The environment and ethics – a global responsibility
Since the Group was created, ASSA ABLOY has based its operations on the four Cornerstones of Vision, Realism, Ethics and Courage. These form the foundation of the Group's present endeavors towards sustainable development. ASSA ABLOY is working systematically to meet its ethical and social responsibilities towards its employees, its shareholders and external bodies.
ASSA ABLOY's work on sustainable development is marked by an awareness of risks, but also by efforts to exploit opportunities and create advantages through systematic handling of such issues.
The Group's own analysis reveals three main areas
– Environmental impact in production.
– Lack of business ethics on many different markets.
– Operations in, and suppliers from, low-cost countries.
ASSA ABLOY is working steadily to reduce risks in various business processes, including production (with focus on the environment), purchasing and acquisitions. It is also addressing ethical and social issues.
Responsibility in the Group
ASSA ABLOY's Board of Directors has the ultimate responsibility for policy in this area, while the CEO is responsible for producing, implementing and monitoring a detailed framework of rules for sustainable development. There is an executive at Head Office with primary responsibility for sustainable development and at least one person with similar responsibility in each division. In each subsidiary, the Managing Director and/or the Human Resources Director is responsible for ethical and social issues and the Environmental Director for environmental issues.
Code of Conduct
To facilitate risk management and the regulation of environmental, ethical and social issues, a code of conduct entitled simply 'Our Code of Conduct' was introduced in 2004. This is based on a combination of ASSA ABLOY's primary policies and international conventions such as the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the core conventions of the International Labor Organization. The Code was adopted throughout the organization during 2005 and is one means of bridging the cultural differences in values that can arise. ASSA ABLOY has laid down a
universal standard of behavior that all employees should acquaint themselves with.
Environmental impact in production
ASSA ABLOY has carried out thorough surveys of all its factories in terms of the external environment, health and safety. An environmental program was subsequently developed, which covers:
– Implementation of environmental management systems meeting ISO 14001 or similar standards in all factories with significant environmental impact by 2006 at latest.
– Review of the use of organic solvents and possible alternatives to them.
– Review of the use of hexavalent chromium and substitution of alternatives. Implementation of the EU's directive on Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), which forbids the use of hexavalent chromium for passivating certain electronic and electromechanical products.
– Internal audits, including more thorough local risk analyses.
– Health and safety programs.
– Introduction and reporting of key parameters, for example energy consumption, use of solvents, and accident statistics. These parameters were internally reported for the first time in 2005 and will form the basis for setting quantifiable improvement targets.
Ethical and social business issues
In 2005 ASSA ABLOY began a survey of how its local companies manage their ethical and social risks. The aim of the survey is to raise awareness in the organization and to ensure that the Code of Conduct is observed. The results will lay the ground for action plans and indicators for control and monitoring.
Evaluation of suppliers
Since 2004 local activities have been underway to include issues from the Code of Conduct in the Group's system for monitoring its suppliers. A concept of how to evaluate and inspect suppliers now exists. As part of the comprehensive quality control operation for monitoring suppliers, pilot inspections took place in 2005. In addition to actions on suppliers, guidelines for the Group's investments and acquisitions have been prepared.
In 2006 the environmental program is being expanded with greater control and more reporting from the divisions. A program of internal audit is also being introduced to ensure that the Code of Conduct is being observed and that ASSA ABLOY's basic needs in sustainable development are being achieved. An action plan for continuous monitoring of the Code of Conduct will be implemented in the Group.
The program for controlling suppliers will be extended in 2006. This means that major suppliers operating in low-cost countries will be inspected by auditors working in the purchasing organization and specially trained for the purpose.
The growing interchange of experience between ASSA ABLOY's companies will strengthen the Group and improve the coordination of its work on sustainable development.
code of conduct
The Group's Code of Conduct covers the following subjects: