A comprehensive Code of Conduct, followed by officers and employees committed to individual and corporate integrity, is one of the critical foundations of good corporate governance. AkzoNobel’s Code of Conduct, which incorporates our Business Principles, sets out the company’s position. It guides all our employees in their daily work. We have established several procedures to arrange for company-wide dissemination of the Code of Conduct and training. We have also established procedures and a Compliance Committee to monitor compliance with the code in general, and certain of its provisions in particular, and to provide for its enforcement. A complaints procedure enables employees to file complaints concerning practices that violate any internal or external rules or regulations. This so-called SpeakUp! procedure ensures that employees have the opportunity to report alleged irregularities without jeopardizing their legal position. Our compliance and integrity management system is explained in more detail in the Compliance and integrity management chapter.
Members of the Board of Management, Executive Committee and Supervisory Board and certain designated employees are subject to the AkzoNobel Code on Insider Trading, which limits their opportunities to trade in AkzoNobel – and in certain circumstances – other company shares. Transactions in AkzoNobel shares carried out by Board of Management (and, as required, other members of the Executive Committee) and Supervisory Board members are notified to the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets in accordance with Dutch law and, if necessary, to other relevant authorities.
The AkzoNobel Code on Insider Trading states that carrying out transactions in AkzoNobel securities – as well as securities other than AkzoNobel securities – is prohibited if the person concerned has inside information regarding such securities. Furthermore, the Compliance Officer may determine that Board of Management, Executive Committee and Supervisory Board members, and certain designated employees, may not carry out transactions in AkzoNobel securities, or other securities, both during and outside a closed period. Shares in the company and the options of Board of Management and the other Executive Committee members, as well as certain senior executives, may be held in an account administered by the “Stichting Executive Management Beheer”. This foundation acts as an independent portfolio manager for the relevant AkzoNobel participants.