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Frequently Asked Questions

About The Volvo Group Whistle
Reporting – General
Reporting Security & Confidentiality
Reporting Tips & Follow Up

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)- Volvo Group

What is the Volvo Group Whistle?

The Volvo Group Whistle is a comprehensive and confidential reporting tool utilizing the EthicsPoint software solution provided by NAVEX Global to make it easy and safe for employees, contractors, consultants, suppliers, dealers, business partners, or any third party to voluntarily report suspected violations of the Volvo Group Code of Conduct, all while cultivating a positive work environment.

Reporting – General

I have a concern. How can I report it?

Employees are strongly encouraged to file complaints according to the Policy on reporting suspected violations of the Volvo Group Code of Conduct via your direct superior or other management representative. If these options are not acceptable alternatives for you or if you are not an employee, you have the ability to file a complaint by contacting the AB Volvo Head of Corporate Audit or via the internet by following this link: volvogroupwhistle.ethicspoint.com

What type of situations should I report?

The Volvo Group Whistle is designed for employees, contractors, consultants, or third parties to report complaints regarding questionable accounting, auditing, and other suspected violations of the Code of Conduct. However, local legislation may have restrictions where only certain types of issues or complaints against certain position holders are permissible. In such cases, you will be automatically notified of any reporting restrictions. If your complaint pertains to a matter that, under local law, may not be accepted through the Volvo Group Whistle you will need to contact your direct superior or other management representative. If these options are not acceptable or you are a third party, you may contact the AB Volvo Head of Corporate Audit (contact information provided later in this document).

Where permitted by law, the Volvo Group expects persons to submit complaints of suspected Code of Conduct violation on issues like, but not limited to:

  • bribery, kickbacks, or improper gifts;
  • anti-trust or unfair competition;
  • insider trading;
  • money laundering;
  • asset misappropriation;
  • corruption;
  • discrimination or harassment;
  • accounting or auditing matters;
  • disclosure of confidential information;
  • other serious incidents concerning Volvo Group’s vital interests or the life or health of individual persons, as for instance;
    • serious environmental crimes or pollution posing serious health risks to people (e.g. through water contamination)
    • unfair treatment of indigenous people
    • suspicions of forced labor or human trafficking related to Volvo Group operations or any business partner
    • suspicions of child labor related to Volvo Group operations or any business partner
    • major deficiencies regarding safety at the workplace

Complaints made through the Volvo Group Whistle are voluntary and to be made in good faith. The information provided should be as correct and complete as possible to the best knowledge of the person submitting the complaint.

If I have a concern, shouldn't I just report it to my manager, security, or human resources and let them deal with it?

When you have knowledge of or observe behavior you suspect violates our Code of Conduct, we expect you to report it to your direct superior or other management representative. We recognize, however, that there may be circumstances when you are not comfortable reporting your concern via these channels and third parties may not have access to these options. That is why we’ve made available alternative reporting options by contacting the AB Volvo Head of Corporate Audit or using the Volvo Group Whistle to submit your complaint. Your complaint helps us proactively identify, address, and resolve Code of Conduct issues.

Why should I report what I know?

We all should strive to create a positive workplace environment where we trust each other. This means we are all responsible for behaving in an ethical manner and informing the appropriate people if someone is not acting according to the Volvo Group Code of Conduct or laws. By working together, we can maintain a healthy, passionate, and trustworthy environment. Corporate misconduct can threaten the future of our entire company.

Does management really want me to report?

We certainly do. In fact, we need you to report. You know what is going on in our company - both good and bad things. You may have initial knowledge of an activity that may be cause for concern. Your complaint can minimize the potential negative impact on the company and our people. Also, offering positive input may help identify issues that can improve corporate culture and performance. The sooner we know the earlier we can act to minimize potential negative impact.

Where do these reports go? Who can access them?

Complaints are entered directly onto a secure EthicsPoint server which is hosted by a 3rd party outside the Volvo Corporate Network environment. Our service provider, GCS Compliance Services Europe Limited (“GCS EU”), with their EthicsPoint system, makes these reports available only to authorized Volvo Group employees who are responsible for assessing the reports and taking appropriate action.

Isn’t this system just an example of someone watching over me?

The Volvo Group Whistle’s purpose is focused on being a positive aspect of our overall philosophy, and provides us the ability to hold ourselves accountable to the Volvo Group Code of Conduct. You are encouraged to seek guidance on ethical dilemmas, provide constructive suggestions, or communicate a concern via the “Ask a Question” link on the web portal. Effective communication is critical in today’s workplace and the Volvo Group Whistle is intended to enhance that communication.

We have carefully chosen the best solution to meet our compliance obligations while maintaining a positive reporting environment and making it as easy as possible to respond and manage serious issues.

Can I still file a report if I don’t have access to the Internet?

