Our activities are guided by a common framework that reflects our values. The framework includes our Code of Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility Guidelines, as well as codes of conduct for employees, suppliers and the environment, together ‘the Codes’. Our CSR strategy provides an overarching framework, which helps Richemont’s managers, employees and suppliers to understand our expectations.
The Codes have been made available to all employees and are available in at least eight languages. The Codes are regularly reviewed and amended to ensure they remain relevant. For example, the revised Supplier Code of Conduct was first published in December 2015 and was updated during the year under review. The Standards of Business Conduct was revised in the prior year and all employees followed its mandatory eLearning modules.
In light of the new CSR 2020 Plan, all of the Codes are currently being reviewed. Any substantive changes will be presented to the Board for review and approved during the current financial year and published shortly thereafter. The publication may be found alongside the 2018 CSR Report. Accordingly, earlier versions of the Codes, previously published on the website and extant at July 2018, may be replaced during the months ahead. Revisions and new policies are expected to include: CSR Policy; Environmental Code of Conduct; Community Investment Policy; and Standards of Business Conduct. The latter may be published in its entirety.
Anti-bribery and corruption
The Codes include Richemont’s clear opposition to all forms of bribery and corruption. The Group has communicated its position on this topic to every employee. Whistleblowing procedures are in place to ensure that any suspicions of inappropriate conduct can be voiced. All employees are systematically made aware of the Codes and the related Standards of Business Conduct and are reminded of the whistleblowing procedures annually. The internal guidance sets out examples of the types of wrongdoing which should be raised by employees, including non-compliance with legal obligations or a breach of human rights, as well as identifying who to contact, namely the Head of Internal Audit. All concerns raised during the year were addressed in line with the Group’s Whistleblowing Policy and Procedure, including concerns raised by employees in partner organisations such as suppliers. Our opposition to conflicts of interest, facilitation payments and many other matters which may arise in the course of business are detailed in our Standards of Business Conduct.
Richemont measures compliance with its Codes through two channels: for suppliers, the Maisons organise audits on a risk-weighted basis and the Group assists the Maisons; for employees, each Maison conducts comprehensive training of new employees and annually reconfirms that all employees are familiar with Richemont’s whistleblowing policy.
During the 2017 calendar year, 85 whistleblowing cases were notified. (2016: 90 cases. 2015: 102 cases). No reports of sexual harassment were received in 2017.