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Bishops demand that companies comply with human rights

In a unique appeal, more than 110 bishops from all over the world accuse: irresponsible companies “… avoid taxes that could serve to build up and maintain public services of general interest as hospitals or schools; they pollute the soil, water and air or make themselves guilty of serious human rights violations around the world, such as forced labor and child labor. Some transnational corporations are threatening governments with lawsuits with extrajudicial dispute settlement mechanisms if environmental or social laws jeopardize their profits. This profit-driven system and the associated disposable mentality must be questioned more than ever today. ” A voluntary commitment does not seem to be enough to respect environmental protection and human rights. We have experienced this to an increasing extent in recent decades.

For this reason – according to the bishops – it is time for legal regulations. A French law on due diligence is a positive example. Such a law is also being debated in Germany and other countries. The bishops are therefore calling on governments to finally take action and enact specific laws to protect the environment and human rights.

We are convinced that such laws can bring tangible improvements for people if they do
provide access to effective remedies for those concerned!”

Call of the bishops (German): Sorgfaltspflichten für globale Lieferketten – Gegen Menschenrechtsverstöße durch Unternehmen und für weltweite Solidarität!

2020-07-15T10:55:41+02:00July 9th, 2020|

BMZ: Minister Müller demands from companies supply chain responsibility

At the 5th Future Forum “Making Globalization Righteous”, Federal Minister Gerd Müller clearly stated that companies are responsible for their supply chains: “Companies must ensure that human rights are respected in supply chains.” He emphasizes positively that many companies are now voluntarily moving forward. But he also points out that this is far from sufficient: “If we come to the conclusion at the end of the year that the voluntary approaches are not sufficient, we will legally oblige the big companies. Best at the European level – if necessary, but also nationally. That’s how we set it in the coalition agreement. ”

Please refer: https://www.bmz.de/de/presse/reden/minister_mueller/2019/februar/190220_rede_zukunftsforum.html

2020-06-04T11:13:22+02:00August 19th, 2019|

ZDF: “Cheap granite from the Do-it-yourself Market”

Report on imported natural stones at Frontal 21

“China exports more than one million tons of granite stones annually to Germany. These are sold very favorably among other things in Do-It-Yourself Markets, for example as paving stones, wall cladding or kitchen plates. However, hardly a buyer knows that the granite stones are often produced under conditions that are harmful to the health, sometimes even life-threatening. This is attributable to inspection reports and pictures from Chinese quarries and processing companies, which were presented to Frontal 21 and are now being published for the first time. In Germany, however, only one of the six major DIY stores, toom, is active against such violations of the international workplace safety requirements. […]” (Extract from the ZDF announcement of the TV Broadcasting)

Will be broadcast on Tuesday, 14th March 2017 at 9pm

Please refer: Cheap granite from the Do-it-yourself Market

2020-06-04T12:18:53+02:00March 14th, 2017|

Fair-produced natural stones –
now also for the first time in DIY stores

XertifiX and toom pull together

As a first DIY store chain in Germany, toom Baumarkt has certified natural stones from XertifiX. We are delighted that consumers will be able to buy certified natural stones in DIY stores all over Germany. If you want to pave the garage entrance, the terrace or garden paths with a natural conscience, now he / she has the choice!

2020-06-04T12:20:22+02:00March 14th, 2017|

New legal opinion on public procurement

Finally, there is a new legal opinion, which takes into account and takes due account of changes in the law at EU and federal level. The report draws attention to the reform of the German Public Procurement Act, which entered into force on 18 April 2016. This has been implemented by the EU directive on the award of 2014.

Key findings of the report:

  1. It can be social and environmental aspects in the award of public contracts without issues to consider: This can also be done at different levels:
    • As a performance description, e.g. social innovations (see 34) [it is pointed out in the Opinion that there are alternative legal interpretations on this point]
    • As a softer supplementary criterion (s. 34)
    • As an implementation condition, e.g. to sanction non-compliance (s. 34)
  2. It follows that it is not necessary to accept self-explanations. On the contrary, proof of an independent third party may be explicitly required.
  3. Specifically, a specific quality mark is allowed to be required as proof if the public procurement body accepts all requirements of this quality mark.
  4. The federal states can obligate the public procurement bodies to demand certain social standards, but only at the level of the performance description and the implementation condition (S. 37f.)


