Group Compliance - SMA Solar Technology AG

Compliance at SMA

SMA Group Compliance

Compliance, the observance of legal requirements and internal guidelines, has been increasing in importance over the past several years, both outside and inside of SMA. Rapid growth and increasing internationalization have made SMA's business operations much more complex. We are active in many countries and therefore have to observe many different laws.

Compliance issues are receiving increasing public attention. A company's reputation and economic success can suffer significant damage from violations of laws. These days a risk-oriented, preventive compliance strategy is more important than ever.

At SMA, Group Compliance coordinates our worldwide Compliance activities and assists managers and employees whenever they have Compliance questions.

Compliance bei SMA

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Compliance violations can be the result of insufficient awareness or understanding, carelessness or even criminal conduct. Group Compliance has the goal of systematically reducing the risk of Non-Compliance through the following measures:

  • Clear guidelines and training to facilitate correct and responsible behavior
  • Raising awareness among employees that allows them to timely detect and properly assess Compliance risks
  • The Compliance Helpline, which is available for every SMA employee to receive immediate support

Global and systematic Compliance protects every individual SMA employee as well as the Managing and Supervisory Boards.

It is often difficult for employees to fully understand the legal requirements governing business conduct. Therefore, the Managing Board decided to elaborate on the values outlined in the SMA Mission Statement by establishing Business Principles.

Through these Business Principles, every employee is provided with clear guidance and the fundamental framework concerning proper business conduct. The Business Principles are also the backbone of the SMA Compliance Program.

The Business Principles were drafted by a working group consisting of members of the Works Council along with other SMA employees and managers. Ten Principles tackling the most crucial Compliance risks were defined. They are applicable to every SMA employee around the world.

Internal Guidelines

The topic of Compliance continues to gain enormous significance within global business. An increasingly regulated environment along with strong public attention brings about constantly expanding requirements for SMA, its employees and business partners.

Gift giving can be a common and legitimate business practice, but it could also lead to a conflict of interest. To avoid this, the following rules and limitations must be observed by all employees when receiving work-related gifts.

Basics rules for the acceptance of gifts:

  • Gifts that cannot be considered reasonable and customary under the circumstances, for example due to an inappropriately high value, must be rejected.
  • Cash, vouchers/gift certificates, any kind of financing, discounts that are not available to all SMA employees and lottery tickets may never be accepted and must be returned. The same applies for gifts sent to an employee’s private home address.
  • Gifts of nominal or very small value (e.g. simple logo-bearing articles) may be kept. All other acceptable gifts will be entered into a raffle so that all SMA employees can benefit.

As with gifts, the receiving of hospitality is a common business practice that could lead to a conflict of interest. The following internal rules have been put in place to avoid such situations.

Basic rules for hospitality:

  • Ordinary business lunches or dinners as well as invitations to events with exclusively professional content may always be accepted.
  • Invitations exceeding the value of ordinary business meals as well as invitations that offer entertainment are subject to the prior consent of the employee’s direct manager. Such consent will only be given if there is no upcoming or pending business with the host and if the event is reasonable and customary under the circumstances. In such cases, SMA will pay any travel and accommodation costs.

SMA has uniform company-wide policies for donations and sponsorship. The objective behind these rules is to achieve a clear separation of our business activities from our Corporate Citizenship, Stakeholder Engagement and marketing activities. For this reason, operational (e.g. Procurement) employees are not allowed to be involved in the charitable donation process as it involves SMA business partners, especially the requesting, accepting and forwarding of donations.

SMA business partners that would like to donate to a charitable project supported by SMA or have any organizational questions related to the donation process should contact Corporate Social Responsibility at SMA (

The Anti-Corruption guideline outlines rules for the prevention of corruption and concretizes portions of the SMA Business Principles. It is binding on all SMA Group companies and represents the core of SMA's anti-corruption measures. With zero tolerance for corruption in place, this guideline provides a practical understanding of the type of conduct that is prohibited compared to that which is permissible in the context of developing and maintaining lawful and proper business relationships through gifts and invitations, for which limits on monetary value have been set. This guideline also focuses on the requirements for the selection, engagement and supervision of service providers, particularly sales-related intermediaries.

The full and strict compliance with competition and antitrust laws as required in the SMA Business Principles are expanded upon through a clear list of “Dos and Don'ts” within the Antitrust guideline. To ensure a practical use of this guideline, it is divided into major situations that employees may encounter, including:

  • Trade shows
  • Meetings with competitors
  • Trade association work
  • Meetings with buyers
  • Meetings with customers

External Guidelines

Our actions are characterized by clearly defined values and principles which are laid out in our Mission Statement. Our Mission Statement serves as a guideline for our employees and demonstrates the principles according to which we shape our relationships with business partners, customers and the public.

SMA contractually requires its suppliers to comply with the SMA Supplier Code of Conduct, which in addition to the fundamental requirements relating to labor standards, workers’ rights and environmental protection also requires suppliers to comply with anti-corruption laws.

SMA Supplier Code of Conduct

The BME Code of Conduct encompasses fundamental rules to combat corruption and violations of cartel law, to eliminate child and compulsory labor and to support compliance with human rights, environmental and health protections as well as fair work conditions.

BME Code of Conduct

The UN Global Compact is a worldwide voluntary initiative with the objective of bringing the strengths of the United Nations, businesses and civil society together to act in the interests of sustainable development. At the core of this initiative are ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption.

UN Global Compact

SMA employees are welcome to contact their respective manager or Group Compliance when seeking answers to their questions relating to the Business Principles. Additionally, they may contact the SMA Speak-Up Line, which offers SMA employees as well as external parties (e.g. suppliers) the chance to report serious violations of the SMA Business Principles.

The SMA Speak-Up Line is administered through the external service provider “People Intouch,” and subject to local laws and regulations, it allows for the reporting of Compliance concerns anywhere and anytime. Such reports may also be made anonymously.

Your report will be forwarded exclusively to SMA Group Compliance, where it will be handled confidentially and professionally.

For more information regarding the use of the SMA Speak-Up Line, please see the Data Protection Policy.

The Speak-Up Line can be accessed after you have agreed to our Data Protection Policy.

Contact Form

If you have any questions, please contact the Group Compliance staff. In addition to the contact information to the right, the following contact form may also be used.

Group Compliance

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SMA Solar Technology AG
Group Compliance

+49 561 9522 424242