Compliance with legal and company-specific regulations and following the principles set out in the Code of Conduct are a top priority at BKW. We rely on potential misconduct on the part of our employees and partners being identified and averted quickly in order to preserve our integrity and compliance. For this reason, our whistleblower system, the «Integrity Line», is available to all employees and third parties who are linked with our group. It is our mechanism for reporting observed or experienced misconduct safely and, if preferred, anonymously.
The BKW Group’s independent and impartial Compliance Business Unit follows up on every report with the necessary diligence. Compliance works to get to the truth of the report, seeking incriminating and exonerating reasons for both parties in equal measure. Whistleblowers, affected parties and employees who contribute to the investigation of reported misconduct will suffer no reprisals as a result of their cooperation. All data and information, especially the identities of whistleblowers, are treated as strictly confidential and potentially even anonymously
How we process reports
As soon as we receive a report, our Compliance team examines its validity and assesses the potential risk to employees, involved parties, the company and the general public. An investigation might even be opened. If this does happen, the report will be investigated in an objective manner, taking all perspectives into account. Action is taken if misconduct is uncovered.
Our procedural rules for processing reports
BKW follows up on every report without exception, regardless of who has been accused of an infringement. The following principles apply to every investigation:
- Presumption of innocence: Any person accused of potential misconduct or an irregularity is to be considered innocent until it is proven that they are responsible for a breach of the rules.
- Protection of contributors: Whistleblowers and people who assist with an investigation may not suffer any reprisals as a result of their report or cooperation.
- Confidentiality: Preserving anonymity and confidentiality and the protection of the personal data of the people involved are a priority and are guaranteed.
- Impartiality: Every report is treated objectively and without bias. Conflicts of interest are disclosed at all times.
- Equal treatment: Investigations are based on incriminating and exonerating facts and evidence. The influencing of investigations by a certain position or functional level will not be tolerated.
- Fair hearing: Employees who are subject to an internal investigation will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations.
Reports of potential breaches of the rules, be it the law, company-specific guidelines or ethical principles, can be submitted via the whistleblower system of the BKW Group.