It is very gratifying that, with Dr. Krönke’s report, a new reading of the legal room to manoeuvre for public procurement is finally to be found!

Please refer: Rechtsgutachten von Dr. Christoph Krönke

2020-06-04T12:22:00+02:00February 20th, 2017|

Lower Saxony reforms Vergabegesetz

On 1 July 2016, the Federal Government awarded the Federal Law on Procurement to the new federal law of the federal government which came into effect in April. A draft law of the Ministry of Economic Affairs was passed on 7 June by the Lower Saxony Landtag.

The decisive passages are:
“(1) When awarding supply, works or services is to work out that the scope of paragraph no goods are the subject of performance, obtained or produced the set in disregard of the core labor standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) minimum requirements are. […]
(2) The governing body shall determine by regulation the product groups or manufacturing procedures to be applied to paragraph 1 and the minimum content of the contractual provisions referred to in the first sentence of paragraph 1. The Regulation shall apply to certifications and verifications, as well as the contractual arrangements for checks and contractual penalties. ”

Please refer: Niedersächsisches Tariftreue- und Vergabegesetz – NTVergG
Please refer: Niedersächsische Kernarbeitsnormenverordnung – NKernVO
Please refer: Erklärung über die Vorlage von Nachweisen
Please refer: Servicestelle zum Niedersächsischen Tariftreue- und Vergabegesetz

2020-06-04T13:55:27+02:00July 1st, 2016|

Saarbrücken: renovation of pedestrian zone

Fußgängerzone Saarbrücken, Foto Harald KreutzerFor the upcoming renovation of the Saarbrücken pedestrian zone, the city has even verpflichet to accept only natural stones with a certificate. It is still open, for which material one decides. But if they buy natural stone from overseas, they will pay attention to the certification already in the tender: “The criteria to be fulfilled will be laid down in the tender documents and the tenderers must prove the certification of the materials used.” Please refer: Saarbrücker Zeitung

This approach is exemplary, as far as the tendering process is concerned, that the material offered must be certified and that all bidders can adapt accordingly.

Please refer:
Ausbeuterische Arbeitsbedingungen in der neuen Saarbrücker Bahnhofstraße ausschließen

2020-06-04T13:57:37+02:00June 9th, 2016|

Report: Working conditions in Indian quarries

Mann am Bohrer2Die Thomson Reuters Foundation reports on the working conditions in Indian quarries and the negative health consequences for the workers.

According to this, Thomson Reuters also confirms the massive health burden for the workers, caused by the unprotected work in the fine dust: about half of the total 2 million workers would suffer from silicosis or other lung diseases. Not a few lead to death. Since the disease was often diagnosed incorrectly as tuberculosis, the affected persons also received no state compensation. XertifiX has been pointing out this fact for years and is working with its standard and controls to protect the workers.

In addition, Thomson Reuters notes the widespread child labor in the sector. This applies not only to the production of stone tiles, but also to stone quarry work: “In Budhpura village, children as young as six or seven years work in the industry, starting with chiselling cobblestones. Boys start working in the quarries from age 12 or 13, while girls may continue making cobblestones and tiles.”

Please refer: In India’s quarries, workers die to make pretty garden tiles

Pdf: In India’s quarries, workers die to make pretty garden tiles

2020-06-04T13:59:04+02:00May 9th, 2016|

Reform of public procurement law


On April 18, 2016 Reform of public procurement law entered into force (law and Directive). For contracts above the so-called EU threshold, the award was simplified and modernized. This applies in particular to the consideration of social aspects: “The possibilities for contracting authorities to set strategic objectives – eg environmental, social or innovative aspects – in the framework of procurement procedures are strengthened.”

This means that the Federal Government is implementing three EU directives for the award of 2014, including the Public Procurement Directive (Directive 2014/24/EU).

Please refer: Gesetz zur Modernisierung des Vergaberechts
Please refer: Verordnung zur Modernisierung des Vergaberechts
Please refer: Reform des Vergaberechts

2020-06-04T14:01:06+02:00April 18th, 2016|

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