Sustainability

Sustainability at Empower

Empower's mission, as defined in Empower's Management Policy, is to pursue profitable service business by helping clients to change their business to better with Empower's services. In order to promote this mission Empower has committed to maintain the highest legal and ethical standards in all of its business practices. These include responsibilities towards our employees, business partners, other stakeholders and society in general.

Empower Code of Conduct

In our Code of Conduct we define the common set of principles, which all of us at Empower and our suppliers must adhere to in our everyday operations. In other words, the Code of Conduct defines the way we work – together, with customers, suppliers and others. Empower has defined three areas within sustainability and our continuous work as a responsible company. These areas are:

  • Business
  • People
  • Environment

Empower is committed to conduct business within all applicable legal requirements and with a high degree of integrity and ethics. Therefore it is expected that each employee of the company performs his/her duties in accordance with the legislation and acts honestly with good judgment and integrity.

Transparency

Empower promotes openness and transparency as well as continuous dialogue with its stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees, municipalities and other authorities and the media. Therefore it is important that employees follow these principles when conducting business.

2.1 Employees are obliged to communicate honestly and accurately when dealing with Empower's clients, suppliers and other stakeholders.

2.2 Employees are expected to communicate openly and honestly on the known or potential consequences that our actions have or may have on the society and environment.

Respect of Laws

2.3 All business and other activities of the company must be carried out strictly in compliance with all applica-ble laws and regulations, and under the principles of good corporate citizenship in each country wherever such activities take place. Applicable local legal requirements must be followed even when those require-ments exceed the standards contained in this Code of Conduct.

2.4 Violations of laws and regulations have serious consequences, both for Empower and for the individuals involved. While Empower pursues to keep its employees in a timely manner aware of relevant legal obliga-tions, each employee is however responsible for familiarizing and complying with the requirements of laws and regulations that apply to his/her work. 

Some of the specific legal topics, as described below, include fair competition, conflict of interest, corruption, bribery and fraudulent behavior.

Fair Competition 

Competition legislation aims to protect consumers and businesses against unfair business practices and in this regard governs the way companies behave in the marketplace. Violating competition legislation is a serious matter and could place the company at risk of substantial penalties and other negative consequences. 

2.5 Employees must comply with applicable competition legislation and must refuse to enter into any discus-sions or agreements with competitors concerning pricing, market shares or other activities which distorts competition in the markets.

2.6 Employees should be sensitive to competition concerns in everyday working environment, especially when dealing with competitors or potential competitors. If an employee detects, or even suspects unlawful be-havior, he/she must report such behavior to Empower legal functions.

Conflict of Interest, Corruption and Bribery

Empower expects full loyalty from its employees, and they are expected to promote the interest of Empower in the performance of their duties. 

2.7 All forms of corruption, including but not limited to extortion, bribery, nepotism, fraud and money launder-ing, are strictly forbidden. The company does not tolerate any corruptive behavior and it is in all circum-stances strictly prohibited.

2.8 Employees and suppliers must avoid situations where their personal or family interests interfere with their ability to perform his/her duties in the best interest of the company. 

2.9 It is strictly prohibited for any employee, in performance or in connection with his/her duties, to: promise, offer, pay or solicit bribes or kickbacks of any kind (including money, benefits, services or anything of value) in order to obtain or retain business or, to facilitate favorable decisions, discussions or services with the authorities. 

2.10 Suppliers must not pay for entertainments provided for the families of Empower employees. When em-ployees visit suppliers or attend exhibitions or conferences etc. their travel and accommodation costs must be paid by Empower.

2.11 It is strictly prohibited for Empower's employees to accept any gifts or favors from actual or potential business partners that exceed the normal standards of hospitality. If an acceptance of a gift or favor con-tains even a remote possibility of conflict of interest, the employee shall always clarify the situation with Empower management in advance.

Fraudulent Behavior

2.12 The company does not tolerate fraudulent behavior or activities, such as embezzlement, fraud or theft, whether it is directed to Empower or third party's property. Such violations may lead to disciplinary actions as well as to criminal sanctions.

Protection of Empower's Assets and Proprietary Information

Empower spends considerable resources to develop and maintain assets that is used for Empower's business. Proprietary information and data is another valuable asset for Empower. Implementation of an adequate level of protection for information entrusted to Empower by its clients is not only legally required but also essential to the continued success of Empower's business and preservation of its reputation.

2.13 Employees have responsibility to comply with procedures and guidelines that protect Empower's physical assets such as equipment, computers and communications systems.

2.14 Employees must take personal responsibility to safeguard Empower's and third-party owned proprietary and confidential information and data from unauthorized disclosure, changes or loss and in on this score comply with policies and procedures implemented by Empower IT (such as Empower Information Security Policy).

