Do the right thing!
The year 2019 began with the approval of our Ethics and Respect manifesto which was published in the 2018 Integrated Report and the Annual Report. This was the first step of many representing and reinforcing our commitment to doing the right thing in relation to all of our stakeholders.
Our values: Ethics and Respect (E&R), together with our simple guiding principle to Do the right thing! are applied to everything we do, at all times, and are at the core of our interactions with all of our stakeholders in order to generate sustainable results.
Our corporate culture indicates how we work as One Team, One UniCredit and supports us in the fulfilment of our Five Fundamentals, which guide our daily actions and operations.
We are implementing several initiatives that reflect these values and guiding principles, ensuring that they are consistently adopted and applied at all levels, wherever we operate:
In order to increase the internal presidium and coordination among the different areas involved in the application and monitoring of E&R topics, in 2019 the position of Chief Ethics Officer (CEtO) was created. This role ensures that the Group fosters the Do the right thing! culture with all stakeholders, provides Group guidelines on ethical topics and, in coordination with Human Capital and Group Compliance functions, periodically updates the Corporate Governance, Nomination and Sustainability Committee (CGN&S) on:
- training regarding the topics of ethics and professional conduct
- whistleblowing, including bullying, sexual misconduct, harassment, and acts of retaliation
- internal regulations (e.g. Code of Conduct).
Ethics and Respect and Do the right thing! are at the core of all our stakeholder interactions and we want to Do the right thing, also for the environment!
UniCredit wishes to keep working on reducing its own direct impact and to be a partner in the shift towards a low-carbon economy also through a new Sustainable Finance Advisory Team which combines sustainability expertise with that of capital markets to deepen dialogue on ESG topics with clients and facilitate their access to Europe's green financing market.
Moreover, during 2019 we also set clear 2023 targets on client financing embedded in the new Team 23 strategic plan, and issued new business policies that regulate our approach to controversial sectors with greatest impact on climate change, such as Coal, and Arctic and Non-Conventional Oil & Gas.
The Group also decided to support the TCFD1 recommendations and to participate, together with other banks, in road testing the Paris Agreement Capital Transition Assessment (PACTA) methodology developed by 2° Investing Initiative (2°ii).
UniCredit took part in the Global Week of Climate Action in 2019. All colleagues worked together on 20 September and came up with over 1,200 ideas on how to protect our climate. These initiatives are now overseen by the Millennial Board which reviewed them and is now working on the implementation of the most tangible ideas proposed by our employees to contribute to a more sustainable future.
Our Plastic-free project was also launched: UniCredit is distributing re-usable metal drinking bottles across the Group to reduce single-use plastic in break areas and canteens.
Disseminating the importance of business ethics and risk culture: our first group-wide Compliance Day took place across 13 countries with an overall reach of more than 50,000 colleagues.
We endeavour to create an engaging and positive working environment in order to do the right thing for our colleagues. Driven by the E&R principle, UniCredit recently updated the Global Policy on Whistleblowing.
New channels dedicated to third parties have been set up and an extended description of Serious Reports in line with the new escalation process has been submitted to the Board of Directors of all relevant Legal Entities.
From a Human Capital perspective, two new global policies were issued for our employees: one against harassment, sexual misconduct and bullying, the other against acts of retaliation. These new policies lead to a greater awareness on unacceptable behaviours and promote a 'speak up' culture where all employees feel listened to and protected when reporting misconducts.
Creating an engaging and positive working environment is also managed via dedicated initiatives, which is why UniCredit set up its first group-wide Diversity and Inclusion Week, fostering an inclusive culture across 15 countries and involving around 13,600 colleagues.
In 2019 an extensive internal campaign on E&R was carried out to boost engagement: