Since the company was founded in 1932, it has been privately owned by the Kirk Kristiansen family. We approach good corporate governance by combining the strengths and benefits of being privately owned, with good corporate governance for listed companies.
The separation of our owners’ interests from that of the directors is less of an issue in the company, as the owners are on the Board of Directors and close to the day-to-day business. Therefore, the Group has adopted governance standards that make sense in the context of a family ownership that employs a professional management team and has an independent Board of Directors.
Business Conduct – Ethics and Compliance
We are committed to a very high standard of business conduct and a long-standing commitment to high ethics and integrity. This means living up to our promises and various stakeholder expectations from institutions, entities and individuals. The LEGO Group Code of Business Conduct handbook is used as a tool in the organization to assist in ethical dilemmas and to help make the right decisions.
The handbook highlights three general guidelines when facing ethical dilemmas:
- Seek guidance in the company spirit and company values, which form the basis for the ethical principles of the LEGO Group
- Seek guidance from the company rules, as well as the legal and regulatory rules in society, to decide what is right and wrong
- Be open! Speak up and discuss issues with your immediate supervisor
The handbook addresses many specific areas e.g. corruption, which is a prioritized area for us, to ensure we proactively counteract this through our employees and business partners acting on our behalf. We do business in most countries of the world and it has always been core to our values to have a firm and undisputable stance on corruption. Since 2003, we have been a co-signer of the UN Global Compact principles and thereby committed to the 10th principle on actively combating corruption.
To ensure the necessary awareness of our business conduct principles all LEGO employees, at Director level and above, must complete our e-learning training course in business conduct every second year. Additional employees working directly with customers and suppliers are also enrolled in the course.
To ensure a high standard of business conduct, we continuously work to strengthen and improve our business conduct program and ensure embedding in our operations. We do this by adding relevant guidance documents, implementing supporting IT systems and developing new training materials based on legal and regulatory standards, as well as organizational needs.
We encourage all employees to speak up and report any violation of the Business Conduct handbook, policies of the LEGO Group, as well as any applicable law or regulation. This should preferably be done through the line organization but, as a last resort, a whistle-blower infrastructure provides employees with another reporting method.