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Corporate Responsibility

Ethics

Our business conduct reflects our business ethics principles.

General Dynamics UK is committed to meeting high ethical standards in our dealings with others. The nature of our business requires us to have strong values and an awareness of public concerns.

At General Dynamics UK we expect all our employees to act with the highest standards of ethical behaviour and integrity. We do not condone nor permit unethical or illegal conduct. The consequences of unethical or unlawful conduct may be far reaching and severe not only for the Company and its employees, but also for other stakeholders. Our employees are aware that unethical behaviour is wrong, and could lead to loss of business, reputational damage and legal sanctions.

All our employees receive formal training in Business Ethics and Conduct.

Our booklet ‘Standards of Business Ethics and Conduct’ summarises our ethics policies and is issued to all officers, executives, and full-time, part-time and temporary employees of GD UK. Our Business Ethics Principles are simply expressed:

Use assets wisely:

  • How we manage our assets reflects our personal values, our company’s values, and determines our ability to earn a fair return.

Offer a fair deal:

  • We offer the best products at a reasonable price
  • We make hard decisions and tackle tough choices
  • How we go about making these decisions reflects our values.

Deliver on promises:

  • We are people of our word – we deliver on our promises.
  • We are responsible to our stakeholders and strive to earn their trust every day.

Earn a fair return:

  • Our reputation is based on our ability to use our values to generate profits
  • As we deliver on our promises, we endeavour to contract for a fair return.

We expect our suppliers, vendors, contractors, and joint venture partners to develop ethics and compliance programmes that are consistent with our values in all material respects.

When General Dynamics UK talks about business ethics, we refer to the commitments that make our company great. We deal fairly with our company’s customers, suppliers, and competitors, as well as with each other. When we talk about compliance, we refer to the laws, rules, regulations, and policies that control and direct both our actions and those of our company.

Our employees are required to be:

  • Law abiding
  • Honest and trustworthy
  • Responsible and reliable
  • Fair and cooperative

General Dynamics UK operates a Business Ethics Hotline which any employee can call to express a concern or report a possible violation of laws, regulations, or policies. Every call to the hotline is handled promptly, discreetly, and professionally. We investigate reports of illegal or unethical conduct received through the hotline, and take appropriate action to resolve each reported matter. We also ensure that the company has trained Ethics and compliance officers in the business units and at corporate headquarters who can be relied upon to give advice at any time.

In summary, as a company operating internationally within the Defence sector, General Dynamics UK strives always to be, and to be seen to be, an ethical company. Ethics leadership is strong within the company, coming straight from Corporate Headquarters. In his foreword to the Company Ethics Booklet, the Chairman and CEO of General Dynamics is uncompromising in his insistence on ethical behaviour:

“It calls on us to do the right thing for our shareholders, for each other, and for our country. We have earned an excellent reputation for the way we conduct business. Each of us needs to sustain that reputation by adhering to the principles of integrity, honesty and respect.”

For more information about General Dynamics UK’s ethical conduct standards, please download The Blue Book – Standards of Business Ethics and Conduct.

If you have concerns relating to General Dynamics UK’s ethical conduct, please contact our freephone and confidential helpline on 08000 328483.

 

Quality

To download a copy of our ISO 9001 QMS Certificate click here.

 

Health and Safety

It is the policy of General Dynamics UK to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment, plant and systems of work for all our employees, and to provide such information, training, supervision and consultation as they need for this purpose.

We also accept our responsibility for the health and safety of other people who may be affected by our activities. Our Operation is compliant with the three major standards that guide our working life; through our operating processes (ISO 9000 Quality Management), through our work place by minimising our adverse impacts (ISO 14000 Environmental Management), through our continued well being at work (OHSAS 18000 Occupational Health and Safety Management).

The allocation of responsibility for safety matters, and the particular arrangements that the Company will make to implement the policy, are set out within our Business Process Library (PR058).

This policy is regularly reviewed to ensure that it continues to reflect both current and new legislation, and our commitment to continual improvement, with regard to its impact on the business and its working practices.

 

Environmental Policy

General Dynamics UK believes that environmental protection should form an integral part of standard operating procedures. The Company is concerned not only with its direct impact on the environment, but also any indirect effects caused by the Company’s activities affecting its neighbours and the local community. To support this, the company is accredited to both of the International Standards ISO 14000 & OHSAS 18000.

Our Environmental Policy Statement articulates the Company’s commitment to sound environmental management.

This policy shall be upheld through the following:

  • Implementation and maintenance of an Environmental Management System in line with the International Standard BS EN ISO 14001.
  • Maintaining effective environmental control procedures for all significant environmental aspects of the Company’s undertakings.
  • Commitment to comply with all legal and regulatory requirements relevant to the Company’s activities.
  • Commitment to prevent pollution and to avoid the use of hazardous materials on site and in products wherever practicable.
  • Setting of objectives and targets on a regular basis in line with our commitment to continual improvement of the Environmental Management System.