A solid and consistent relationship with all employees, built on mutual respect and dignity, is of vital importance to Empower. Employees' competence being one of the most important asset for the company, Empower invests on well-being of its employees. In this regard Empower has, among others, implemented Empower's leadership principles which describe the desired qualifications for our managers and how Empower wants that its employees shall be treated when lead by their superiors. 

Terms of Employment 

3.1 Employment conditions at the company shall at least meet the minimum requirements of applicable national labor legislation, applicable collective bargaining agreements as well as applicable international conventions. These apply e.g. to minimum wages and working hours. When minimum wage is deemed not to cover basic needs, a living wage shall be applied.

Respect for Human and Labor Rights

Empower makes no compromises in respecting human rights and respects the protection of human rights as defined in the United Nation's Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Empower supports fundamental labor rights as defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO). In this respect, the company upholds the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining and seeks to uphold good relationship with labor organizations, trade unions and employee's representatives. In the case that employee's rights for collective bargaining are restricted by local law, Empower pursues to ensure that its employees have alternative means to present their views. 

3.2 The company recognizes its responsibility to observe that these rights apply towards employees and expects that its employees respect and follow these basic human rights at all times. 

3.3 The company does not accept any form of forced or compulsory labor, or the use of child labor.

Fair Employment Practices - equal opportunities, non-discrimination, anti-harassment

Equal treatment of all employees is a core value in Empower. We strive to work as one team and to foster open, forthright and respectful communication among all our employees. Empower values diversity amongst its employees and provides equal opportunity for all employees as well as job applicants. 

3.4 The company does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnic or national origin, color, gender, family status, sexual orientation, creed, disability, age or political beliefs, or other characteristics protected by law or regulation. The company follows these principles in all areas of employment, including recruitment, hiring, training, promotion and compensation.

3.5 The company is committed to provide a workplace free of any harassment based on any personal characteristics including race, religion, sex, national origin, gender, gender expression or sexual orientation and commit to treat co-employees with dignity and respect. 

3.6 The company does not accept any form of violence or bullying from its employees.

Safe and Healthy Working Conditions 

As one of its core values, Empower endeavors to provide a safe and healthy working environment to all of its employees and suppliers. Empower believes that every injury in workplace is preventable and is committed to continuously improve a safe and healthy working environment in all aspects.  Our principle is to make no compromises on matters related to occupational safety. 

3.7 The company and its suppliers need to have assigned responsibility for occupational health- and safety in the organization. It is essential for the employee with assigned responsibility, to ensure that every employee is well informed and trained in safety requirements. Written occupational health- and safety instructions has to be made available to all employees.

3.8 Each employee is responsible for complying with the safety laws, Empower safety standards, and other safety instructions. Employees are also obligated to report to the management or Empower legal functions, on any shortcomings regarding safety instructions or protection measures. 

3.9 Every employee has the right and obligation to stop any work when observing unsafe behaviors.

3.10 The company, together with its employees and suppliers, focuses on proactively work to prevent emergen- cies and ensure the capacity to react appropriately to such events, by analyzing, identifying and adopting suitable preventive and corrective measures.

3.11 Employees are not allowed to work under influence of alcohol or drugs.

3.12 On-site risk assessments has to be conducted regularly and all accidents has to be documented and communicated without delay.

Empower participates in all stages of energy sector life cycle and believes that our services can make a major contribution to a more sustainable society. The company strives, together with its employees, suppliers and customers, to reduce the environmental impact of its operations as well as to conduct proactive environmental management at all levels, including continuous measurement and assessment of environmental impact. 

Empowers ambition is to continuously improve the environmental credentials of our services, by actively looking for ways to reduce negative environmental impacts during their entire life cycle. Environmental impact of our operations is reduced, among others, by correct use and selection of materials, correct processes, minimizing and recycling waste and emissions. 

4.1 The company will ensure that every employee is well informed and trained in environmental requirements.  

4.2 Employees must comply with all legislation, environmental permits and other applicable regulations.

4.3 Employees must strive to reduce or eliminate waste and other environmental impact, e.g. by appropriate recycling of material and waste.

4.4 Employees must handle environmental violations and complaints systematically and communicate them to employees and external stakeholders, including Empower, if affected.

4.5 The suppliers must provide Empower with up-to-date environmental documents and information, if requested by Empower. 

Empower takes an active approach to the application of this Code of Conduct and promotes its implementation through the effective communication of its contents to its employees. Empower also monitors the application of this Code of Conduct internally.

Each employee is responsible for reading, understanding and complying with this Code of Conduct. Failure to comply with the principles and requirements provided in this Policy may lead to e.g. disciplinary actions (including termination of employment) as well as civil and criminal actions. 

