Business Ethics

Royal HaskoningDHV is a global company which operates in a variety of cultural, social, and business contexts. Today’s complex business environment demands that we firmly embed integrity in our values, our culture, and our daily business practices. We act ethically and with transparency in our business dealings, respecting the customs and laws of our working environments. We are a partly employee-owned and independent company. Our independence is reflected in our work.

A 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 (GCBP) which, together with our Compliance Integrity Management System (CIMS) and Compliance Programme, defines and assures our conduct.


Our Corporate Governance structure is in place to safeguard the principles of Royal HaskoningDHV to operate as an independent private limited company and to create a sustainable platform to deliver value to our people, our clients and society at large.

Ultimate responsibility for the implementation and application of our Global Code of Business Principles, together with our Compliance Integrity Management System (CIMS) and Compliance Programme, lies with the Executive Board. The Compliance department, management teams of the business lines, corporate groups and operating entities are responsible for ensuring that all employees are familiar with the CIMS and adhere to it.

Directors and Controllers sign an annual letter of representation in which they acknowledge responsibility for the Global Code of Business Principles for their business line, corporate group or operating entity.

The Compliance department consists of the Group Compliance Officer and the Local Compliance Officers. Local Compliance Officers are appointed in each of the countries where Royal HaskoningDHV has its local operations.

The Group Compliance Officer reports to the Executive Board every month about developments, challenges, and integrity cases. The Supervisory Board is informed quarterly about developments in the compliance programme and important integrity cases. Once a year, the Group Compliance Officer is invited to the Supervisory Board meeting to discuss the compliance programme. The Group Compliance Officer has a reporting line to both the CEO and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board if there are reasons to escalate any concerns.

Royal HaskoningDHV also has a Risk Assessment Board in place. The objective of its reviews is to evaluate risks related to projects with a high-risk profile that have an impact on the company as a whole. The Board ensures that all aspects of a potential project have been reviewed, experts from corporate groups have been consulted as required, and that specific elements have been identified, evaluated, mitigated, or considered acceptable. 

Finally, the Internal Audit function provides additional assurance. The priorities for Internal Audit are defined in an annual audit plan that is approved by the Audit Committee and could include integrity or compliance-related risks. Audit findings from Internal Audit are included in the follow-up process and progress in mitigating the identified risks is reported to responsible management, Executive Board and Audit Committee.

Core values

Our values are key to our existence as a company and are communicated through our GCBP. These form the basis of who we are and want to be. The following five points, which create the acronym B R I T E, explain these values. Our stakeholders can expect from us, behaviours and solutions that are in line with these values and reflect our promise, Enhancing Society Together.

  • Brightness: We keep an open mind to ideas that lead to the best solutions for our clients. We innovate and are eager to lead by inspiration.

  • Result driven: We are aiming to achieve the best possible results for both our clients and our company with respect to sustainable financial performance.

  • Integrity: We care about our clients, our staff and society. We create integrated and pragmatic solutions for sustainable interaction with a high respect for people and their environment. We have zero tolerance for non-compliance with our integrity code.

  • Team spirit: Our way of working is pro-active, open, and inclusive.

  • Excellence: We deliver on our promises and strive to continuously improve the added value of our services.

Compliance Integrity Management System

Integrity is of utmost importance to us. This includes a commitment to work to the highest professional and ethical standards. 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 with 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 policy for bribery and corruption and aim to meet international best practice standards in anti-corruption compliance and business ethics. We share our principles on integrity and compliance with suppliers and subcontractors.

To further improve control over our value chain, since 2020 new clients undergo a third-party assessment (TPA). Group Compliance is executing the TPA’s with the focus on compliance and integrity aspects. For executing the TPA’s we are using the systems from Moody’s analytics company Bureau van Dijk. If a TPA results in an ‘amber’ or ‘red’ compliance rating, specific procedures apply including determining mitigating measures. If the compliance rating is ‘red’ and the business line wants to pursue an opportunity, the approval from the Corporate Risk Assessment Board is required.

We have been a partner of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) for more than a decade, supporting their Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. We actively show our commitment to these principles in our tenders, offers and selection process of projects. We communicate our progress in implementing the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact annually. These reports are available on our website

When there is a potential challenge between a project and our core purpose and beliefs, we are guided by the:

  • Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact

  • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

  • Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) standards

  • ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility

  • International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards.

Our aim is to be transparent and accountable, resolving conflicting issues through dialogue and working towards an acceptable solution. We maintain a multi-lingual third-party SpeakUp line (whistle-blower) for occasions when greater confidentiality or anonymity is desired. This is available internally through our intranet and externally through our company webpage.


Training is an essential part of the compliance programme. Training is done with guidance documents, integrity moments, training sessions and e-learning modules. This ensures awareness and knowledge of compliance related matters. In 2022, 93% of our employees globally participated in the e-learning about respectful workplace behaviour.