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Ethics

Integrity and transparency

Our actions have always been driven by strong ethical principles. With approximately 65,000 employees in over 80 countries, we adhere to the highest ethical standards when conducting our business activities, in particular as concerns human rights, labor rights and the environment

Wherever we operate, our subsidiaries respect the local cultures and traditions while also transmitting the Group’s values through their actions and local commitment.

In line with our Principles of Action, we are committed to complying with all laws and regulations in force, and in particular the rules of fair trade and we do not tolerate corruption in any form. Our behavior and actions are driven by the principles of integrity and transparency.

The Group’s ethics program is built to help employees develop their activities with integrity and transparency in compliance with the rules of conduct. It is based on the following pillars.

Codes transmitted through internal procedures

Codes of conduct dispatched locally integrating the key concepts defined at the Group level in compliance with local regulations

Local codes of conduct for employees are available in over 20 languages

Specific codes of conduct are intended to illustrate certain key concepts in the code of conduct. They are shared and  provided throughout the Group with in particular:

Internal procedures enable the implementation of the recommendations set out in the codes (intermediary selection procedure, procedure to handle fraud and deviations).

Awareness-raising and training programs

The Group has developed ethics awareness-raising and training programs that include several e-learning modules (on-line training), in particular:

  • One module on the Code of Conduct for all Group employees
  • One module on anti-corruption
  • One module on compliance with anti-trust regulations.

These modules are supplemented by classroom training sessions for specific employees depending on their exposure to certain risks.

A whistle-blowing and control system

Since 2015, the Group has put in place a whistle-blowing system for employees which is run by an independent third party. This enables employees to easily report any potential violation of the Code of Conduct (cases of fraud, corruption, harassment, discrimination, etc.). This system is available in local languages, 24/7 for Group employees as well as certain third party subcontractors (temporary workers and service providers).

This system supplements the usual existing channels (line manager, human resources manager, ethics correspondents, the Group's Ethics Officer) available to report ethical problems.

180

reports received in 2017

78%

of reports in connection with Human Resources issues

1/3

of reports give rise to corrective actions or sanctions

A clearly defined organization and governance

The Ethics Officer advises and assists Group entities in implementing the above-mentioned pillars and in the treatment of fraud and deviations. He operates with the help of a network of ethics correspondents - in each geographic zone and business line  - as well as with certain global functions (Legal and Human Resources Departments). He ensures the ethics program is appropriate and effectively deployed.

An Ethics Committee meeting once a year, brings together the Human Resources, Legal, General Control, Operations and Sustainable Development Departments. A summary of the activities of the Ethics Officer is presented to the committee which provides support and guidance on proposed actions. The committee recommends sanctions in ad hoc sessions for any cases of deviations presented to it.

2017 Sustainable Development Report

2017 Sustainable Development Report

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