Our Ethics and Compliance Program helps ensure our associates have the guidance and resources needed to operate with the highest standards of corporate conduct in all our business dealings globally.
The Program is led by our Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, who also serves as our Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer. Senior executives form our Ethics and Compliance Leadership Council, which focuses on monitoring the effectiveness of our program and providing input into Program-related initiatives. VF’s Vice President of Ethics and Compliance, manages the Program’s day-to-day operations.
Through collaboration with Ethics and Compliance liaisons worldwide – associates who support our program in addition to their primary responsibilities – we strive to apply a collaborative and inclusive perspective in the way we manage our Program across the globe.
In 2017, VF's Board of Directors adopted an updated Code of Business Conduct, which applies to all VF directors, officers and associates. Our Code outlines the principles that have guided our company throughout the years, and that continue to guide us today.
The Code provides direction on acting in accordance with laws, other legal requirements and company policies. VF also provides more detailed policies and procedures for demonstrating ethical behavior, many of which are referenced in the Code. Our Code contains Q&A scenarios to demonstrate ways in which our values and Guiding Principles can come to life in our day-to-day actions.
By setting forth the high standards that VF expects, our Code of Conduct serves as a pledge we make to our shareholders, our stakeholders and each other. All VF associates worldwide are expected to read and acknowledge our Code and to become familiar with its contents.
Reflecting VF's global reach and the diversity of our associates, our Code is available in 24 languages.
The Code of Business Conduct sets forth business policies and principles for all directors, officers and associates of VF.
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 associates. The Helpline is available 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 isn't just for 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.
We make every effort to investigate reported concerns appropriately, consistently, and in a timely manner.
VF investigated a total of 763 reports globally during our last Fiscal Year (April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021), received through the Ethics Helpline and direct reporting to the Company via our Open Door Policy. Forty-three percent of the reports received were made anonymously. Out of the 763 total reports, 136 were requests for guidance. Approximately 50% of the reports containing allegations were found to be substantiated. All substantiated reports resulted in either training, coaching, policy review or disciplinary action.
We use this data, both qualitative and quantitative, to inform our actions and ensure they align 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.
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