Ethics are a major strategic issue for Veolia Environnement; its reputation and image depend to a large extent on its ability to act in accordance with the values it seeks to defend and promote within the company and with regard to its stakeholders. Veolia Environnement's fundamental values (Responsibility, Solidarity, Respect, Innovation and Customer Focus) reflect its identity and form the basis of its economic, social and environmental performance; they are formalized in its ethics guide, which provides employees worldwide with a common frame of reference. The ethics guide acts as a day-today marker and point of reference.
Veolia Environnement has entrusted ethics guide compliance to an independent body, the Ethics Committee. It receives referrals for the most part through an alert system that ensures complete confidentiality for both the reporter and the person concerned; the Ethics Committee may also take up any ethical issue that may warrant consideration.
The Ethics Committee acts in close cooperation with the Compliance Department in particular and more generally with all the operational departments. The aim is to ensure with the greatest reasonable certainty that the organization is ethics-focused.
The Chairman of the Ethics Committee
Ethics and compliance: A clear name to match a clear aim
Veolia chose to produce an ethics guide rather than a code to reinforce an internal ethics culture based on shared values that reflect its Purpose. As part of the responsible approach adopted by Veolia, employees are asked to abide by these values, which means they first need to be aware of, understand and buy into them. Not only do our shared values provide guidance for the way employees should conduct themselves day to day, they also strengthen cohesion in a global company whose employees come from different cultures.
Furthermore, the Ethics Guide clearly explains what ethics and compliance actually mean. The guide illustrates our values by referring to behavior that, by its nature (compliance with laws, corruption, influence peddling, etc.), falls under the scope of compliance—in other words, compliance is rooted in our values. The Ethics Guide clarifies a point that often causes confusion for organizations and individuals alike, explaining that compliance forms an integral part of ethics, albeit a distinct subset that requires its own specially tailored approach. Situating compliance as a component of ethics helps ensure employees focus more on understanding the spirit of the law rather than merely obeying the letter of the law.
It therefore appeared logical to set up a single whistleblowing system for both ethics and compliance. The Veolia whistleblowing system is overseen by the Ethics Committee, an independent body that is responsible for communicating any compliance-related red flags to the Compliance Department. Designed to meet the requirements of French public order legislation, which has extraterritorial scope, the system should only be used by whistleblowers when they have not received a satisfactory response from the standard hierarchical reporting system or they deem it inappropriate to go through that channel.
The Chairman of the Ethics Committee
September 6, 2021.
A secure digital platform to improve use of the alert mechanism
In order to improve the use of the "Veolia Ethics Alert" mechanism and take into account the most recent legal and regulatory changes covering its activities worldwide, the Group has set up an ethics alert mechanism that is now accessible to third parties.
If you identify a breach of ethics, you can now directly and confidentially refer the matter to the Ethics Committee via a single link by clicking below:
You can access this system anytime, anywhere in the world and from any computer, tablet or smartphone. It is available in more than twenty languages. Easy to use, it guarantees the confidentiality of exchanges between the Ethics Committee and the reporter, as well as their anonymity if they so choose.
The Veolia Ethics Alert is a tool made available by the Group that ensures everyone is able to exercise their right to alert.
An ethics alert mechanism is a right.
It protects the reporter and Veolia's image and interests.
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