Saab tries not to cause or contribute to adverse impacts on human rights. Saab has pledged to apply the UN Global Compact’s ten principles and integrated them in its Code of Conduct. Through procurement processes and in contacts with partners we increase awareness of the UN Global Compact and in this way promote the values Saab stands for. Saab has an impact on human rights through its work in a number of areas, ranging from diversity and occupational health and safety to anti- corruption and export control. The work with human rights issues is a continuous process that develops over time. Saab uses the UN guiding principles for business and human rights to support its work. According to these principles, companies are expected to identify their most important human rights issues, where there is a risk of the most serious adverse consequences from the company’s operations. Saab has identified responsible supplier relationships (right to fair working conditions) and compliance with export regulations (right to life, freedom and personal safety) as its most important issues.
Responsible supplier relationships
We see our suppliers as an extension of our own operations and expect them to take the same social and environmental responsibility as we do. Systematic measures to ensure that responsibility is being taken in the supply chain not only minimises risks, but also leads to higher quality in the products we buy.
Compliance with export regulations
At the same time that defence materiel contributes to upholding human rights, it can, if used incorrectly and contrary to international law, also lead to human rights violations. The export of defence materiel therefore represents a great responsibility and is subject to strict regulations. The UN Charter establishes that every country has the right – and obligation – to protect its citizens against acts of aggression. A military defence is the ultimate expression of this. A domestic defence industry is an important component in a country’s defence capabilities, but requires sales and technological collaborations with other countries for its long-term development. The large part of Saab’s exports is from Sweden, where the Inspectorate of strategic products (ISP) determines on behalf of the government which defence products Saab may sell to which countries. Defence exports require authorisation, which can be given if there are security and defence policy reasons for the export and it is consistent with Swedish foreign policy interests. Export authorisations are granted on a case-by-case basis, where ISP weighs a number of criteria in a comprehensive assessment. ISP also takes into account the type of product involved; see below. Saab also has its own internal processes to weigh the risks associated with among other things human rights to evaluate new business opportunities. Saab makes a comprehensive assessment in which several factors are considered. The company’s stance is that international trade can be a way to promote countries’ development.
- By working systematically with export compliance Saab contributes to UN sustainable development goal 16.4: Reduce illicit arms flows.