Code of ethics and conduct - ARGE proEthik

Code of ethics and conduct - ARGE proEthik

ARGE proEthik, a working-group of members of the Austrian Economic Chambers, shares the principles of the Austrian Economic Chambers and emphasizes their importance for future-oriented and socially acceptable economic development. It acknowledges the significance of performance and solidarity, it emphasizes the necessity to think European but act internationally, it indicates the important role of self-administration and subsidiarity as basis of efficient economic promotion, it sees social partnership as an opportunity to actively shape change and it commits to its social responsibility.

In view of globalization, non-transparent ownership structures and the exposure of reprehensible business practice by the media, many people´s confidence in the value of the market economy is going down. Arge proEthik is convinced that this confidence can be regained by exemplary behavior in business ethics as precondition for sustainable and upright business. Arge proEthik is a working-group of volunteers and the members commit to the following principles in their daily business transactions with customers, partners, business friends, competitors and the community:

  1. Members of ARGE proEthik commit themselves to consider interests of their customers with the greatest possible professional integrity.
  2. Towards other entrepreneurs they behave just like they would expect it from an honest entrepreneur towards themselves.
  3. Balance between customer satisfaction and satisfaction of the members of ARGE proEthik themselves takes top priority. To reach this goal, highest professionalism, knowledge and usage of state of the art, customization as well as contractual performance and treating customers correctly is a natural course of action for all members.
  4. Members of ARGE proEthik avoid raising expectations of customers that are not true through willful act or failure regarding their products and their performance and commitment.
  5. All actions necessary for the performance of a contract are in accordance with existing laws and regulations.
  6. Assumed obligations are fulfilled in accordance with the principles of sanctity of contracts, correctness, honesty, transparency and professionalism.
  7. In the case that members of ARGE proEthik notice circumstances that could jeopardize the fulfillment of a contract as arranged - even through no fault of their own - they point it out immediately to their customers.
  8. In the case that they notice circumstances whereby a fulfillment of a contract could be detrimental to the customer, they are under an immediate duty of notify and warning.
  9. Members of ARGE proEthik are bound to secrecy regarding any matters committed to them from customers and other facts they noticed that customers want to keep confidential.
  10. This obligation of secrecy does not exist in the case of interferences covered by criminal law or risk to life, physical integrity, liberty or property of a third party.
  11. Members of ARGE proEthik commit themselves to open competition in accordance with legal framework conditions.
  12. In the case that a member of ARGE proEthik cooperates with another company with the fulfillment of a contract, he or she acknowledges this company as equal partner and shows respect. However, if he or she notices that interests of customers could be affected by that partner, he or she needs to take action to avert this danger. In such a case cooperation with the unreliable company needs to be avoided.
  13. Members of ARGE proEthik do not use unlawful or dishonest means to receive information, business, and public commissions or rather information about corporate trade secrets of their competitors. In the case that an employee of a different company offers such information to a member of ARGE proEthik, that member does not accept it. He or she needs to immediately inform the management of the affected company.
  14. In the case that stock corporations submit to the Austrian Code of Corporate Governance (OCGK - Österreichischer Corporate Governance Kodex), they need to conform to its rules.
  15. Members of ARGE proEthik refrain from any discrimination based on age, health, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, origin, language, descent, skin colour, ethnic group or nationality, religious or political beliefs as well as social belonging.

ARGE proEthik expects all members to implement these rules in their daily business life and to avoid any behavior that could undermine the public´s trust in that code.