Our governance system enables us to operate efficiently, while maintaining the necessary oversight at executive and board levels. The corporate system we use complies with formal regulations and generally accepted best practice.
Hydro is a public limited company organized under Norwegian law. Our governance structure is also based on Norwegian corporate law. Our primary listing is on the Oslo stock exchange and subject to Norwegian securities legislation and stock exchange regulations.
Hydro follows the Norwegian Code of Practice for Corporate Governance of October 2010, please see link in the right-hand column.
Our governance systems
The foundation of our governance system is The Hydro Way, which represents our framework for leadership, organization and culture. The Hydro Way is described in detail in the section titled “Our Values.”
The Hydro system is based on the delegation of responsibility to our business areas and to corporate functions that manage, among other areas, finance, tax and accounting. We maintain uniformly high standards by utilizing common requirements across all sections of our business.
These common standards exist as corporate directives that are mandatory for our entire organization. The directives address, among other things, strategy and business planning, finance, risk management, organizational and employee development, health, security, safety and environment, ethics and social responsibility. We make this information available to all employees via our intranet.
Our corporate directives help ensure that all our employees carry out their activities in an ethical manner and in accordance with current legislation and Hydro standards. The board of directors has approved our code of conduct. It applies to all Hydro employees and board members worldwide, as well as those of our subsidiaries. The code of conduct addresses compliance with laws and other matters, such as handling of conflicts of interest and our commitment to equal opportunity for all employees.
Promoting integrity at Hydro
We launched the Hydro Integrity Program in 2005 to support our compliance with anti-corruption legislation and basic human rights. The program is described in the subsection on "Society" on this website. We have also posted our code of conduct at www.hydro.com/principles, along with more information on our corporate directives.
We encourage employees to discuss any concerns they may have regarding possible breaches of our requirements with their immediate supervisor. Employees also have a whistleblower channel available to them at all times. It is administered by our internal audit function, which reports the status of the whistle-blowing cases to the Board Audit Committee. Employees are permitted to make these reports anonymously if they wish.
We have launched an interactive e-learning program called “You and Hydro” to communicate Hydro corporate directives to our employees. The program was launched in 2008 and includes all employees.
We are encouraged by independent third-party assessments of our performance on corporate governance. Hydro has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) every year since the start of the index series in 1999 and is also listed on the corresponding British index FTSE4Good.