The Zurich Airport Group does not tolerate any form of corruption or bribery and has taken precautions to prevent such abuses.
Corruption has negative social and economic consequences and may lead to criminal prosecution and reputational damage to the company. As an international enterprise with a wide variety of business relationships and close contacts with government agencies, the Zurich Airport Group is aware that it is also exposed to certain risks of corruption, both in Switzerland and abroad.
The Zurich Airport Group is headquartered and anchored in the legal system of Switzerland which has ratified various international conventions. The group is thus directly subject to its stringent anti-corruption regulations.
By signing up to the UN Global Compact, the Zurich Airport Group publicly affirms that it does not tolerate any form of corruption and bribery. Effective corruption prevention requires action on a number of fronts and also depends on individual employees behaving with integrity.
In accordance with its statutory and regulatory obligations, the Zurich Airport Group has taken a number of preventive measures to prevent or expose corruption. The guidelines for the behaviour of all employees are laid down in the Code of Conduct which is defined individually for each country represented in the group. As a more detailed supplement to the Code of Conduct, an anti-corruption directive which is binding for all employees of Flughafen Zürich AG sets out the obligations in greater detail. All employees based in Zurich can readily access both documents on the intranet.
The peer review principle also applies in the Zurich Airport Group: contracts require two signatures to be legally binding. The allocation of powers further clearly defines the extent of employees’ financial powers, and hence also their authority to sign contracts. Finally, Internal Audit is available to check and report on specific transactions at any time.
Staff in leadership roles are explicitly trained and made aware of these matters. Those who are new to a management role with financial powers attend an induction event in which their attention is drawn to anti-corruption issues. The Legal, Risk & Compliance department also offers specific anti-corruption training courses.
Flughafen Zürich AG is obliged to procure goods and services in accordance with public procurement rules (see Regional wealth creation and Human rights sections). This requires a transparent, regulated procedure and contracts to be awarded on the basis of clearly defined criteria. Tenders are always evaluated by multiple people. In addition, all staff working in procurement sign a “no conflict of interest” declaration. This declaration obliges all employees concerned to stand aside in the event of any conflicts of interest, and to avoid any contact with potential suppliers during the procurement process that goes beyond this direct process. It also binds them to treat all internal information and tenders in confidence.
Integrity clause in international business contracts
The Zurich Airport Group also imposes obligations on its international business partners. Flughafen Zürich AG includes a model contract anti-corruption clause (active and passive) in all its contracts with local partners abroad. In the event of a breach, this clause stipulates a contractual penalty and the premature termination of the contract without compensation. The Brazilian subsidiaries and A-Port in Chile also include anti-corruption clauses in their contracts.
Flughafen Zürich AG has a clear rule that only gifts up to a value of CHF 200 may be accepted or given. Any gifts above this fixed cap must be reported. The list of reports received is then presented to the Board of Directors once a year. Rules also apply to business meals and hospitality events for customers.
A cap on the value of gifts is likewise imposed at the company’s airports in Brazil and India. The subsidiary in Chile forbids the acceptance of any and all gifts.
During the reporting year no cases of bribery and corruption were reported or otherwise came to light (active and passive bribery). Furthermore, no pending or completed legal proceedings in connection with corruption are known for the Zurich Airport Group.