Use and safeguarding of corporate assets
All Recipients are responsible for the use and safeguarding of the tangible and intangible assets supplied by ERG for the completion of their activities and are responsible for diligently protecting them, behaving responsibly and consistently with the procedures in force. In particular, Recipients:
- may not perform, during their working hours, any activities that are not related to or consistent with their duties and organisational responsibilities and must use company resources exclusively for purposes connected with and essential to the completion of work;
- must work with the utmost care and in a correct manner, also to avoid damage to people and property and reduce the risk of theft, damage or other external threats to the personnel employed by or present in ERG;
- must avoid, as much as possible, wasting, tampering with or using company resources that could compromise the level of efficiency or accelerate normal deterioration;
- must absolutely avoid (except where stated in specific regulations) the use by third parties or transfer of the assets to third parties, even temporarily.
Use of IT resources
ERG considers information systems and IT applications essential elements for achieving its objectives, as these tools are available to Recipients to enable them to express their full potential in performing duties and are imperative to the safe, continuous, efficient and controlled functioning of their plants. The company thus invests considerable resources in their development and improvement and the handling and correct communication of information, so as to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
With the goal of ensuring maximum security in information systems and complete protection for internal users and third parties, in compliance with the legislation in force, ERG regularly adopts appropriate control methods and practices, implementing the measures deemed most effective to prevent, or identify and sanction, behaviour that does not comply with its principles.
Since the Group's initiatives in this field are effective only with the involvement of user Recipients, the latter are required to:
- use the IT and communication resources available to them appropriately;
- learn and comply with policies, guidelines, procedures, manuals, guides and other documents that ERG provides to ensure the proper management and security of IT and communication resources;
- observe all relative laws and regulations;
- maintain the integrity of available IT tools;
- use IT and communication tools in a manner that ensures the confidentiality of the data stored or transmitted using these;
- monitor the exchange of information with third parties via IT systems so as to ensure this does not constitute any form of responsibility for ERG, except information objectively evident and relevant to Group activities.
Conflict of Interest
Recipients, even for activities not performed for ERG, must not behave or operate in such a way that could lead to a conflict of interest and/or be in competition with the Group, or which could interfere with their own capacity to perform their duties impartially and for the benefit of ERG.
Recipients must refrain from taking personal advantage, either directly or through family members (including spouses that are not legally separated, children, parents, cohabiting subjects as well as intermediaries, trust companies or subsidiaries of the aforesaid subjects) and third parties, of business opportunities of which they have become aware during the performance of their duties. Recipients must thus avoid:
- acquiring (direct and indirect) shares or other economic interests in companies which are customers, suppliers or in competition with ERG, with the exception of shares and financial instruments listed on regulated markets;
- performing activities (both work and non-work, but paid in any case) for companies which are customers, suppliers or in competition with ERG: accepting appointments and/or responsibilities in companies that are not part of the ERG Group will necessarily entail prior disclosure to the employing company, since these activities may be detrimental to the work performance, or the activity may have been obtained or carried out using professional skills developed in ERG.
Transactions with the related parties must be completed in full compliance with legal provisions and applicable regulations, with a guarantee of full transparency, correctness and the adequacy of motivations in accordance with the specific procedure established by ERG.
Management of gifts and gratuities
ERG, basing its conduct on the principle of integrity and requiring its employees to do the same, establishes rules which set out the criteria and methods for both donating and receiving gifts and gratuities. ERG endeavours to rigorously prosecute any corrupt conduct by a Recipient of the Code of Ethics as concerns both private entities and public officials.
Any employee receiving gifts or gratuities that exceed normal courtesy or modest value must immediately inform a superior and/or the Supervisory Committee.
Beyond normal business practices, no form of gratuity, personal offers of money, gifts or benefits (for example promises of favours, recommendations, etc.), acts of courtesy or actions in any way intended or aiming to acquire preferential treatment or real or apparent undue advantages of any nature are permitted. Acts of courtesy in business are allowed as long as they are of modest value and, in any case, do not compromise integrity or reputation or influence the independent judgement of the recipient.
