Less KW is committed to acting with honesty and integrity.
As described in the company’s Vision and Mission statement, Less KW is fully aware of its role in society and its responsibility to actively contribute to a sustainable development. We are convinced that our corporate values enable us to create sustainable value for the stakeholders and societies in which we operate.
For Less KW, acting sustainably and responsibly means respecting the law and justice, preserving resources, and promoting climate and environmental protection, while assuming our responsibilities to our employees, partners, suppliers, customers, and society.
Less KW recognizes that legal and cultural challenges in the global market can vary. In the present code of conduct (hereinafter referred to as the “Less KW Code of Conduct”) important standards are defined which, together with our corporate values, form the binding basis for the worldwide business activities of Less KW.
The Less KW Code of Conduct guarantees that each employee takes responsibility for his or her actions and behavior and should be the company guideline for our daily behavior. The Code of Conduct also points out the ethical objectives, the principles for our business activity, and the way we work together.
Less KW reserves the right to adapt this Code of Conduct whenever the situation requires it. Any change or update will be communicated internally.
II. Rules, clarifications and examples
The Less KW Code of Conduct contains basic rules that we must follow, followed by some specific examples. The clarifications and examples are by no means exhaustive and are presented for illustrative purposes only.
The Less KW Code of Conduct applies to all stakeholders (companies and legal entities, employees, partners or subcontractors of Less KW regardless of their position, function or level of intervention).
Behavior that constitutes a violation of the Less KW Code of Conduct may also constitute a violation of applicable local legislation. Failure to comply with the Code of Conduct or the local legislation may lead to disciplinary proceedings and even job dismissal.
In case of doubts regarding the application of the Less KW Code of Conduct, it is your obligation to use common sense and reasonableness. The current Less KW Code of Conduct requirements can always be clarified with your superior, your Human Resources Department (HR), the Quality, Environment and Safety Department (QSE) or company top management.
In case of a Code of Conduct violation, the seriousness of the violation will be assessed by Less KW top management and appropriate measures will be taken into consideration.
III. Responsibility for our personal actions and behavior
We take personal responsibility for our actions and behavior and act in good faith in all matters related to Less KW.
IV. Compliance with legislation, provisions and internal rules, standards and instructions
We comply with all legislation and regulations in the countries we do business with. In addition, we also comply with all internal company rules, principles and instructions.
Compliance with applicable legislation and provisions is mandatory. Since the relevant laws and regulations may vary from country to country, it is not possible to list them all in this Less KW Code of Conduct.
A violation of the applicable laws and provisions, and therefore of the Less KW Code of Conduct, in addition to criminal sanctions, fines and loss of reputation of Less KW, may also result in personal sanctions.
In case of questions or doubts as to whether or not certain behavior is permitted, please consult the HR Department or QES, in the case of internal directives or policies, contact the competent area.
You want to seal a contract for the supply of photovoltaic panels with a new provider. The negotiations prove to be very difficult and drag on for several weeks. The customer’s deadline for delivery is two months away. In order to be able to meet the delivery deadline you consider bypassing the Less KW signature and authorization process and sign the supply contract yourself.
What should you do?
You should not sign the document and contact by all available means the person responsible for the signature.
V. Respect for human rights and fair working conditions
Human rights, fair working conditions and mutual respect are for Less KW emblematic of our corporate value “We take care of ours and what is ours”.
We are all responsible for the respect of human rights and fairer working conditions. We want to actively contribute to their implementation by treating our colleagues, employees, possible future employees, suppliers, customers and all people with whom we do business fairly and with respect. That said, all employees enjoy freedom of association and the right to have their interests protected by elected representatives.
We firmly repudiate any form of child or forced labor. We do not tolerate any form of harassment, physical or psychological abuse. We are collectively committed to creating a work environment free from any form of discrimination based on gender, age, race, skin color, social or ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, religious or political convictions, as well as any other characteristic protected by law, such as transgenderism. We therefore address inappropriate behavior actively and constructively and try to resolve conflicts together.
