The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires that certain organisations annually state the actions that they have taken to ensure that modern slavery and human trafficking do not occur in their supply chains or in their operations. Handelsbanken’s view on sustainability, ethics, modern slavery and human trafficking is expressed in the following documents:Actions taken in 2018
The Handelsbanken Group has a supplier code of conduct for its major suppliers and also holds ongoing dialogue with suppliers where sustainability is a key feature. The code defines the expectations Handelsbanken Group has of its suppliers and their subcontractors. The code was implemented in 2016 for major suppliers in Sweden and during 2018, the implementation of the code of conduct continued, including in the UK operations. By the end of 2018 Group suppliers representing more than 75 percent of global purchases had signed the Code.
Sustainability aspects are a vital part of the credit policy. The policy states that Handelsbanken’s lending must be responsible and meet high demands for sound ethical standards. Instructions are in place which require the Bank to analyse and document sustainability risks in companies which borrow from Handelsbanken, including, amongst other things, the company’s approach and governance in relation to human rights and working conditions. A follow-up across the Group during 2018 substantiated that the procedures were applied and enabled branches to focus more on sustainability.
All employees at Handelsbanken completed Group-wide mandatory training on ethical standards and sustainability at Handelsbanken in 2018, including human rights and working conditions as well as a module on anti-corruption.
Instructions and procedures are in place, so that employees understand how they are to respond if they are faced with, or suspect, a case of modern slavery or human trafficking.
At Handelsbanken we have trust and respect for the individual and we encourage a culture of ‘speaking up’. Our people can report unethical behaviour or practices without fear of reprisal through internal and external channels set out in our ‘whistleblowing ‘policy’. In the UK the whistleblowing policy is supported by annual training for all employees.
Handelsbanken plc will continue to develop its procedures and arrangements in relation to sustainability during 2019, with a UK sustainability officer joining later on in the year. The sustainability officer will initially establish a UK Sustainability Committee and develop a sustainability plan for the plc, which will be used to govern and strategise the sustainability work moving forward.
This statement has been approved by the Board of Directors of Handelsbanken plc on 4th June 2019.
Mikael Sørensen, Chief Executive Officer, Handelsbanken plc
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability
CSR and sustainability are part of our culture and method of working.
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