The Recipients of the Code of Ethics must not behave in any way that could be judged by an impartial observer as an inappropriate attempt to influence the autonomy, independence and impartiality of Italian or foreign public officials/public service officers or private entities with which relations are held. The following are therefore prohibited:
- giving them or their family members any gift or preferential treatment, unless such gifts are of a modest value;
- offering them, in any way, employment/or business opportunities that could be personally advantageous;
- carrying out any acts of courtesy or hospitality that could compromise the integrity of one or both parties;
- performing any act that could persuade them to carry out or not to carry out any type of action in violation of the Organization to which they belong.
Even in countries where it is customary to offer gifts as a sign of courtesy, these must be of an appropriate nature, must not be contrary to legal provisions and must not be such that they could be considered a request for favours in return.
The rules of the Code of Ethics regarding gratuities, gifts and benefits, is applicable, without any exceptions, to directors and employees (including managers) and it must also be observed by all those involved in the achievement of ERG's objectives; shareholders, business partners, customers, suppliers and all parties who, for various reasons, come into contact with the Group and will therefore also play a part in consolidating a corporate image that faithfully reflects the values of transparency, correctness and loyalty.
Recipients may not begin or continue relations with anyone who does not intend to conform to these principles.
Use and disclosure of information
ERG considers the following to be of fundamental importance:
- protecting the confidentiality of information and personal data of all stakeholders who come into contact with the Group during its operations;
- giving correct, complete and truthful information regarding the company and maintaining due confidentiality when necessary;
as prerequisites for creating and maintaining a relationship based on transparency and trust with its stakeholders and the market.
ERG thus endeavours to fully comply with all relative regulations in force on the handling of personal data, with particular reference to the Privacy Code and the provisions of the Italian Data Protection Commission, has established the relative procedures, which are continually revised, and adopted suitable security measures.
Consequently, when handling information, Recipients are required to:
- keep scrupulously and with the highest confidentiality all information acquired as part of their job, including know-how acquired by the Group;
- request, for cases established by the Privacy Code (art. 23), permission to handle personal data and use it exclusively for the planned purposes and in compliance with the security measures adopted by the Group;
- comply with the internal procedures specially prepared to avoid the misuse of privileged and confidential information;
- operate in compliance with the principles contained in the Privacy Code and avoid undue handling of personal data and information, particularly sensitive and legal data.
- avoid any and all use of information that could represent any form of violation of laws in force, as well as an affront to the liberty, integrity or dignity of the persons to whom the information refers or from whom it comes, particularly in the case of minors.
Recipients must also:
- avoid the improper or instrumental use of confidential information, nor may they use it for their own advantage and/or for that of their family members, acquaintances or third parties in general;
- protect information, by observing specially developed security measures in corporate procedures, from access by unauthorised third parties and prevent its dissemination, unless specific authorisation is provided at the time by the person in charge;
- not look for or try to obtain from others information not related to their job;
- classify and organise the information so that the authorised persons may access it easily and completely.
According to Legislative Decree 196/2003 concerning the protection of personal data, employees not expressly authorised are forbidden to handle the personal data of other employees or third parties.
Accounting files and the relative records must be kept in full observance of the principle of transparency, intended as the combination of truthfulness, correctness, clarity and completeness of information.
Thus, within their relative areas of responsibility, Recipients are required to:
- represent operating events in a complete, transparent, truthful, accurate and timely manner in compliance with the set procedures;
- correctly record all economic and financial transactions, with no omissions;
- keep adequate documentation of every operation and transaction so as to facilitate the verification and/or reconstruction of the decision-making and authorisation process, which must take place in accordance with the levels of responsibility defined by ERG;
- archive all accounting and supporting files, so as to make them easy to retrieve, verify and understand;
- allow the competent bodies, by supporting them, to perform controls on each transaction recorded;
- provide auditors and other internal and external control bodies with the requested information in a truthful and complete manner.
