7. Ethics and Integrity
G4-56 General principles and code of conduct
Geberit aims to act as a role model for ethically unimpeachable, environmentally friendly and socially responsible operations. In this regard, the Geberit Compass (what we do, what motivates us, how we work together, what is responsible for our success) and the Geberit Code of Conduct for Employees serve as the applicable guidelines. At the end of 2015, the Compass, together with a letter from the CEO, was delivered to the homes of all our employees and was also explained in the employee magazine. The revised Code of Conduct was communicated to the employees at the start of 2015.
Other specific guidelines that are important to Geberit are the:
- Geberit policy on occupational health and safety, environment and energy
- Geberit Code of Conduct for suppliers
- Geberit Code of Conduct for business partners (only available in English)
- Geberit compliance commitment for contractors
- UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
- SQS and IQNet Group certificate ISO 9001/14001 and OHSAS 18001
G4-57 Mechanisms for securing ethical and lawful behavior
Geberit has established an effective compliance system to ensure that its conduct is both ethical and legal compliant. Action on compliance focuses on the following five key topics: antitrust legislation, corruption, employee rights, product liability and environmental protection, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2016 > Compliance.
Conformity with the Code of Conduct for Employees is subject to controls each year. All companies receive around 50 questions on the five above-mentioned topic areas. In addition, on-site audits are performed by the Internal Audit Department and corrective measures taken in the event of misconduct. The audits also comprise special interviews with the managing directors of the individual companies on the topics mentioned in the Code of Conduct. The respective information is verified. The findings from the survey and audits form the basis for the annual Compliance Report submitted to the Group Executive Board and are published in accordance with the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in this report.
G4-58 Mechanisms for reporting concerns regarding unethical or unlawful behavior
The Board of Directors and Group Executive Board are available at any time to address the concerns of stakeholders.
Employees who openly address irregularities which represent breaches of applicable law, ethical standards or the Code of Conduct are acting correctly and in accordance with the Geberit Code of Conduct. As a general rule, employees should seek a personal meeting with their supervisor. The Geberit Integrity Line is available to all employees as a whistleblower hotline. The service is intended to enable employees to anonymously report cases such as sexual harassment or when a corrupt payment is being covered up. The Integrity Line is operated by an external company with experience in this area, and is available around the clock seven days a week. From 2017, an Integrity Line will also be available to suppliers for anonymously reporting irregularities in the procurement process.