Strong business ethics provide a foundation

The starting point for operations is that ICA must be run profitably and ethically. ICA works systematically to prevent ethically unacceptable incidents and corruption. Business ethics are covered in the ICA Gruppen’s overarching risk analysis, where every area of operations is analysed. The analysis includes all types of risk that could jeopardise ICA’s goals, such as identifying any risk of corruption. An assessment of the risks’ potential impact on operations is made according to established guidelines; where risks are considered to have a major potential impact, steps are taken to limit these risks. The risks that have been identified are communicated between the companies and significant risks are reported to the management and Board.

ICA’s Business Ethics Policy covers how managers and employees within ICA – both centrally and in the stores – are to conduct themselves in their daily work and in contacts with suppliers, competitors and other outside parties. Guidelines on the policy and any local instructions contain rules regarding matters such as gifts, impartiality and any conflicts of interest.

Group employees take online courses in ICA’s Good Business values and related policies. The ambition is for all ICA employees in Sweden and Norway to complete these. At the end of 2013, 31% (28%) had done so. The training will be relaunched in 2014. The ambition is that the training will cover the enire Group.

In-depth training in business ethics, including anti-corruption, is carried out regularly with groups of employees and management working within areas that may be more at risk, such as sourcing. In addition, new leaders at ICA in Sweden go through a program including ICA's Good Business and related policies.

As part of their daily operations each company then emphasises compliance with the business ethics policy. ICA’s central agreements contain provisions stating that ICA employees must not give or accept gifts, corporate entertainment or other personal advantages that might be considered inappropriate. Ensuring that ICA’s anti-corruption and anti-bribery policy is followed is also an important part of the work involved in supplier appraisals, focusing on high-risk countries.