In part 1 of this two-part series, we covered Visma’s activities related to the environment and our employees. In this article, we will outline our ethical business practices and other group-level efforts.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the United Nations’ 17 goals for ensuring a good life for all. Global issues like human rights and climate change require a coordinated effort if we are to overcome them.
Businesses have both an obligation and advantage in addressing these issues. This is especially true for tech companies. Through innovative software, technical resources and know-how, Visma and companies like us are poised to solve the problems that respond to technological solutions.
The SDGs give us a helpful framework to analyse our own capabilities and prioritise the areas we can impact the most. Using the SDGs as a guide, we focus on four key areas:
- The environment
- Ethical business practices
- Group-level efforts
In part 1 we talked about our efforts related to the environment and our employees. This article will cover our ethical business practices and other group-level efforts. These goals will become even more concrete when we update Visma’s Sustainability Policy in 2022.
Our efforts towards ethical business practices
Every Visma employee has the responsibility to understand and follow legal requirements. This applies to gifts and hospitality, corruption, data protection, security, and many more areas. The bottom line is that employees must act with integrity at all times, and this is supported via internal trainings, codes of conduct, and a strong ethical culture overall.
Preventing corruption and bribery
We have a responsibility to uphold the trust of our customers and society. Our Anti-Corruption Policy defines this responsibility and outlines the values that dictate our personal and business actions. This is outlined at the day-to-day level in Visma’s employee Code of Conduct. Employees complete a mandatory e-learning to make sure they are aware of all our anti-corruption policies.
Visma also has an anonymous Whistleblowing Channel for those who suspect a case of corruption, bribery or other ethical breach.
Our goal is to have zero incidents of corruption or bribery. This addresses SDG Target 16.5: Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms and SDG Target 16.6: Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.
Upholding human rights
We have a zero-tolerance policy for any human rights abuses, as outlined in our Code of Conduct, Sustainability Policy and Statement on Modern Slavery. This applies within the organisation, as well as among our suppliers, partners, customers and other stakeholders.
Our goal is to not engage in any business relationships with subcontractors or partners that breach legislation regarding human rights, modern slavery or child labour. This addresses:
- SDG Target 16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
- SDG Target 16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
- SDG Target 16.10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
- SDG Target 8.7: Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms
Protecting data security and privacy
Ensuring the privacy and security of our customers, partners and employees is embedded in everything we do. Our security and compliance programs are designed to monitor, measure and flag risk, with designated people responsible for preventing and mitigating issues. You can view more information about all our activities related to security and privacy at our Trust Centre.
Our goal is to have zero fines from authorities, and zero material claims brought by data subjects or customers due to breach of applicable data protection or IPR legislation. This addresses SDG Target 16.10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.
Our group-level efforts
Incorporating sustainability into our software
One of the greatest positive impacts we can have is through the core of our business model—our software. We evaluate sustainability throughout the customer journey, from development to customer success.
Technology brings many opportunities. Imagine for instance, if payroll systems could automatically detect differences in salary between genders for the same position. Or if climate accounting could be done in the same systems as financial accounting. We believe technology can open such doors.
We believe that sustainability can and should be included in all activities and organisational functions, as well as in our solutions, products and services. It is an essential part of our vision to shape the future of society through technology.
We contribute to our communities with the help of local organisations that share our values. Our contributions take shape in partnerships for sustainability and the SDGs, local community investments, and sponsoring and supporting of projects that positively impact society and the environment. We see that such projects also have a clear effect on employee pride and engagement.
Through our community investments, partnerships, and charitable giving, we address:SDG Target 17.16: Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilise and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources and SDG Target 17.17: Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.
Ensuring good supply chains
Our supply chains must follow the same ethical standards as we do, as outlined in our Supplier Code of Conduct.
Our goal is to make sure that all of our suppliers conduct their business on a fair and ethical basis and in compliance with our core principles of sustainability. This addresses SDG Target 12.6: Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.
This has been Part 2 in a two-part series on Visma’s sustainability efforts through the lens of the SDGs. You can read Part 1 here.