Building communities and responsible partnerships
Business ethics and anti-corruption
Our respect for human rights principles is expressed in our Code of Conduct, which includes commitments for the local society, our own operations and our business partners. Through our Supplier Code of Conduct, we make it clear that we do not accept violations of human rights principles in our supply chain. We make sure that our own operations live up to our Code of Conduct through training and internal control mechanisms, such as self-assessments, audits and whistleblowing procedures. We also evaluate our business partners’ performance through supplier self-assessments, in connection to supplier site visits and as part of preparations before contract renewals.
Our anti-corruption policy is included in our Code of Conduct, which was updated at the end of the year. The new Code of Conduct will be communicated to all co-workers, and training will be carried out during 2019 and 2020. In 2018, 10 percent of our co-workers received training on our anti-corruption policy and procedures, whereas communication included 12 percent.
Our whistleblowing procedure has been effective since 2010. Two grievances about breaches against the Code of Conduct, that have remained open since 2017, have been handled and closed during 2018. During 2018, we received one case relating to the Swedish operation which has been resolved. In addition, a forensic investigation in relation to the monitoring and handling of credits has been carried out. An improvement project of the credit management procedures is ongoing as a consequence of the investigation.
There are no incidents to report concerning the health and safety impact of products, product information, marketing, breaches of customer privacy or other socio-economic non-compliances.
During the last five years, we signed contracts with 14 agents in 21 countries. In order to minimize risks, an audit of integrity is conducted with all agents exposed to bribery or other corruption risks before any contract is signed. The audit is expanded if circumstances come to light giving rise to questions about an agent's reputation or capacity to comply with anti-corruption law. Besides the requirement to comply with applicable anti-bribery law and Höganäs’ policy, agreements with agents also include permission for us to request an audit of the agent´s books and accounting records by an independent auditor to verify compliance.
We make extensive efforts with our suppliers, working together to secure and develop high standards of human rights, labour rights, anti-corruption and environmental protection.