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Ethics and compliance

How we live our principles

Leading by example

The Airbus Ethics and Compliance Programme seeks to ensure that the company's business practices conform to applicable laws, regulations and ethical business principles, as well as developing a culture of integrity.

Commitments and standards

Our commitment

Over the years, Airbus has earned the trust of passengers, customers, operators and other stakeholders through the quality and safety of our products. To fully serve our communities and thrive in the future, our commitment to business integrity must be just as robust – this means conducting our business ethically and based on Airbus Values, and in compliance with all laws and regulations.

Our goal is to be known as a company with ‘integrity inside’: integrity in its people, partners and suppliers. 

As part of this commitment, Airbus supports the principles of the UN Global Compact and IFBEC's Global Principles of Business Ethics which set a benchmark for high ethical standards globally.

Airbus is also committed to the FX Global Code, a joint initiative between major central banks and private sectors participants to enhance integrity of the foreign exchange markets.

 

Join me in focusing on what really matters: preserving our integrity and embracing our values for the purpose of serving the best interests of our great company Airbus.

Guillaume Faury – CEO Airbus

 
Ethics and compliance
Ethics and Compliance 08 June 2017

Ethics and compliance

Customers, passengers, operators and stakeholders worldwide trust in the quality and safety of Airbus' products.

Read more

Our standards

The foundation for integrity at Airbus is our Code of Conduct (CoC).  The Code is intended to guide daily behaviour and help employees resolve the most common ethical and compliance issues that they may encounter.

The Code of Conduct applies to all employees, officers and directors of Airbus as well as entities that we control. Third party stakeholders whom we engage are also expected to adhere to Airbus Code of Conduct in the course of performing work on our behalf.

Organisation

Organisation

Programme and risk

Our programme

While our Code of Conduct provides a useful starting point, they cannot answer all questions, nor are they sufficient to ensure that Airbus complies with the myriad legal requirements applicable to its business. Because of this, we have worked over the past several years to develop an Ethics and Compliance programme that is structured around four key risk areas: Business Ethics/Anti-Corruption Compliance, Export Compliance, Data Protection Compliance and Procurement Compliance.

Each of these areas are in turn supported by dedicated compliance policies and a team responsible for their implementation, together with the identification and proposal of new measures to adapt to a constantly evolving regulatory landscape. 

Improving our programme is a constant and ongoing process, not only in the area of Business Ethics/Anti-Corruption but across the ethics and compliance spectrum more generally.

Anti-corruption compliance

Airbus rejects corruption of any kind, whether public or private, active or passive. This means that neither we, our employees or third parties acting on our behalf may offer, promise, give, solicit or receive – directly or indirectly – money or anything of value to or from a government official or someone in the private sector in order to obtain or retain business or secure some other improper advantage.

Our anti-corruption policy summarises our stance of zero tolerance. It also refers to some of the specific directives we have adopted to address key anti-corruption risk areas, such as the engagement of third parties, gifts and hospitality exchange and the making of sponsorships and donations.

More broadly, Business Ethics at Airbus also covers other areas such as conflicts of interest, anti-competitive conduct, insider trading, fraud, etc., whilst also complementing the  Airbus Corporate Responsibility programme which focuses on managing the social and environmental impacts of Airbus’s operations.

Conflicts of interest

We do not allow personal interests to interfere, or appear to interfere, with our ability to make fair and objective decisions when performing our jobs in the best interest of Airbus.

Individuals facing a situation that represent or may represent a conflict of interest with regards to their activities with or within Airbus should proactively declare it to the Ethics & Compliance team.

Failing to declare and manage properly a conflict of interest situation may have negative consequences for individuals and for Airbus.

Gifts and Hospitality

Gifts or hospitality shall not be extended as a way to improperly influence a business decision or gain an undue competitive advantage.

The giving and receiving of any gifts or hospitality are regulated by an Airbus Internal policy and, are subject to recording and pre-approval into a digital approval tool depending on their value.

Before offering or accepting any gifts or hospitality, we must ensure that (i) it is lawful, (ii) the value is reasonable and (iii) it is allowed under Airbus internal policies and standards.

Sponsorship, membership and donations

Airbus has a Sponsorships, Donations and Corporate Memberships Directive that applies to all employees. The Directive incorporates mandatory recording for all projects irrespective of their values and sign-off requirements by Ethics & Compliance for projects over certain financial values, or where E&C 'red flags' are identified.

All Sponsorships, Donations and Corporate Memberships entered into by Airbus must:

  • Have a legitimate charitable, societal, professional trade or promotional purpose, consistent with Airbus’ global strategy, priorities and values;
  • Comply with all applicable laws;
  • Be made to reputable organisations or beneficiaries;
  • Be properly recorded.

The Sponsorship, Donations and Corporate Membership Directive also applies to political contributions.

Intermediaries, agents

Airbus has implemented a “Business Development Support Initiative” directive for the approval and monitoring of commercial intermediaries / agents, requiring them to undergo an enhanced Ethics & Compliance due diligence background check and multi-level managerial approval prior to engagement. As part of the process, information gathered directly from the potential intermediary/agent is corroborated by Airbus’ own in depth thorough research activities, e.g. to confirm/establish the ultimate beneficial ownership of the intermediary.

Commercial intermediaries’ activities are monitored on a regular basis throughout the entire life of the relationship. Payments require approval from different functions including Ethics & Compliance and Finance, and are processed only upon reception of satisfactory and detailed activity reports.

Ethics & Compliance regularly audits these third parties.

Lobbyists and special advisors


Airbus is committed to ensuring that any Lobbying Activity is done in compliance with all applicable laws and its Anti- Corruption Programme.

Third parties conducting lobbying activities must undergo a thorough due diligence check and abide by the detailed guidelines set in the Lobbyist & Special Advisors Due Diligence Directive.

