Fair competition & Anti-corruption

11 min

By standing up to and rejecting anti-competitive behavior and corruption in all forms, we enhance the trust our stakeholders place in us while protecting our reputation and securing the basis for future business.

Why it matters

The dormakaba mission is to make access in life smart and secure. This can only be realized if we work together and consistently apply a legal and ethical approach in all matters. Trust and credibility are built over many years but can be lost in a single moment. In particular, corruption and anti-competitive behavior are unfair business practices that destroy society’s trust in the economy and business community. By standing up to and rejecting anti-competitive behavior and corruption in all forms, we enhance the trust our stakeholders place in us while protecting our reputation and securing the basis for future business.

Key activities

dormakaba aims to be a trusted global partner and believes our customers’ interests are best served by focusing on our company value “Customer First” and strict adherence to all applicable laws. Illegal business practices, such as corruption, subvert the rule of law and erode trust, while anti-competitive behavior distorts markets and produces inefficiencies. Therefore, we emphasize integrity, governance and responsible business practices, and regard fair competition as the soundest basis for our growth and corporate success. As a member of the UN Global Compact, dormakaba has committed to not only avoid bribery, extortion and other forms of corruption, but to develop related policies and specific programs, both internally and within our supply chain.

dormakaba Code of Conduct & Directives

dormakaba sets a clear tone from the top regarding compliance by providing guiding documents and training to all employees. Principles of antitrust regulations, anti-corruption and ethical business dealings, for example, are part of our Code of Conduct (CoC). The dormakaba CoC is binding for all our employees and management. It is each employee’s responsibility to comply with laws and internal regulations as per the CoC. The respective manager is responsible for ensuring that employees know regulations and understand expectations. In the course of the recruitment and onboarding process, new employees receive and acknowledge the dormakaba CoC.

Group Compliance publishes new Directives on compliance-relevant topics and manages internal communication of any related publications and topics. Functional owners of the Directives must ensure appropriate communication and training for the respective addressees.

Group Compliance revised and published the Group Directive Antitrust which came into effect during the financial year 2018/19. As part of the rollout program, the focus in the financial year 2019/20 was on internal communication and the global antitrust training initiative (see below section on increasing awareness).

Reporting misconduct & grievances

The CoC outlines the standard procedure for reporting grievances and/or breaches of law. As a first step, any employee should ideally contact their direct manager. Subsequently, the matter may be escalated to the local HR function, Group Legal or Group Compliance.

Reporting channels

dormakaba strives to create a culture where employees speak up and are encouraged to address concerns as outlined in the above–mentioned process. On matters of transparency, the respective manager is encouraged to contact Group Compliance directly. Group Compliance carefully considers all notifications received and, depending on the matter, creates an action plan or sets up a project to solve any potential issues. The remediation progress is tracked by Group Compliance and may include direct legal advice, the involvement of external experts, internal investigations, or the development of workshops or customized training. If necessary, Group Legal and Group Compliance will involve the CEO and/or other relevant members of the Executive Committee.

Although employees are encouraged to speak up, potential whistleblowers may want to stay anonymous for various reasons. Group Compliance implemented an integrity line (whistleblowing tool) in the financial year 2018/19, allowing dormakaba employees and third parties (e.g. customers or suppliers) to submit notifications about potential violations of laws and threats to our reputation. The dormakaba whistleblowing tool is available globally 24/7 and is offered in various languages.

Identifying & addressing risks

Antitrust and corruption risks are identified top-down and bottom-up. Risks can be addressed in the company’s risk model as part of the global risk management process which is conducted every six months. Within our risk evaluation process, the segments can address risks, including any perceived gaps within the internal organization and processes. Segment management can also address relevant issues to Group Internal Audit during regular audit planning and on an ad hoc basis. The Audit Committee can make use of a top-down approach by mandating audits (either by Group Internal Audit or through third-party support) with a focus on bribery and corruption matters. Triggers include hints from whistleblowers (received through anonymous letters, e-mails or further whistleblowing reports), from the organization itself, from impressions during on-site visits, external factors, or regional risk factors.

Regarding anti-corruption, Group Internal Audit integrates the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), an index developed by Transparency International as one criterion for developing its internal audit plan. Procurement and Sales functions, as well as processes, are regularly subjected to internal audits. In each standard audit engagement, Group Internal Audit verifies whether the principle of segregation of duties is maintained. Furthermore, risks are identified and addressed in the course of advising the business or in training sessions.

