The voestalpine Group has run regular training courses in antitrust law since 2002. A key measure which came into effect in 2009 was the introduction of a Code of Conduct governing all employees. All Group managers were required to ensure that their areas of responsibility are run in compliance with legal and corporate standards.
Strong internal and external signal
In 2011, voestalpine again intensified compliance activities. As well as establishing a Group-wide compliance organization, and specifying the Code of Conduct with a set of guidelines for areas including antitrust law and corruption, employees also underwent extensive training in external and internal rules of conduct. In addition to targeted in-house training courses and general compliance training, voestalpine has offered a variety of e-learning courses relating to the Code of Conduct and antitrust law as part of the voestalpine internal education and training programs. Furthermore, compliance is a regular subject of internal communication measures.
The main focus of compliance lies in protecting free competition (antitrust law) and avoiding corruption. Group guidelines issued to this effect include regulations on dealings with business brokers and advisors, acceptance and giving of gifts, and sponsoring.
We have set down perfectly clear, high standards that show our customers, suppliers and shareholders, that voestalpine Group employees are reliable, fair, open partners
Group-wide compliance structure
voestalpine views compliance as all-encompassing. The compliance organization set up by voestalpine stipulates that there be a Compliance Officer at the Group level and in each Division. The Compliance Officers acts as the internal contact for all matters and questions related to “Rules of business conduct”. There are now two ways to report suspected compliance breaches: they can be reported to the usual contacts, e.g. a superior, Managing Director and HR or legal department or submitted via a new web-based whistleblower hotline. The whistleblower hotline also allows anonymous reporting of breaches.
“Compliance is an expression of a culture”
Compliance is much more than just acting in accordance with legal principles. It is an expression of a culture—a culture that values tolerance in our dealings with one another on the one hand and that runs according to clear, transparent rules on the other hand. It should cause us to measure our own conduct against our company's values and principles and against human behavior in general.