Lobbyists & Special Advisors must act with honesty, integrity and transparency at all times and work closely with the relevant Airbus Ethics & Compliance and Government Relations teams.

Invoices will be paid only upon reception of detailed activity reports and invoices which should include accurate and factual information about the activities carried out.

Ethics & Compliance regularly audits these third parties.

Supplier compliance review

Complementing the specific processes applicable to commercial intermediaries, lobbyist & Special Advisors, Sponsorships & Donations, the Ethics & Compliance team conducts screening on the entire supplier base of the group. 

Consequently, all suppliers undergo an automated initial screening and ongoing monitoring through the Airbus Supplier Screening Tool.

The third party due diligence is managed by the Ethics & Compliance team to ensure a full segregation of duty with the Procurement team.

Prevention of corruption related to M&A, JVS and similar transactions

Airbus has implemented a Directive to ensure that corruption risks associated with potential M&A, JV and similar transactions are detected, assessed and mitigated. 

The Directive incorporates a number of milestones which are reviewed from a compliance perspective at each stage of the transaction. 

In addition the Directive provides for extra requirements such as the right to conduct periodic audits on a JV's activities.

The Directive also requires that Airbus is able to terminate a JV following breaches of anti-corruption representations and warranties in the JV agreement.

Offset contracting

As part of its mission to support sales campaigns and contract execution in certain countries, Airbus may enter into Offset related agreements.

Offset Transactions carried out by, or on behalf of Airbus, must comply with the company's policies and all the applicable laws, which include but are not limited to, anti-corruption, export controls and local procurement laws and regulations.

All Offset Third Parties must be reviewed from a compliance perspective prior to entry into any binding agreement or transaction.

The depth of the due diligence will depend on the level of risks implied by the Offset agreement (Country risk; Operational risk; Commercial relation type: supplier; JV partner; Consulting services etc.)

Anti-Money Laundering

Airbus conducts business only with reputable Customers, who are involved in legitimate business activities and whose funds are derived from legitimate sources.

To ensure that its Customers do not present Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing risks, Airbus has implemented a Directive to perform risk-based due diligence depending on the level of Anti-Money Laundering/ Counter-Terrorism Financing risk induced by its prospective Customer. This due diligence is also known as the Know Your Customer (KYC) process.

Such due diligence includes identifying and understanding the identities of individual ultimate beneficial owners and the Customer's source of wealth or funds.

The KYC due diligence is updated periodically on a risk basis and in case of significant changes in the relationship or activity.

Export compliance

Each of the countries in which Airbus does business has controls on the export and transfer of its goods and technologies that are considered to be important to national security and foreign policies. As a global enterprise, it is Airbus’ responsibility to respect and comply with each of these controls. Our Export Compliance Directive defines our policies, processes and organisation to ensure compliance with all relevant export control laws and regulations.

Data protection compliance

Airbus is required to handle personal data in accordance with applicable data privacy laws at national, European and international level. In doing so, Airbus seeks to apply a consistent approach, by setting data security standards for personal data processing in line with global best practice. This is embodied in part by our Binding Corporate Rules, which provide a consistent level of protection for various personal data throughout Airbus.

Procurement compliance

Airbus suppliers must comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the countries in which operations are managed or services provided. In addition, wherever suppliers are located, all business should be conducted in a manner compatible with the Airbus Supplier Code of Conduct. Please see below all language versions available:

Suppliers are also expected to cascade these principles through their own supply chain. 

Organisation and culture

Our organisation

Our Ethics and Compliance organisation is part of the Legal Department under the ultimate responsibility of the Airbus' General Counsel. The aim is to provide strong governance throughout the company with the global presence of qualified compliance officers who ensure the compliance programme is implemented in the different functional and operational areas.

They do this in close cooperation with our employees and management, who are expected to lead with integrity by example and take responsibility for compliance within their scope of activity.

Our awareness and training

Whilst the Tone at the Top and leading by example are critical for the success of the Ethics & Compliance Programme, it is equally important to ensure that employees and Directors receive the right level of training and awareness around the key Directives.

Airbus aims to educate its employees about the standards of conduct that apply to their jobs and the potential consequences, including on anti-corruption.

All Airbus employees receive Ethics & Compliance training including on Anti-Corruption. Additionally, depending on the functions, the country and the level of risk implied by their role, some employees may be selected to attend enhanced Anti-Corruption trainings.

Such trainings can be both delivered via the e-learning platform or during face to face training sessions.

Speak Up

Airbus is committed to maintaining a Speak Up culture by promoting an open and trusting dialogue with employees at all levels.

All employees are encouraged to express their views, defend their opinions, and point out unacceptable behaviour—especially behaviour that violates our Code of Conduct. Employees can raise concerns to their line manager, their Human Resources Business Partner, to a Legal & Compliance representative, or through the Airbus “OpenLine” (www.airbusopenline.com).

The OpenLine is a channel through which employees and other stakeholders may submit an alert securely and confidentially or anonymously. Alerts could relate to our Code of Conduct, policies and standards, or to compliance with applicable laws or regulations. The use of the OpenLine is entirely optional and voluntary, and there will be no consequences for employees who do not use the system.

Airbus protects those who Speak Up and raise concerns appropriately and in good faith; we do not retaliate against anyone who raises a concern, or against those who assist in investigations of suspected violations. Retaliation can take many forms, both direct and indirect, including: harassment, exclusion from meetings, sanction, dismissal, or other discriminatory measures, in particular related to compensation, profit-sharing, free share awards, job classification, performance reviews, promotion, training, transfers, contract renewal, etc. 

Passion for progress

Passion for progress

Interactive Annual Report 2018

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the Ethics and Compliance team
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