Act ethically, lead in diversity and respect human rights

We continue to build an ethical, diverse and trusted company, where everyone impacted by our operations can feel confident that their rights are respected.

Our Goal

We will earn the trust of everyone impacted by our operations, demonstrating our commitment to ethics, diversity and human rights through our words and actions. This includes working to ensure the health and safety of our employees and promoting societal benefit through community investment activities.

Read more about our progress on this Goal

Roadmap 2020 to 2030

  • Continue to build a Group-wide approach to human rights and ensure the strong management of human rights issues.
  • Drive a company culture based on ethics, integrity and respect by providing leadership that demonstrates and nurtures inclusion and accountability. This will foster an environment where people feel safe to speak up.
  • Take proactive measures to ensure that various elements of the global anti-corruption compliance program are effective in practice.
  • Ensure a pathway to industry leadership in diversity and inclusion by developing and implementing a global roadmap.
  • Electrolux will be the leader on health and safety in the appliance industry, wherever we operate in the world.
  • Continue to invest in the communities in which we operate in around the world.

The case for action

A strong culture of ethics is vital for stakeholder trust and long-term business success. Consumers are increasingly making purchasing choices based on whether a company is perceived as being trustworthy and how it contributes to society.

Additionally, employees prefer to work for a company with values that match their own. Corruption also increases the cost of doing business globally by up to 10% on average, according to the World Economic Forum.

The wellbeing and safety of our colleagues is extremely important. We have a duty of care toward every individual working for Electrolux, and we take this seriously. Our commitment applies wherever Electrolux operates in the world, and goes beyond local regulations.

It is well known that diversity and inclusion (D&I) can promote innovation and attract new talent and that more diverse companies outperform organizations that do not invest in this area.

Our approach

Our company is built on trust, which means everything we do and all decisions we make are governed by the principles of ethics, integrity, and respect for people and our planet – regardless of where in the world we operate. Our approach involves working within our company through health, safety and diversity, and promoting societal benefit through community investment.

Read more about our approach to human rights in the Understanding and managing our human rights risks section.

Our Code of Conduct

The Electrolux Code of Conduct forms the platform for our efforts to ensure high standards of ethics and human rights within the Group. The Code summarizes our key policies and is a guide for employees on how to conduct themselves in line with the principles of ethics, integrity and respect. It covers areas such as respect for people, anti-corruption, non-discrimination, conflicts of interest, fraud, privacy of information, health, safety and respect for the environment, and constitutes the basis of our Ethics program. It also helps define our expectations throughout the value chain.

Our policies

Our Group policies including the Workplace Policy, the People Policy and the Anti-Corruption Policy are the foundation for our work with ethics, anti-corruption, non-discrimination and human rights. Our Human Rights Policy Statement, which is an integrated part of the Code of Conduct, and our Human Rights Directive guide our efforts to assess, manage and mitigate risks in these areas.

Communication and educational efforts are used to ensure employees are aware of and understand what our Code and policies mean in practice. Breaches of our Code and Group policies can lead to disciplinary action that can include dismissal.

Governance for ethics and human rights

Accountability for the Ethics Program and oversight of human rights lies with the cross-functional Ethics & Human Rights Steering Group, which includes representatives from Group Management. Human rights procedures engage many functions throughout our organization, from Group Sustainability Affairs and Human Resources to Purchasing, Operations and Legal.

Each business area has established Compliance Committees that oversee overall performance, including employee training efforts and case handling. The business area senior Heads of Legal, HR, Finance and the CEO are part of the committees.

Workplace Policy audits

The implementation of our Workplace Policy and Directive is followed up by Workplace Policy audits of our manufacturing facilities. This procedure is central, not only for the follow up, but also for educating and reminding line managers of their responsibilities for making Workplace Policy alignment a part of their daily activities.

In 2021, we strengthened our approach by setting up a program to conduct annual audits of all of our factories from early 2022. The previous approach was to conduct bi-annual audits of facilities in high-risk countries, combined with a self-assessment for all factories.

Additionally, we updated the Workplace Policy and Directive to raise our requirements on our own operations as well as those of our suppliers. A new Workplace Policy Group was established with HR Directors from each of our four business areas. The Group has regular meetings to review results and develop the necessary procedures for Workplace Policy implementation.

Human rights assessments

We conduct local assessments of operations located in high-risk countries from a human rights and corruption perspective. The assessments focus on identifying the risk of harming people as a direct or indirect result of our operations. They include confidential interviews conducted by Electrolux internal specialists and third-party experts on human rights and corruption.