If you are under the impression that someone is engaging in inappropriate behavior, please contact the HR Department, QES or Less KW Management.
A construction manager needs to be hired for the Production Department. You consider the Production/Construction fiel to be a “guy thing” and you are only considering male candidates for the position.
What do you do?
You are not allowed to choose only male candidates, nor are you allowed to reject female candidates just because they are women, as this would constitute gender discrimination. Your choice must be based on candidates’ qualifications, skills and experience and how well they meet the basic requirements for the position, regardless of gender.
You are aware that, for a few months now, a colleague has been constantly criticized by his superior due to his/her poor quality work. For the past three weeks, this superior has publicly insulted the colleague, e.g. by saying that he is too dumb to perform his duties.
What do you do?
It is important that every Less KW employee receives feedback on his or her work. However, this should always be constructive and delivered in an appreciative manner. The behavior described above is classified as verbal intimidation (“bullying”) and may have disciplinary or even criminal consequences for the supervisor. Please contact the Human Resources Department or report it anonymously, at any time, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
VI. Health, Safety, Environment and Product Integrity
Health and safety protection is a fundamental element of our corporate responsibility and business activity. We are obliged to take measures to protect health and safety, comply with working regulations and instructions, and use legally required protective equipment. All employees, regardless of their position in the hierarchy, must recognize the obligation to comply with and respect the rules of employment and environmental protection.
Environmental protection is an integral part of our corporate policy. We believe that economy and environment do not have to be mutually exclusive. At Less KW, both axes form the basis of sustainable value creation. We are committed to providing customer service that is oriented toward sustainable resource management, environmental protection, and climate protection. We are committed to conserving resources by continuously adapting the services we provide in terms of their environmental impact and reducing our consumption of energy, water, raw materials, and consumables, always striving for best available techniques.
If you have any questions, observations or suggestions to make related to these issues, please contact your line manager, the QES or HR Department.
While at work, you are required to wear a hard hat and safety shoes. One day, as you arrive at work, you realize you forgot to wear your safety shoes. You then consider step in without appropriate safety footwear.
What do you do?
All employees are expected to comply with all safety regulations and this Less KW Code of Conduct and to wear the personal protective equipment settled for his/her workplace. In case of Example 4, you should therefore pick up your safety shoes and put them on before entering the construction site.
You have paper and plastic waste left over at the construction site and have no way to collect it from the site. You consider leaving them behind, since its origin can’t be identified.
What should you do?
Pack and identify the waste correctly and ask either the QES department or the Production Assistant to collect the wast.
VII. Honest Business Practice
We treat Less KW’s customers, suppliers and subcontractors with loyalty and honesty. The same applies to the pursuit of Less KW’s business interests in relation to its competitors. We do not spread unfounded rumors or false statements about our competitors and/or their products and/or services, nor do we resort to other unfair practices with the aim of harming our competitors.
VIII. Compliance with Anti-trust Rules
Less KW aims to increase its turnover and become the most successful company in its market. However, this must happen according to law. EU Antitrust Law (https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/selling-in-eu/competition-between-businesses/competition-rules-eu/index_pt.htm) aims to protect free competition and ensure the best interests of consumers are protected.
We therefore comply with any applicable antitrust laws, including laws and provisions on monopolies, unfair competition, trade restrictions and competition, and regard all competition and customer relations.
We are fully aware the violation of competition rules can lead to contract annulments, criminal and pecuniary sanctions and the harm of Less KW’s reputation.
Whenever questions arise as to whether or not a particular situation is in compliance with antitrust laws, immediately consult the QES or Legal Department.
At an international trade show you meet a former colleague bu chance, who now works for the competition. You both remember old times, as this former colleague suddenly asks you if Less KW is bidding for a new project at the X company.
What should you do?
You should end the conversation and make it clear that you are not allowed to discuss such matters with a competitor. Whatever the circumstances, you may never provide information/answers to this question or similar questions or have such conversations that involve exchanging economically sensitive information with competitors. Report this to EnergyCon management partners.
