VINCI has adopted a stronger framework so that all its employees can contribute effectively to the Group’s integrity and transparency requirements.
Ethics and compliance
VINCI has evolved around strong values that mould its culture and guide its actions. Ethics is at the heart of all VINCI’s business relations with its stakeholders. The Group expects the highest standards of conduct from each of its employees based on a sense of honesty, loyalty, respect for dignity and individual rights. This commitment is reflected at the highest level in the Group. Throughout the internal road show that led him to meet nearly 8,000 employees in 2018 and 2019, the Chairman and CEO, Xavier Huillard, systematically reaffirmed VINCI’s ambitions for sustainability and compliance.
The Code of Ethics and Conduct lays down all the principles of business ethics that apply in all circumstances, in all countries where the Group operates and to all companies and their employees. It is used in tandem the Anti-corruption Code of Conduct, which details the rules concerning the prevention of all acts of corruption, notably identifying risks in business processes and defining conduct to be avoided.
These two documents are available in 31 languages on the Group intranet and website. They can therefore be accessed by almost 100% of employees in the official language of their country and are included in the new employee welcome kit. The Group’s 53,000 key managers have undertaken to comply with them and ensure they are applied within the scope of their responsibility.
Training and information
To enable all employees to contribute effectively to preventing and detecting acts of corruption, at the level of their responsibilities, specific training programmes have been developed and deployed at all levels in the organisation. These modules complement the general e-learning training courses on the Group platform, such as the Anti-corruption – challenges and risks and Conflicts of Interest courses.
employees trained in prevention and anti-corruption detection in 2021
Partners and subcontractors
The integrity and transparency requirement does not just apply to Group companies and employees, but also to its partners and subcontractors. In addition to their technical expertise and ability to fulfil their duties, subcontractors are also assessed for their own commitment to respecting human rights and business ethics.
After a favourable response from the European Works Council, the Group’s whistleblowing system was extended on 1 January 2019 to include an online whistleblowing platform called VINCI Integrity. Available in five languages on the Group intranet and website, this secure system enables employees and stakeholders to report any inappropriate behaviour in the areas of human rights, business ethics, environmental risk prevention and health and safety. It guarantees full traceability and anonymity.
The Ethics and Vigilance Department reports to the Chairman and CEO. Working closely with the business line departments, corporate functions and the Group’s Ethics and Vigilance Committee, and relying on both internal expertise (Legal, Audit and Human Resources departments, Ethics and Compliance Club, GDPR steering committee and Human Rights steering committee) and external expertise, it coordinates the implementation of the prevention system.
Created in 2018, the Ethics and Vigilance Committee has seven members, five of whom are also members of the VINCI Executive Committee. It is responsible for implementing and updating compliance systems covered by Code of Ethics and Conduct, notably concerning the detection and prevention of acts of corruption and preventing serious breaches of human rights and basic freedoms, and the health and safety of people and the environment, attributable to the Group’s businesses.
Building leverage through active collaborations
The issues facing VINCI and its entities are often complex and involve multiple players throughout the value chain. Although VINCI continually enhances its risk prevention and management systems, it does not always have the necessary leverage to pursue every possible action, due to its position in the value chain and the cyclical nature of its activities. For this reason, as a complement to its in-house efforts, VINCI has joined a number of external coalitions and initiatives, working in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders on tools, methodologies and actions that promote human rights, to better address human rights issues.
Main collaborative initiatives in which VINCI participates
• Building Responsibly (https://www.building-responsibly.org) , of which VINCI is a founding member and a co-chair in 2021-2022. Building Responsibly brings together engineering and construction firms in order to develop common approaches, standards, and tools, share best practices and experiences and engage stakeholders and all actors in the value chain to find concrete and collective solutions to the challenges faced by the sector. This initiative aims to inspire the entire construction ecosystem to commit to promoting workers’ rights. In the medium term, it seeks to have its worker welfare principles recognized as standards by all industry players.
• Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment (https://www.ihrb.org/employerpays/leadership-group-for-responsible-recruitment), which welcomed VINCI to its steering committee in June 2017. This collaborative initiative between leading companies and expert organisations strives to promote responsible recruitment practices and combat forced labour.
• Entreprises pour les Droits de l’Homme / Businesses for Human Rights (https://www.e-dh.org), of which VINCI is an executive board member. This association of leading French companies is a forum for discussion, initiatives and proposals by these businesses to improve the integration of human rights into business policies and practices.
• UN Global Compac> (https://www.unglobalcompact.org), which VINCI signed in 2003. VINCI is a member of the Human Rights Club of the French network of the Global Compact.