Code of Ethics
THE ITALIAN-SWEDISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ASSOSVEZIA
Art. 1 – Purpose of Code of Ethics and Scope of application
This Code of Ethics identifies the values, guidelines and general principles which must guide the activities of the Chamber and the conduct of all those who act on its behalf and work for it. Members and Associate members are required to comply with this Code of Ethics also when carrying out their own work and business activities and they are invited to implement it in their own internal regulations. This Code of Ethics is also applicable to those who have collaborative relations with the Chamber.
Art. 2 – Values and general principles
The Chamber’s activities and the individuals to whom this Code of Ethics is addressed must be inspired by respect for human rights and environmental protection, as well as by criteria of legality, integrity, fairness and confidentiality. All individuals working with the Chamber in any capacity must also contribute to its good performance according to the principles of impartiality, transparency, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Art. 3 – Criteria and guiding principles
3.1 Human rights, equal opportunities, environmental protection
Respect for human rights and fundamental freedom, equal treatment and equal opportunities between women and men, races, religions and age groups, and environmental protection must be ensured in all activities, both internal and external, including the procurement of goods and services, production, distribution, sales and after-sales services. The selection, training and management of personnel must avoid any form of discrimination, favouring criteria of expertise, merit and professionalism. The choice of suppliers, independent contractors and business partners cannot disregard the verification of respect for human rights, non-discrimination and respect for the environment also on their part.
Conduct inspired by legality implies the willingness to know the regulations in force regarding one’s own business activity and to respect them for the value they express, without attempting to circumvent them, remaining free to criticize them and to take action for their change if deemed inadequate.
Compliance with the principle of integrity requires, among other things, to refrain from conduct that may influence the independence, impartiality or fairness of the Chamber’s activities and not to use one’s office and institutional or corporate powers to pursue purposes that are unrelated to the interests of the Chamber or the company or to obtain personal benefits for oneself or others in contrast with the activity to be managed or in any case unrelated to it.
This principle requires conduct based on respect for others, loyalty, honesty, and cooperation, avoiding any conflict of interest, meaning any situation, occasion or relationship in which, even if only potentially, personal interests or those of other related parties or organizations managed, directly or through investment, are involved which may result in a loss of the duty of impartiality.
By way of example, the duty of impartiality means:
- a) avoiding, when working, any discrimination, prevarication, favouritism and, in general, unequal treatment in the institutional activities of the Chamber;
- b) not applying undue pressure and rejecting this if originating externally;
- c) not making commitments or expressing personal promises which may affect the fulfilment of the Chamber’s institutional duties;
- d) not creating or taking advantage of privileged situations.
This obligation imposes:
- a) confidentiality of data and information learned in the performance of chamber functions, without prejudice to the need for administrative transparency or express authorisation for disclosure by the person concerned;
- b) a ban on the use of confidential data and information for private purposes;
- c) the requirement to refrain from making statements or communications to the public that could in any way prejudice the Chamber and its members.
Transparency in the Chamber’s activities means that:
- a) its representatives, employees and independent contractors clearly express the type of relationship they have with it and the limits of the functions assigned to them;
- b) all operational choices of the Chamber, whether of internal or external relevance, are consistent with its mission, its purpose in the articles of association and the principles of this Code of Ethics.
Art. 4 – Shared values
In addition to compliance with the rules of conduct described in article 3 above, the Chamber shares and promotes the following values among its Members, Associate members and those who encounter it:
- a) respect for the dignity of persons in all settings and relationships, such as institutional, corporate, work, commercial, contractual, between competitors, as well as in all situations, even in the event of a dispute;
- b) respect for the needs and well-being of children, in the knowledge that what is positive for a child is also positive for parents, for other people who take care of children and society in general, with a positive impact on companies that also consider children’s point of view in their choices;
- c) social responsibility, paying attention to the place in which the business operates, its inhabitants, the services made available locally to the community, its infrastructure, devoting some time and human and economic resources to the local community;
- d) “industrial democracy”, consisting in the consideration of employees and independent contractors as individuals and not merely job providers, involving them in the creation of the company culture based on shared values, encouraging employees and independent contractors to communicate suggestions and constructive criticisms, giving the correct recognition to those who have contributed to improving the workplace atmosphere, processes and products;
- e) company welfare, aimed at the well-being and development of the person within the company, also assessing the provision of benefits not directly related to the employment relationship, as well as to the employee’s family members;
- f) sustainability of production and its growth, aiming at energy saving and preferably using renewable energy, reducing CO2 emissions and the amount of industrial waste;
- g) protection of animals, guaranteeing them a life consistent with their nature, avoiding any cruel treatment;
- h) protection of consumers’ rights, avoiding commercial practices which disregard their interests by adopting specific codes of conduct concerning B2C, such as the European Code of Conduct for Direct Selling;
- i) maintaining proper conduct and acting in good faith in contractual relations in general, including B2B, during negotiations, conclusion and performance of the contract;
- k) consideration of the interests of all so-called stakeholders in the carrying out of business activities.
Art. 5 – Special provisions
5.1 The individuals who are part of the Chamber’s bodies must observe the provisions of this Code of Ethics. The candidacy, appointment or election of these individuals to the Chamber’s bodies requires verification of the ethical and professional qualifications expressed in this Code of Ethics.
The following are grounds for inappropriate candidacy, appointment and election:
- a) having one or more convictions for non-culpable offences in the previous ten years;
- b) being held accountable for significant violations of this Code of Ethics;
- c) being held accountable, either personally or through the represented company, for a breach of no small importance to the Chamber;
- d) maintaining positions causing conflicts of interest regularly, thus compromising the possibility of fully carrying out the appointment or which appear to influence the impartiality or fairness of the Chamber’s activities.
5.2 The individuals who are part of the Chamber’s bodies undertake to resign in the event of incompatibility, inappropriateness, impossibility of attendance or other reasons which may harm the image of the Chamber.
Art. 6 – Implementing measures
The recipients of this Code of Ethics are required to be familiar with its content, to observe its rules and require compliance with them, to contribute to its implementation and to provide their contribution to its constant improvement. The Council is responsible for monitoring compliance with this Code of Ethics.
Breaches of this Code of Ethics are subject to the following sanctions:
a reprimand, warning and the forfeiture of the office or appointment. The Council shall decide on the application of sanctions by means of a justified resolution, after hearing the person concerned, to whom the measure must be communicated in writing. The penalty of forfeiture is effective immediately notwithstanding any appeal by the interested party.
6.3 Board of Arbitrators
Appeals against sanctions issued by the Council can only be made to the Board of Arbitrators within thirty days of notification of the ruling under penalty of forfeiture of the right. The Board of Arbitrators is made up of three standing arbitrators and one alternate arbitrator appointed by the General Meeting of the Chamber every four years. The arbitrators may also be Members or Associate members or their representatives, who do not hold a position on a body of the Chamber. The Board of Arbitrators appoints the Chairman from among the arbitrators at its first meeting and operates without formality. Before making a decision, the Board of Arbitrators invites the person concerned and a person appointed by the Council to state their reasons orally or in writing. Written decisions are justified succinctly and are communicated to the person concerned and the Council, and the parties are obliged to comply with them
The decisions of the Board of Arbitrators are not subject to appeal.
Art. 7 – Final provisions
This Code of Ethics shall enter into force on 1 March 2014.
Any amendment and integration to this Code of Ethics must be approved by the General Meeting.
Approved by resolution at the General Meeting on 29.01.2014.