In line with current regulations, ENGIE has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to corruption and violations of human rights.
To this end, over the last few years, ENGIE has adopted a system of ethical due diligence for “categories of partners” that may present a risk for ENGIE, i.e. our partners submitted to commitment committees, for our business consultants, for the recipients of our sponsorships/patronage, and on for our suppliers and subcontractors.
These policies cover the obligations given in the French oversight law dated 27 March 2017 and in the law commonly referred to as “Sapin II” dated 9 December 2016, which require preventative measures to fight against corruption and human rights violations.
What is Due Diligence?
Ethical due diligence involves an ethics investigation focused on a company, its shareholders, and its board to measure its risk level (corruption, money laundering, etc.).
In other words, before plans are made to buy out a company, to collaborate with another project, to donate funds to a charity, or to work with a business consultant, we need to evaluate this third party and ensure that they are trustworthy.
Of course, the idea is not necessarily to refuse to work with risky companies, but to identify any risks and to put in place prevention or correction mechanisms before any contractual relationship.
Who is subject to Due Diligence?
What constitutes a risk? ENGIE has provided practical guides with each ethical due diligence policy that will help employees carry out due diligence and identify factors that may be risks. For example: Have you identified all of the Board members? Have you reviewed legal procedures for cases of fraud or corruption against one of the stakeholders, legal or natural persons? Is the partner on any sanctions lists? Are they involved in cases of human or environmental rights violations?
Many situations can be considered “risky”, such as convictions or accusations of corruption, the violation of basic rights, money laundering, terrorism, a lack of information about the company or its shareholders, sanctions and embargoes, being included on U.S.OFAC, EU, or United Nations sanctions lists, serious accusations of health and safety, environmental, or human rights violations.
How and where are these risks located?
In order to meet these requirements, ENGIE has adopted a specific and precise Ethical Due Diligence process that must be followed by all Group entities.
This information is accessible via database software (subscribed by ENGIE on the initiative of the Ethics, Compliance & Privacy Department). We call this level 1 due diligence.
If this information is sufficient or if no risk is identified, the business relationship can be approved.
However, if the information is insufficient, or indicates a risk, further due diligence is needed. In this case, ENGIE's internal investigation (Called C2A,) or an external service provider approved by the C2A will take over the due diligence effort.
If further due diligence reveals even more risks, an evaluation of the situation carried out with the best possible solution i.e. either abandon the proposed commercial relationship or provide possible remediation measures (for example: adding a strong ethics clause to the contract, arranging for monitoring, etc.) before the contractual relationship can continue.