Ethics and transparency are the foundation of our strong, sustainable company. Customers compare suppliers according to their own standards or compliance requirements. By operating in an ethical, transparent manner, we earn our license to operate and minimize risk to our company’s reputation.
Southwire monitors and mitigates risks—both within our business and beyond our operations—by providing robust ethics training to employees, engaging suppliers and adhering to and creating policies to support standards. Our leadership espouses the highest levels of integrity, and employees follow their example. Read about Southwire’s strong governance structure and practices.
We demonstrate our commitment to ethical business practices by publishing and providing all employees with an uncompromising ethics statement. During new hire orientation, we introduce our code of ethics, entitled “Do the Right Thing,” through a 10-minute introduction video from our chief executive officer.
At Southwire, we strive to go beyond compliance requirements. During our ethics refresher meeting, we share examples of practices that technically comply with the law but do not live up to our values or the spirit of the law. We emphasize that these scenarios conflict with our culture and can undermine our stakeholders’ positive view of Southwire.
Prior to 2016, all salaried employees participated in a review course every two years to keep our ethical practices at the forefront of their professional lives as well as introduce them to compliance topics, such as bribery and anti-trust. Beginning in 2016, all employees, both salaried and hourly, receive comprehensive annual ethics training.
We firmly reject any corrupt business activity and take measures to ensure our business activities advance internationally without ethics incidents. Southwire provides anti-corruption training to a significant number of executives and other salaried employees based outside the U.S. (particularly beyond North America). Further, we require mandatory training for all employees who travel abroad for business purposes to prepare them for encounters with corrupt activities. We conduct training in our employees’ native language to guarantee clarity. This training includes safety protocols which, combined with our travel policies and procedures, allows us to track the locations of our employees as they travel and, if necessary, to swiftly extract an employee in the case of an in-country emergency.
Reporting Ethics Concerns
In the first quarter of 2016, Southwire completed implementation of an online Code of Ethics training and conducted an employee survey of 100 percent of the employee population. In the annual ethics survey, all salaried individuals indicate if they or anyone they know has violated ethics requirements or laws. Employees and stakeholders can report any ethics concerns to our legal department via hotline or email. All indications of ethics violations are thoroughly investigated. We have few incidents, violations or litigation.
In 2016, we set a new goal related to ethics and transparency. Southwire finds it important to have an independently vetted, objective measurement of corporate responsibility and business ethics. Benchmarking against the World’s Most Ethical Companies will inspire and inform advancement in our business practices. We will begin reporting progress on this goal in our 2017 sustainability report.
2021 SUSTAINABILITY GOALS & TARGETS
- Achieve recognition on Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies list by 2021.
Supply Chain Policies
To demonstrate our commitment to ethical business along our supply chain, Southwire enforces our conflict minerals and human trafficking policies as well as a full supplier code of conduct. Southwire makes these policies publicly available on our corporate website.
For greater transparency, we publish our annual sustainability report and engage our stakeholders in a variety of ways, such as through our Community Advisory Panel in Carrollton, Georgia. This panel gathers to discuss any issues that may pertain to Southwire and our impact on the community. Through our ethics and transparency, we are strengthening our business while Doing Right.
In the infrequent case of a spill or other release to the environment, Southwire notifies the appropriate regulatory authorities and informs leadership via text and email as soon as possible, as well as its board of directors at regular board meetings. For any high-visibility events, we inform the public via local press releases. For more information on our number and volume of letters as well as other regulatory actions in 2016, click here.