Meeting our responsibilities will enhance our performance
We recognise that our operations impact a wide community of stakeholders, including investors, employees, customers, business associates and local communities, and that appropriate attention to the fulfilment of our corporate responsibilities will enhance overall performance.
Information on our Code of Conduct, which requires the highest standards of legal and ethical behaviour, is set out below. Health, Safety and the Environment remain of paramount importance to the business. A number of Vesuvius work activities are undertaken in higher-risk locations such as steel mills or other customer-controlled facilities. These environments can prove dangerous for all personnel engaged in working there. Information on how we address safety is set out in Safety. For information on sustainability see Sustainability. Our disclosures concerning Greenhouse Gas emissions are shown in Sustainability and the new Human Rights policy is highlighted below.
Code of Conduct
Vesuvius has a Code of Conduct, which has been distributed throughout the Group and by which all our businesses are required to operate. The Code of Conduct emphasises the Group's commitment to compliance with the highest standards of legal and ethical behaviour. The Code of Conduct is reproduced in full on the Company's website (www.vesuvius.com).
The Code of Conduct sets out clear and simple principles covering: Customers, Products and Services; Employees; Investors; Society and Local Communities; Health, Safety and the Environment; Conflicts of Interest; and Competitors. Maintaining a reputation for integrity in all business and other dealings both with customers and suppliers remains critical to Vesuvius. The Code of Conduct recognises that the pursuit of the highest possible ethical standards must be as much part of our culture as any other facet of our operations. It sets out our required standards of legal and ethical behaviour and emphasises our commitment to the performance of our business in accordance with these standards.
During the year we continued to expand our training programme on the Code of Conduct and associated anti-bribery and corruption policies. This comprised face-to-face training and use of an e-learning module, together with the publication of an updated Code of Conduct and related policies on the Group's intranet site. To date more than 2,000 employees have been trained on anti-bribery and corruption issues, focusing particularly on those who work with customers, suppliers and public officials. We continue to develop this process to help our staff and counterparties to understand that bribery and corruption will not be tolerated in the performance of our business.
Human Rights Policy
The Group has developed a new Human Rights Policy, which supplements the Code of Conduct and has been approved by the Board. It reflects principles contained within the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation's Fundamental Conventions on Labour Standards and the United Nations Global Compact.
The Policy is applicable to all employees of Vesuvius plc and its subsidiaries. It sets out the principles for our actions and behaviour in conducting our business affairs and provides guidance to those working for us on how we approach human rights issues.
Vesuvius seeks to be a good corporate citizen wherever it does business and respects local concerns, customs and traditions. Embracing Diversity is a cornerstone of Vesuvius' values. The Policy sets out the Group's commitment not to discriminate in any of our employee practices and to offer equal opportunities to all. The Group respects the principles of freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining and opposes the use of, and will not use, forced, compulsory or child labour.
Where the Policy commitments are more stringent than local laws, we will adhere to the standards set out in the Policy. If local law is more stringent than our principles, we will comply accordingly, using the Policy as a guideline.