Thales is working with governments, NGOs and industry associations to develop the corporate social responsibility standards of tomorrow. It's a way to defend our point of view and give back to the broader community at the same time.
Companies help to raise the bar
Companies are in a better position than anyone to understand the real challenges facing businesses today. That's why we have chosen to play an active role in developing better rules of corporate responsibility and higher standards of ethical conduct. We interact constantly with official bodies and community organisations — and with our competitors — to identify best practices and promote integrated risk management solutions that work for everyone.
Expertise that knows no bounds
Thales’s commitment to corporate responsibility goes well beyond our own areas of activity — we want businesses in all sectors to benefit from our expertise. For example, we played an active role in developing the OECD's Best Practices Guidance, and we are also part of the B20 (Business 20) forum, which includes major international corporations and officials from the world’s 20 most powerful economies.
European best practice
Our stand against corruption is a good example of how Thales is helping to set new standards. We started talking to other aerospace and defence companies about corruption prevention in 2003, and later broadened the discussion to include NGOs like Transparency International. This work came to fruition in 2007 when the membership organisation ASD (Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe) published its Common Industry Standards (CIS). Adopted by over 400 companies across Europe, the standards are an industry-wide endorsement of our “zero tolerance” stance on corruption.
Sharing best practice on a global scale
Our contribution to the fight against corruption doesn’t end there. Our support for the work of the United Nations, the OECD and other international organisations helps promote the adoption of a set of anti-corruption best practices on a global scale. European companies can lose business because some of their international competitors don’t always apply the same ethical standards as they do. We demand a level playing field.
In 2009, we led the development of the Global Principles of Business Ethics as part of a joint effort by the ASD and the AIA (Aerospace Industries Association of America). The Global Principles set high standards for all companies working in the aerospace and defence sectors in Europe and America. Thales is now an active participant in the International Forum on Business Ethical Conduct (IFBEC), which was set up to promote these new standards around the world.
Further room for improvement
Corruption is not the only challenge our industry faces. Standards need to be raised in a number of other areas too. This is why we put our weight behind the case for global regulation of the arms trade, which led to the adoption of the UN Arms Trade Treaty in April 2013 (in force on December 24th, 2014).
We also helped draft the Innovative SME Charter in France, which encourages major companies to support innovation projects by small and medium-sized businesses. From corruption prevention to responsible supplier relations, our aim is always the same: to help establish best practices and make sure they're adopted as widely as possible.