Ethical behaviour and sustainability are at the heart of the way the Group does business. There is no sustainable business without trust. And this trust is based above all on our ability to demonstrate our day-to-day commitment to responsible business management.
Since the Group’s first Ethics Charter in 1996, great progress has been made in continually reinforcing our ethical pledge. Milestones include the publication of the Code of Ethics and its distribution to all Group employees in 2005 and again in 2009; the creation of a Sustainability Department, which is represented on the Group’s executive committee; ratification of the UN Global Compact in 2008 and the creation of the Kering Foundation which fights violence against women. These are all demonstrations of our determination to make ethics and sustainability the cornerstones of our business activities. More recently, the strengthening of our governance in the area of sustainability and the adoption of ambitious and concrete objectives for the coming years again testify to our determination and the seriousness of our approach.
This third edition of our Code of Ethics provides the opportunity to restate our beliefs and the ethical principles that must take precedence wherever we operate. Structured by type of stakeholder, the Code of Ethics sets out the points of reference that must guide every individual’s actions. These cover: respect for employees, gender equality in every aspect of professional life, fighting all forms of corruption and fraud, combating child labour, application of the major conventions of the International Labour Organisation, respect for the environment, listening to civil stakeholders and mobilising our workforce alongside local communities.
This update provides the opportunity to enrich the Code by including our Suppliers’ Charter and by adopting the precautionary principle, particularly in the area of environmental protection. Lastly, this new version presents the development of the ethics organisation within the Group and possible avenues of recourse for employees who, whether victim or witness, suspect a failure to comply with one of the Group’s ethical principles.
In ethical matters, what we believe and permit and what we discourage and forbid cannot be repeated often enough. In the face of new issues and new challenges, tenacity, vigilance and continuous improvement are the pillars of this pragmatic approach. At a time when our Group is completing its transformation by becoming a world leader in apparel and accessories in both the Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle markets and adopting its new name, Kering, it is essential to remind everyone that nothing can or should be done outside a precise and demanding ethical framework – the only possible guarantee of longevity and development.
I would like every one of us to adopt this Code of Ethics when performing our daily tasks. Only then can we embody the spirit of Kering.