Royal HaskoningDHV is a global company which operates in a variety of cultural, social, and business contexts. We act ethically and with transparency in our business dealings, respecting the customs and laws of our working environments. Our commitment to decent behaviour and integrity is an integral part of our culture, rooted in our vision, mission and core values. This is communicated through our Global Code of Business Principles which, together with our Compliance Integrity Management System and Compliance Programme, defines and assures our code of conduct.
To support our values, we have been a partner of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) for more than a decade, supporting the 10 UNGC principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption which are integrated in our Global Code of Business Principles. To increase the knowledge about human rights, we have created a guidance document to inform our employees what human rights are, what kind of human rights exist, how international enterprises can be involved in human rights and what is expected of Royal HaskoningDHV specifically to protect human rights of all people involved in a project. It is clearly stated that we will not cause nor contribute to any human right abuse. If Royal HaskoningDHV could be linked to human right abuse, we will use our leverage to mitigate the human right abuse impact. We actively show our commitment to the principles of the UN Global Compact in our tenders, offers and selection process of project and share our principles on integrity and compliance with suppliers and sub-contractors through e-learning.
Integrity is of utmost importance for us. Our integrity policy is embedded throughout the company, and we have had our Compliance Integrity Management System audited and certified since 2010. As of 2020, we are compliant to international ISO standards and have been assessed and certified as meeting the requirements of the ISO 37001 standard for our Anti Bribery Management system as well as meeting the requirement of the ISO 37301 standard for our Compliance Integrity Management System. We have a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and aim to meet and surpass international best practice standards in anti-corruption compliance and business ethics.
During the 2021 compliance audit, the auditor concluded that awareness within our company of the Compliance Integrity Management System is a strength. The auditor stated that it is generally felt and expressed that ethical behaviour is in the DNA of our company.
One element to ensure ethical behaviour remains part of our DNA is that each year we focus on a compliance topic via a mandatory e-learning. In 2021, nearly all employees completed an e-learning about our commitment to our zero tolerance for bribery and corruption.
To further improve control over our value chain, in 2021 we worked hard to extend our third-party assessment tool to include subcontractors. This follows the implementation of this tool of an internationally reputed information provider a year earlier. Since then, the tool has been used for all new clients. It includes, among other things, a review of the ultimate beneficial owners, directors and politically exposed persons. We will implement this plan for subcontractors in 2022.
In 2021, approximately 130 issues and concerns were registered, compared to approximately 100 in 2020. 11 cases were considered high-risk compliance issues. After investigation, four of the 11 cases resulted in a breach of our Global Code of Business Principles. As mitigating measures, we terminated two employment contracts and gave two written warnings. Characteristics of the reported issues and concerns included unwelcome workplace behaviour, financial inaccuracies, discussions about working in controversial countries and the human rights situation in a certain country, and involvement in publicly disputed projects (for example placement of windmills, working on military projects). All issues were investigated, discussed and, when appropriate, mitigating measures were taken.
To create extra awareness about unacceptable behaviour in the workplace – such as sexual harassment, bullying or discrimination – we organised a Speak Up Awareness Day for all employees in 2021. It also highlighted procedures to speak up and ask for help if confronted with such behaviour. Multiple sessions were hosted to inspire colleagues to cultivate a safe working environment through building trust in teams, dealing with unconscious bias, and how to start conversations about behaviour in the workplace.
There were no allegations against the company or its management for bribery and corruption which resulted in wrongdoing of the company.