Our business relationships are guided by integrity and strict compliance with all anti-corruption laws and regulations, including those relating to third-party bribery.
We strive to build positive and cooperative relationships with our customers, suppliers and stakeholders. Invitations and small gifts can strengthen relationships, but we do not use them to unfairly influence business relationships or decisions.
We reject and do not tolerate any form of corruption, bribery, theft, fraud, extortion or illicit payment. We do not make unlawful payments to or grant any illegal advantages to any individual, company, international organization or public entity for the purpose of influencing decision-making processes in violation of applicable laws.
We do not offer, grant, demand or receive any bribes, illegal payments, kickbacks, commissions, incentives, lavish gifts, favors or any other benefits or gifts of value with the purpose of promoting business opportunities with Less KW or related to its business activity.
Violation of anti-corruption laws can lead to contract annulments and criminal and monetary penalties. Any involvement in acts of corruption takes harm on Less KW.
You work in the Purchasing Department and a potential representative with whom you are in negotiations proposes a “special deal” to you: you order certain services from him at a higher price than is presented to that representative’s competitors. The difference between his and your competitor’s proposal is then transferred to a numbered account in the Cayman Islands. You become suspicious and don’t know how to react to such an offer.
What do you do?
Refuse this “special deal” and make it clear that such a business practice violates the Less KW Code of Conduct. In addition, you should immediately report this offer to your superiors and Management.
During the Christmas season, a supplier, as a thank you gift for the good relations during all year, offers the Director and his family a 2-week trip to Brazil for New Year’s Eve.
What do you do?
Refuse the offer and inform the supplier that this offer cannot be accepted under the Less KW Code of Conduct. In the first instance this will serve as a warning, but the supplier should get informed that next time business relations between parties will be severed in case another offer as such is made.
X. Fighting money laundering
In accordance with national legislation on combating money laundering, Less KW is subject to certain obligations that may also apply internationally. Therefore, Less KW must monitor any questionable transactions or payments and supervise business relationships.
Our company does business with a customer in country A. During the payment process, the customer informs you, for no apparent reason, that costs will be borne by a third party in country B.
What to do?
Generally, at Less KW, we do not accept third-party payments, especially if the client or the third party is based in high-risk countries. If a third party payment has already been accepted, it must remain kept as a payment intended for return and cannot be processed as an order for payment.
XI. Conflicts of Interest
Our private interests and personal considerations in no way affect our judgement when it comes to acting in the best interests of Less KW.
Less KW respects the right of its employees to engage in private extra-professional activities that may in no way conflict with Less KW or reflect negatively on Less KW or the company’s image. You must not, therefore, directly or indirectly cultivate private business or financial relationships and interests that conflict with the good interests of Less KW or impair your efficiency in fulfilling your obligations in your employment relationship questioning Less KW best interests.
We therefore avoid all activities and situations that could lead to a conflict between our personal and Less Kw’s business interests. A conflict of interest may arise in the following cases:
- if, in addition to your work at Less KW, you have an employment relationship with another company, particularly if that other company is a competitor, customer or supplier of Less KW (or if it is a company that is likely to become a competitor, customer or supplier in the near future);
- if you have a business relationship with a company in which a member of your family is a shareholder, participates in the management or otherwise has a material interest in the company;
- if you hold a material financial interest in a company or intervene in the management of a company that is a supplier or customer of Less KW;
- if you deal or speculate with materials, equipment or consumables that are purchased by Less KW or deal on your own account with products sold by Less KW.
The above list is provided as a matter of example as it is not exhaustive.
In the event that a potential conflict of interest arises, report it immediately to your line manager, the HR or QES Department.
Less KW intends to use a new supplier. Your brother runs the company that has been selected as the new supplier.
What should you do?
Under certain circumstances, entering into contract with your brother’s company may be acceptable to Less KW. Report the relationship to your line manager and the Purchasing Department and make sure that you do not intervene in the bidding process or any decisions related to it. In case of doubt, please contact the QES Department.
