The Airbus Ethics & Compliance Programme seeks to ensure that the company's business practices conform to applicable laws, regulations and ethical business principles, as well as developing a culture of integrity.
Over the years, Airbus has earned the trust of passengers, customers, operators and other stakeholders through the quality and safety of our products. To fully serve our communities and thrive in the future, our commitment to business integrity must be just as robust – this means conducting our business ethically and based on Airbus values, and in compliance with all laws and regulations.
Our goal is to be known as a company with ‘integrity inside’: integrity in its people, partners and suppliers.
“It is not only what we do, but how we do it, that wins the trust of our colleagues and stakeholders”.
As part of this commitment, Airbus supports the principles of the UN Global Compact and IFBEC’s Global Principles of Business Ethics which set a benchmark for high ethical standards globally.
The foundation for integrity at Airbus is our Standards of Business Conduct (SOBC). These Standards are intended to guide daily behaviour and help employees resolve the most common ethical and compliance issues that they may encounter.
The Standards of Business Conduct apply to all employees, officers and directors of Airbus as well as entities that we control. Third party stakeholders whom we engage are also expected to adhere to these Standards of Business Conduct in the course of performing work on our behalf.
While our Standards of Business Conduct provide a useful starting point, they cannot answer all questions, nor are they sufficient to ensure that Airbus complies with the myriad legal requirements applicable to its business. Because of this, we have worked over the past several years to develop an Ethics & Compliance programme that is structured around four key risk areas: Business Ethics/Anti-Corruption Compliance, Export Compliance, Data Protection Compliance and Procurement Compliance.
Each of these areas is in turn supported by dedicated compliance policies and a team responsible for their implementation, together with the identification and proposal of new measures to adapt to a constantly evolving regulatory landscape.
Business Ethics/Anti-Corruption Compliance
Airbus rejects corruption of any kind, whether public or private, active or passive. This means that neither we, our employees or third parties acting on our behalf may offer, promise, give, solicit or receive – directly or indirectly – money or anything of value to or from a government official or someone in the private sector in order to obtain or retain business or secure some other improper advantage.
Our Anti-Corruption Policy summarises our stance of zero tolerance. It also refers to some of the specific directives we have adopted to address key anti-corruption risk areas, such as the engagement of third parties, gifts and hospitality exchange and the making of sponsorships and donations.
More broadly, Business Ethics at Airbus also covers other areas such as conflicts of interest, anti-competitive conduct, insider trading, fraud, etc., whilst also complementing the Airbus Corporate Social Responsibility programme which focuses on managing the social and environmental impacts of Airbus’s operations.
Each of the countries in which Airbus does business has controls on the export and transfer of its goods and technologies that are considered to be important to national security and foreign policies. As a global enterprise, it is Airbus’ responsibility to respect and comply with each of these controls. Our Export Compliance Directive defines our policies, processes and organisation to ensure compliance with all relevant export control laws and regulations.
Data Protection Compliance
Airbus is required to handle personal data in accordance with applicable data privacy laws at national, European and international level. In doing so, Airbus seeks to apply a consistent approach, by setting data security standards for personal data processing in line with global best practice. This is embodied in part by our Binding Corporate Rules, which provide a consistent level of protection for various personal data throughout the Group.
Airbus suppliers must comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the countries in which operations are managed or services provided. In addition, wherever suppliers are located, all business should be conducted in a manner compatible with the Airbus Supplier Code of Conduct. Suppliers are also expected to cascade these principles through their own supply chain.
Improving our programme is a constant and ongoing process, not only in the area of Business Ethics/Anti-Corruption but across the ethics and compliance spectrum more generally in order to capitalise on our values.
Our Ethics & Compliance organisation is part of the Legal Department under the ultimate responsibility of the Group General Counsel. The aim is to provide strong governance throughout the company with the global presence of qualified compliance officers who ensure the compliance programme is implemented in the different functional and operational areas.
They do this in close cooperation with our employees and management, who are expected to lead with integrity by example and take responsibility for compliance within their scope of activity.
Our Awareness and Training
At Airbus, we aim to educate our people about the standards of conduct that apply to their jobs and the potential consequences of violations. Target populations are reviewed annually and required to undergo training and awareness eLearning or face to face sessions based on job function, role and responsibility.
Our Confidential Speak-Up Channel: Openline
Airbus recognises that the Standards of Business Conduct cannot address every challenging situation that may arise. We therefore encourage our employees to speak-up through various channels, including through Openline. The OpenLine enables employees to confidentially raise their concerns via the internet or by phone.
Airbus does not tolerate retaliation against employees making reports in good faith and/or assisting in investigations of suspected violations of the Standards of Business Conduct.