This proactive stance shall be implemented throughout the Company. All employees are expected to observe sound environmental practices and to support the Company in its environmental objectives and targets.

This policy is reviewed and revised as necessary to ensure its continuing effectiveness and suitability in line with changes to the Environmental Management System, legislation and the achievement of objectives.

 

Sustainable Procurement

General Dynamics UK recognises its responsibility to carry out procurement activities in an economic, environmentally and socially responsible manner.

In accordance with our Environmental Policy we will strive to incorporate socio-economic/environmental considerations into our product and service selection process. We encourage our key suppliers, partners and contractors to minimise any negative impacts associated with the products and services they provide. Our purchasers review the supply base for their goods and develop business cases for selection and renewal, which include sustainable principles.

We also encourage the measurement of greenhouse gas emissions, including any reductions resulting in improvements to goods or services, generated by the core activities of General Dynamics UK and our key suppliers.

Our policy statement aims to provide a framework for existing suppliers, potential suppliers and partners for the investigation and introduction of environmentally friendly processes and products.

Sustainable Procurement Policy Statement

We will:

  • Comply with all relevant current statutory regulations that impact on procurement and require that our suppliers and contractors (and their supply chains) do the same
  • Seek to procure environmentally sustainable goods and services that minimises the impact to climate change (eg accreditation to a recognised environmental standard)
  • Encourage all suppliers and contractors to adopt policies and systems in relation to their corporate responsibilities, sustainability and ethics which lead to improved environmental performance (eg ISO14001, EMAS, OHSAS 18001)
  • Seek to procure materials and services which are ethically sourced, and demonstrate application of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code standards
  • Encourage use of local suppliers and contractors to minimise the environmental impact associated with transportation, as appropriate
  • Develop an active sustainable procurement programme with key suppliers prioritising according to perceived risk and opportunity, spend and frequency of of contract

 

General Dynamics UK Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act) requires large employers to be transparent about their efforts to eradicate Slavery and Human Trafficking in their Supply Chain. The Act makes provisions about slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour and about human trafficking, including provision for the protection of victims. In accordance with the Act, this statement articulates our policies and practices around recognising and preventing human trafficking and slavery in the global supply chain.

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Summary

General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited (GDUK) is committed to maintaining and improving systems and processes to avoid complicity in human rights violations related to our own operations, our supply chain, and our products. GDUK realises that slavery and human trafficking can occur in many forms, such as forced labour, child labour, domestic servitude, sex trafficking, and workplace abuse. Therefore, throughout this disclosure we use the terms “slavery and human trafficking” to encompass these various forms of coerced labour.

As discussed below, we take specific steps to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in our supply chains or other parts of our business.

Our commitment to human rights which covers topics such as forced labour, slavery, child labour, sex trafficking, workplace abuse and human trafficking is outlined in the General Dynamics Standards of Business Ethics and Conduct (the Blue Book) and our Combating Trafficking in Persons policy (CTR-POL-3).

Evaluation

GDUK takes steps to evaluate and address risks of slavery and human trafficking in our supply chain. The first step in this process is to set clear expectations for our suppliers. These expectations are codified in General Dynamics’s Blue Book and our contractual Terms and Conditions for each new contract we place.

GDUK suppliers must agree that products supplied to GDUK comply with GDUK’s Terms and Conditions. These Terms and Conditions require suppliers to represent and warrant compliance with the Act and all applicable laws and regulations and international standards, including without limitation, UK laws and the laws in the country or countries in which they do business.

Internal accountability

General Dynamics’s CEO sets the tone for our ethical culture and holds managers accountable for communicating ethics and compliance expectations. We believe this “tone from the top” combined with our biennial ethics and compliance training, and educational resources on our company intranet site helps to create and sustain an ethical and legally compliant culture.

Through the Blue Book, we seek to promote honest and ethical conduct, deter wrongdoing, and support compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The principles embodied in the Blue Book reflect our policies related but not limited to slavery, human trafficking, conflicts of interest, non-discrimination, antitrust, anti-bribery and anti-corruption, and protecting our company’s assets and reputation.

The Blue Book is available in multiple languages, and employee training sessions incorporate real case scenarios. Employees are encouraged to raise ethical questions and concerns, and have multiple channels to do so anonymously, if they prefer, and as permitted by law.

General Dynamics requires its employees and contingent workers to comply with its Blue Book. An employee’s violation of the code of conduct may result in discipline, up to and including, termination.

We encourage anyone (including employees, contractors, suppliers, distributors, and customers) to report in good faith any issues or concerns about potential ethics, human rights, legal, or regulatory violations, including improper or unethical business practices such as fraud or bribery. General Dynamics investigates concerns raised and strives to resolve each, consistent with the law and its code of conduct. Individuals can report concern to General Dynamics by email, telephone, or letter, in English or their local language.

Improvements

We will continually review the effectiveness of our processes and where necessary introduce additional measures to ensure that our obligations under the Act are passed through our supply chain.

Current improvement actions include:

  • Ensuring that current suppliers (not covered by new supplier agreements) have signed up to complying with the Act.