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) develops and reviews the Group’s policies, guidelines and principles on business ethics, including money laundering, bribery and corrupt payments, sanctions and conflicts of interest, and assists in questions related to their application. The BEC comprises senior representatives from across our businesses and management, and two of the Group’s external counsel. The BEC reports to the Board Audit Committee. The policies, guidelines and principles developed by the BEC are implemented by the Group’s compliance teams, local compliance coordinators and business ethics officers together with the operations. The BEC meets two times per year and the BEC Subcommittee meets four times per year

Group compliance policies

Our sustainability framework encompasses our Group valuesCode of Conduct and other policies and guidelines, such as those developed by the BEC. Our sustainability framework represents our commitment to uphold good business practices and to meet or exceed applicable laws and external requirements. Our policies and guidelines are easily available to all employees; we also use them in many of our business activities, including recruitment, induction, supplier briefings and external engagement activities. 

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 asset 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 assets 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 department and teams, 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. The Glencore Group currently has 98 local compliance coordinators.

In accordance with our 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. In 2016, 318 employees (2015: 523 and 2014: 378) were dismissed for breaching the Code of Conduct. 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 teams are brought in if necessary. Glencore’s global anti-corruption policy 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 anticorruption programmes. We are also an associate member of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN).

Case study: prevention of corrupt payments in shipping

In November 2016, Glencore’s shipping subsidiary ST Shipping participated in the MACN meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia. MACN brings together port agents, bulk carriers, tanker operators, container carriers and cargo owners to raise awareness about corruption risks in shipping, share best practices in addressing those risks, and collaborate on strategies to increase transparency and the exchange of information in the maritime sector, including collective action. ST Shipping shared the learnings with relevant Glencore compliance and marketing personnel.

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.

Our industrial assets carry out their own training programmes, designed to address their specific requirements while being consistent with our Group valuesCode of Conduct and policies. In 2016, 29,569 employees and contractors (2015: 27,754) took part in e-learning training on the Code of Conduct, which includes guidelines on raising concerns. In addition, 20,119 (2015: 18,933) undertook e-learning 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.

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 our Code of Conduct or policies, that individual 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  nonymously. 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 2016, the Raising Concerns programme received 153 (2015: 140) reports from employees, contractors or third parties regarding situations in which Group policies appeared to be breached.

Case study: raising concerns about fraudulent qualifications

The Raising Concerns programme occasionally receives reports relating to human resources. These include concerns expressed by employees or contractors that a colleague is performing his or her duties without the necessary qualifications or with fraudulent ones. Such concerns are highly sensitive; such allegations, if found to be true, could mean that an employee has committed fraud, that internal application processes have failed or that an employee or contractor is working without the necessary skills, posing a safety risk for that individual and those in proximity. 

When we receive a report like this, we immediately review the qualification documents in the individual’s HR file, the application process followed and observations from any related performance management documentation. Because of the risk of a forged qualification document, for example that of an artisan or truck driver, our investigations will sometimes require verification from the issuing institution, to ensure that the individual is registered as having the qualification in question.

raising concerns 2016

raising concerns 2016 by country and by subject