Ethics and Compliance
As our company grows, we need to ensure that ethics and compliance remain the foundation of all our business practices around the world. Building on our brand promise, we developed an internal communication campaign to “Go Further – The Right Way.”
Ethics Advice at Our Fingertips
To go beyond talk, we are developing a “less-effort compliance” approach. This is designed to make it as easy as possible for our employees to do the right thing, by providing the information our people need, when and where they need it. To help us deliver on this promise, our Corporate Compliance Office is working on innovative training and communication tools that make it even easier to comply with corporate policy and the law.
One of these tools is a free mobile application, The Right Way, which puts key compliance information at the fingertips of our employees. Released in 2015, The Right Way enables our people to contact the Corporate Compliance Office directly. It also provides answers to frequently asked questions, covering topics such as our human rights commitment, the signs of human trafficking, our stance against harassment and discrimination, and our strict policy against bribery and corruption.
To make this new tool as accessible and easy to use as possible for our global workforce, it is now available in seven languages. It is also being made publicly available so that our suppliers and other business partners can use it to become more familiar with our ethical policies and commitments.
We are also making the entire app – including the architecture and content – available as “open source” material for other companies and groups to build upon.
Corporate Compliance Office
Our Corporate Compliance Office promotes a culture of compliance and ethics across our business. Part of Ford’s Office of the General Counsel, it works with many other areas of the company to translate our aspirations and our high standards – formalized in company policies and reinforced by management – into action. Our compliance program is overseen by a committee of senior management and the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.
Ethics and Compliance Training
Our Policy Letters and Directives formally establish expectations for our employees and others working on our behalf, and the most important and relevant of these are incorporated into our Code of Conduct Handbook (pdf, 1.01MB). Available in 14 languages, this is our chief ethical guidance document.
To reinforce the information these documents contain, we run mandatory online training courses for our global nonmanufacturing employees and other key personnel. The courses focus on risk areas such as bribery and corruption, conflicts of interest, and protecting personal and company information.
We are also focusing on making sure the materials we provide are the most useful and engaging, and available when needed. For example, we are incorporating a short animation about our anti-bribery philosophy into an upcoming training course, to help our people appreciate why companies need to take a stand against corruption. We want them to understand that, not only is bribery against the law and contrary to our policy, it also hurts people in the communities in which we live and do business.
Our compliance program encourages and facilitates the reporting of known or potential violations of the law, or of our Policy Letters and Directives. There are many ways for individuals to report such violations: through our General Auditors’ Office, Human Resources team or the Office of the General Counsel, using telephone hotlines or via email. A cross-functional committee reviews all allegations, oversees any investigations and implements corrective or disciplinary actions.
Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption
Although our 62 plants around the world need to comply with a wide range of national laws and levels of enforcement, it’s essential that we maintain the highest standards wherever we operate. To ensure we don’t accept local norms if they fall below our own standards, we have:
- Crafted clear bribery and corruption policies, and put procedures for reporting breaches of those policies in place
- Strengthened the anti-bribery/anti-corruption elements of our Global Terms and Conditions for our suppliers
- Continued to train individuals who may encounter bribery or corruption issues in their work
- Assessed all our operations for risks related to bribery and corruption
Ford Named One of World’s Most Ethical Companies
As ethics in business increasingly affects customers and their purchase decisions, we were proud to be named to the 2016 World’s Most Ethical Companies® list by Ethisphere Institute in March 2016.
This marks the seventh consecutive year that we have received the accolade. Ethisphere Institute rates companies across five categories: ethics and compliance, corporate citizenship and responsibilities, culture of ethics, governance and leadership, and reputation.
“This honor celebrates our employees who are committed to doing the right things and making the right choices. Ethics and corporate citizenship are the foundation of what drives us to make people’s lives better.”