General Business Principles
Integrity is one of our core values. Today’s complex business environment demands that we firmly embed integrity in our daily business practices.
We require all of our people to sign and comply with the Arcadis General Business Principles, which are summarized in the six areas below.
Integrity as a core value. Our goal is to conduct our business honestly and fairly. Our commitment to integrity determines the way we do business and how we treat our people. The General Business Principles Directives provide specific guidelines related to gifts, hospitality and payments to third parties.
Respect for local laws and cultures. We comply with national laws and respect the cultures of the countries in which we operate. We support the principles of free enterprise and fair competition and observe applicable regulations. We promote, defend and support our legitimate business interests with due regard to the law and the interests of society.
Value for customers. We are a reliable partner for our clients and aim to deliver our services without jeopardizing stakeholder interests. We offer services under terms that do not compromise our independent professional judgment and aim to create optimal value for clients. We focus on continuously improving our services through investment in our knowledge base and the development of employee competencies. We are transparent with clients about conflicts of interest that could emerge during the execution of our services.
Responsible employment practices. Our people are the key to our success and we respect their human and labor rights so they may work in a safe, healthy, professional and supportive environment. We encourage engagement and support personal development through comprehensive policies and initiatives. Every Arcadis employee has an equal opportunity for personal recognition, advancement, career development and compensation, regardless of background or beliefs. The same policy applies to recruitment. No form of discrimination or harassment is tolerated. We strive to ensure fundamental human and labor rights are respected throughout our operations.
Dealing with dilemmas. The integrity code cannot anticipate the array of dilemmas we may face in our day-to-day operations. An active integrity policy means recognizing dilemmas and taking responsibility for resolving them. We encourage employees to discuss business dilemmas with each other and with their management, to make integrity an essential part of our culture.
Monitoring and accountability. Every two years, Arcadis employees complete online compliance training (also performed in 2014) aimed at increasing awareness of Arcadis’ Business Principles and values. This training specifically addresses issues like corruption, collusion, bribery and other risks that our employees may be exposed to. The last round of compliance training for all staff was completed in 2014.
Arcadis monitors compliance with the Business Principles in all operating companies on a quarterly basis. Management of operating companies certifies compliance through a Letter of Representation. Employees are not held responsible for the loss of work resulting from compliance.
Arcadis also has a whistleblower procedure – including an anonymous global Integrity Phone Line – which ensures employees will not suffer negative consequences from reporting violations. Reports of suspected misconduct can be made in all languages spoken in our operating countries. Breach of the Business Principles can lead to sanctions, including termination of employment.
In 2014, 64 alleged breaches or “near misses” of the Arcadis General Business Principles were reported to the Arcadis Corporate Compliance Committee, all of which were investigated, while seventeen cases pending from before 2014 were also still under investigation during the year. In total 59 investigations were concluded. Most of the cases related to corruption / bribery / unreasonable gifts & hospitality, followed by inappropriate behavior. Company-wide, we had four dismissals on grounds related to breaches of the General Business Principles.
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