Ethical Business Practices
Our strong business ethics are founded on our corporate values and help us achieve our three priorities—safety, operational excellence, and customer service. We are committed to conducting business using the highest ethical standards. How we do business, how we treat our customers and business partners, and how we treat one another all contribute to how we are perceived in the marketplace and, ultimately, to our long-term viability. Our Values in Action Advisor network of 120 employees and our Business Ethics Council with 15 members assist the organization in maintaining a culture of integrity in their departments.
In 2020, Business Ethics & Compliance raised awareness of ethics-related resources with an online quiz developed to test employees’ knowledge of ethics and compliance, fraud prevention, and cyber security.
We continued enhancing our Ethics and Compliance Program working with peer utilities to review our programs. The peer review determined we have a very strong program, specifically the Standards of Business Conduct, training and communications, and our networks of ethics ambassadors known as the Values in Action (VIA) Advisors and Business Ethics Council.
The 2020 Standards of Business Conduct training initially featured small-group, in-person training sessions discussing real-life work situations that could pose ethical dilemmas. In March, following the company’s guidance to maintain physical distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we suspended in-person training and moved to an online course featuring an interactive game format. Employees earned Ethics Champion badges after visiting virtual office locations around the country to identify ethics-related issues.
Compliance Management initiated a Quality Center of Excellence (QCOE) to coordinate and enhance the efforts of existing Quality Management teams across the company. The QCOE will organize information sharing, learnings, data, and best practices that will strengthen integration of risk, compliance, and quality across the company. Compliance Management also evolved its core engagement approach to provide its client business units with expert guidance and an array of solutions customized to evaluate and improve compliance to regulatory requirements.