We seek to maintain a culture of ethical behaviour and compliance throughout the Group, rather than simply performing the minimum required by laws and regulations. To support this, we have implemented our Group compliance programme that includes a range of policies and guidelines.

Our permanent and temporary employees, directors and officers as well as contractors (where they are under a relevant contractual obligation) must, in addition to complying with applicable laws and regulations, comply with the Group compliance policies that apply to their duties.

The Business Ethics Committee

The Business Ethics Committee (BEC) comprises senior representatives from across our businesses and management, and two of our external counsel; it reports to the Board Audit Committee. The BEC develops and reviews our policies, guidelines and principles on business ethics, including the prevention of bribery and corruption, and assists in questions related to their application. The policies and guidelines developed by the BEC are implemented by our Group compliance departments, local compliance coordinators and business ethics officers together with our operations. The BEC has a subcommittee which is a smaller subset of BEC members and reports to the BEC; it is able to meet on an ad hoc basis. The BEC meets at least two times per year and the BEC subcommittee at least four times per year.

Group compliance policies

The Glencore Corporate Practice (GCP) is our governance framework that encompasses our Group valuesCode of Conduct and other policies and guidelines, such as those developed by the BEC. The GCP represents our commitment to uphold good business practices and to meet or exceed applicable laws and external requirements. We will not knowingly assist any third party in breaching the law, or participate in any criminal, fraudulent or corrupt practice in any country.

We seek to prevent such misconduct through training programmes and strong leadership, underpinned by internal policies, procedures and controls. The Group compliance policies are made accessible to employees via the local compliance coordinator, the Group intranet or the intranet of the specific operation at which they work. Our managers and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees understand and comply with the policies. Relevant employees must confirm their awareness and understanding of our compliance requirements in writing every year.

Certain operations implement their own policies in addition to Group policies. These are designed to address their specific requirements, while being consistent with our Group values, Code of Conduct and policies.

Local compliance coordinators, guided by the Group compliance departments, support our employees in day-to-day business considerations, particularly those seeking advice on ethical, lawful behaviour or policy implementation. Employees may access the telephone, email and postal contact details of our local compliance coordinators via the Group intranet, their local intranet and notice boards.

In accordance with the Code of Conduct, anybody working for Glencore who breaches the law, the Code of Conduct or other policies may face disciplinary action that could include dismissal.

We revised our Group Code of Conduct in 2015, to remove the focus on integration (our Xstrata and Viterra operations now being fully integrated), avoid duplication with the HSEC policies that were revised in 2014, and reflect changes to our programme for reporting potential misconduct, Raising Concerns. We rolled out the revised Code of Conduct to all operations and offices during the year, and distributed bulletins to ensure that our workforce was made aware of the revisions. The Code of Conduct is easily available to all employees; we also use it in many of our business activities, including recruitment, induction, supplier briefings and external engagement activities.

In 2015, 395 employees were dismissed for breaching the Code of Conduct, compared to 378 in 2014. The dismissals were predominantly related to failures to follow safety instructions or policies, or misappropriation of company property.

Bribery and corruption

Bribery is a criminal act in most countries, with severe penalties. We conduct continuous analysis for corruption risks within our businesses; our Group compliance and internal audit functions are brought in if necessary.

Glencore’s global anti-corruption policy is part of the GCP. It is available on the Group website. It contains our clear position on bribery and corruption, which is that offering, paying, authorising, soliciting or accepting bribes is unacceptable. 

Glencore is a member of the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). Members collaborate on collective action and share leading practice in organisational compliance. The initiative is based on a commitment to zero-tolerance on bribery and implementation of practical and effective anti-corruption programmes.

Service Providers

The standards we expect of our service providers are detailed in our Code of Conduct, Global Anti-Corruption Policy and Human Rights Policy. These comply with International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) principles and international standards such as the United Nations Global Compact.

Performing Services on Behalf of Glencore

An individual or company that acts or performs services on behalf of Glencore must never directly or indirectly solicit, accept, offer, provide or authorise bribes of any kind or anything which may be construed as a bribe.

A typical example for such a service provider is a sales agent or representative, but advisers, lawyers, consultants, customs clearance agents, brokers and joint venture partners, for example, may also perform services on behalf of Glencore. The service providers take responsibility for knowing what the law permits regarding any benefits given or received by them. This includes whether a particular person with whom they are dealing is a government official.

Service providers acting on behalf of Glencore should always be alert in relation to potential occurrence of corruption, such as:

  • use of another service provider such as subcontractor who has a close personal or professional relationship with or, in the case of a company, which is beneficially owned by, a government official
  • use of another service provider such as subcontractor who was recommended by a government official
  • unusual or suspicious requests such as for payments that are in cash, urgent, unusual or unexplained
  • large payments for lavish entertainment or travel expenses for third parties
  • lack of transparency in expenses and accounting records
  • reference checks against another service provider such as subcontractor revealing a flawed background or track record
  • a refusal to agree to non-corruption provisions in agreements
  • requests to prepare or execute false or inaccurate documents; and
  • business operations in a country or region with a history of corruption

Facilitation Payments

A government official may, in return for a small payment, offer to enable or speed up a process that is his or her duty to perform such as issuing permits, licenses, or other official documents, processing governmental papers, such as visas and work orders, providing police protection, mail pick-up and delivery, providing utility services and handling cargo. Such payments are often called facilitation payments. Service providers acting on behalf of Glencore should not make facilitation payments.

Further guidance can be obtained from the Glencore Global Anti-Corruption Policy.


Our marketing employees receive induction sessions and ongoing training on sanctions, the prevention of bribery and corrupt payments, anti-money laundering, anti-trust, confidential information and conflicts of interest. Industrial operations carry out their own training programmes, designed to address their specific requirements while being consistent with our Group values, Code of Conduct and policies.

In 2015 27,754 employees and contractors took part in eLearning training on the Code of Conduct, which includes guidelines on raising concerns. In addition, 18,933 undertook eLearning training on our global anti-corruption policy, which includes guidelines on giving and receiving gifts and entertainment. While the target audience of the Code of Conduct training was administrative and supervisory employees and contractors, the training on anti-corruption targeted those whose function may require them to interact with third parties. By expanding the scope of the target audience for eLearning, we reached more of our people: in 2014, 19,622 employees and contractors undertook combined Code of Conduct and anti-corruption training.

Most of our people do not have regular access to a computer; we undertake their training with more traditional training forms, including induction sessions, pre-shift general training and toolbox talks.

Reporting misconduct

If one of our people encounters a situation that appears to breach the Code of Conduct or our policies, that person must raise this promptly with his or her immediate supervisor or manager. Alternatively, the individual may raise the concern with another appropriate manager, local compliance coordinator, business ethics officer or BEC member. The BEC includes representatives from our external legal advisers, to whom misconduct can be reported independently. 

If a concern remains unresolved through local channels, it can be referred to the Group’s Raising Concerns programme, via email CodeofConduct or the online form at www.glencore.com/raising-concerns. In countries with low levels of internet access we have telephone numbers, made known to our people via notice boards. Calls are free and routed to a regional compliance contact who speaks the local language. Those who call or use the online form may choose to raise their concerns anonymously. The Raising Concerns programme is accessible by substantially all of our employees and contractors.

Nobody working for Glencore will suffer demotion, penalty or any other disciplinary action for raising a concern in good faith.

In 2015, the Raising Concerns programme received 140 reports from employees, contractors or third parties regarding situations in which Group policies appeared to be breached. The reports were predominantly related to human resources (unequal treatment and abuse), fraud and procurement irregularities.