Complying with legal and regulatory requirements is a challenge we meet in all 44 countries where we operate. But we do more than that, because integrity is one of the key day-to-day concerns for Group associates.

A culture of integrity

Abiding by the law and business ethics is a central value at Sonepar.

A Code of Conduct has been issued to the Group’s entire staff, and is available to the various stakeholders on a variety of media including Group and local websites and intranets. It spells out the basic values and responsibilities in the area of integrity for Sonepar and its subsidiaries.

In concrete terms, the Group has put in place actions and tools for the various subsidiaries around the world so that integrity and compliance with rules become a daily focus for our associates on the job.

A compliance program

Sonepar has continued to deploy a worldwide compliance program to address the growing complexity of laws and regulations in the countries in which we operate and to develop a common ethical culture.

The compliance program draws in particular on the Group’s corruption risk mapping.

In addition to the Code of Conduct, it includes a Compliance Guide that covers the internal procedures relating to competition, the fight against corruption, export controls and the protection of personal data. The compliance program thus formally prohibits corruption and influence peddling of any kind:

  • It makes it mandatory to account accurately and fairly for all assets and liabilities and all commercial transactions.
  • It requires Group members to abide by the rules of free competition.
  • It requires Group members to comply with all applicable import and export regulations.

Sonepar has also issued a series of guidebooks and internal procedures on such topics as competition law, fighting corruption, export controls and personal data protection.

Educational and information campaigns are conducted throughout the Group to raise associates’ awareness of compliance issues. Through dedicated e-learning courses, the campaigns are aimed above all at the most exposed associates—those who come into contact with customers and suppliers.

A Whistleblower Procedure, expanded in early 2018 to cover the entire Group, gives any associate or business partner the means to report any practices that violate Sonepar’s Code of Conduct or applicable regulations, and ensures the confidentiality of the information conveyed by the whistle-blower.

Click here to access the whistleblowing tool.

Procedures for evaluating business partners with the help of specialized databases are deployed throughout the Group to make sure of their integrity.

Lastly, Sonepar’s Compliance program draws on internal control and accounting procedures that have been strengthened and included in the Group’s Internal Control Manual.

The entire compliance process in the Group is handled by a network of Compliance Champions (clearly identified local correspondents) under the leadership of the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO).

The SILCC, or Sonepar International Legal and Compliance Committee

The SILCC’s work is designed to contribute to the Group’s operational excellence.
Comprising members of the Group’s legal staff and Compliance Champions, the Committee promotes the sharing of good practices on legal and compliance issues. Meeting at least once a year, it generates regular discussion among its members. Twenty-two Compliance Champions maintain constant oversight in the countries for which they are responsible, build awareness, provide training and seek to uncover any compliance issues that may arise.

A far-reaching risk control system

A Group-level Chief Risk Officer is responsible for the prevention of compliance-related risks and for information, data and personal security. He leads a process for mapping out those risks country by country, supported by oversight, monitoring and plans of action.

TheICT Security Competence Center (ICT—Information & Communication Technology Committee) is in charge of information security. The Center updates the Group’s security policy and makes recommendations. Cybersecurity training programs are provided to associates in all Group countries.