Ethics Highlights

In 2018, we made great strides in the area of ethics, respecting human rights, and advancing anti-corruption. Ethical action is part of our 2018 – 2020 Schneider Sustainability Impact (SSI). The SSI covers 21 impacts that align with United Nations (U.N.) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Together with the global community, we are working to alleviate poverty, protect the planet, and bring about global peace and prosperity. Our key ethics goals and progress help prioritize sustainable, responsible business practices.

All people should have their fundamental human rights respected. At Schneider Electric, we’ve got to avoid any human rights abuse and as a multinational, we need to go beyond the laws or regulations on forced and child labor. We also have to make sure our third parties follow our commitment and act to prevent human rights violations.

Jean-Pascal Tricoire

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Schneider Electric

Principles of Responsibility

Our Principles of Responsibility (PoR) is our framework that drives our Ethics & Compliance program. It outlines the legal and ethical fundamentals that guide our daily work. The Schneider PoR informs our commitments to employees, business partners, shareholders, the planet, and society, driven by three fundamentals:

  1. Be in compliance with laws: We will not tolerate any violation of Ethics & Compliance program laws.
  2. Act ethically: We will follow the ethical rules of conduct that guide our respective occupations.
  3. Respect the principles of corporate social responsibility: We commit to making the most of our energy to produce an overall positive impact on society.

Our Principles of Responsibility align with the 10 principles of the Global Compact of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and standards issued by the International Labor Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Newly updated in 2019, our Principles of Responsibility advances our ethical commitments around the world.

Ethics & Compliance program

We have implemented an Ethics & Compliance program in order to realize our Principles of Responsibility and ensure that they are respected by all Schneider Electric employees and governing bodies. It consists of several policies and procedures, the existence of two whistleblowing systems (Red Line and the Green Line), the regular creation of risk maps, the performance of due diligence on our third parties, and actions of formation and communication. This program includes a complete governance with dedicated employees and committees.

In addition, any breach of this Ethics & Compliance program is investigated and sanctioned.

Red Line and Green Line

The Red Line is the professional alert system that allows Schneider employees, acting selflessly and in good faith, to report ethical concerns either confidentially or anonymously, per relevant local regulation. This includes concerns about the behavior of a third party or an employee that is contrary to the provisions of our Ethics & Compliance program, of which they would have personal knowledge.

Because ethical concerns are not limited to our own employees, Schneider launched the Green Line — the new alert system for our external stakeholders (suppliers, customers, business agents, and beyond). Each alert is investigated by the Group Compliance Committee. Once the investigation is concluded, and if it reveals a violation of integrity principles, its findings will correct our procedures if necessary.

To provide uniformity and fairness to all employees, we have also created a Disciplinary Committee, whose function is to address significant violations of our policies. Its role is to independently consider the evidence and conclusions provided by the Group Compliance Committee and to levy sanctions when appropriate.

Human rights and duty of vigilance

In compliance with the 2017 French Duty of Vigilance law, Schneider Electric has created an ambitious Vigilance Plan to identify and prevent potential risks related to human rights, health and safety, and the environment. This results from our activities, activities of companies we control, and activities of our subcontractors and suppliers with whom we have an established commercial relationship.

To implement and oversee this plan, we created the Duty of Vigilance Committee in May 2017 as a dedicated governance body chaired by three Schneider executives in the areas of sustainability, procurement, and safety and environment. But we think we can do even more. That’s why we are implementing specific due diligence on company activity.

In addition, Schneider continues to play a leading role in shaping business practices. In 2018, our Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Jean-Pascal Tricoire was appointed the Board of the United Nations Global Compact. This is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, and a call for companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption, and to take actions that advance societal goals.

Anti-corruption

At Schneider Electric, we have a zero-tolerance policy toward corruption and other unethical practices. As such, and to be in compliance with the relevant anti-corruption laws (in particular the American FCPA, the British UKBA, and the French Sapin 2 Law), we have put in place an Anti-Corruption Code of Conduct, to be reviewed by the end of 2019. The document identifies and defines risks related to corruption and describes behaviors expected from each employee and the governing bodies of Schneider, as well as complementary policies and procedures (such as the Gifts & Invitations and Business Agents policies). Moreover, employees most at risk (e.g., employees from finance, sales, and procurement) have been trained through a dedicated anti-corruption e-learning.

But because we are convinced that Schneider Electric cannot fight corruption alone, we participate in the initiatives of many NGOs and professional associations. Thus, we partner with Transparency International France, a leading NGO that aims to stop corruption and promote transparency, responsibility, and integrity across all sectors. We’re also members of “The Circle of Business Ethics” ("Le Cercle d'Éthique des Affaires") — a professional association allowing the heads of ethics and compliance of many French companies to work together on ethics and compliance.

Sustainable suppliers

Who we work with is just as important as how we work. That’s why we partner with diligent suppliers, challenging them to make progress against the ISO 26000 guidelines, and act in an ethical and transparent way that contributes to the welfare of society. We aim to increase the score of ISO 26000 assessment for our strategic suppliers by 5 points during the 2018 – 2020 period in our Schneider Sustainability Impact. Further, we offer a Supplier Guidebook to outline expectations and commitments for suppliers worldwide.

In 2018, we joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), a non-profit coalition of 120+ companies that promotes high standards in human rights, safety and security, environmental protection, and business ethics. This allows us to step up accountability for suppliers most exposed to human rights or environmental risks.

Our 2018 achievements
against our 2020 goals

SEE FULL RESULTS

ETHICS – IMPACT #16

1.8

increase in average score of ISO 26000 assessment for our strategic suppliers

ETHICS – IMPACT #17

155 suppliers

under Human Rights & Environment vigilance received specific on-site assessment

ETHICS – IMPACT #18

68.6%

of sales, procurement, and finance employees trained every year on anti-corruption