VF is committed to fostering dialogue and communication through multiple channels, including our Open Door Policy and our Ethics Helpline. The Helpline is a free, confidential way for anyone to seek guidance, ask a question or raise a concern. It is available 24 hours a day/seven days a week in every country where VF has employees. Reporters can contact the Helpline in over 100 languages, and anonymous reporting is available where allowed by law. Each report is reviewed by a member of our Ethics and Compliance team and assigned to an appropriate investigator.
Our Ethics Helpline is not only available to VF associates. Anyone who wishes to raise a concern about a potential violation of our Code of Business Conduct or the law can contact the Helpline 24 hours a day/seven days a week.
VF does not tolerate retaliation against an associate for making a good faith report of a potential violation of our Code of Conduct, a company policy or the law or for participating in an investigation.
Annual Internal Investigations Summary
We make every effort to investigate reported concerns appropriately, consistently, and in a timely manner.
VF investigated a total of 714 reports globally in 2016, received through the Ethics Helpline and direct reporting to the Company via our Open Door Policy. Fifty five percent of the reports received were made anonymously. Out of the 714 total reports, 74 were requests for guidance. Approximately 36% of the reports containing allegations were found to be substantiated. Within the substantiated reports, 89% resulted in training, coaching, policy review and/or disciplinary action.
We use this data, both qualitative and quantitative, to help guide our actions and ensure they are aligned with our vision and values. This includes working to identify areas of opportunity, improving upon our policies, processes, and best practices and creating occasions to provide additional training and resources within our organization. With these actions, we commit to furthering our Open Door culture and ensuring we act with integrity for our shareholders, our customers and our associates.