In 2006 it became necessary to unify all existing codes of ethics in the company, due to recent acquisitions had occurred as the purchase in Europa of the company 02 and in Latin America by the purchase the Bellsouth mobile operations.
After a period of consultation to collect all the views of our stakeholders, including employees, representatives of civil society, consumers, suppliers, communities and shareholders, was approved by the Board of Directors of Telefónica "Our Business Principles", code of ethics that applies all of our operations and countries where we are present, a total of 25 countries with an average of 285,000 employees.
The text provides the ethical standards that govern the Telefónica activities (honesty, respect for the law, integrity and observance of human rights) and their relationship with stakeholders (employees, customers, shareholders, society, and suppliers), criteria based on the highest standards and best practices in business ethics. Also reaffirms the vision of Telefónica of being the "Best Company Global Digital Communications World, while affirming the values of the group (vision, talent, commitment and strength).
One of the biggest challenges for companies that decide to establish a code of ethics is not a mere declaration of intent. Therefore, with the approval of "Our Business Principles", the Board also approved the establishment of the Office of Principles, which is configured as a mechanism for implementation and enforcement of the Principles and created with the aim of disseminate, promote and enforce the same. The Principles Office, which reports regularly to the Commission on Human Resources and Corporate Reputation and Responsibility of the Board of Directors, is permanently integrated in the corporate areas of Human Resources, Internal Audit, the General Secretariat and Legal and Secretariat General of the Presidency of Telefónica and, additionally, has a representative of the regions where we are present, Telefónica Europe and Telefónica Latin America.
With the aim of providing support in the work of implementation of our code of ethics, have created offices of Country Principles in all countries where we operate. These offices have the same structure, composition and functioning of the Office of Corporate Principles.
In Latin America we have offices in the relevant countries where we operate, such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. In Europe, there is the figure of the Compliance Officer in all operations, which is the responsible for ensuring compliance with the principles in each country.
In 2010, the Business Principles Office, consolidated its daily management model, incorporating the daily management of the ethical code (employee training, communication and management of complaints of possible deviations from the code of ethics), identification of risks associated with Principles, according to the corporate model of risk management Telefónica (approved in 2008), in order to promote minimum standards of performance,which sometimes involves going beyond existing legislation at local, and even set minimum standards on issues where there is no regulation, in order to mitigate, reduce or even avoid the risks identified.
The Business Principles have become an important element from which to build a global culture of Telefónica, After the past two years has been almost 2 times its size and scope of action.
Training in the ethical code has been included within the induction plans for new employees, as well as training 74,000 employees across the group in the ethical code through the first global online course launched in the company. In addition, many local initiatives have development in order to strength the knowledge already acquired.
It has strengthened the single channel for all the Group reports that all employees have access to report any breach of code of ethics.
Within the identification of risks associated with the Business Principles and the establishment of minimum global action throughout the company that will reduce or mitigate the risks identified, the Office of Principles has focused on the following aspects, defining articulating our position public and appropriate actions that enables setting the implementation of this commitment and therefore of our code of Ethics, Diversity, Health and Safety, Integrity, and Data Protection and Privacy Protection, Supply Chain Responsibility, Electromagnetic Fields, Environmental and Human Rights.