Document owner: CEO
AcadeMedia is Northern Europe's largest education company - our size creates security and stability. Employees in our preschools, primary schools, secondary schools and adult education units share a common focus on quality and development. Every child, pupil and participant who attends our activities during a year should receive an education of such quality that they achieve their educational goals. Everyone who chooses AcadeMedia will have the conditions they need to reach their full potential and we provide guarantees in terms of education, quality, transparency and safety.
Our vision is to lead the development of the future of education.
The purpose of this Code of Conduct for AcadeMedia is to create a common framework in matters of human rights, labour law, environment and anti-corruption. While it is impossible to anticipate all the issues that may arise, this Code of Conduct will both highlight particularly important aspects of the ethical work and emphasise the international principles that apply. It will help us to act correctly and ethically. We must also always comply with the legislation that exists in all the countries in which we operate. When in doubt, always ask your immediate manager.
This Code of Conduct does not cover issues that are addressed and dealt with in more detail in other AcadeMedia policies/regulations/guidelines. The following policies/guidelines are therefore appended to this Code of Conduct (these do not apply to AcadeMedia's suppliers or their sub-contractors).
All of these policies are published on www.medarbetare.academedia.se, and content on remuneration and corporate governance can be found in our annual report.
Our Code of Conduct is based on the Global Compact, which was established by the United Nations (UN) in 1999 to create international principles for companies on issues of human rights, labour law, the environment and anti-corruption. The Code of Conduct applies to all employees at AcadeMedia and its subsidiaries, both in Sweden and abroad. It also applies to our suppliers and their subcontractors.
Since this Code of Conduct applies beyond our own employees, there are some parts that may seem superfluous, for instance language about slavery. Such wording is hardly necessary for our units in Europe, but it can be crucial when purchasing from manufacturers in countries where, for example, child labour occurs.
Everyone covered by this Code of Conduct is responsible for complying with it; however, it is the responsibility of managers to ensure that employees are made aware of, understand and act both on the content of and in the spirit of this document. Conduct or actions that do not comply with this Code, or that may be perceived as not complying with this Code, should be reported to the immediate supervisor or in accordance with the Whistleblowing policy. The Whistleblowing Policy is available at www.academedia.se. If we become aware of a breach of this Code of Conduct, the specific problem will be addressed as soon as possible and resolved in the best possible way.
A checklist is provided at the end of this document. It is intended to help create an ethical compass when making a decision.
The Global Compact has adopted ten principles which we list under the headings below. Under each heading, we have also added issues that are particularly relevant to AcadeMedia.
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of international human rights in the sphere of their influence.
Principle 2: Companies should ensure that their own company is not involved in human rights abuses.
The Global Compact refers to the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Violations of human rights, as defined by the UN, must never be accepted. The UN Declaration of Human Rights is a comprehensive document, some things that deserve to be particularly highlighted are:
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold freedom of association and recognise the right to collective bargaining.
Principle 4: Businesses should eliminate all forms of forced and compulsory labour.
Principle 5: Businesses should eliminate child labour.
Principle 6: Businesses should not discriminate in employment and occupation.
In this section on labour law, we also align with the ILO core conventions. The ILO is the UN's specialised agency for employment and labour affairs.
All employees, children, students, guardians and participants, as well as other stakeholders, should always be treated with respect. There should be no discrimination or other forms of abuse. Our working environment must be safe and secure, and we must always endeavour to prevent accidents, injuries and threats. We should always communicate openly, honestly and without unnecessary delay - in all situations. Our workplaces should be characterised by diversity. We believe in the motto "Together we are stronger" which has an underlying meaning that points to the importance of diversity. We want employees with different backgrounds, personalities, insights, skills and interests.
Principle 7: Businesses should support preventive measures to address environmental problems.
Principle 8: Businesses should take initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.
Principle 9: Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
AcadeMedia will always endeavour to reduce negative environmental impacts. This means that we make conscious choices such as always trying to choose means of transport that have as little impact on the environment as possible and using eco-labelled products in areas such as cleaning. We procure energy, and always prioritise the environment in such procurements. We try in every way to reduce waste, especially food waste.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion, bribery and corruption.
We must never demand or accept undue advantage for personal gain. Nor should we ever offer or give one to anyone else. "Undue" means if something is, or can be perceived to be, intended to influence the recipient to perform his or her work in a way that is disloyal to his or her employer. Clear cases of undue influence are gifts in the form of money, or private travel (including short taxi rides). If there is the slightest doubt as to whether a gift is to be considered undue, it is wise to refrain; the feeling of doubt almost always leads to the right decision. You can also discuss the issue with your immediate supervisor.
All decisions made in the role of manager or employee at AcadeMedia must be made in the best interests of the company. There must never be any conflicts of interest. Advantages for the employee, their relatives or friends, must not influence decisions. It can be particularly tricky to buy or sell goods/services from people with whom you have a personal relationship. If such a relationship exists, the decision should always be taken by someone else.
It can feel time-consuming and perhaps even unnecessary to ask a number of control questions before making a decision. At the same time, this is precisely how individuals set their moral compass. For most people, a couple of conscious reviews of this list are enough to create an awareness that makes you feel when something is wrong, and often ask the right question if you are about to violate the letter or spirit of the Code of Conduct.