Published : June 14, 2016  /  Updated : August 12, 2019

5. Corruption

We have zero tolerance for Corruption of any kind, whether committed by Stora Enso’s employees, officers, or third parties acting for or on behalf of the Company.

Corruption is the misuse of entrusted power for private gain. Bribery and Facilitation Payment are two most common forms of Corruption. Stora Enso is committed to conducting its business free from any forms of Corruption. It is also our policy to use our best endeavours to ensure that external business partners acting on our behalf are aware of and share our commitment to conducting business ethically.

Please remember that this Section 5 regarding Corruption must be read together with Section 6 Prevent Corruption Through Third Parties, Section 7 Gifts, Hospitalities and Expenses and Section 8 Rebate and Commission.

5.1 What are a Bribery and a Facilitation Payment?

A Bribery is one common form of Corruption. It is the offering, providing, authorising, requesting or receiving of any money, gift, loan, fee, reward or any financial or other advantage or anything of value, to or from any person as an inducement to act, or omit to act, in a way which is dishonest, illegal or a breach of trust. This means:

  • It is intended as an inducement or reward for the improper performance of a relevant function by the recipient (whether or not they are a Public Official or otherwise connected with government). It does not matter whether the advantage or benefit is offered, provided, requested or received by a different person than the person who is to perform the relevant function;
  • It is otherwise improper for the recipient to request or receive the relevant financial or other advantage (whether or not they are a Public Official
  • It is offered or provided to a Public Official or to a third party at a Public Official‘s request or with their consent or acquiescence with the intention of influencing the Public Official in their official capacity, inducing them to violate any lawful duty or inducing them to influence any government authority, in each case for the purpose of obtaining a business or any other advantage in the conduct of business or securing any other improper advantage.

Typical examples of Bribery:

  • Money in the form of cash or secret Rebate, Kickback or other fraudulent or dishonest payment;
  • Gifts of inappropriate value such as an expensive watch or phone;
  • Hospitality of inappropriate value, e.g. all-inclusive weekend stay at luxury resort hotels; or
  • Unjustified favours, e.g. employing an unqualified relative of a Public Official or unjustified visa invitations.

A Bribery need not necessarily be of large value. It might include meals, entertainment, travel, incentive programs, signing bonuses, overpaying government suppliers, or doing business with a designated supplier who will rebate a portion of the purchase price. It might also include intangible benefits such as the provision of information or advice or assistance in arranging a business transaction or in obtaining any other benefit or advantage.

A Facilitation Payment is another form of Corruption. This is a small, informal payment made for the purpose of facilitating or accelerating a routine governmental or administrative action by a Public Official, e.g. issuing permits or releasing goods held in customs. For the sake of clarity, payments which Stora Enso is legally required (such as the payment of corporation taxes and utility charges or expenses of a tax authority incurred in conducting a tax audit) or permitted (such as the formal payment to expedite
a visa process against invoices) to make to public authorities generally are permitted if they do not involve making payments directly to any particular public official. You should seek further guidance from Legal if you are in any doubt as to whether a payment should be made.

5.2 Zero Tolerance of Corruption

Unless your or another person’s safety, health or liberty would be at risk, you must not:

  1. Offer, promise or give a Bribery to any person;
  2. Ask for or receive a Bribery from any person;
  3. Make a Facilitation Payment, even if such payments are common in the jurisdiction in which they are requested; or
  4. Agree, pay or receive Kickback or other fraudulent or dishonest payments.

5.3 Specific Rules in Relation to Public Official

Bribing a Public Official is a serious offence and carries particular reputational and legal risks. The definition of Public Official is very broad and includes central and local government officials and employees of public agencies and state-owned enterprises.

Unless specifically permitted or required under written applicable law, you must not offer or promise anything of value to, or for the benefit of, any Public Official in order to influence a Public Official and to obtain or retain business or a business advantage, even if this would not involve the Public Official performing his job improperly.

Section 7 sets out particular rules which you must follow when offering or receiving Public Official.

5.4 Political Contributions

No Stora Enso officer or employee may make a Political Contributions without the prior approval of the CEO. Political Contributions must never be used as a way of influencing a Public Official in his or her official capacity to obtain or retain business or a business advantage.

5.5 Donations and Sponsorships

Donations and Sponsorships must be free from any suspicion of bribery, whether direct or indirect. You must ensure that such activities are not made as an inducement for the purpose of obtaining any improper advantage or favour. All Donations and Sponsorships must comply with the “Sponsorship and Donations Policy” or its equivalent.

Active action

  • If you are offered or receive a request for Bribery or Facilitation Payment, you must promptly make a report to Legal; and
  • Obtain prior approval from the CEO before making any Political Contribution.

Case studies and best practices

  • Read the “Sponsorship and Donations Policy” or its equivalent for more information on Donations and Sponsorships.