Being ethical is about doing the right thing. For example, respecting laws and regulations wherever we operate, paying taxes accordingly and taking a clear stance against corruption. Beyond that, it also means respecting human rights and embracing diversity and inclusion.
Every day, we interact with millions of people across various countries and cultures. Whether you are a customer, colleague, business partner or any other stakeholder – mutual respect, integrity, transparency and honesty are essential to our business and deeply rooted in our corporate values.
We conduct in-depth training on human rights and responsibilities for our top management, as well as key colleagues in functions such as Sustainability, Human resources and Legal. We are proud to have been named the most ethical company in our industry by Ethisphere for several years in a row.
Corruption is a challenge in many of the markets where we operate. We have a zero tolerance policy and take a proactive approach in preventing corruption. This is described in our Code of Ethics, which applies to all of our business partners, not only suppliers, and of course all our 179,000 colleagues around the world.
We conduct regular corruption risk assessments and, rather than aiming at zero cases on paper, our goal is to actually find the cases where our Code of Ethics has been violated. We see education and building awareness as crucial tools in preventing corruption, especially in high-risk countries. Our Code of Ethics – provides a clear backbone to our business, ranging from our clear commitment to legal compliance in the countries in which we operate to not accepting or facilitating any form of corruption with a clear no-gift policy.
Our tax policy always reflects our business and we are tax compliant at all times. All taxes and fees are paid at the appropriate time and according to local laws and regulations in the countries where we operate. The company’s tax rate depends on the results of our entities and the corporate tax rates in each country.