Responsible business practices
In line with our core value, ‘committed to sustainability’, we aim to incorporate social, economic, and environmental sustainability into all aspects of our operations. We foster good governance and ethical business practices through thick and thin, valuing integrity in all contexts, and striving to protect Outotec’s good reputation.
Outotec’s governance is based on the principles of good governance and transparency, as well as our own group-wide policies and processes. We follow the Finnish Corporate Governance Code issued by the Securities Market Association for listed companies. Outotec’s management system documentation is compatible with and audited against such standards as ISO 9001 for Quality Management and ISO 14001 for Environmental Management. Outotec’s corporate governance is described in more detail in our Corporate Governance Statement 2016. Our reporting covers Outotec’s premises and employees, our products and services, and our suppliers’ operations.
Outotec’s values and Code of Conduct define our common way of working. Outotec endorses ethical business practices and complies with national and international laws and regulations. We are committed to working against corruption in all its forms. We similarly expect our suppliers and business partners to follow the same principles and to fully comply with all applicable anti-corruption laws.
Code of Conduct
Our Code of Conduct summarizes our key corporate policies. All Outotec employees are expected to know and follow the Code.
We reviewed our Code of Conduct during 2016, and its revised version was approved by the Board of Directors in February 2017. The focus of the revised code remains largely the same: commitment to responsible business practices, compliance with laws and regulations, solid governance, and the effective management of sustainability and risks.
The Code of Conduct has been designed to give everyone at Outotec ethical guidance on various issues. Line managers are responsible for ensuring that their team members know the Code of Conduct, and receive any necessary e-learning or classroom training. In 2016, a total of 1,223 employees completed Code of Conduct training, corresponding to 30% of our personnel. In addition, a total of 131 employees completed virtual training on anti-corruption topics (G4-SO4).
Outotec was not subject to any corruption-related investigations in 2016 (G4-SO5), nor did we have to pay any fines, or fulfil any non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with anti-corruption laws (G4-S08) or environmental laws (G4-EN29). Furthermore, Outotec was not subject to any legal actions for anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust cases or monopoly practices (2015: one reported case) (G4-S07).
Our Board of Directors
A knowledgeable and engaged Board of Directors is a significant resource that can help is to reach our short- and long-term goals, and create sustainable increases in the value of the company for its shareholders. The work, duties, composition and committees of the Board of Directors are described in our Corporate Governance Statement 2016.
The remuneration of Board members is described in Outotec’s Corporate Governance Statement on pages 13-15. There is no correlation between the compensation for Board members and Outotec’s social or environmental performance.
New principles on diversity for the Board of Directors
During 2016, the Board of Directors defined a new set of principles on diversity. Based on these principles, the members of our Board of Directors must have the necessary knowledge and experience with regard to the business, social and cultural conditions in the most significant markets to Outotec’s business; while they must also constitute a fair and balanced combination of professional experience, skills, gender, nationality, knowledge, and variety of opinions and backgrounds considering Outotec’s current and future needs.
Outotec’s long-term objective is to have a fair and balanced representation of both genders in the Board. When preparing for nominations to the Board of Directors, Outotec’s Nomination Board will aim to ensure that these diversity principles are followed, that the Board functions well as a whole, and that the competence profile of the Board of Directors supports Outotec’s existing and future businesses and is consistent with Outotec’s strategic goals.
Compliance helpline for raising concerns
Outotec’s Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) reports directly to the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee on a quarterly basis regarding any material compliance cases and developments.
Outotec’s compliance helpline is available to both internal and external stakeholders. This helpline enables anyone to raise concerns or seek advice regarding ethical behavior or Outotec’s Code of Conduct. All of the concerns raised are treated confidentially, and there is a clear no retaliation policy against anyone raising a question or concern in good faith. More severe compliance cases may be submitted to Outotec’s Compliance Board, whose members are the Chief Compliance Officer, the General Counsel, the Chief Financial Officer and the Head of Human Resources.
Internal audit and risk management
Outotec’s strategic and operational risks are described at www.outotec.com/investors, and the company’s risk management policy, responsibilities and processes are set out in our Corporate Governance Statement 2016 on pages 9-10.
Outotec’s internal and external audit processes take into account any corruption suspicions and fraudulent acts that may occur. Training sessions are held in connection with audit activities at our market area operations to train employees in anti-corruption policies and procedures for the purpose of preventing misconduct and crimes. Virtual training sessions on anti-corruption are also available to all employees.
