ASK list

Working with Our Business
Partners and Communities

We are all part of a global community. And what we do as a company affects, and is affected by, the world around us. This chapter explains how we compete on fair terms, make a good impression, and interact with our external communities.

We play fair

Wherever we do business, we follow fair competition laws. But what does “fair competition” mean for us? It means that we never make agreements with competitors about:

  • pricing of products or services
  • pricing policies or strategies
  • terms or conditions of sale
  • production volume
  • discounts and promotions
  • market allocation

Although the spirit of these laws seems straight forward, applying them to real life situations can be quite complex. And competing unfairly can result in severe civil and criminal penalties for both our company and anyone who played a role in breaking these laws. So if you interact with competitors, it’s very important you understand our policy and these laws.

Trade associations: participate with care

Since there are so many fair competition laws and regulations across the globe, this area can be complex. That’s why we have to be extra careful when we take part in trade associations.

Compete with integrity

Knowing our competition is an important part of being successful. But we always get to know our marketplace and competitors on fair terms. That is, we follow the laws and never try to discover our competitors’ confidential information or trade secrets in an unethical way.

Find out more Antitrust Policy on Contacts with Competitors, Competitive Information Collection and Trade Association Activity.

Any questions? Please contact our friends in the Legal Department.

Third parties: demand integrity

We work every day to conduct ourselves in a way that reflects the company’s commitment to do business the right way. And we expect our business partners to do the same and follow our Vendor Code of Conduct. When we work with other organizations or individuals, we take steps to get to know who we are working with, because they too reflect on the company, and how they act matters.

Find out more Vendor Code of Conduct

Respect human rights

We strive to conduct our business in a manner that respects the human rights and dignity of all, and we support international efforts to promote and protect human rights. We do not tolerate abuse of human rights in our workplace or our supply chain. Each of us can help eliminate abuses such as child labor, slavery, human trafficking, and forced labor. You can start by reporting any suspicion or evidence of human rights abuses in our operations or in the operations of our business partners.

Government customers: we have them

When a government is our customer, we need to stay up-to-date with and follow the laws and regulations specific to government business, such as contractual obligations, procurement or accounting and billing practices. And keep in mind that laws and regulations may limit us from hiring employed or recently retired public officials. If you want to know more, contact our friends in the Legal Department before you take the next step.

Environmental sustainability: we care

We care about our planet. So it’s a given that we follow the environmental laws, rules and regulations that apply to us. If you ever recognize a potential environmental issue, please get in touch with our friends in the Legal Department, or reach out to someone else on the ASK list.

Communication outside of the company: check with the right people

Say you’re at an event and someone outside our company asks for a comment. Unless it’s part of your responsibilities to handle external communications and media, kindly guide this person to our Public Relations (PR) team. Then give our friends on the PR team a heads up so they can get some background information.

It’s the same when it comes to investor relations. We never answer investor’s questions about our company or any of our operations unless it’s our specific job responsibility to do so. If you’re contacted by investors, potential investors or securities analysts, just give them the contact details of an authorized spokesperson. Just make sure you contact one of them right away and give them the background information about your interactions with the investor, potential investor or analyst. Please see the Investor Relations Policy for more information.

Find out more Investor Relations Policy

Audits and investigations: be helpful and transparent

Sometimes our company needs to conduct investigations, audits or other inquiries. These can be performed by internal or external auditors, attorneys or investigators. And it’s our responsibility to help them when they need our support. We expect you to provide them with accurate and timely information, without manipulating or misleading their work in any way. Our friends in the Legal Department will guide us on when and how we are to aid in any investigation, audit or inquiry.

Political activities: be responsible

We’re all free to engage in the political activities of our choice, as long as it’s done on our own time and with our own money. In other words, we never use our company resources for these activities, without getting approval from the Legal Department, or do anything to give the impression that our personal donations and contributions represent the company. And of course, we don’t take part in lobbying activities that are against the laws in any of the places where we operate. So unless you’ve been assigned by our company to represent us in lobbying activities, you shouldn’t get involved in these activities for the company. Any questions? Contact our friends in the Legal Department.

Remember. The ASK list is your
go-to if you have questions.