Because this Code of Conduct cannot address all possible situations, employees need to seek guidance whenever unsure of the correct course of actions. All employees are encouraged to ask questions or raise concerns with their supervisor or Empower legal function as soon as possible they arise.  

Reporting and Investigation of Violations

Any employee becoming aware of a potential or suspected violation of this Code of Conduct must report such matter to management via e-mail to ethics@empower.eu. Only Empower Ethics Board members shall have the right to access and read the e-mails sent to this e-mail address. The employee can also make a report via mail to Empower Ethics Board/CLO, Empower Oy, Valimotie 9-11, FI-00380 Helsinki, Finland.

Empower Ethics Board, consisting from CEO, Chief Legal Officer and Chief Production Officer, is responsible for investigating any suspected violation of this Code of Conduct. Empower Ethics Board shall investigate the suspected violation in confidence and may, among other things, interview the line management as well as to decide any further actions that the suspected violation requires.

Unless the suspected violation involves the division or function head, Empower Ethics Board shall without undue delay inform the relevant division or function head on the suspected violation without, however, identifying the employee who has reported the suspected violation. 

In case the suspected violation relates to CEO, CLO shall report the suspected violation directly to the Chairman of the Board. The Chairman of the Board and CLO shall thereafter decide on possible actions that the suspected violation requires. In case the suspected violation relates to other member of the Ethics Board, she/he shall not participate in any way in the investigations by Empower Ethics Board.

Unless Empower Ethics Board finds the reported violation to be clearly groundless, all violations shall always be reported to the Board of Directors of Empower.

In all instances the rights and privacy of both the reporting person(s) and the one(s) accused of violations shall be adequately protected e.g. towards the line management and other work community. Furthermore, any employee reporting in good faith such violation are not to be retaliated in any way making such a report. 

Management  

CLO is the owner of this Code of Conduct and is responsible for initiating review of the Code of Conduct when necessary.

Empower takes occupational safety seriously

Empower sells services to infrastructure companies and industry. People – our employees – are a crucial part of our operations. The health and safety of our personnel is important to us. Complying with occupational safety regulations is also a requirement for good quality and customer satisfaction. Our principle is not to make compromises on matters related to occupational safety. 

Empower focuses on preventive safety management, which means continuously identifying, removing and minimising safety hazards. The safety level at the company is constantly monitored with both accident and preventive meters. 

Accidents and close-call situations will be investigated. We analyse accidents and their causes in order to improve the safety of our operations. Our objective is to have zero occupational accidents.

Empower has an OHSAS 18001 certificate (occupational health and safety management system). 

Uncompromised work safety yielded results

In 2017, Empower’s lost workday injury frequency (LWIF) reached a record-breaking low, 4.8. The reporting of HSE observations continued actively.

Diversity work at Empower

Empower is a member of Finland's leading corporate responsibility network Finnish Business & Society FIBS. We are part of the FIBS Diversity Network and we are committed to the four principles of diversity in our operations.

The commitment to diversity includes the principles of social responsibility - a fair and inclusive working community, customer orientation, good interaction, collaboration and fair leadership.

Our first equality plan was completed on 5 October 2005 and we update the plan annually. We do not discriminate against race, ethnic or national background, skin color, gender, family situation, sexual orientation, belief, disability, age, political views or other similar factors. We strive to promote a diverse work environment and gender equality by training each of our new supervisors in equality and equality principles so that he or she can supervise the work of their team in accordance with these principles. Each new empower employee also studies our principles of responsible behavior as soon as possible after beginning their work at Empower.

Our business is quite personnel-intensive and our employees tend to have long careesr with us. We train our supervisors in the Effective Leadership training program for continuous feedback and communication. We also encourage our employees to take responsibility for self-development and openly discuss their work with their supervisor. We offer an opportunity for job rotation between different businesses and we guide our employees to grow their skills in diverse job assignments.

In our occupational health plan we follow an early support model that will enable us to keep our employees healthy throughout their careers. If an employee faces a health problem that prevents him from doing one's own work, we will try to find alternative work to suit his or her expertise.

In our line of work our employees meet our customers' customers every day. We launched an internal development program in 2016 focusing on customer experience. In this program, we have trained internal change agents to introduce a new operating model to each organization level in Empower. Our goal is to provide the best customer experience - not just for Empower's own customers, but also for our customers' customers. As a measure of our success, we chose Net Promotion Score (NPS), and the fruits of the development program are now visible in customer satisfaction, which we regularly measure with NPS. NPS feedback will help us develop our services to all customers.

Openness is one of our values. We communicate openly and clearly to our employees and all stakeholders about our goals and achievements. We strive to create an atmosphere where we encourage our staff to engage in discussions regarding our business activities and provide them the needed tools for this.