Philips’ General Business Principles renewed

Our General Business Principles (GBP) set the standard for how to conduct business, both for individual employees and for the company itself. In our drive for continuous improvement, the GBP were revised in 2014 to help ensure that everyone acts with integrity, and also to better reflect the changing business landscape in which we operate.

For a description of GBP processes and policies, please refer to Our approach to risk management and business control.

The General Business Principles have been rewritten, but without deviating from the fundamental principles for doing business which are firmly rooted in Philips’ heritage. Without making substantial changes to these standards, the GBP have been turned into a document that is easy to read and understand for everyone. They have been translated into 32 languages, allowing almost every employee to read them in their native language. The GBP form an integral part of labor contracts in virtually every country in which Philips operates.

Training and awareness

Following the updating of the General Business Principles, a new e-learning was launched in October. In this mandatory online training course employees are informed about the contents of the GBP and the way in which Philips applies them. This course, in which every employee with an e-mail account has been invited to participate, is available in 21 languages and is taken by every new hire joining the company. During the last quarter of 2014, out of the 73,000 employees with an e-mail account, well over 57,000 (77%) took this e-learning. At the end of the training course employees are asked to confirm that they will always act with integrity. In addition, GBP Compliance Officers around the world also attended a series of face-to-face training courses aimed at helping them perform their supporting role more effectively.

The launch of the e-learning was just one of the events that formed part of the global communication campaign on the GBP. These communication efforts culminated in a ‘GBP dialog week’, for the second year in a row, in which managers were invited to host dialog sessions with their teams about the Philips GBP. Tens of thousands of Philips employees participated in these sessions and managers reported very high levels of engagement.

The results of the monitoring measures in place are given in General Business Principles