BOC - Modern Slavery Policy Statement 2019 concerning the year to 31 December 2018

This statement was published in June 2019 in accordance with Section 54 of The Modern Slavery Act 2015 by BOC Limited to set out the steps taken in 2018 by BOC Limited and The BOC Group Limited, and on behalf of those affiliate companies listed below (the “Companies”) (together “BOC”), to ensure that no form of modern slavery takes place in its operations.

About BOC

The BOC Group Limited is a holding company with approximately 120 employees during 2018 and acts as a holding company for its subsidiaries. BOC Limited is the UK’s largest industrial, medical and special gases provider with around 2800 employees serving more than 300,000 customers.

BOC Limited’s products include compressed, bulk and pipeline industrial gases, chemicals, engineering solutions and equipment, healthcare innovations and clean energy and transport technologies. The industries which use its products include steelmaking, refining, chemical processing, environmental protection, wastewater treatment, welding and cutting, food processing and distribution, glass production, electronics and healthcare.

Prior to the merger of Praxair, Inc., and Linde AG on 31 October 2018 under the new holding company, Linde plc, Ireland (“Linde plc group”), BOC were wholly-owned subsidiaries of their ultimate parent, Linde AG, in Munich, Germany (the “Linde Group”). The Linde Group was one of the largest global gases and engineering groups with revenues exceeding €17bn and 58,000 employees operating in more than 100 countries in 2018. The Linde Group, now the Linde plc group, acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment in all its business areas, regions and locations across the globe and is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

BOC’s supply chain and the sourcing and selection of its suppliers is conducted by reference to the Linde Group’s Global Procurement Standards. Depending on the nature of the product or service, sourcing may be local, regional or globally managed.

What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery is a term that encompasses issues such as people trafficking, forced labour, domestic servitude, slavery and other forms of human exploitation.

BOC has a zero tolerance approach to modern slavery, whether in its own operations or in its supply chain.

Our policies

The Linde Group supports the UN Global Compact and works to ensure all ten of its principles, which include principles concerning human rights and labour standards, are integrated into its business. This is reflected in a number of Linde Group and Linde plc group policies and position statements which specifically target these topics. This includes the Code of Ethics and, following the merger with Praxair Inc., the combined Code of Business Integrity, which set out how companies and employees within the Linde Group and the Linde plc group are required to maintain their relationships with customers, suppliers, governments, other businesses, the environment and people and the Linde Group position on human rights which commits BOC to protect and promote human rights and builds upon the values and principles of safety, integrity, sustainability and respect.

BOC Group also shares these principles with its suppliers through the Linde Group’s Code of conduct for Suppliers which informs BOC Group’s suppliers of its minimum requirements for health and safety, environmental protection, legal compliance and integrity, human rights and labour standards, including our intolerance of any form of forced labour.

Preventing Modern Slavery in our supply chain

Approximately 60% of the goods and services purchased by BOC are bought in the UK. During 2018, BOC continued to ensure that suppliers entering into a BOC contract were aware of the Code of Conduct for Suppliers (the “Code”) and agreed to comply with the Code through its incorporation into the supplier contract. In addition to those requirements of the Code provided above, the Code also requires the supplier to undertake reasonable efforts to encourage its own suppliers and sub-contractors to comply with the principles of the Code. Such contracts represent 75% of BOC’s procurement expenditure. The remaining 25% are smaller suppliers who are also contractually bound to the Code through BOC’s purchase order terms and conditions.

Preventing Modern Slavery in our own operations

All BOC employees must comply with, and are protected by, the Linde Group Position Statement on Human Rights, the Code of Ethics and, following the merger with Praxair Inc., the Code of Business Integrity. UK Human Resources and Employee Relations policies meet all UK legal requirements including minimum wage legislation and respect for employee trade union membership and collective bargaining rights. BOC also undertakes appropriate checks on a monthly basis to ensure that no employee is paid below the minimum wage and conducts due diligence when recruiting BOC employees, carrying out stringent pre-employment checks to ensure proof of identity and the right to work in the UK.

Training in BOC’s Code of Ethics is compulsory for employees and includes information concerning the Linde Integrity Line, which is available to all employees. The Linde Integrity Line allows confidential and anonymous reporting by employees and others of all legal and policy violations including forced labour or unfair employment practices. Retaliation against any person raising an issue in good faith is not tolerated. The Supplier Code of Conduct is available to all employees through the Linde Group intranet.

BOC strives for continuous improvement of its ethics and integrity programme including in relation to issues of Modern Slavery. This statement will be periodically updated to reflect these efforts.

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about our commitment to ethical conduct, please visit our Corporate Responsibility microsite.

Approved and signed on behalf of the boards of directors of the Companies on 26 June 2019:

  • The BOC Group Limited
  • BOC Limited
  • BOC Helex
  • BOC Holdings
  • BOC Investment Holdings Limited
  • BOC Netherlands Holdings Limited
  • Linde Canada Holdings Limited
  • Linde Investments No.1 Limited
  • Linde North America Holdings Limited
  • Linde UK Holdings Limited