Transparency, honesty and professionalism form the backbone of Sovereign Global (SG)’s business ethics and expectations for conduct in the workplace. This commitment has materialised with the creation of a dedicated Ethics Committee and Compliance Department with specific policies and processes in force to monitor and guide each aspect of our business. These cornerstones of our business are further supported by our Legal, Human Resources and Operations Directorates, and are reflected in our Code of Conduct endorsed by the Board of Directors.
Code of conduct
Our strict Code of Conduct outlines the overall philosophy supporting our business strategies, states our individual ethical values and legal responsibilities, and underscores our commitment to conducting business in a responsible and respectful manner. Together with our core values, this sets a tone of excellence for all of our employees worldwide. It states that, in conducting our business, we will:
- Ensure we and our stakeholders conform to the rule of law and support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights
- Operate to the highest business standards, best practices and quality assurance
- Behave with honesty, integrity and in a manner that reflects well on the Group at all times
- Operate to the highest levels of corporate social responsibility
- Accept only equality, diversity and competency in our workforce and business dealings
- Apply zero tolerance with respect to drug and alcohol abuse
- Operate strict Information Technology processes to safeguard our personnel and business against cyber-attack and other misuse of data
- Ensure the health, safety and security of all our personnel, the environment and our business at all times through comprehensive and effective Risk Management Systems
- Rebuff corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery, to compete fairly and only engage in legitimate business practices
Our Code of Conduct is communicated to all our partners, agents, suppliers and stakeholders to ensure they are aware and comply with our strict standing on these issues. Upon joining, all our personnel receive training on the Code, and are given a personal copy which they are required to read and then sign to say they have understood it and will work within its principles. Wherever possible, the obligation to comply with it is also incorporated into our contracts with third parties. Any failure to conform to this Code is treated as a serious non-compliance, investigated and dealt with accordingly by our Ethics Committee & Compliance Department. Signed by our two Presidents, it is reviewed and updated on a yearly basis.
Human rights and Anti-Corruption
SG operate on a world scale with many of our major clients being governments or international organisations, and for this reason we take our battle for human rights and against corruption very seriously. We are particularly focused on working against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery. In doing so, we have signed up to the UN Global Compact and its 10 principles, working towards the vision of a sustainable and inclusive global economy, and to help companies meet their commitment to corporate sustainability. All Group, business partner and supplier activities are exercised in strict compliance with the laws and regulations against corruption in force in the United Kingdom and France, as well as other international legislation including the UN Convention Against Corruption, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977, the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions of 1997 and the Convention of the European Union of 1997. Further, at the heart of our ISO 9001 processes, we evaluate corruption‐related risks in all our business areas and countries of operations.
Health and Safety
SG could not have attained its established position in today’s market without effective and efficient Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) Management Systems. A vital component of our business, these effective management systems and tenacious attention to compliance go hand-in-hand with high productivity, quality output, dedicated personnel and satisfied customers.
Our work takes us to some of the most unstable and dangerous places on the planet, and we never take our duty of care towards our people lightly. Each of our programmes is subject to a comprehensive Safety and Security Risk Assessment before our personnel are deployed, and followed up by continued risk assessment on the ground throughout the programme by a nominated, qualified Programme Health & Safety Co-ordinator. For example, our training and assistance programmes to Gabon and Mauritania involved deploying our staff to the Central African Republic to assist our clients with the UN quarterly inspections for their Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (MINUSCA), when inter-ethnic violence, reprisal killings, kidnapping, looting and human rights abuses were commonplace occurrences across the country.
All our decision-making processes consider the potential impact on the environment and all internal and external environmental factors. We do this by conducting an Environment Risk Assessment for every programme. This includes international and national legal and regulatory requirements, the political, natural and physical environments, the task & associated hazards, perceptions and risk tolerance of clients and other stakeholders. As the owner of a sea-going fleet of ships, we are in a key position not only to directly affect the environment, but also to play a role in the development of new policies, procedures and best-practices that can adopted by other companies and organisations, including publication of our Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plans (SOPEP) and Garbage Management Plans.
Our Community Investment Policy is simply aimed at giving something back to the communities and environment in which we do business. One community programme is selected in each of the countries we operate in, and involve long term commitment with community partnerships to address local key issues vital to the interests of the environment and the communities themselves. Our Community Programmes to date have included the protection of whale sharks in the Gulf of Tadjoura with the Whale Shark Conservation Society, the protection and knowledge development of wildlife throughout Djibouti with DECAN animal refuge (Discover and Aid Nature), and supporting subsistence agriculture in semi-arid desert environments with solar-powered water pumps and water-drip irrigation in Aseyla, Djibouti.
Having been certified to ISO 9001 since 2014, and the new ISO 9001:2015 standard since 2016, Sovereign Global Group prides itself on operating to the highest possible standards of Quality. We are also certified to ISM (International Safety Management) code standard, and as participators in the UN Global Compact we are committed to conducting our business in the most sustainable way possible. Having built and installed an effective Quality Management System, our network of Quality Representatives are always available to provide help and guidance during project planning, implementation, auditing and process revision, culminating in an efficient, effective system where customer satisfaction is achieved under the ethos of continuous improvement, careful risk management and opportunity maximisation. Customer collaboration is integral to every stage of project development and execution, as only this way can the client’s needs and expectations be understood and realised.
Accreditations & Memberships
Observer status with the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) Observer status with the ICoCA to promote, govern and oversee implementation of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC) and to promote the responsible provision of security services and respect for human rights and national and international law.
BIMCO members, the world’s largest international shipping association, aiming to promote fair business practices, free trade and open access to markets.
Participators in the UN Global Compact, Participators in the UN Global Compact, affirming our support of the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact in the areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environmental protection and Anti-Corruption. Please see our annual Communication on Progress here.
Registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for compliance with the UK Data Protection Act and protection of our personnel’s personal information.
ISO 9001:2015 certified An Internationally recognised Quality Management System certification based on a number of quality management principles to ensure our products and services consistently meet customer’s requirements, including strong customer focus, the motivation & support of top management, continuous improvement, and the effective management of risks and opportunities.