem shall do its best to ensure such adherence. Business Partners may be required to complete self-assessments, undergo further audit activities and trainings.


Disclosure and reporting

In Elkem, we value openness and transparency and communicate regularly on our human rights impacts and measures to address risks to people. We are subject to specific disclosure requirements on human rights and related topics in several of the jurisdictions we operate. These requirements include the UK Modern Slavery Act and the Norwegian Transparency Act (also known as “Lov om virksomheters åpenhet og arbeid med grunnleggende menneskerettigheter og anstendige arbeidsforhold” or “Åpenhetsloven”).

Elkem believes that a single, comprehensive, publicly available, and regularly published report is the preferable approach to ensure transparency and traceability. We therefore ensure that our annual report and ESG report covers all disclosure and reporting requirements. The following chapters addresses our work to safeguard and promote human and labour rights and decent working conditions:

  • Health and safety on site
  • Human rights, including labor rights
  • Diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI)
  • Responsible economic practices
  • Responsible value chain management

Elkem follows the recommendations given by the Oslo Stock Exchange for annual sustainability reporting. The sustainability reporting is done in accordance with the recommendation from the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) standards, the UN Global Compact, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures (TCFD). The annual ESG report is subject to external verification and approved by our Board of directors.+

Community involvement

Our stakeholder dialogue is based on respect for individuals, society, and the environment. Maintaining contact with the various stakeholders helps Elkem understand the role we play in local communities and society at large, as well as building long term, mutual trust.

For more information about our community engagement and dialogue, please have a look at this page.

Community involvement and dialogue

Our stakeholder dialogue is based on respect for individuals, society, and the environment. Maintaining contact with the various stakeholders helps Elkem understand the role we play in local communities and society at large, as well as building long term, mutual trust.

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