Integrity and Compliance at ZEISS

As both a company and a brand, ZEISS stands for integrity: business activities must always be conducted in accordance with applicable laws and internal regulations, no matter where they are carried out. In addition, the activities must be legitimate and, as such, ethically responsible. Integrity cannot simply be decreed but instead must be lived and breathed by management, who act as role models, and also be enshrined in the corporate culture. This is why at ZEISS, the Executive Board ensures that clear structures, an effective system, and a global team exist, and it makes the necessary resources available.

Directives and Compliance Management System

  • ZEISS Code of Conduct

    ZEISS Code of Conduct

    What does the Code of Conduct state? The ZEISS Code of Conduct was first published in 2007. It is a globally applicable Code of Conduct that governs the day-to-day actions of all employees. It covers aspects such as the fair treatment of colleagues and business partners, as well as product safety and environmental protection, and expressly agrees to the international labor standards (ILO standards).

    You can download the ZEISS Code of Conduct in the following languages:

  • Compliance Management System

    Compliance Management System

    As the foundation of compliance management, the ZEISS Group’s Code of Conduct, which the company first published in 2007, describes the risks of conducting business activities and provides specific recommendations. It applies worldwide and encompasses topics such as the fair treatment of employees and business partners, product safety, environmental protection, rules against restricting competition, and anti-corruption measures. In the case of certain particularly sensitive areas, the Code of Conduct refers to additional, internal guidelines.They apply to assessing and engaging sales partners as well as handling gifts and invitations, for example.  

    ZEISS has a Compliance Organization that consists of three levels. At the Group-wide level, responsibility lies with the Chief Compliance Officer and the Director Corporate Compliance, who report directly to the Executive Board. ZEISS’s business groups each elected their own Group Compliance Officer, who coordinates activities for the companies that are part of the business group. In turn, each individual company also has their own local Compliance Officer who is responsible for the training measures and is the local point of contact for all questions from employees and management. However, this does not mean that the executives and managers of ZEISS companies are absolved of their responsibility to adhere to legal and internal rules of conduct. They remain obligated to monitor and supervise their local Compliance Officer.

    The Compliance Process

    At ZEISS, the compliance process is broken down into four phases: Prevent, Detect, Respond and Correct.

    1."Prevent“
    - prevent compliance incidents through training of employees
    - mixture of face-to-face-events and modern learning formats
    - mandatory basic course in compliance/ZEISS Code of Conduct for ZEISS employees

    2."Detect“
    - early detection of misconduct
    - all employees are called upon to report compliance issues

    3."Respond"
    - appropriate reaction to individuals engaging in misconduct
    - systematic and uniform approach has top priority

    4. "Correct"
    - show possible organizational and process-related shortcomings through analysis
    - achieve continuous improvement

    In summary, these four phases can prevent systemic compliance infringements and correct, and as necessary, punish misconduct. ZEISS understands "Zero Tolerance" as an obligation to stop all instances of misconduct detected and, as required, establish or adjust processes to eliminate the possibility of their recurrence.

    The Compliance Process
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  • ZEISS Policy

    ZEISS Policy

    The ZEISS Policy describes the understanding of ZEISS on the following core topics:

    • the ZEISS brand, products & customer satisfaction
    • employees, health and safety &
    • compliance & social responsibility
    • external relationships, partners & suppliers
    • environmental protection & energy efficiency
    • continuous improvement processes & setting goals


    Compliance is an essential component that guides all of our business-related actions and behavior.