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Grundfos

Handbook renders Code of Conduct user-friendly at Grundfos. With the guidance of the Code of Conduct Handbook, Grundfos’ employees have been given a tool to help them understand and comply with the Group’s ethical guidelines.

In autumn 2012, Grundfos drew a line under 18 months of intensive work on a Code of Conduct program which specifies the company’s Code of Conduct. The objective of this program was not to develop ethical guidelines, but rather to make them more specific and understandable – and thus provide the 17,000+ employees with tools to deal with the challenges and dilemmas they may encounter in their daily work.

Same dilemmas across the companies

Heading the program was Business Ethics Consultant Marie Enemark Olsen from Grundfos’ Department of Sustainability. Her first task was to identify the dilemmas and grey areas experienced by Grundfos managers and employees, and she therefore initiated a round of interviews with a number of directors from different geographical and functional areas.

“We soon realised that it was very much the same dilemmas they experienced. The dilemmas often related to how to deal with customers in connection with entertainment and gifts; conflicts of interest, and fair and legal competition,” says Marie Enemark Olsen.

Input from those involved

Since 2006, the directors had been formally responsible for ensuring that Grundfos’ Code of Conduct was observed, but there had been no real discussion about what it meant in practice. Many saw a need for help in addressing doubts and clarifying roles and responsibilities, and their input was therefore key to the development of an effective guide to the action to take.

Code of Conduct Handbook

The result was aCode of Conduct Handbook, designed as a small, pocket-friendly publication, specifying the Group’s ethical guidelines. The handbook is set out according to the ten principles of Grundfos’ Code of Conduct and is based on a number of dilemmas inspired by the real-life situations faced by employees at Grundfos. Along with principles, explanations and dilemmas, the book contains a number of questions and answers. The handbook is published in ten languagesâ00Bâ00B, and prepares the ground for the local companies to assume leadership themselves, and to assess the situation at hand from a local perspective.

It works!

Today, Grundfos can look back on a valuable process, and the feedback from the Group’s numerous companies has been positive. The program works.

“Code of Conduct has become ‘top-of-mind’ among the organisation’s employees, and there is no reluctance to talk about dilemmas and grey areas. The new Code of Conduct Handbook gives us a stronger language and a more legitimate space to talk about difficult business-ethical dilemmas. That is probably the most important result,” assesses Marie Enemark Olsen.

Read more about the Grundfos CSR Case (pdf) Grundfoss - Code of Conduct handbook Grundfos - Code of Conduct Poster (pdf) Grundfos - Supplier Code of conduct (pdf)

Timeline

Autumn 2010
Internal research and involvement of key employees. Draft of concept for Grundfos’ Code of Conduct program developed.

Spring 2011
Program proposal for Grundfos’ Code of Conduct program approved by Group management.

Winter 2011
Testing and global consulting of draft of Grundfos’ Code of Conduct Handbook

1 March 2012
Launch of Grundfos’ Code of Conduct program to the Group’s senior management

1 June 2012
Launch of the Code of Conduct Handbook, published in 10 languages and distributed in 22,000 copies

Autumn 2012
Code of Conduct governance strengthened by the redesign of the Ethics Committee, among other things