Strong business ethics are a core value of Con Edison. Through the years, one of the most important lessons we have learned is that having a strong financial foundation and operational excellence are only part of what it takes to continue a company's success. We also recognize that our Standards of Business Conduct is a cornerstone of a sustainable company.
Con Edison adopted the Standards of Business Conduct built upon our values of service -- honesty, concern, courtesy, excellence, and teamwork. The Standards of Business Conduct sets forth basic principles that employees must follow in carrying out our commitment to the company and its shareholders, our customers, our vendors, our other business partners, and the public. The Standards of Business Conduct is provided as additional guidance that employees must follow in conducting day-to-day business. We are committed to holding ourselves to nothing less than the highest standards of ethical performance.
Every employee receives a copy of the Con Edison Standards of Business Conduct on their first day at the company and attends an ethics portion of the new employee orientation. The standards are also emphasized through periodic communications with employees.
In 2011, Con Edison's commitment to ethics led to the creation of a new executive position, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, responsible for supporting and directing the Business Ethics & Compliance program. The position was established to increase awareness and understanding of the ethics and compliance program and to encourage and establish expectations for employees to seek advice and raise concerns regarding ethics and compliance issues. This person is also responsible for implementing the organization's ethics and compliance training and communications and will oversee the confidential reporting program allowing employees and other stakeholders to report suspected violations of law, business conduct standards, or corporate policy.
Adhering to our Standards of Business Conduct is a condition of employment for all Con Edison employees. We encourage our employees to discuss any and all issues with their supervisors and provide several ways for employees to confidentially report what appears to be unethical or illegal activity to the General Auditor, the Ethics Helpline, the O&R Ethics Office, or the Company Ombudsman. A periodic ethics quiz for employees tests knowledge of ethics and reinforces key values.
Just as we keep our employees knowledgeable of their ethical responsibilities, we also work to educate our vendors and contractors on the Standards of Business Conduct. In support of this aim, all vendors with contracts of $10,000 or more receive an annual letter from the vice president of the company's Purchasing Department, reminding them of the company's gift policy and providing them with a copy of our Standards of Business Conduct. Those vendors with contracts of $350,000 or more also receive the Standards of Business Conduct and acknowledge that they understand and agree to abide by it in their dealings with Con Edison.