Responsible business conduct

Our employees represent approximately 130 nationalities in more than 70 countries, and we have delivered solutions to 180 countries. As a truly international company, and having employees from different cultures all over the world, common values and ethical principles help us in setting a consistent approach for responsible business conduct. Since we also support our solutions globally during their entire lifecycle, often spanning up to 30 years, we can at times be present in countries facing various uprisings, ethnic conflicts, area disputes, or violations of human rights. This emphasises the importance of our responsible business practices.

Values and Code of Conduct programme 

Wärtsilä’s Code of Conduct defines common rules for all employees, and provides guidance on Wärtsilä’s approach to responsible business practices. The key areas of the Code of Conduct include compliance with laws, transparency and continuous stakeholder dialogue, respect for human and labour rights, occupational health and safety, fair employment practices, anti-corruption, anti-fraud, and environmental protection.

We take an active approach to the application of the Code of Conduct, and promote its implementation through effective communication, training programmes, and processes. Our Values and Code of Conduct programme includes various actions aimed at strengthening the ethical culture of our company. These include the signing of an individual Code of Conduct Undertaking letter, an e-learning programme, and Values and Code of Conduct discussions, which are aimed at creating common understanding and strengthening the values and principles of the Wärtsilä Code of Conduct.


Respecting human and labour rights

Our Code of Conduct and Policy on human rights, equal opportunities, and fair employment practices define common rules and provide guidance for all employees on respecting human and labour rights and fair employment practices. Human and Labour rights are also included as part of the Wärtsilä Supplier Handbook. Additionally, human rights considerations and international best practices are incorporated within various guidelines, such as the Quality, Environmental, Health and Safety Policy, which sets priorities for enhancing health and safety in our business operations.

Wärtsilä supports and respects internationally recognised human rights as outlined in the International Bill of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We also support the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, of which six principles are related to Human and Labour rights. We work to ensure that there is freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining in the company. In those countries where local legislation does not recognise these rights, employees are offered other channels for expressing their opinions.

Human rights are included in the mandatory Wärtsilä Code of Conduct e-learning for all employees. In addition, separate training sessions are arranged on an organisational level and mitigation actions are taken to minimise negative human rights impacts both in our own operations and in our supply management practices. Human rights themes of particular importance to Wärtsilä are health and safety, and fair labour practices, which includes fair employment conditions, freedom of association, nondiscrimination, and non-harassment. One challenge to our operations is the nature of maintenance operations carried out by our service personnel, which can require long working hours in the case of, for example, power block-outs.

Preventing corruption and bribery

Wärtsilä's Code of Conduct, Anti-Corruption Policy, as well as specific policies implemented for sales intermediaries, namely Agent, Broker and Distributor Policies, expressly prohibit the company and its employees from offering or accepting any kind of benefit considered to be a bribe and from taking actions that could give rise to a conflict of interest or breach of loyalty. The policies make it compulsory to comply with anti-corruption laws of all the countries in which we do or intend to do business and urge the reporting of any cases of corruption and bribery. We are aware that the risk of corruption and fraud is heightened in many markets where we operate. Therefore, full compliance with a stringent anti-corruption regime is required of all employees.

We maintain an extensive training programme mandatory for all employees on anti-corruption principles and applicable legislation, as well as the relevant company policies and procedures.

Political lobbying

Wärtsilä's policy is to engage in an open dialogue and discussion with both local and international public authorities and officials. The aim of the dialogue is to share information and improve the quality of regulation. We participate in public consultations in the areas of importance to the company. Wärtsilä is registered on the Transparency Register of the European Commission.

Competition regulation

We have in place a competition compliance programme for managing risks relating to competition law, and our management is strongly committed to implementing this programme. The cornerstone of the programme is a competition law policy, which is kept up-to-date, providing information on competition rules and guidelines for our personnel. The competition compliance programme builds upon an e-learning module, based on the competition law policy. In addition, competition compliance trainings are held for relevant personnel in order to promote knowledge of competition laws and compliance therewith.

Reporting misconduct

Wärtsilä employees are encouraged to voice their concerns relating to any potential violations of the Code of Conduct and its underlying policies and instructions. The reported misconduct cases are investigated either locally or centrally, as appropriate. The primary means for reporting suspected misconduct incidents is via the line management. However, employees also have alternative reporting routes, including an externally hosted whistleblowing channel available in 16 languages, reporting directly to the compliance function, or by informing legal affairs. If a suspected violation involves the top management of Wärtsilä Corporation, or where the suspected case is believed to be significant, the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Wärtsilä Corporation can be contacted directly. Employees who report a potential Code of Conduct violation in good faith will not suffer harassment, retaliation, or adverse employment consequences. In all cases, our employees can seek advice on ethical and lawful behaviour and on matters of integrity from Wärtsilä legal counsels or from the compliance function