Use of the Volvo Group Whistle requires an Internet connection. If you do not have internet access at home or wish to submit your complaint away from the office, you can file a complaint from public locations. Many public locations including public libraries have computers with Internet access. The Volvo Group Whistle is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In addition, you may file a complaint with your direct superior, other management representative, or the AB Volvo Head of Corporate Audit. Volvo Group employees may refer the Policy on reporting suspected violations of the Code of Conduct for more information.

The contact information for the AB Volvo Head of Corporate is below:

Head of Corporate Audit
AB Volvo
Department AA14400, VLH6
SE 405-08

Reporting Security & Confidentiality

It is my understanding that any information I send from a company computer generates a server log that shows every web-site that my PC connects with, so won’t this log identify me as a report originator?

EthicsPoint does not generate or maintain any internal connection logs with IP addresses, so no information linking your PC to EthicsPoint is available. In fact, GCS EU is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter’s identity.

If you feel uncomfortable making a complaint on your work PC or laptop, you have the option of using a PC outside your work environment (such as one located at an Internet café, local library, or a friend’s house, etc.) through the Volvo Group Whistle, which is hosted entirely by a third party.

Can I file a report from home and still remain anonymous?

Yes. A complaint submitted from home, a neighbor’s computer, or any Internet connection will remain secure and permit anonymity unless prohibited by local law. The system will automatically not allow you to be anonymous if anonymous reporting for your country is prohibited.

If anonymous reporting is prohibited in your country, your identity will still remain confidential within the Volvo Group. AB Volvo’s default preference is for you to identify yourself so that the company can obtain all facts and properly investigate your compliant. GCS EU does not generate or maintain internet collection logs containing Internet Protocol (IP) addresses; so no information linking you or your computer to GCS EU is available if you chose to make a complaint.

I am concerned that the information I provide EthicsPoint will ultimately reveal my identity. How can you assure me that will not happen?

If you decide to remain anonymous, the EthicsPoint system is designed to protect your anonymity. Where remaining anonymous is permitted, you - as a reporting party and if you so desire - need to ensure that the body of your report does not reveal your identity by accident. For example, “From my cube next to Jan Smith…” or “In my 33 years…”.

If you chose to identify yourself or are required to by local law, Volvo Group will make every reasonable effort to hold your identity in strict confidence. Note: Some countries may require the Volvo Group to disclose your information in the course of legal proceedings involving law enforcement or other government agencies.

What if I want to be identified with my report?

You are strongly encouraged to identify yourself when making a complaint. By identifying yourself, it allows the company to obtain all facts, properly investigate your report, and enter into a confidential dialogue with you. Even though you identify yourself when making a report, every effort will be made to keep your identity strictly confidential within the company.

There is an option in the report template for identifying yourself if you wish to do so and where not prohibited by law.

Reporting Tips and Follow Up

I am aware of some individuals involved with unethical conduct, but it doesn't affect me. Why should I bother reporting it?

Our company chooses to promote ethical behavior and to always conduct business according to our Code of Conduct. All unethical conduct, at any level, ultimately hurts the company and all employees, including you. Simply consider what has happened in recent corporate scandals around the world to see the disastrous effects a seemingly harmless lapse in ethics can have on an otherwise healthy company. So if you know of any incidents of misconduct or suspect a violation of the Code of Conduct, consider it your duty to yourself and your coworkers to report it.

I am not sure if what I have observed or heard is a violation of the Code of Conduct, or involves unethical conduct, but it just does not look right to me. What should I do?

You can submit your question via the “Ask a Question” function of the Volvo Group Whistle or you can discuss your observation and thoughts directly with your direct superior or other management representative. Otherwise, please file a complaint. The Volvo Group Whistle can help you prepare and file your complaint so it can be properly understood. We'd rather you file a complaint that turns out to be harmless than let possible unethical behavior go unchecked.

What if my boss or other managers are involved in my complaint? Won’t they get the report and start a cover-up?

The EthicsPoint software and complaint distribution are designed so that anyone identified in the complaint is not notified or granted access to complaints in which they have been named.

The number of Volvo employees who can access reports submitted via the Volvo Group Whistle is extremely small, but if one of those persons is named in your complaint, they too will be totally blocked from seeing it.

What if I remember something important about the incident after I file the complaint? Or what if the company has further questions for me concerning my complaint?

When you file a complaint via the Volvo Group Whistle, you will receive a unique report number, and you are instructed to choose a password. You can return to the Volvo Group Whistle again and access your original report by using the report number and password you created. Please note: your report number and password cannot be reset if you lose either one. Through the web portal, you can access your report via the “Follow Up on a Report” window. When you follow up on your report, you have the ability to add more information, respond to questions posed by a company representative, or ask questions.

We strongly recommend you return to the site regularly and check for correspondence from the company. You and the company now have entered into a “confidential dialogue”, where situations are not only identified, but can also be resolved.

Are these follow-ups on reports as secure as the first one?

Yes. All Volvo Group Whistle correspondences are held in the same strict confidence as the initial report and continue under the umbrella of strict confidentiality.