4. Ethics and integrity
GRI 102-16 VALUES, DIRECTIVES, STANDARDS AND CODES OF CONDUCT
Geberit aims to act as a role model for ethically unimpeachable, environmentally friendly and socially responsible operations. The Geberit Compass (what we do, what motivates us, how we work together, what is responsible for our success), which was updated in 2015, and the Geberit Code of Conduct for Employees, updated in 2014 and implemented in 2015, serve as the applicable guidelines.
Other specific guidelines that are important to Geberit are:
- Geberit policy on occupational health and safety, environment and energy
- Geberit Code of Conduct for Suppliers
- Geberit Code of Conduct for Business Partners
- Geberit antitrust legislation guidelines
- Geberit compliance commitment for contractors
- UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
Geberit responded to the introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the reporting year and incorporated the topic of data protection into its Compliance Programme. Numerous measures for implementation of the GDPR were carried out under the leadership of the legal department, see GRI 418.
GRI 102-17 ETHICAL ADVICE AND CONCERNS
Geberit has established an effective compliance system to ensure that its conduct is both ethical and legally compliant. Action on compliance focuses on the following six key topics: antitrust legislation, corruption, product liability, data protection, employee rights and environmental protection, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2018 > Compliance.
Conformity with the Code of Conduct for Employees is subject to controls each year. All companies receive over 50 questions on the above-mentioned key topics. 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.
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. In the reporting year, the Integrity Line recorded one significant incident, which was subsequently investigated. Since 2017, an Integrity Line has also been available to suppliers for anonymously reporting irregularities in the procurement process. There were no reports from suppliers in the reporting year.