Compliance and ethics program
AVANGRID’s Compliance and Ethics Program (the “Program”) serves as a resource for establishing a culture of high ethical standards and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The Program is administered by the Company’s Compliance and Ethics Division, and is based on the criteria for an effective compliance program established under Chapter 8 of the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Central to the Program is a focus on continuous improvement and adoption of industry best practices. The following are examples of key components of the Program:
AVANGRID Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
The Company’s Board of Directors has adopted a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (the “Code”) applicable to all AVANGRID directors, officers and employees. The Code describes the Company’s core values, such as Corporate Ethics and Responsibility, Respect for the Environment, Safety and Reliability, and Customer Focus. Consistent with these values, the Code establishes standards of conduct and provides guidance for employees to make appropriate decisions when faced with issues of an ethical nature.
AVANGRID Supplier Code of Ethics
The Company’s Board of Directors has adopted a Supplier Code of Ethics applicable to all AVANGRID suppliers. Just as we hold our own employees, officers and directors accountable, we expect our suppliers to make the same commitment to integrity, respect for human rights, and conducting business in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations.
Commitment to Human Rights
Respect for human rights is a fundamental value of AVANGRID. We strive to respect and promote human rights in accordance with the international human rights principles encompassed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization’s (“ILO”) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved by the member states of the United Nations. We expect human rights to be respected across our total value chain and all of our business partners, both internal and external, to have the same commitment. Our aim is to help increase the enjoyment of human rights within the communities in which we operate. Our Human Rights Policy is a cornerstone in these endeavors. The Human Rights Policy is overseen by the Company’s Board of Directors with the assistance of the Compensation, Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, which receives regular reports from management including the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Sustainability Officer, and Chief Compliance Officer on human rights. Human rights-related commitments, efforts and statements, consistent with AVANGRID’s Human Rights Policy, are reported to the public annually as part of our Sustainability Report.
Annual Ethics Training
Employees are trained annually on the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. The training focuses on key areas of ethics and compliance and scenarios that implicate the Code and reinforces the Company’s commitment to ethics and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Completion rates for this training have historically achieved near 100% through a commitment of the Company’s leadership and employees. This training is supplemented by additional trainings for certain employee groups that face particular areas of compliance risk in their operations.
Through a collaboration of the Company’s Corporate Communications and Compliance groups, employees receive regular communications intended to provide guidance and raise awareness on common ethics and compliance issues faced in the workplace.
AVANGRID has established a 24/7 Helpline available to employees, contractors, consultants, and suppliers. The Helpline is used both to seek guidance on ethics and compliance-related matters, and to report situations that may require investigation, such as questionable accounting or auditing practices, unprofessional behavior, and potential violations of laws or company policies. Callers are given the option of reporting through the Helpline anonymously. AVANGRID strictly prohibits retaliation against employees who in good faith report ethics and compliance concerns.
Compliance Risk Assessments
The Company regularly conducts risk assessments of its business operations that involve important compliance-related activities. These assessments help the Company identify key areas of risk, ensure that internal controls have been implemented for compliance, and focus compliance resources in a risk-based manner.
AVANGRID is committed to ethics and compliance, good governance, and transparency in its activities. Additional information on the Company’s Compliance and Ethics Program is available in annual reports of activities published by the Company’s Chief Compliance Officer: