Ethics and Compliance
As Ford continues to grow, we work hard to ensure that ethics and compliance remain the foundation of all our business practices. Our integrated governance systems and processes help us manage the different aspects of sustainability across our business, from climate change to product quality and safety, and from ensuring ethical business practices to managing our supply chain.
Ethics Advice at Our Fingertips
We have clear policies and strategies for creating value, continually improving our performance and addressing a wide range of social, economic and environmental challenges in a changing world. To help our employees to do things the right way, we provide them with the information they need, when and where they need it. To support this, our Corporate Compliance Office – which promotes a culture of compliance and ethics across our business, turning our aspirations and high standards into action – has developed innovative training and communication tools that make knowing how to comply with corporate policy and the law as easy as possible.
These tools include a free mobile app, The Right Way. This app puts key compliance information at our employees’ fingertips, providing answers to frequently asked questions. Topics covered include our human rights commitment, the signs of human trafficking, our stance against harassment and discrimination, and our strict policy against bribery and corruption (see below). Employees can also use the app to contact the Compliance Office directly.
The Right Way app is available in seven languages, making it accessible across our global workforce. It is also publicly available, which means our suppliers and other business partners can use it to become more familiar with our ethical policies and practices. We have also made it available as “open source” material for other companies and groups to build on.
Ethics and Compliance Training
Our many Policy Letters and Directives formally establish expectations for our employees and others working on our behalf. Our primary ethical guidance document is our Code of Conduct Handbook (pdf, 1.01MB), which contains the most important and relevant of our letters and directives. The Code is available in 14 languages to ensure accessibility to employees around the world.
Our compliance program is reinforced by mandatory online training courses for our global non-manufacturing employees and other key personnel. The courses focus on risk areas such as bribery and corruption, conflicts of interest, protecting personal and company information, and Ford’s ethical culture.
We continuously work to improve our online training courses to offer shorter, more frequent and more memorable modules. This includes honing our annual Code of Conduct online training module, presenting timely topics that will be meaningful and thought-provoking for our employees. The first module in this refreshed series launched in the fall of 2017 and featured a leading researcher who spoke on being mindful of ethical challenges in a talk entitled Why Do Good Companies Do Bad Things? We had such a strong positive and thoughtful response from employees around the globe that we are following up with a timely module in the fall of 2018. Encouraging everyone to think about how we interact, the module, called Civility: The High Cost of Bad Behavior, will be presented by a leading expert. We look forward to continuing to encourage dialogue around business ethics and compliance.
Our compliance program encourages and facilitates the reporting of known or potential violations of the law, or our Policy Letters and Directives. Individuals can report such violations anonymously to the General Auditors’ Office, Human Resources or the Office of the General Counsel, using telephone hotlines, website or via email. All allegations are reviewed by a cross-functional committee, which also oversees the investigations, and implements corrective or disciplinary actions.
Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption
Our many facilities around the world need to comply with a wide range of national laws and governmental enforcement practices. However, it’s essential that we maintain the highest standards wherever we operate, and don’t accept local norms if they fall below our own standards. To ensure we do this, we have:
- Crafted clear bribery and corruption policies, and provided procedures for mandatory reporting of suspected violation of law or policy
- Strengthened the anti-bribery and anti-corruption elements of our Global Terms & Conditions (and other contracts) for our suppliers
- Assessed our operations for risks related to bribery and corruption, continuing to train individuals who may encounter bribery or corruption issues in their work