We are a big company, employing approx. 38 000 people. For such a large organisation, setting out shared values for an exceptionally diverse group of employees is a great challenge.
The main document in the area of ethics and compliance is the PGE Group Code of Ethics, which constitutes an overarching declaration and basis for other internal regulations and guidelines. The document describes basic ethical values and standards which the organisation expects from all employees and other persons performing work for PGE Group. The Code indicates and defines common key values and ethical principles of PGE Group, serving as a foundation for the organisation’s operations and the achievement of strategic objectives at PGE Group.
The 12 principles of the Code of Ethics fall into four thematic blocks:
- We are here for our clients
- We care for the natural environment
- We care for the sustainable development of PG Group
- We strive for favourable working conditions
- We work on self-improvement and we are pro-active, we take the initiative
- Employee health and safety are our priorities
- We care for good relations with our business partners
- We foster relations with local communities
- We build trust by duly informing about our business
- We compete fairly
- We do not tolerate corruption or unfair practices
- We treat company information in a responsible manner
In 2021, after five years, the Code was updated. The changes took into account, among other things, its adaptation to the existing organisational changes, including supplementing it with PGE Group’s activity in the field of heat generation and supply. The document also emphasises PGE’s support for the idea of economic patriotism, i.e. the obligation to support the Polish economy and local suppliers, while preserving the transparency of procurement processes. The obligation of employees towards protected information has also been regulated, and information on PGE Group’s system for reporting and explaining inconsistencies has been updated. Information on contact details, cooperation and tools used was also updated. The values and ethical principles of PGE Group have remained unchanged.
PGE Group is a place for those who value ethics rules and the law. We believe that ethics have much greater impact on the observance of law than the mere fact of legal regulations being in force. Even the best legal system is useless when confronted with a lack of an ethics culture in the organisation. Illegal activities may be explained by errors of individual employees, but the person breaking the rules had to have the opportunity to do it. A solid ethical culture may help companies in trouble caused by the actions of individual employees.
"The work culture at PGE is based on three values: partnership, development and responsibility. We observe these every day. We make sure that these values are the pillars of our business. In line with PGE Group's new strategy, we want to be a leader of change in the sector, and the Code of Ethics and our values should guide us in setting standards for the energy industry."
We are certain that all values – even corporate ones – start and end with the human being. Corporate values thus also come from us – individual people, employees. Therefore, the observance of corporate values most importantly depends on the personal values of each one of us.
Code of Ethics values and rules in everyday work
The Code specifies the attitudes and behaviours that are expected of all employees and managers. The Code streamlines and collects in one place rules that employees should follow inside and outside the organisation, in contacts with business partners or co-workers.
PGE Group reviews compliance with the Code of Ethics due to identifying eventual non-compliance. PGE Group periodically reviews the effectiveness of the Code.
To ensure that the Code is known, understood and respected, we were holding workshops across PGE Group for employees and management. First, we invited colleagues from inside the Group, who became internal trainers for the Code of Ethics. Training the trainers, numerous meetings and discussions to explain objectives, materials, exercises and all other doubts. Finally, the time and involvement of our internal trainers dedicated to best prepare and conduct training.
Every new employee within the Group undergoes individual adaptive training shortly after starting work at PGE Group companies, where he/she finds out about the existing Code, the law and the obligation for employees to react to any potential irregularities. New employees get a chance to learn the details of the Code at adaptive group training called „Turn on the power”. These training sessions are conducted entirely by Group employees.
In 2021, refresh trainings of the PGE Group’s Code of Ethics, which has been in force since 2015, were launched. Taking into account the feedback received after previous training sessions and wanting to ensure the greatest relevance of the content and form of training for the recipients, and thus the best possible effectiveness, the recurring training was planned based on the principle of individualization and personalization of both training materials and assumptions as to how to implement them.
Ensuring that employees and other persons performing work for and on behalf of PGE Group companies have access to information on PGE Group’s Code of Ethics – its values and common principles – is an important element of the compliance system. The President of the Management Board of PGE SA, Wojciech Dąbrowski, is directly involved in promoting and implementing the provisions of the Code of Ethics into the life of the organisation – as the person responsible on the side of the Management Board for the Compliance area. In 2021, activities aimed at building an organisational culture in PGE Group based on ethical values were intensified by operationalising the provisions of the Code of Ethics, i.e. translating the values and principles of the Code into the practical language of attitudes and behaviours in specific situations. In 2021, PGE Group companies carried out a number of activities, following PGE SA’s guidelines, with regard to the practical implementation of the elements of the Code of Ethics in everyday life. Examples of appropriate behaviours and attitudes were introduced into internal regulations, training in various areas, communication of the Management Board and managers with employees, internal communications, instructions or the content of briefings.
Communication on ethical issues is carried out on an ongoing basis. The text of the Code of Ethics (and the Code of Conduct for Business Partners of the PGE Capital Group companies) is available to employees and stakeholders on the websites of the PGE Group and the particular companies. We also maintain a page dedicated to the Code of Ethics in the Compliance section of the company intranet.
Communication on ethical issues is carried out on an on-going basis. The contents of the Code of Ethics and the Code of Conduct for Business Partners of PGE Group companies are available to employees and stakeholders – in Polish and English – on the websites of PGE Group and individual companies. In each of the companies, posters and leaflets informing about the values and principles are available together with the information about communication channels to report non-compliance.
In 2021, employees were reminded of the ethical principles through the available internal channels: in the public „Under the Umbrella” on PGE Group’s Intranet, in PGE Group’s newsletter, in the HR newsletter and the Health & safety newsletter as well as on screens in PGE SA’s headquarters.
On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Code of Ethics, a number of activities were carried out to draw attention to the benefits resulting from fair conduct. The campaign comprised competitions, including ones for the children of the employees of PGE Group companies, publications featuring comments from managers and executives, a video summarising the 5-year anniversary of PGE Group’s Code of Ethics with a statement by the President of the Management Board of PGE SA.
In communications related to the Code of Ethics, employees’ personal responsibility for their actions is emphasised in accordance with the Group’s ethical values and rules expressed in the Code.
Adopting the Code and clearly communicating the rules contained therein has a straightforward objective: support PGE Group’s Strategy and minimise the risk of non-compliance, which could result in penalties or sanctions being imposed or reputation being lost as a result of a failure to adapt to regulations and standards that are stated in law or constitute best practices in this area.
In order to implement the principles of the Code of Ethics, almost 18 000 training hours were conducted in 22 PGE Group companies with compliance structures in 2021. 33 334 employees had been trained and percentage of employees trained amounted to 91%.
Principles of cooperation with business partners
The rules governing cooperation with business partners are defined first of all in the Code of Ethics of the PGE Capital Group, which is a set of values and principles in force in the entire PGE Group. Among other things, it defines the PGE Group’s approach to building business partnerships.
For more on the rules of working with business partners, see Cooperation with contractors.