Preventing corruption and bribery
This article was published on November 11, 2023.
We value transparency, good business ethics and corporate culture
We attach great importance to transparency, good business ethics, and corporate culture. We do not tolerate bribery or other forms of corruption in our business. Corruption and bribery may result in unethical practices, such as unfair pricing of pharmaceutical products that are an integral part of the healthcare systems in the markets in which Fagron operates. Fagron fosters a healthy corporate culture and contributes to good business ethics by taking action against corruption and bribery.
Preventing corruption and bribery is part of the good governance category of our ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) strategy.
The topics that Fagron focuses on when it comes to good governance are:
- Compliance with laws and regulations
- Preventing corruption and bribery
- Fair tax policy
- Grievance mechanism
- Product quality and safety
Below, we will discuss our measures to prevent corruption and bribery in more detail.
Fagron’s Code of Business Conduct
Fagron’s Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy is part of our Code of Business Conduct and describes what Fagron expects from management and employees regarding compliance with laws and regulations and ethical conduct, including the prevention of corruption and bribery.
Fagron’s Code of Business Conduct is available on our website and our intranet, so it is always accessible for all Fagron employees and management. Each new employee commits to comply with our Code of Business Conduct at the time of hire.
Our Anti-Bribery and anti-Corruption Policy explains what constitutes bribery and corruption, stipulates that Fagron does not accept any form of bribery and corruption, supports and guides employees and management in recognizing warning signs and high-risk situations and stimulates employees and management to raise any concerns through our grievance mechanism.
We offer our employees three channels to raise concerns. They can reach out to their manager or local HR; they can contact a confidential counsellor; or they can use our whistleblower tool.
We have established a worldwide online tool that is available 24/7 for employees to anonymously, confidentially, and securely report any suspicion or violation. Reported concerns will be looked into, independently investigated, addressed, and responded to and, if required, appropriate action will be taken.
To foster awareness and support knowledgeability about our Code of Business Conduct, including the Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy, all employees and management must complete an annual Code of Conduct training. This training not only generally covers the different sections of the Code of Conduct, but also emphasizes one of specific topic each year. In order to complete the training, every employee must – again – commit to complying with our Code of Business Conduct.
Internal audit and risk management
Our internal audit department strives to provide independent and objective assurance and advice on optimizing our operations. It supports our business through a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of our risk management, control, and governance processes. Also, transparent internal audit procedures have a preventive effect.
Every year, a number of Fagron companies are scrutinized during an internal audit, so that all Fagron companies are visited by the internal auditor approximately every five years. The topics to be covered during an audit depend on the risk assessment conducted for the relevant company, but financial control processes are always assessed, ensuring that there is a high probability that corruption and bribery will be detected during an internal audit, should it have occurred.
Ambitions and targets
To ensure that both employees and management adhere to the Code of Conduct, we have set the following two objectives:
- At least 90% of Fagron employees completes the annual Code of Conduct training.
- 100% of Fagron’s management completes the annual Code of Conduct training.
We do not wish to set a target on the number of cases reported via our Whistleblower tool or otherwise, as this may have undesired effects, but we advocate transparency and thus disclose the number of reports made in our annual report.
In 2022, one case of corruption or bribery was reported through our Whistleblower tool or otherwise. The investigation of this report is expected to be completed in 2023. 99% of employees to whom the Code of Conducted training has been offered have completed Code of Conduct training and 100% of management.
Follow our ESG journey
We are working non-stop to realize our targets and want to be transparent about our results and activities. Annual progress can be followed in our most recent annual report. We also report on progress during the year in the news segment on our website and on LinkedIn.
If you have any questions or suggestions on what we could do to improve, you can reach us at ESG@fagron.com.