Acting with integrity is at the heart of Philips Lighting’s culture and is part and parcel of our company’s mission and vision. Respecting human rights is a central foundation of the way we work. Our commitment to respecting and promoting human rights extends beyond our own operations, across our wider sphere of influence, including our supply chain. To that end, we integrate human rights considerations into our policies, processes, and practices.
On December 10, 2017, during the international day of human rights, Philips Lighting issued its new policy on Human Rights. This policy was not created from scratch but is an updated reflection of the values reflected in the General Business Principles. This policy is based on the International Bill of Human Rights, the United Nations Global Compact norms, and the International Labor Organization’s declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at work. Section 1.3 explicitly condemns the use of any form of forced labor.
Our General Business Principles are an integral part of Philips Lighting’s labor contracts in virtually all countries where Philips Lighting operates. Violations of the General Business Principles result in disciplinary action.
Responsibility for compliance with the General Business Principles rests principally with the management of each business. Every market organization and each main production site has a Compliance Officer. Confirmation of compliance with the General Business Principles is an integral part of the annual Statement on Business Controls. The management of each business unit is required to issue such a Statement as part of a cascading process leading to CEO/CFO certification of the company’s annual accounts.
Philips Lighting has a GBP Reporting Policy in place that encourages all employees to report any suspected violation of the General Business Principles that cannot be resolved together with the management concerned or that constitute an immediate threat to corporate integrity. Reporting is done through a GBP Compliance Officer or through the Philips Lighting Ethics Line. The Philips Lighting Ethics Line enables employees and third parties to report a concern either by telephone or online via a web intake form. All concerns raised are registered consistently in a single database and are investigated in accordance with standardized investigation procedures.
Compliance to the Human Rights policy is governed through our GBP processes, combined with dedicated steps that help ensure adherence. In 2017, employees were requested to complete e-learnings or to participate in face-to-face trainings that helped interpret GBP. Dedicated communication campaigns urged everyone to speak-up and report concerns of possible violations. In those campaigns, the availability of our Ethics hotline was also brought to the attention.
Based on a country risk assessment, multiple manufacturing locations were considered to have an increased likelihood of policy violations. These locations are subject to a 3-year audit and are requested to periodically fill in a dedicated self-assessment on human rights. In 2017, 50% of the locations were audited by an external company. No systemic violations were identified at any of the sites.