Conducting business responsibly
Conducting business responsibly is the foundation of our commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility. Integrity, transparency and responsibility characterize the way we conduct business. It is critical to maintaining trust and credibility with customers, partners, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.
Good governance framework
Ericsson has group policies, processes and directives within responsible sourcing, occupational health and safety (OHS), environmental management, anti-corruption and human rights, and other areas. The Ericsson Group Management System includes the Code of Business Ethics, Code of Conduct, Sustainability Policy, and OHS requirements. We are committed to uphold the UN Global Compact Principles and to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights throughout our business operations. Under our Global Assessment Program, an external assurance provider audits the implementation of these policies and directives, management of risks and achievement of objectives.
Code of Business Ethics
Our Code of Business Ethics sets the tone for how we conduct business globally. It is acknowledged by all employees at the time of employment and repeatedly throughout the term of employment. We have zero tolerance for corruption and bribery, and have set high standards within the areas of responsible sourcing, the environment, occupational health and safety, human rights and labor across our operations.
In 2015, both the Code of Business Ethics and the Code of Conduct were strengthened to reflect the transition to a thirdparty managed whistleblower system, the Ericsson Compliance Line, which supports our commitment to comply with laws and regulations, as well as the Code of Business Ethics and other policies, directives and instructions.
In respect of human rights
The UNGP Reporting Framework states that a company’s salient human rights issues are those rights that are at risk of the most severe negative impact through the company’s activities or business relationships. In 2016, for the second consecutive year, we are applying the UNGP Reporting Framework, the first comprehensive guidance for companies to report on how they respect human rights. In 2015, we were the first company in the ICT sector, and among a handful globally, to report according to the Framework. We have defined our salient human rights issues to be the right of freedom of expression, the right to privacy, and labor rights. These are highlighted in the Code of Business Ethics and Code of Conduct.
We are working systematically to embed a human rights framework across the company. Our human rights due diligence covers processes within sales, sourcing, legal affairs. During 2015, different processes have been furthered strengthened. These processes are, for example, The Sales Compliance Process and the merger and acquisitions due diligence process. We also use Human Rights Impact Assessments to help identify and manage salient human rights issues in high-risk countries.
All employees are offered online training on sustainability, anti-corruption, human rights and other CR issues. In 2015, two new employee e-learning trainings were launched: one on Code of Business Ethics and Code of Conduct awareness, and another on human rights and business; the latter launched on Human Rights Day, dec 10, 2015.
The commitment to responsible business is anchored at the highest levels of Ericsson. The CEO and senior management actively support and are regularly informed of progress.