Article

Ethics

Deloitte’s reputation is one of our most cherished assets. It distinguishes Deloitte in the marketplace, differentiating us from the competition and enabling us to attract the world-class talent that is our hallmark. That’s why Deloitte’s Ethics teams work diligently to proactively strengthen the culture of integrity across the organization. Deloitte is committed to conducting business with transparency, honesty and the utmost professionalism.

Our Global Principles of Business Conduct (“Global Code”) outlines Deloitte’s ethical commitments and expectations for more than 345,000 Deloitte people globally, giving the organization a strong foundation built upon indelible principles. At Deloitte, we have placed ethical culture and values at the heart of our agenda, and we understand the critical responsibility Deloitte has to serve the public interest. Driving a proactive approach to ethics and building and sustaining a culture of integrity helps Deloitte professionals make the best professional decisions every day.

The Deloitte Global Ethics team and Deloitte firms’ Ethics officers continue to work closely with senior Deloitte leaders to build and enhance the organization’s ethics program, which is composed of the following elements:

  • The Global Code and Deloitte firms’ codes of conduct, which provide additional local guidance, detailed expectations, consultation channels, links to policies and guidelines, and further support for professionals;
  • A global ethics policy that sets out the requirements for Deloitte firms' ethics programs, and an Ethics Officer Playbook to set clear expectations and reinforce the strategic role and responsibilities of Deloitte firms’ Ethics officers;
  • Ethical due diligence processes for Deloitte firm CEOs and board chairs, and enhanced expectations for firms’ boards of directors in governing ethical culture, ethical risks and ethics program agendas;
  • A global anti-discrimination and anti-harassment (including discrimination on the grounds of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and sexual harassment) policy that sets out the requirements for Deloitte firms’ own individual policies, subject to local laws. The global policy requires anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training for all Deloitte professionals upon joining and every two years thereafter;
  • Deloitte ethics training programs—including online courses, classroom and virtual programs and facilitator-led interactive case discussions—and communications campaigns. Ethics training is required for all new hires upon joining Deloitte, upon promotion to manager (specific to their roles) and for all Deloitte professionals every two years. Additional ethics training is also delivered to members of the Deloitte Global Board of Directors and Deloitte firm boards on a periodic basis. This training emphasizes how boards can influence organizational ethics and the importance of setting a strong tone from the top;
  • Channels for consultation and reporting ethics concerns that emphasize confidentiality and nonretaliation—directly to Ethics or Talent teams; via managers, team leaders or partners; or using the third-party ethics helpline Deloitte Speak Up and similar, third-party local services—that are supported by training and communications;
  • A global nonretaliation policy that articulates Deloitte’s commitment to a nonretaliatory workplace, with retaliation-monitoring procedures to support this;
  • Support activities—including communications, webinars and continuing education—to facilitate the sharing of best practices among Deloitte firm ethics teams;
  • An annual ethics survey, guidance on conduct risk assessment, and other tools (such as guidance for running focus group sessions) to measure the effectiveness of ethics programs across Deloitte;
  • An annual confirmation by all Deloitte professionals that they have read, understood and are in compliance with the Global Code; and
  • Detailed review programs to measure and monitor compliance with the global ethics policy and drive improvement in Deloitte firm ethics programs over time.

External commitments

Further to our internal commitments, programs and approaches—and in support of the principles of Deloitte’s Global Code—Our Commitment to Responsible Business Practices and Supplier Code of Conduct codify Deloitte’s long-held beliefs and principles around these key areas.

  • Deloitte’s commitment to responsible business is rooted in our Purpose—more than 175 years of making an impact that matters for our people, society and Deloitte clients. It outlines the responsible business principles we believe in and the commitments we have made. These are embedded in our policies and inform our decision-making.
  • Deloitte’s Supplier Code of Conduct (“Supplier Code”) outlines our expectations of suppliers—that they support our commitment to doing not only what is good for business, but also what is good for the communities in which we operate. The Supplier Code focuses on human rights by requiring suppliers to treat workers with dignity and respect and not subject them to demeaning conditions. This includes prohibiting child and forced labor.

Human rights and the supply chain

The professional services industry has a lower risk of incidents of child, forced or compulsory labor in direct operations relative to other industries given the type of work performed and its delivery methods. Deloitte’s commitment to protecting these human rights is expressed in Deloitte's Global Principles of Business Conduct. Deloitte is not aware of any instances of child, forced or compulsory labor in our operations.

Deloitte’s supply chain crosses multiple industries and all regions of the world. The Deloitte Supplier Code of Conduct includes prohibitions on forced or involuntary labor. It also requires that work be conducted based on freely agreed terms; that documents relating to workers’ identities or immigration status may not be withheld or destroyed, concealed, confiscated or otherwise made inaccessible by the supplier; and that there be no exploitation of child labor or employment of workers under the age of 15 (or the minimum legal working age, whichever is greater). Suppliers are expected to apply standards comparable to those set forth in the Supplier Code of Conduct throughout their own supply chains.

Deloitte has conducted a human rights assessment regarding the risk of child, forced and compulsory labor in our supply chains. We have determined that our highest risks exist in the areas of office construction, IT hardware, facilities management and hospitality services. Risks are more likely to occur deeper in our supply chains, beyond those suppliers from which we procure directly. Increased transparency from direct suppliers will be helpful in continuing to understand and address human rights issues.

Multilateral initiatives

Deloitte plays a role in various external efforts to promote ethical conduct in the business world. These include:

  • University of Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership. Members of the advisory board include retired Deloitte LLP (US) leaders and the Deloitte LLP Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer.
  • Ethics Research Center (the research arm of Ethics and Compliance Initiative). Deloitte US is represented on its board of directors.
  • Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, University of Illinois College of Business. Deloitte US is represented on its advisory board.
  • The Ethics Centre (Canadian Centre for Ethics and Corporate Policy). Deloitte Canada is represented on its board of directors.
  • Cercle Ethique des Affaires (French European Business Ethics Network member). Deloitte France is represented.

Contact

Deborah Rheder
Deloitte Global Ethics Leader
drheder@deloitte.com

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