“With a conviction that sustainability is a success and a survival issue for all business in the near future and with clearly defined goals, we can make a real difference,” says Lena Ekbom, Sustainability Manager at Axel Johnson International. “Together as a group we are strong and we can inspire and show clear examples of good practice that can make a change in our industries. That’s why last year we involved all employees to increase awareness of sustainability issues in our group.”
For some time we have been busy establishing and implementing our base for systematic sustainability work to ensure our progress towards becoming a more sustainable group. We want to give our companies the right conditions to be prepared for the future. A future where sustainability-related issues have high priority as the world around us changes.
To be able to inspire and encourage we need a common language and training content to build an understanding of the challenges and opportunities. This was the motivation for establishing a shared platform and for inviting the group’s 2,950 employees in 85 companies to a digital training course called The Sustainability Journey.
“In a family-owned group of companies likes ours, thinking long-term is a natural part of our heritage. We manage and develop what generations of entrepreneurs have built up, and our ability to create value is about social and environmental considerations and responsibilities, but also about long-term perspective on the way we do business,” says Lena Ekbom.
Thinking long-term is a natural part of our heritage
Axel Johnson International’s code of ethics clarifies the common values that all companies and employees in the group work from. The code of ethics is important in relation to our companies’ customers. It was developed and launched in 2016 and today over 85% of our employees have signed it. A code of conduct for suppliers demands that everyone in the value chain works in a sustainable way. The code is an important tool and the foundation of our companies’ sustainability engagement with suppliers.
“We have now founded the base for a systematic approach and development with basic steering documents, established a common language and set overriding sustainability goals that are followed up every six months,” Lena says. “The focus of the ongoing work will be to continuously improve the base and focus on a few areas where we see that we can turn risks and challenges into business advantages.”
Supplier code of conduct
The code of conduct seeks to ensure that suppliers operate in accordance with internationally recognised minimum standards on human rights, labour and the environment. If there is a gap between requirements and performance, we support the supplier to overcome it. The code of conduct includes:
- Labour and human rights charters covering areas such as forced labour and freedom of movement
- Health and safety charters covering areas such as employment and work conditions
- Ethics charter covering areas such as bribery and corruption
- Environmental charters covering areas such as hazardous substance regulations and environmental permits
Concerns regarding our business practices are important. All employees and partners are encouraged to speak up if they witness anything that is not in line with our values or policy statements. You can be anonymous and there is no retaliation for raising concerns. The whistleblowing service is managed by an external party and is open 24/7.
To report concerns turn to https://report.whistleb.com/axinter
Employee code of ethics
The code of ethics addresses the rights and responsibilities of all group employees and covers ethical issues at the individual level as well as providing policies to guide business practices. It is a reminder that every action matters, every day. All employees throughout the group have to acknowledge the code of ethics.