To our dear staff,
Placing ethics at the heart of our business conduct is a powerful moral commitment, and the principle of trust is essential to the sustainable development of our business. This culture of integrity is of course based on compliance with laws and regulations, but equally on commitment to the values of the Group. It must be embodied by every one of our’s employees in their daily activities, whatever their nationality, location, position or seniority in the business.
Since 2005, when our Code of ethics replaced the Ethics Charter which we drew up in 1996, our Code of ethics has defined the major principles which frame and guide our daily actions. This Code provides a framework for what is expected from each of us in our professional activities, and when we are in contact with our employees, customers, shareholders and business partners. It also defines our commitment to the environment, which we are dedicated to protecting and on which we wish to minimize our impact, and to society at large, in which we intend to fully play our part as a good corporate citizen, engaged and responsible.
This is the fourth edition of our Code of ethics since 2005 and it provides us with the opportunity to restate what shapes our ethical approach, at a time when our transformation into a pure player in the luxury sector has been achieved. The Code of ethics powerfully reaffirms our commitment to respect for human rights, not only for all our employees, but also for all those who work in our supply chains and contribute to our value creation. We mobilize all our energy and vigilance to combat child labor, forced labor, human trafficking and the exploitation of the most vulnerable groups, in particular migrants, as well as to combat all violence and discrimination, especially against women.
This updated version also enables us to recall all the progress made in better preventing and detecting corruption and influence-peddling, in particular since 2015, the setting up of our Compliance Organization and the international network of Brand Compliance Officers within our Houses. They oversee strict compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in this area by defining the necessary policies and procedures, and supporting all our employees accordingly. We practice zero tolerance towards corruption, influence-peddling and any form of fraud, and it is vital that each and every one of us is aware of this.
Finally, it is particularly important to recall here that the ethical whistleblowing system that we set up several years ago, and which enables any individual to report a violation or suspected breach of our Code and its principles, is now available not only to our employees, but also to external and temporary staff working for the Group in all service providers and external partners with whom we have a contractual relationship. This mechanism is essential, and enables us to identify any possible shortcomings in adhering to our principles, as well as the remedial steps necessary. Protecting those who report such shortcomings to us selflessly, and in good faith, is an essential commitment throughout the Group.
This Code is a guide intended to provide a framework for all our activities, and to protect us, its success and longevity. I trust that you will familiarize yourself with it and apply it on a daily basis. Everything has been set up within the Group to support and help you fulfil this requirement; I am counting on you.