Human rights and business etichs

Our respect for human rights principles is expressed in our Code of Conduct, which includes commitments to local ­society, our own operations and our business partners.

Höganäs has throughout its history been committed to high ethical standards in all business relations – a strong tradition that we need to protect carefully. Our Code of Conduct expresses our stance against all forms of corruption and unethical business behaviour.

A new Code of Conduct was communicated to all co-workers in 2019, and implementation with training and workshops will be carried out during 2020 and 2021. 

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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 laws. Besides the requirement to comply with applicable anti-bribery laws 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.

Reported incidents in 2019

At year-end 2018, one case remained open that was closed during 2019. In addition, the forensic investigation in relation to the monitoring and handling of credits within Höganäs was closed.

During 2019, five new cases have been filed through our whistleblowing system that concerned I) harassment, discrimination and improper expense reimbursement claims, II) violation of safety regulations, III) potential sexual harassment, (iv) improper behaviour and (v) questioned leadership ability and conflict of interest. All cases have been followed up and investigated with certain actions/improvements implemented. All cases have been handled according to procedures and are now closed.

Two cases that were connected to our principles for behaviour as established in our Code of Conduct were investigated and handled by local HR departments and are now closed.

In addition, two cases of wire transfer fraud by targeted email phishing were reported. New training, new procedures and system support are now in place as preventive measures.

There have been no reported claims or incidents ­concerning corruption nor concerning product health and safety, labelling or marketing, loss of customer data or other non-compliances in the social and economic area.