Responsibility & Ethics at the core of our strategy
“At Schneider Electric, one of our cornerstone values is the commitment to ensure that our company operates in an ethical, sustainable and responsible manner worldwide. As a global company, our responsibility goes beyond fulfilling regulatory and legal requirements, especially in the fields of business integrity and human rights.
As CEO of Schneider Electric and President of the United Nations Global Compact France, I want to reaffirm my unwavering commitment to act with the highest standards of ethics.”
CEO and Chairman Schneider Electric
Our alert escalation process
We have designed an alert process to guide employees towards the right bodies, ranked in order of priorities:
- Contacting the manager
- Using existing in-house outlets (legal, financial, RH, environment, etc.), or
- Contacting the Group Fraud Committee via the professional alert system accessible via Internet or multilingual telephone line
A professional alert system: the R&ED Line
When an employee is a victim or witness of an event that touches on ethical issues, a professional alert system has been available since 2012 to report information on such events. This system ensures the confidentiality of the exchanges and protects the anonymity of the whistleblower (unless there is legislation to the contrary).
In compliance with local legislation, this system is provided by an independent company and proposes alert categories, a questionnaire, and information exchange protocol between the person issuing the alert and the person responsible for investigating it. Each alert is reviewed by the Group’s Fraud Committee, which appoints a two-person team to take charge of the investigation, consisting of a Compliance Officer and an investigator from the Schneider Electric Bureau of Investigation.
Based on the findings of the investigation, management take appropriate measures to punish or exonerate the party or parties involved. Each year a detailed report with statistics (number and type of alerts by region) is presented to the Audit committee and the Group Executive Committee, which reviews and approves the preventive and corrective actions to be taken.
Unless there are legal provisions to the contrary, the system can be used to send alerts in the following areas in every country in which the Group operates: discrimination, harassment, safety, environmental harm, unfair competition, corruption, conflicts of interest, accounting manipulation, document forgery, insider trading, theft, fraud and embezzlement.
113 ethical alerts have been escalated in the R&ED line system in 2014: 3/4 of them were related to potential financial frauds/conflict of interest; the remaining 1/4 were related to allegations of discrimination/harassment/unfair treatment of employees.