How we run our business by practising good governance.
We want to make our industry work better for everyone. That’s why we work hard to practice good governance across the business.
We have chosen to accept the risks inherent in our four core business lines and our risk committee oversees all aspects of risk management in the Group.
Our commitment to respect human rights is guided by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other internationally recognised human rights frameworks.
Our approach to modern slavery is part our overall approach to human rights and we are committed to making sure there is no modern slavery in our operations.
For example, in 2018 we:
- Expanded the scope of our work to include Canada, Poland, Ireland, France, Italy and Singapore. Procurement teams, company secretaries, and corporate responsibility representatives from these markets were briefed on our responsibilities regarding modern slavery.
- Completed modern slavery threat assessments on eight suppliers globally to include a review of recruitment processes, policies and procedures. These assessments were carried out on the following services: car valeting, cleaning, media production and digitisation.
- Collaborated with the UN Global Compact as part of the UK working group on modern slavery. We peer-reviewed participants’ modern slavery statements, received training and shared experiences from within civil society and government organisations.
- Contributed to the review of the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) 2015 commissioned by the UK Government to strengthen and enhance the current legislation. We participated in a number of high level forums in 2018, including a workshop organised by the Home Office and the Modern Slavery Review Secretariat.
As a business that’s been around for over 320 years we have learnt to listen hard to our stakeholders, working with them to tackle the big challenges and identify risks and opportunities.
We work hard to make sure our supply chain is responsible and sustainable. We do thorough checks of suppliers before we begin working with them, and ask that they sign our Supplier Code of Behaviour.
We continue to engage them around sustainability issues over time. We also help influence our suppliers to act now around the big issues like climate change.
Our Business Ethics Code outlines our high ethical standards and ensures we operate responsibly and transparently. We require all our people, at every level, to read and sign-up to our code every year (99% of our employees did so in 2018).
The Financial Crime Business Standard guides our risk-based financial crime programmes. These seek to prevent, detect and report financial crime, including any instances of bribery and corruption, while complying fully with relevant legislation and regulation. We use risk-based training to ensure employees and others acting on Aviva’s behalf know what is expected of them and how they should manage bribery and corruption risks.
Our malpractice helpline, Speak Up, makes it easy to report any concerns in confidence, with all reports referred to an independent investigation team. In 2018, 50 cases were reported through Speak Up (previously known as Right Call) (2017: 25), with zero related to bribery and corruption concerns. 37 cases reached conclusion, and 13 remain under investigation. There has been no material litigation arising from any case reported in 2018.
Our Board-level Governance Committee oversees our responsible and sustainable business strategy and the policies that underpin it.
As a company we are subject to the UK Corporate Governance Code (the Code), which we aim to comply with fully.
Making Good decisions
In 2012, Aviva faced big challenges. We had to tightly manage everything, fix our balance sheet, and drive performance in each business area – all the while building our strategy and values for the long term.
We are proud of our progress and now we are in a new phase – moving the business from fix to grow – and this needs us to make a significant shift, with everyone at every level focused on making good decisions using our values. During 2016 we ran a collaborative project to investigate where we were, and to figure out what we could do to make good decisions more likely at every level of Aviva.
We landed on a simple toolkit that we are in the process of putting into the hands of all our people, you can read more about our good decisions toolkit (PDF).