The interviews involve a broad range of workers, sales representatives and managers at Electrolux, as well as external stakeholders such as civil society and academia to understand the risks in the country. The assessment outcomes are agreed in interactive workshops with the local management.

Read more in Understanding and managing our human rights risks.

Anti-corruption

Electrolux has a zero-tolerance policy toward corruption, and we are committed to complying with all applicable anti-corruption laws. Improvements and enhancements to our compliance program are guided by recommendations issued by industry and regulatory bodies, such as the OECD. Executive and senior management throughout the company oversee the implementation and effectiveness of the program, and their efforts are coordinated at Group level.

The Group Anti-corruption Policy (in addition to the Code of Conduct) is key to the anti-corruption compliance program, which applies to all persons who work with or on behalf of Electrolux. The policy is supplemented by more in-depth guidance for employees in certain areas, such as gifts, hospitality and events. Our suppliers are subject to anti-corruption requirements as part of our Responsible Sourcing Program.

Whistleblowing system

Through our training and communication efforts, employees are encouraged to report incidents and suspected ethics breaches to their manager, HR department, and the Internal Audit department or another relevant person in the organization. They can use our whistleblowing system – the Ethics Helpline – where reports can be made confidentially and in local languages, either by phone or online.

In 2021, we updated the Ethics Helpline website to improve functionality for reporters. The Ethics Helpline is hosted on an external platform, and only a central ethics coordination team has access, which includes representatives from the Group Functions HR, Legal, Internal Audit and Sustainability Affairs. Cases are dispatched to trained investigators who have no conflict of interest in the particular case. The ethics coordination team provides support on the handling of investigations and follow up of cases. External investigators are engaged as appropriate. The Ethics & Human Rights Steering Group is responsible for the oversight of cases and the procedures.

Employee engagement survey

Electrolux evaluates the engagement of its employees through engagement surveys. The surveys include metrics on important aspects of the company’s efforts to act ethically, lead in diversity and respect human rights, including the understanding of our Code of Conduct, trust in the Ethics Helpline and equal opportunities.

The global survey has been on hold since 2019, but will be conducted annually from 2022 in a new format called “Employee Voice”. During 2020 and 2021, Group functions, business areas and local business units conducted multiple employee surveys for their respective parts of the organization, on topics such as wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, and general engagement.

Diversity and inclusion

We aim to be a leader in D&I as it makes us stronger, more innovative and a better employer. In 2021, we launched new D&I Objectives. The objectives aim to promote the mindset of recognizing the unique value that every individual brings to our company and is made up of three pillars:

  • Diversity
  • Inclusive culture
  • Respect & equal treatment

Read more about how we work with D&I.

Health and safety

Health and safety have long been a fundamental part of our values and our sustainability agenda, with clear targets and processes in place to ensure real progress.

All employees and contractors in production are covered by a reporting system to track incidents and hours worked, and apply the same Occupational, Health and Safety (OHS) management system throughout the Group and among our contractors. All manufacturing sites have Safety Committees that include managers, workers and worker representatives. All employees receive safety training when they start at Electrolux and annual training tailored to their function.

Employee wellbeing

The Electrolux approach to wellbeing is founded on the commitment to employee wellbeing in the Group People Policy, and is based on four themes: Work environment, Culture, Body and Mind. Group level campaigns are organized on each of the themes, and initiatives are implemented regionally and locally.

Community investment

Our approach to community investment is designed to have a positive impact in our local communities, while creating opportunities for employee engagement. Ultimately, this strengthens our brand with consumers, customers and employees as a company that genuinely cares for people and the planet. We established the Electrolux Food Foundation in 2016, with the aim to address the challenge of feeding the growing global population sustainably. We believe this is an urgent cause with relevance both to the world and to our business, as supporting both our consumers and society in general to adopt sustainable lifestyles is part of our mission.

Through the programs of the foundation, we contribute with our skills and resources together with our Feed the Planet partners (Worldchefs and AIESEC) to train, engage and inspire people to cook and eat more healthily and sustainably. The foundation also aims to support people in need.

The foundation is a long-term investment with funding until 2030.

Read more about our approach to community investment.

Challenges

  • Bridging different cultures and local practices in a global organization.
  • Overcoming behavior and biases that are sometimes deeply engrained in society.
  • Ensure that our approach to community investment leverages our global presence and our partnerships, while allowing local adaption and delivering tangible societal benefit.
  • The most significant health and safety risks occur in our warehouses and technical departments, and when working with external contractors.

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