Guiding Principles and Mission

In 2016 Fraunhofer formulated new Guiding Principles as the product of a participatory development process. These Guiding Principles, consisting of our Mission, Vision and Principles, are primarily intended to have an internal effect, providing equal measures of orientation and motivation and serving as the basis for successfully applied and innovative research.

Leadership Principles

The Fraunhofer Leadership Principles reflect our understanding of the roles, assignments and areas of responsibility of our managers. The Leadership Principles are intended for our managers, who are expected to continuously develop their leadership behavior in close collaboration with their employees. At the same time, the Principles are also intended for our employees, who are expected to reflect on their own behavior in collaboration with management and to actively determine their actions.


Science plays a key role in the transition to more sustainable development of society. Fraunhofer wants its research to contribute to sustainable development in the sense of an ecologically intact, economically successful and socially balanced world. We report at regular intervals on our organization's progress in the area of sustainability management in our Sustainability Report.


To us, responsible corporate management naturally includes compliance with general legal regulations and stipulations on government funding, in addition to an orientation towards values. We maintain a Compliance Management System to systematically ensure compliance with all applicable rules.

Principles of Cooperation and Internal Code of Conduct 

Fraunhofer has published an internal Code of Conduct to provide our employees with basic orientation for their actions. The Code of Conduct addresses a wide range of topics and describes essential areas of responsibility, for example corruption prevention, interaction with customers, ethical responsibility in science and conservation of resources in the workplace. With our cooperation partners in mind, we have published the "Principles of Cooperation" as a set of explanations for third parties, serving to proactively and transparently represent our position on essential topics.


The Fraunhofer whistleblowing system on the Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (LkSG)

The German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz, LkSG) entered into force on January 1, 2023. This German federal law governs the economic activities of companies based in Germany with 3,000 or more employees working there (1,000 or more starting January 1, 2024) by imposing due diligence obligations intended to minimize human rights and environmental risks in the supply chains of these enterprises. One key element of the due diligence obligations set forth in the German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz, LkSG) is the establishment of an effective complaints procedure that can be used to report human rights and environmental risks or violations.The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has therefore expanded its existing BKMS® whistleblowing system to include a dedicated LkSG channel so that reports on violations of the LkSG can be processed systematically and consistently.

The rules of procedure set out the main features of the complaints procedure, including access to the procedure and responsibilities. They also provide details on how incoming information and complaints are handled, i.e., how the complaints procedure is carried out. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and its entities attach great importance to presenting this information in a comprehensible and transparent manner in order to ensure the greatest possible clarity about the process.

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