In product management, we utilize a Stage Gated Product development process, in which the first phase includes business risk and opportunity checks. It also includes criteria, which are related to a new product’s risks and especially opportunities to precautionally mitigate the climate change, i.e. energy savings, emissions reduction, water savings, waste minimization, improved metals recovery and safety improvement (G4-14).
Outotec uses a project risk assessment tool to assess project-related risks within 10 key categories, including compliance, ethics and sustainability. Risk assessments must be carried out for all projects worth at least one million euros (G4-SO3). Identified risks and mitigation measures are documented in the risk assessments, and appropriate follow-up actions are duly defined on the basis of these findings.
In 2016, a company-wide sales process audit was conducted. In addition, specific audits were conducted in China and in Brazil, as well as follow-up audits of the market areas Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East.
Equal opportunities and labour practices
Our approaches to equal opportunities and labor practices are described in Enhancing employee engagement.
Respecting human rights
Outotec is committed to support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights. This commitment is reflected in our revised Code of Conduct and in our company policies. We remain committed to treat all people with dignity, and we recognize that every individual is equally entitled to enjoy human rights. We do not provide goods or services that we know will be used to carry out human rights abuses, and we work towards the effective abolition of the use of compulsory, forced or child labor.
Outotec joined the United Nations Global Compact Initiative back in December 2010, and we remain committed to its principles, as well as the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These commitments are restated in our revised Code of Conduct.
In 2016, two reported incidents of discrimination were filed through formal grievance mechanisms within Outotec (G4-HR3, G4-HR12). These incidents were reviewed locally, in cooperation with Global Human Resources function and the Chief Compliance Officer. Remediation action plans were implemented and results reviewed through our routine management review processes. These incidents are no longer subject to action.
There were no incidents filed through formal grievance mechanisms related to our suppliers’ human rights impacts (G4-HR11), impacts on society (G4-SO11) or labor practices (G4-LA16).
In 2016, we reviewed our Code of Conduct including the human rights perspective. We also initiated a human rights assessment of our own operations at the end of 2016. As the first phase of this assessment, our company policies and guidelines relating to human rights were examined in comparison to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) by an external consultant. This analysis resulted in policy-specific recommendations that will help us to further align our policies with the UNGP. The results will be taken into consideration in our future policy revisions. We plan to continue the human rights assessment of our own operations in 2017.
Furthermore, as a new annual target with the theme Responsible business practices, we will conduct working condition assessments in our main manufacturing and services sites. These will include audits of physical working conditions as well as certain labor rights topics.
Outotec has not identified, through formal grievance mechanisms or in its risk assessments, any significant negative impacts of its operations, products or suppliers with regard to health and safety (G4-PR2), or local communities (G4-SO2). During 2016 no issues emerged concerning the rights of indigenous people.
Outotec’s Executive Board is responsible for our sustainability agenda (G4-34). The Executive Board additionally approves our sustainability strategy, targets and reporting. Our General Counsel, who is a member of the Executive Board, has overall accountability for corporate responsibility. Responsibility for the sustainability of our products and services lies with the Technology and Product Board, chaired by the CTO. Related decisions, actions and commitments are duly reported to the Board of Directors.
Sustainability is integrated into all relevant organizational functions, such as Quality, Environment, Health and Safety (QEHS), Supply, Human Resources & Communications, and Legal & Contract Management. We have a Sustainability Working Group, whose core team coordinates sustainability work and meets frequently whenever needed.
Outotec’s Sustainability Advisory Council, established at the end of 2014, advises the company regarding sustainability trends, strategies and reporting, and gives input on how stakeholders view the economic, social and environmental impacts of our decisions. The Council is not part of Outotec’s formal governance, however. In 2016, the Sustainability Advisory Council was consulted by e-mail correspondence for feedback on our Sustainability Report and for views on Outotec’s sustainability agenda and focus, with respect to the challenging business environment.
Sustainability-related personal targets are included in the annual bonus plans of Outotec’s Executive Board members, QEHS managers, and environmental and sustainability managers. Inventors working with new, patentable solutions receive monetary rewards for their inventions. Furthermore, Outotec rewards all employees for making proposals that improve the sustainability of the company’s internal processes.