Responsible business conduct

Wärtsilä’s employees represent approximately 140 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

Wärtsilä supports and respects basic human values as outlined in the UN's Universal Declaration of 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 support fair and equal treatment of all our employees and the workrelated rights defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Therefore, we work to ensure that there is freedom of association and 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. We also promote gender equality and are committed to including women in all aspects of our business. Wärtsilä’s Diversity Initiative has been in place since 2012, fostering an inclusive corporate culture at all levels.

Wärtsilä’s 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.

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, 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.