In Major Listed Holdings, Kinnevik has substantial influence and thus, through its board representation, great ability to ensure that the companies’ operations are conducted in a responsible and ethical manner.
Risks vary in different companies, industries and countries. It is important that all companies establish what risks pertain to their particular operations. The management of Kinnevik’s associated companies and subsidiaries must ensure that there are appropriate processes for identifying and managing risks relating to responsible enterprise and for reporting them and the actions taken to each company’s board of directors.
A fundamental requirement for all companies in which Kinnevik invests is that they comply with local and national legislation in the countries in which they operate. In cases where local legislation is inadequate, the minimum requirement is that the companies comply with OECD’s guidelines for multinational companies.
Portfolio companies must continuously formulate information about and comply with relevant laws, regulations and international conventions. They must respect human rights, in part by offering safe and healthy working conditions, guaranteeing freedom of assembly and diversity at work and not accepting any form of forced and child labor.
The portfolio companies must also develop a Supplier Code of Conduct in which the company’s suppliers pledge to act in accordance with the recommendations of the UN’s Global Compact.
In cases where the portfolio companies are active in growth countries with inadequate protection for human rights, it is particularly important that the companies promote human rights to increase the standard in the company in question.
(For example, see Millicom’s “Supplier Code of Conduct” )
Portfolio companies must establish an environment policy and continuously analyze and improve the impact of their operations on the environment. Environmental work must be followed up continuously and reported to the board of directors. The companies must also formulate information regarding the environmental impact of their suppliers and encourage them to achieve continuous improvements.
In cases where scientific knowledge of environmental risks is insufficient, the companies must apply the prudence principal and take measures at an early stage to ensure that permanent damage to the environment does not occur. They must also take initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility and encourage the development and application of environmentally friendly technology.
Portfolio companies are encouraged to develop an environmental management system that is certifiable and to educate employees in issues relating to respect for the environment.
Portfolio companies must develop clear guidelines for how issues relating to corruption, bribery and blackmail will be handled. These guidelines must be known to all employees, and employees must be continuously educated and informed of the consequences of the guidelines. These guidelines are particularly significant for companies active in countries where corruption is prevalent, and it is also important that the companies are transparent and communicate how they avoid and work against corruption.
(For examples, see Tele2 Code of Conduct or Millicom’s Code of Conduct. Link)