Increasing awareness through training activities

dormakaba aims to ensure compliance with applicable laws by strengthening awareness through employee training. Enabling employees to comply with legal requirements will help avoid breaches of laws, negative financial impact to the company and safeguard our reputation. Group Compliance develops training models and activities, e.g. on fair competition and anti-corruption. Group Compliance liaises with segment management about the training initiatives within their segments. The latter can then give feedback on the training strategy or indicate whether training content should be adjusted based on the local setting or local legislation.

Our goal is to train every employee on our Code of Conduct (CoC) and we have accomplished this for current employees in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years. As the basic rules of fair competition and anti-corruption are part of the CoC, almost all employees have been introduced to these general principles. Dedicated antitrust and anti-corruption training is provided to management and employees of relevant functions.

The Group-wide antitrust training initiative which began in the financial year 2018/19 was continued. The training concept includes an eLearning module and live training workshops to increase internal awareness and knowledge on antitrust issues. The relevant target group for antitrust training (e.g., Sales, Procurement, General Management) was identified and then assigned the eLearning module, which was made available in different languages. More than 1,000 employees worldwide have participated in the eLearning. In addition, more than 30 classroom trainings were conducted globally by Group Compliance, with participation of more than 700 employees across all segments and various Group functions.

In preparation for the rollout of the new Group Directive Anti-Corruption, a global anti-corruption training concept was developed and presented to the Executive Committee. This included the development of an eLearning module in eight languages, and its pilot launch. Face-to-face and/or virtual classroom trainings are also included in the training concept. The target group will include management and employees from Sales and Procurement, among others.

Our performance

Milestones of Group Compliance’s work in the financial year 2019/20 include the antitrust training initiative, the development of the training concept and eLearning module for anti-corruption and the rollout of the global whistleblowing system. It was the first year of implementation of the whistleblowing tool, which allows employees and third parties to disclose possible misconduct globally and anonymously. Through all reporting channels, including the whistleblowing tool, 19 incidents have been reported and thereafter investigated in the financial year 2019/20. This is twice as many as the previous financial year. Whistleblowers using the online tool receive a first response within 2–3 days and are provided with regular updates on their case, if a postbox allowing anonymous communication has been set up. In around 75% of incidents reported, misconduct was confirmed, and appropriate corrective action has been taken. Four incidents remain under investigation as at 30 June 2020.

An overview of activities is shared with the senior management, including in the annual Compliance Report, which is discussed with the Audit Committee in detail. The Board of Directors then approves the Compliance Report based on the recommendation of the Audit Committee. Additionally, the whistleblowing system was assessed compared to the effectiveness criteria for grievance mechanisms provided by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The results of the assessment are found in the Human Rights Assessment chapter.

With operations in over 50 countries, it is vital that dormakaba complies with all applicable laws and regulations at the local, national and international level. Compliance with laws and regulations is a key factor for the sustainability of our business. We confirm that there were no legal actions pending or completed for anti-competitive behavior in the financial year 2019/20 known to us. There were also no confirmed incidents of corruption in the financial year 2019/20 known to us.


In the financial year 2020/21, dormakaba Group Compliance aims to roll out the Group Directive Anti-Corruption and to launch the anti-corruption training initiative. The antitrust training initiative will also continue with additional classroom trainings. Group Compliance will continue to coordinate legal advice on antitrust and monitor the topic globally.

Building awareness of fair competition and anti-corruption initiatives

An interview with Ingo Spahr, Compliance Manager, dormakaba 

Raising awareness of compliance topics related to fair competition and anti-corruption are critical to the success of the initiatives of the Compliance team at dormakaba. How do you go about this?

Our dedicated awareness campaigns in both areas include trainings (eLearnings and live workshops). Our aim is to offer comprehensive tailor-fit trainings to enable our colleagues to take appropriate decisions themselves. We do not want to train every employee and that is why identifying the right target group is very important for us. This is a task in which Group Compliance has always been strongly supported by our HR colleagues globally. In the financial year 2019/20 we were able to bring our international collaboration to the next level by expanding the compliance network and formally appointing Compliance Ambassadors for all segments.

What kinds of things are Compliance Ambassadors responsible for?

Group Compliance supports management in complying with applicable laws wherever we do business. Compliance Ambassadors are dedicated colleagues from the HR and Finance departments that assist us with this task. Not only are these business functions well-connected within their respective organizations, many compliance topics have a link to these two departments – HR because we deal with individual behavior, and Finance when it comes to topics like corruption or fraud. However, the Compliance Ambassadors support Group Compliance in all aspects of minimizing compliance risks for dormakaba and our employees.

Focus Area TransparencyHuman Rights Assessment

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