Case study Implementation of the Code of Conduct 16. Chapter 1: The company (continued) Integrity Heineken began implementing its Code of Business Conduct (CBC) in 2005 to help safeguard the integrity of its business decisions. The Code outlines specific rules on compliance with local laws, fraud prevention, how to deal with corruption, conflicts of interest and supply-chain responsibilities, which apply globally and at every level of the organisation. The Code provides a general framework that can be adapted to meet local business conditions, requirements, cultures, styles and languages. In Italy, Heineken also used the implementation process to also comply with a set of local regulatory guidelines aimed at preventing unethical corporate practices and encouraging better internal control systems. Implementation at Heineken Italia began in January 2005. Internal audit manager, Milan-based MassimilianoTurconi, was charged with coordinating the implementation projects, defining areas of risk, reviewing the work of external consultants and following up with the project managers. "These are all relatively new topics in Italy, so while we've seen an enormous amount of interest from our subsidiaries, there's also been a lot of explaining to do," saysTurconi. "It has taken a little time for everyone to understand how the new systems work and why they're so important." The Code had to be adopted at Heineken's 27 private Italian subsidiaries dotted around the country, many of which had been operating in nearly the same way for several years. The nine- month project was kicked off in February for the beer business (mainly Heineken Italia) and subsidiaries for the wholesale business (Partesa) with a cluster of six subsidiaries to start with and later extended. After briefing senior managers about the Code, systems were set in place, training was provided to mitigate risks and responses were defined for potential Code infringements. "We mostly found our businesses were already following the spirit of the Code, but this meant they sometimes thought it wasn't relevant to them," he explains. "It has been a very healthy exercise because everybody is now very clear about their responsibilities and knows how to manage difficult situations." The project's success has hinged on a strong commitment from senior managers who have helped raise employee awareness at all levels of the organisation. In this sense, the Code of Business Conduct requires a continuous information and training process, which includes regular articles in internal newsletters and dedicated training sessions for all new employees starting in the years to come. It is still too soon to measure the effectiveness of the new Code's procedures, but the first round of regular auditing work is already underway to ensure the systems continue to work properly. Looking ahead, Turconi believes this process will only become easier. "We are done with the hard part now," he says. "Awareness of the Code is extremely high and most of our employees, many of whom are quite young, really buy into it. The end result is that it has added a lot of value to being a Heineken employee." Heineken N.V. - 2004/2005 Sustainability Report

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Heineken - Milieuverslag | 2004 | | pagina 18