XII. Less KW assets use
According to our “Care for our own and what is ours” company value, we handle Less KW business assets with due care and sense of responsibility. Unless otherwise stated in local Less KW guidelines, all Less KW business assets are intended to be used within the scope of our business activity.
XIII. Data protection and cybersecurity
We comply with all applicable laws and provisions, as well as with Less KW rules, principles and guidelines on data protection and cybersecurity. Failure to comply with cybersecurity and protection measures can have serious consequences, such as data loss, disclosure of confidential information and trade secrets, or theft or misuse of personal data. If data protection issues arise, you should therefore contact the HR or QES Department.
XIV. Confidential Information and Intellectual Property
The protection of confidential business information and trade secrets (“confidential information”) is indispensable for safeguarding the interests and success of Less KW. We are therefore responsible for ensuring that confidential information to which we have access in the course of our business activities is treated strictly confidentially and not misused or disclosed to colleagues or third parties.
We are well aware that in the event of misuse or disclosure of confidential information, we may face disciplinary action, up to and including job dismissal, even if we have not personally benefited from the disclosure in question. As we leave Less KW, we do not disclose or use confidential information: assets of this nature, including confidential information, should be immediately returned to Less KW.
Less KW’s confidential business information includes all information and data, including contractual terms, all forms of corporate, commercial, financial and intellectual property, technical and customer information, as well as data disclosed between business partners within the scope of their business relationship or for the definition, development, marketing, sale, manufacture and distribution of products, insofar as it cannot be obtained from public sources. It also includes information about employees, customers, costs, price lists and turnover data, credit collection directives, reports, financial statements, salaries and business activity. Confidential business information may never be disclosed, whether orally, in writing, physically or electronically.
Less KW participates in a potential customer’s online tender and, due to a technical error, you inadvertently received a competitor’s bid. You consider whether or not to open the file.
What should you do?
Do not open the file or use it in any other way. Return it to the sender.
XV. Relationship with the Media
It is our responsibility to ensure that information provided to the media or contained in advertising has an informative and truthful character, respecting the cultural and ethical parameters of the community. Any and all public communication actions must contribute to the best brand reputation and value creation of the company, even if made in the personal forum, such as personal social networks. Less KW employees should only provide or broadcast information externally, after approval by the Head of the Communication Department or Management.
I was contacted by the local newspaper to talk about my experience as a Less KW employee.
What should I do?
Contact the Head of Communication for briefing and proper communication advice can be provided throughout the process. If you are not authorized, due to possible institutional incompatibilities, you should reject the invitation.
XVI. Compliance with tax obligations
We are fully aware of our social responsibility for compliance with tax obligations and explicitly declare ourselves in favor of complying with national and international tax law provisions. It is our concern to avoid any unlawful reduction of taxes or failure to comply with the obligation to cooperate with the tax authorities.
You are responsible for recording certain transactions such as overheads (maintenance expenses) and production costs in the financial statements. A project has exceeded certain control indicators at an earlier date. Because of this, you receive instructions to record maintenance expenses, even though it is clear that this is an investment and therefore mandatory capitalization production costs.
What to do?
Record in accordance with the legal provisions. All transactions must be recorded in the accounting system in accordance with the legal provisions on commercial and tax matters, since the accounting system forms the basis for tax returns. Any error in the accounting system can therefore lead to inaccuracies in the tax returns with serious tax consequences for the company.
XVII. Reporting Violations of the Code of Conduct and Whistleblower Protection
Less KW encourages all employees to report their suspicions in good faith, in confidence and without fear of retaliatory measures.
Less KW will not tolerate any reprisal, discrimination or disciplinary action against anyone who in good faith raises reasonable suspicions regarding an attempted, completed or alleged misdemeanor or violation of the Less KW Code of Conduct.
Less KW takes any suspicious report seriously. A person anonymity is protected in all circumstances, if asked. If there are no conflict of interests, all kind of violation of the Less KW Code of Conduct can be reported to the Quality, Environment and Safety Department or the Less KW Management or via email: email@example.com
I declare that I understand and undertake to fully comply with the Less KW Code of Conduct in the performance of all my professional activity.