Integrity is an asset that needs to be built both bottom-up and top-down. Business success boils down to an individual mindset of wanting to make the right choices.
Integrity in business means following a strict ethical code aligned with the company values. This applies across all interactions: with employees, customers, suppliers, investors – everyone.
“In today’s business environment, having integrity isn’t just a feel-good thing. It’s an important asset in our decision making, management and operations. This is why it’s included in UPM’s vision and is the backbone of our Code of Conduct,” says Markus Skrabb, UPM’s Chief Compliance Officer.
UPM enjoys a very good reputation as a trustworthy partner, which is an asset in all its partnerships, both internal and external.
Setting the bar high
“Our vision states that integrity, together with our competence and drive, makes us unique, which sets the bar very high for us. This applies not only to our policies and procedures, but to our people as well. Not only must they understand how to do the right thing, but they must want it, too,” states Skrabb.
Having a regional compliance counsel makes it easier for colleagues to ask for advice and support in everyday decisions.
Speaking up without fear
Although the integrity mindset has to be the same around the world, local compliance counsels know the culture and its peculiarities, local business practices, laws and regulatory risks, so they can give more practical and value-added advice to the business.
UPM fosters a speak-up culture by encouraging everyone to voice their concerns whenever they notice any misconduct or unethical behaviour. The compliance team is always ready to help employees with any questions or concerns.
“In Latin American culture, it’s not always easy to come forward, so we have to work hard to get across the idea that speaking up means building a company for all,” says Stephania Bresque Jettar, Compliance Counsel for the region.
UPM embraces a speak-up culture where employees can report misconduct without any fear of repercussions, from the company or colleagues.
The flipside of speaking up is listening up.
“When people come to us worried about something, we need to assure them that the matter will be investigated thoroughly and independently, that there will be no retaliation against them, and express that the company appreciates them for their effort. We value people like this,” Shelley Shao, Compliance Counsel in APAC, points out.