Responsibility on all levels
At Sweco, business ethics means more than compliance with laws and regulations. Ethical behaviour in the company’s own operations and in client projects reflects Sweco’s values, prevents risks and has a positive impact on society.
Establishing and maintaining integrity, transparency and trust in the company is essential for Sweco’s long-term success, wherever in the world the company operates. Sweco’s decentralised approach, with all employees responsible for their own business relationships, sets high standards for personal awareness of business ethics. Employees and business partners are responsible for complying with laws, regulations and Sweco’s own business ethics policies.
Code of Conduct and other policies
With 20,000 employees working on 120,000 projects throughout the world, it is essential that Sweco and its business partners conduct business based on the same principles and with the utmost integrity. Sweco’s Code of Conduct applies to all Sweco Group employees and covers environment, business ethics, employee development, human rights, labour law, data protection and personal data management. The Code is based on international standards such as the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), the ILO’s core conventions, the OECD’s guidelines for multinational companies, and the UN’s Global Compact principles covering human rights, working conditions, environment and anti-corruption. All employees are required to complete annual digital training on the Code of Conduct and confirm compliance with their signature.
Careful selection of business partners and projects
In addition to requiring our business partners to comply with Sweco’s Code of Conduct, we also have a special Business Partner Program for evaluating our partners. Our employees and partners participate together in the training sessions, to review various scenarios and dilemmas that can potentially arise in the business. For projects outside our home markets, we have a process for risk assessment of projects and business partners. The higher risk a project is deemed to have, the stricter the assessment.
Taxes and distributed value
Taxes play a key role financing public services in the areas of climate and environment, healthcare, social welfare, infrastructure, education and the legal system. In addition to the solutions and values Sweco experts create with clients in the projects, taxes and fees are considered an integral part of sustainable business operations. Sweco pays taxes in accordance with local tax laws and regulations in the countries where the company operates. Sweco aspires to a high standard of tax management and provides transparent financial reports based on OECD principles, meaning that Group results are taxed where value is created. For 2022, Sweco paid SEK 389 million in income taxes. In addition to income taxes, Sweco contributes additional value related to salaries, pensions and employee benefits, dividends to shareholders, payments to suppliers, taxes and social fees.
There has been a negative trend in the risk profile in the world in recent years, and regulatory requirements for cyber and information security are increasing. Preserving the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data and information Sweco manages is essential to the business. Sweco works proactively to protect sensitive information from unauthorised activities. Sweco is continuously strengthening its preparedness to quickly detect and respond to risks and attacks. Training is provided regularly to all employees to increase awareness and user competence as regards security risks. Sweco focuses not only on maintaining basic information security controls and measures, but also uses third-party resources to strengthen the company’s cyber defences.
Sweco’s supply chain is limited, and the most significant impact lies in client projects and collaborations with other parties. Sweco expects all its suppliers to comply not only with laws and regulations in the countries where they operate, but also with group-wide principles in Sweco’s Code of Conduct regarding health and safety, environmental management, business ethics, compliance, human rights and workers’ rights. For example, Sweco requires its sub-consultants to comply with the Sweco Code of Conduct. Furthermore, management and evaluation of supplier relations and procurement take place at business area level based on local policies and procedures. Sweco’s goal is to use ongoing dialogue to continuously improve the management of its supply chain and establish processes and tools to further develop sustainability performance.
Sweco supports and respects human rights, as defined by international conventions and integrated into Sweco’s Code of Conduct. Sweco has zero tolerance for human rights violations, child labour and inhumane working conditions. Sweco also does not permit discrimination or denial of employees’ collective bargaining rights. The company actively promotes equal rights and opportunities in the workplace, within Sweco and in the contacts with clients and other stakeholders. The risk of human rights violations within Sweco’s own operations is deemed to be relatively minor. Human rights violations are mainly of concern in export projects conducted outside of Europe, with the risk of violation varying based on e.g. type of project, geographic location and the business partners Sweco works with. Human rights criteria are included in the tender review process for screening major Sweco projects, in the assessment of potential business partners and in the merger and acquisition process. No suspected violations of human rights were reported in 2022 and 2021.
The Sweco Ethics Line
Sweco has a zero-tolerance policy with regards to non-compliance with business ethics and violation of human rights. Sweco employees are required to report any violations of business ethics that arise in their course of work, even in cases where Sweco is not directly involved in or party to the event in question. Our whistleblowing function – the Sweco Ethics Line – is operated by an external provider and enables anonymous reporting of suspected incidents. The Sweco Ethics Line is available for employees as well as external parties.
Sustainability forms an integral part of Sweco’s business and strategy.
Climate neutral by 2040
Sweco’s group-wide sustainability goal is to achieve climate neutrality by 2040.
This is Sweco
Maintaining a high standard of business ethics is key to a sustainable company.