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The ZF Group has gained the recognition and trust of its customers thanks to its responsible corporate management, compliance, and its outstanding products and services. The aim is to maintain this high esteem in the future too. Compliance is an essential element in ensuring the long-term success of the business, protects employees from unnecessary risks, and highlights the right way where doubt arises.

Our Guiding Principles

Corporate management based on integrity and the assumption of social responsibility form the principles of ZF's corporate policy. Compliance is therefore an essential component for ensuring the company's long-term success and underpins our business relationships.

Act to Safeguard Trust

Compliance is a prerequisite for fair, transparent business practice. The actions of each individual employee based on integrity and responsibility reinforce ZF's competitiveness and reputation. After all, you need to embrace compliance in all business areas in order to survive in a competitive market and gain the trust of customers in future.

ZF Compliance aims to bolster and continually promote among employees and business partners an awareness and understanding of acting responsibly.

Compliance thus promotes ZF's financial and social success, providing employees with everyday certainty, protecting them and ZF Group against unnecessary risks, and highlighting the right way where doubt arises. Compliance with rules is an inherent part of our daily work. After all, breaches of external and internal rules may entail serious financial losses.

The Code of Conduct defines principles for acting in line with legal obligations and with integrity − principles which apply equally to every employee. Internal ZF rules provide specific instructions that supplement and enhance the Code of Conduct. The rules help identify and prevent misconduct early on. They also provide guidance in situations where employees are unsure how to behave.

Any breach of compliance guidelines has consequences. Such conduct is clarified by means of careful checks and sanctioned accordingly.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct sets out clear standards that regulate how all employees conduct themselves with integrity in line with compliance rules.

  • Our company and all of us are responsible for adhering to applicable laws and internal guidelines.
  • We endorse, without restriction, the principles of fair and free competition as a fundamental component of the market economy.
  • As part of our worldwide business operations, we do not tolerate any form of corruption.
  • We make decisions in accordance with business considerations and in the interests of the company. We ensure that business decisions are not influenced by private or personal interests.
  • We accept corporate and social responsibility and regard this as a key factor in our sustained corporate success.
  • Safety at work, the preservation and promotion of health, fitness, and job satisfaction of our employees, combined with the reduction of environmental pollution, are fundamental principles placed on business operations.
  • We secure and protect the confidentiality of sensitive information, data, and business secrets.
  • We demand and promote transparent business activities.In line with this belief, our employees can contact us at any time in confidence.

The Code of Conduct for employees can be found here:

Business Partner Principles

As a global leader in technology, ZF stands out through innovation, expertise, and reliability. We always act purposefully and with integrity vis-à-vis our business partners and ourselves. This responsible conduct and transparent business processes are the prerequisite for a relationship with customers, suppliers, and other business partners based on trust.

Prevent risks together and maintain trust

The Business Partner Principles forms the foundation of cooperation based on partnership. It includes the requirements and expectations of the ZF Group vis-à-vis its business partners. Business partners undertake to comply with the principles set out by ZF when collaborating with the company.

The Business Partner Principles can be found in different languages here:

English (PDF, 4.1 MB)

German (PDF, 4.0 MB)

Chinese (PDF, 4.3 MB)

Spanish (PDF, 4.0 MB)

French (PDF, 4.0 MB)

Italian (PDF, 4.0 MB)

Portuguese (PDF, 4.0 MB)

Acceptance Form

The Compliance Organization at a Glance

Compliance is one of the fundamental principles underlying ZF’s business culture. The Compliance organization at the ZF Group defines internal rules and helps ensure that they are followed. It also offers employees communication, advice and training on compliance-relevant topics and issues.

Compliance forms the framework that enables our employees and business partners to act properly and with integrity. Our Compliance Management System is designed to support the prevention of compliance violations by making compliance an integral component of everyday work, enabling employees and business partners to identify and avoid problematic conduct early and make the right decisions. To support our system, we offer employees and business partners a range of contact options in case of uncertainty or to report specific concerns.

Chief Compliance Officer

Josef Hermes is Senior Vice President, Corporate Compliance & Security, Foreign Trade. In this role, Mr. Hermes is the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) for the ZF Group.

Corporate Compliance

The Corporate Compliance department is responsible for the global implementation of the Compliance Management System at the ZF Group. The ZF Compliance Management System focuses on prevention, detection and responses to compliance topics, and supports business implementation of compliance on a global basis. The Compliance organization at ZF Group provides oversight of the Company’s Compliance Management System covering certain significant compliance risks of the ZF Group.

Our global Compliance Network

We have established a company-wide Compliance organization to support the prevention and detection of compliance risks at the ZF Group. Compliance Officers and Compliance Delegates are in place at each operational division to support the global implementation of compliance management system within the operational business units. In addition, Compliance Officers within key corporate functions support implementation of compliance at the corporate level. This global network of professionals brings compliance focus directly into the business operations and corporate functions. Compliance Officers meet regularly, to share practices and learning and to stay informed and coordinated.

Submitting Reports

Our aim is to fulfill compliance requirements in all business situations. Since breaches jeopardize our financial success and put employees at risk, it is important not to look the other way but to report possible misconduct early on.

The best protection comes from within

Each individual employee can help safeguard the trust which our customers place in us. That means not only complying with the rules, but also identifying breaches early on, reporting such breaches, and thus eliminating potential problems.

ZF provides various reporting channels for submitting reports: Getting into direct contact via the Compliance organization or anonymously via the ZF Trustline notification system.

ZF Trustline: Our electronic notification system

How it works

ZF Trustline is ZF Friedrichshafen AG's electronic notification system. It is available to all employees and business partners. Reports on serious compliance breaches can be forwarded via the system.

Reports are submitted outside the ZF network, round the clock, and anonymously if so wished. ZF Trustline works like an electronic mailbox, which also facilitates an anonymous dialog.

The advantages

The key difference to the other contact options is that ZF Trustline guarantees absolute anonymity to every whistle-blower. The electronic platform ZF Trustline resides on an external server so that it is not possible to trace the reports submitted outside ZF over the Internet.

Further information

Code of Conduct

The code of conduct underpins ZF’s principles of business behavior.

Business Partner Principles

Prevent risks jointly with business partners and maintain the trust of customers.



ZF Friedrichshafen AG

D-88038 Friedrichshafen