Any ERG employees who become directly aware of omissions, falsifications or negligence as regards the accounting records or supporting files are required to report such facts to the Chief Executive Officer and/or General Manager of the company involved, the Administrative Director and/or Reporting Officer responsible for drafting corporate accounting documents pursuant to Law 262/2005 (hereinafter "Reporting Officer") and the Supervisory Committee.
Health, safety and environmental protection
ERG believes that the complete compatibility of its activities with the health and safety of workers, the territory, natural resources and the surrounding environment is an essential condition both for the acceptability of its plants and its operational activities, as well as the achievement of its growth objectives.
ERG thus constantly works to ensure that the business operations of all Group companies are carried out with full respect for the health and safety of its employees and third parties, as well as the environment, intended in the broadest sense, carefully considering these factors as part of the long-term planning process and encouraging the adoption of environmentally-friendly and energy efficient technologies.
As a socially responsible business, which also counts on the active contribution of all Recipients, ERG aims to:
- place safety, the protection of the health of individuals and respect for the environment and natural resources at the top of its list of priorities, developing continuing, sincere and constructive dialogue on these topics with its stakeholders;
- comply with the legislation in force, supplementing this with its own internal regulations where necessary and/or appropriate, regardless of where activities are carried out and at what level of responsibility;
- encourage individuals to develop a culture of safety through training, information, dialogue and a responsible and continuous commitment where the leadership of the management aims for excellence;
- favour, in selecting its partners, subjects who operate according to the same principles;
- promote and implement all reasonable actions designed to minimise the risks and remove the causes that can jeopardise the safety and health of all those persons located near its operational units;
- ensure constant attention and commitment to improving its performance in the environmental field, monitoring and reducing energy use, minimising waste production, complying with the legal limits for atmospheric, water and ground emissions, responsibly and carefully using natural resources and protecting local ecosystems and biodiversity;
- assess the environmental and social impacts before undertaking new activities or introducing modifications and innovations to processes and products;
- establish dialogue and constructive collaboration, marked by the highest transparency and trust, with institutions and all stakeholders, with the goal of developing its activities while respecting local communities;
- maintain elevated levels of safety and environmental protection by implementing management systems that are developed, periodically verified and certified according to internationally recognised standards and introducing means and procedures for management and intervention, based on a careful analysis and evaluation of risks, designed to deal with possible emergencies;
- continuously strive to enhance information, awareness and training aiming to strengthen health, safety and environmental protection principles as a shared asset throughout all levels of the company.
ERG is aware that the achievement of the set objectives depends on the active contribution of all subjects involved in various ways and thus requires, in particular, that Recipients of the Code of Ethics do their best to create a work environment focused on health and safety issues, banning smoking in all indoor work areas and prohibiting working under the effects of alcohol or drugs.
Finally, as confirmation of the huge importance ERG gives to health, safety and environmental protection, the evaluation of each employee's individual performance takes into account whether or not their conduct is in line with company policies, and particularly those referred to above.
ERG recognises that correct and fair competition is an essential condition for the development of business operations and is committed to fully respecting the standards that regulate it.
The Group fully and scrupulously observes antitrust regulations and those established by market regulatory authorities, neither denying, hiding nor delaying any information requested by the bodies responsible for their application and actively collaborating during preliminary operations.
ERG strictly prohibits its directors, employees (including managers) and Recipients of the Code of Ethics from implementing any practice (e.g. the creation of files, market division agreements, voluntary restraint agreements on production or sales, conditional agreements, etc.) that restricts competition or can illicitly disrupt the market, even if the practice is not intended as such but could be judged so by an impartial third party.
Recipients are equally responsible for strictly observing regulations on competition and avoiding any contact with competitors that may be in possession of sensitive business information such as prices, volumes, etc. and, if anyone should find themselves subject to conduct by third parties that violates antitrust regulations, they should immediately inform their managers and the Supervisory Committee of their company.