Prysmian Group achieves ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management System certification

Prysmian Group achieves ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management System certification

The result of a four-year evolution in integrity and compliance culture that has accompanied the Group’s international expansion.

Prysmian Group had no confirmed cases of corruption in the two-year 2020-2021 period, but its international growth has increasingly exposed it to the risk of bribery. The phenomenon is as widespread as it is hard to measure. Most organizations cite a United Nations statement from 2018 as a reliable estimate: the annual global cost of corruption is at least $2.6 trillion — or 5% of global gross domestic product. The U.N. lists corruption "one of the biggest impediments" to achieving its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which include the elimination of poverty and hunger, as well as improved education, well-being and infrastructure.

“Given that Prysmian Group like other companies is exposed to this sort of risk, the group decided to increase awareness of it along with the capacity to neutralize it through an Anti-Corruption Compliance Program inspired by the ISO guidelines.”

Alessandro Nespoli

Prysmian Group Chief Compliance and Internal Audit Officer

As a public company with a broad shareholder base and no controlling shareholder, transparency in actions and disclosure has always been a key pillar of Prysmian Group’s business strategy. International investors and financial institutions are attentive to transparency issues surrounding sustainability, governance and risk compliance. Prysmian Group plans to further expand in North America and Australia, where the energy transition is driving new investments. Therefore, its global compliance needs to be aligned with standards in these markets.

A bribery scandal can undermine years of hard work and credibility, destroying shareholder value. That’s why companies including Walmart and Microsoft seek certification by ISO 37001 for their anti-bribery management systems. At the core of the self-regulatory ISO guidelines is a system to screen third parties such as consultants, non-raw materials suppliers, intermediaries and customers through due diligence aimed at bringing out any critical or negative events that could undermine the reputation of third parties with whom Prysmian Group does business.

Prysmian Group began the certification path by reviewing its anti-bribery policies. The company instituted a policy for gifts and entertainment, hospitality, and other practices. It set rules for disclosing a conflict of interest. And it introduced due diligence not only for sales agents, but also for a series of categories of third parties exposed to risk. All white-collar employees now need to fill out a questionnaire once a year, or each time that they change a personal position, on four areas. Certification was awarded in December 2021, and the efforts will continue going forward.

“This is to make it clear to financial institutions and the investor community as a whole that we are a company that wants to do something more each year, on a path of awareness, continual training, and internal communication campaigns.”

Giorgio Totis

Prysmian Group Compliance VP & DPO

The anti-corruption activities are cascaded from headquarters in Milan across units and subsidiaries in all of the Group’s four regions, where each one has a team.

“The concept of compliance must permeate the business, and not be top down; it must become a way of thinking. The goal is to facilitate the business and our associates, by supplying them with tools that make it easier for them,” said Totis.