Living by our ethical compass

How we find the right direction

The Live by our Compass programme provides detailed guidance on ethical behaviour and emphasises the importance of integrity at all levels of our organisation.

As we go about passionately brewing our beer, we put huge effort into conducting our global business with the fullest integrity. Nevertheless, we are continually seeking to improve our compliance culture and to actively promote high ethical standards in our employees. 

We all understand that we need to follow a common ethical compass. The Live by our Compass programme is an important part of creating a winning culture in accordance with the Carlsberg Group’s new strategy. It provides detailed guidance on ethical behaviour and emphasises the importance of integrity at all levels of our organisation. We introduced the programme last year with the aim of redefining and improving business ethics globally.

Acting with integrity - the Code of Ethics & Conduct

The first step in effectively embedding the Live by our Compass programme in our company culture was to agree on the ethical standards valued by the Carlsberg Group that will support conducting business with integrity.

In 2016, we therefore introduced the Code of Ethics & Conduct, which helps the Carlsberg Group’s employees to make the right choices and to act appropriately in response to ethical dilemmas in their daily work. The code has been translated into 29 Group languages and applies for all employees.

The Code of Ethics & Conduct is extensive but not exhaustive, so it does not address every possible situation. We therefore expect our employees to exercise sound judgement in their decision-making in order to adhere to the highest ethical standards.


Learn more about our ethical standards

In order to bring the Code of Ethics & Conduct to life, we train our employees on the ethical standards set out in the code. As part of this training, in 2017 we launched an e-learning module that makes employees aware of ethical behaviours that are meaningful for the Carlsberg Group and need to be followed. Our e-learners face various realistic dilemmas in which they have to help the main character – Cody the Elephant – to make the right ethical decisions. The e-learning module is available in most Group languages.

Policies and Manuals

While we were introducing the Code of Ethics & Conduct, we started to build a new policy structure at Group level to support more effective and ethical business conduct.

In April 2017, a first batch of updated and renewed policies was launched and became effective for the management, employees and contract workers of all entities in the Carlsberg Group. The new policies provide central direction, mitigate key company risks and underscore the behaviour expected of employees. We are supporting our employees in familiarising themselves with the requirements of the policies by preparing videos and booklets. The policy project is ongoing and all remaining policies will be rolled out in 2017.


Speaking up in the Carlsberg Group

We encourage our employees to speak up if they believe our codes or policies have been violated.

We enable and support our employees in voicing compliance concerns. If they believe that our codes, policies or other relevant regulations have been breached, we encourage them to talk to their manager or compliance and HR representatives. Employees who speak up in good faith are protected, as we do not tolerate any form of retaliation against our employees for speaking up.

In exceptional circumstances, employees may report their concerns through a last-resort channel implemented in 2017 – the SpeakUp Line. This is available in most Group languages 24/7 and every report is thoroughly reviewed and, if necessary, investigated under the direction of the Integrity Committee. In the event of any violation of laws or our internal rules, we take the required corrective actions.

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