ABB Group (‘ABB’) is a global company developing power and automation technologies. ABB is headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland and operates in another 115 countries worldwide. The company is divided into five business divisions; Power Products, Power systems, Discrete Automation and Motion, Low Voltage Products, and Process Automation.
ABB developed a Code of Conduct to define the conduct of every ABB employee, in every location, and at every level, including board members, directors, and officers alike. In a similar fashion, ABB’s suppliers are expected to adhere to the provisions in the Supplier Code of Conduct.
The ABB Business Ethics Hotline was introduced in 2006 for the purposes of providing all ABB employees and stakeholders, worldwide, with a means to report suspected violations of the ABB Code of Conduct, Supplier Code of Conduct, or applicable laws.
Who can access it?
All ABB employees and stakeholders worldwide are required to report any suspected or observed violations of the law, the Code of Conduct or of company policies. ABB stakeholders include any ABB business partner, customer, shareholder, agent, distributor, supplier or representative.
Reports can be made anonymously; however, ABB strongly encourages reporters to provide their contact details or email address so that contact can be maintained throughout the investigation. In addition, reporters are encouraged to disclose their identity.
How does it work?
- Ethics and compliance issues, fraud, misconduct, corruption, financial issues, conflicts of interest, insider trading or antitrust regulations, theft, embezzlement;
- Employee relations and human resources issues, such as harassment, discrimination, improper workplace conduct or immigration issues;
- Loss prevention and asset protection;
- Workplace violence and alcohol/drug abuse;
- Environment, conflict minerals, health and safety, such as occupational health and safety violations;
Reporting channels differ for employees and other stakeholders.
ABB employees should report their concerns initially to their direct management, country integrity officer, country human resources manager, ombudsperson, or alternatively, through their country specific Business Ethics Hotline number. Employee country hotline numbers are available on the ABB intranet website: the integrity portal.
In order for an ABB stakeholder to make a report to the ABB integrity office, they need to have some type of existing or prior business relationship with ABB. Stakeholders can make a report by:
- Telephoning the ABB stakeholder hotline at + 41 43 317 33 67 (international call rates apply). This service is provided by an independent third party and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Reports can only be made in English.
- Submitting a web report through the stakeholder website operated by an independent third party: Global Compliance. Once the report is received by the ABB integrity office, the reporter will receive an email response to confirm receipt.
Having reported a violation, the reporter will be given a report identification number and PIN in order to be able to follow the progress of the report online or by telephone.
When making a report to the Group, reporters are asked to provide as much detailed information as possible, including dates, persons involved, countries, incident etc. so that the ABB integrity office can investigate the report fairly and thoroughly.
When an employee or stakeholder contacts the ABB Business Ethics Hotline to report a concern, a communication specialist prepares a report and forwards it to the ABB integrity office for review and, if necessary, investigation. The ABB Integrity Office will work to resolve the issue.
ABB states it will take all reasonable steps to ensure confidentiality throughout the reporting process, and that people filing reports should not fear that their identity or issue will be improperly disclosed or abused. Complaints made in good faith will not expose any reporter to sanctions.
ABB states it will address any complaints of interference, reprisal, retaliation, threats, coercion or intimidation against employees who report, or disclose possible improper or illegal activities and commits to protecting those who come forward to report such activities. According to the ABB Whistleblower Protection Policy, retaliation against any employee who in good faith reports a concern to the company about illegal or unethical conduct will not be tolerated and will be subject to disciplinary action.