THE KBZ GROUP CODE OF CONDUCT AND STAND-ALONE POLICES
KBZ Group of Companies is moving forward rapidly with the implementation its Code of Conduct and Stand-alone policies, making significant progress over the last 12 months. All the 13,302 KBZ Bank staff has been trained on the Code of Conduct and 12,861 (almost 97%) have already signed up to adhere to the conditions and terms outlined therein.
Training of Branch Managers at the KBZ Bank AGM takes place at Head Office on 10th February 2015 with the support of external consultants and Vicky Bowman, Director at the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB).
The Group’s Board of Directors has been actively involved in developing the Code of Conduct and policies, giving feedback and input. They have all signed up to adhere to and implement the Code and other policies across the Group. These standards apply to every single member of the KBZ Group team.
The Board of Directors were briefed by our external consultants at their weekly meeting on 21st November 2014.
Managing Directors or other representatives from all KBZ subsidiaries were also trained on 12th June 2015 and are in the process of implementing the Code and other policies across their respective teams. We expect all of our staff across the Group to have received the same training no later than 1st of January 2016, by which time we aim for a minimum 85% sign up rate from our more than 80,000 staff. Procedures and guidance are being prominently posted at accessible locations in all our operations for the benefit of staff and all other stakeholders.
AUDTING AND REPORTING
We are committed to ensuring we have a reliable auditing and reporting structure in place in each of our operations. Transparency, Anti-corruption and a respect for Human Rights are embedded in our core principles and we will continue to strive to perform in accordance with highest international standards.
We have appointed individuals or committees in each of our subsidiaries to take responsibility for regularly reporting any cases where there may be a breach of our Code of Conduct or Policies or other incidents relating to Health, Safety or the Environment. Furthermore, we have in place channels for Grievance complaints and Whistle-blowing providing staff or other stakeholders access to just consideration with anonymity guaranteed (unless legal requirements dictate otherwise in which case we will advise staff and provide them with the necessary support throughout the review process).
There is a central Group support team in place to provide advice, training and other guidance to all our subsidiaries and their staff. Details of procedures are outlined in Code of Conduct and Stand-alone policies. This support team is part of our Legal & Compliance Department and Human Resources Department.
Reports will be published in the public domain on an annual basis regarding our performance in respect to our Code of Conduct and Stand-alone policies.
ANTI-BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION
We have a zero tolerance policy towards, bribery, corruption or any form of facilitation payments. Since our new reporting structure has been implemented, we have not yet been notified of any such cases, although we intend to stringently enforce and monitor this policy.
Our grievance policy and procedures are being introduced across all subsidiaries. Training and information is being made available to all staff explaining their rights and channels for complaint. In such cases, no staff will suffer reprimand and can be assured their anonymity.
Procedures and guidance are being prominently posted at accessible locations in all our operations for the benefit of staff and all other stakeholders. We have not received notification of any grievances since implementation of the new policy, but are confident that the system will ensure our staff and stakeholders will do so as needed in future. We will continue to report on grievances annually.
HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENT
Our HSE policy is outlined in the Code of Conduct and in more details in our Stand-alone HSE policy. We have had a number of incidents reported over the last 12 months and hope to ensure all incidents are reported over the next 12 month cycle. We take the health and safety of our staff extremely seriously and will try to ensure all reasonable measures are implemented to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for our teams.
Cases that have been reported this year include:
An office cleaner was electrocuted as she switched off a water cooler machine. She was immediately taken to Yangon General Hospital Emergency in an office car with the help of 2 office staff trained in first aid. Following treatment she has made a full recovery and was allowed leave on full pay until she was diagnosed fit to return to work. Electricians were immediately directed to investigate the source of the accident to ensure such an event is not repeated.
Two executives were involved in a car accident after office hours on their way home from work. They suffered head and back injuries and were immediately taken to hospital for treatment. All costs were covered by KBZ Group.
A member of staff fell in the workplace and injured his right hand. He was sent to a clinic with the help of another member of his team for treatment. KBZ paid for all the medical expenses.
The reporting process is in its primacy, so we expect to reveal more cases in next year’s report. We believe that by monitoring and reporting on such cases, we can strive to ever improve safety in the workplace.
KBZ believes in fair and just remuneration, conducive working conditions and committing ourselves to the general wellbeing our staff. We aim to recruit and retain a talented and dedicated workforce and we put measures in place to try to do so. We welcome comments and ideas in this respect from staff or any other stakeholders through our Grievance or Whistle-blowing policies.
Respect for the Human Rights of all our employees is of paramount importance. We do not tolerate child labor, bonded labor, forced labor and comply with the highest international standards. We were recently granted membership of the UN Global Compact and fully intend to adhere to all its core principles. We have not received any reports of human rights incidents across our Group over the last 12 months.
LEGAL AND COMPLIANCE
KBZ strictly adheres to all laws in every jurisdiction in which it operates. We will not tolerate any member of staff, consultants, suppliers or any other partners/stakeholders behaving in any illegal manner in the same way we expect them to adhere to all other aspects of our Code of Conduct. We have not been informed of any such cases over the last 12 months.
We strongly urge all staff and other stakeholders to let us know if they witness or suspect any current or future act contrary to our Code of Conduct and key policies. Channels are clearly outlined in our Whistle-blowing policy and anonymity and protection from any form of reprisal is guaranteed. No cases have been reported over the last 12 months. Procedures and guidance are being prominently posted at accessible locations in all our operations for the benefit of staff and all other stakeholders.
We have an official policy for procedures in respect to procurement as outlined in our procurement policy. We have been reported no breaches of these procedures over the last 12 months.
KBZ has a clear policy in terms of land acquisition. KBZ Group has only purchased or leased land in virgin territory or in townships until now and has not had any need to resettle communities. Details of its land ownership (or leaseholds) is as follows:
Banking – Over 300 branches across the country all in municipal areas. A combination of freehold and leasehold properties. No previous disputes over land ownership or leasehold agreements. Further details of branch locations available on request.
Agriculture – Myanmar Billion Group is carrying our paddy plantation in Ma U Bin Township in Ayeyarwaddy Division. Shwe Kanbawza has a palm plantation in Myeik, Thanintharyi Division. KBZ Agro Industry harvests coffee, mangos and oranges in Yatsauk Township in Shan State.
Mining – KBZ Group currently operates two mines. In Mong Hsu, Shan State, Nilar Yoma Company (KBZ) mines rubies and gems. It is also responsible for a number of fuel outlets. In Khamti, Sagaing Division, Shan Yoma Company (KBZ) mines rubies and jade. Kanbawza Power Mining Company (KBZ) also mines limestone and coal for a cement factory in Panpyet, Shan State.
Other subsidiaries own or lease office space from which they run operations as outlined in our corporate structure. Further details are available on request.
In all our activities, we constantly strive to limit any negative impact on the environment, looking not just towards damage limitation, but to introduce new technologies and contribute towards the wellbeing of the planet in years to come for the benefit of future generations. We already have an environment policy in place stressing the importance of looking for ‘Greener Ways of Doing Business’.
We are in the process of implementing audits of our subsidiaries to monitor and evaluate current processes and to implement improved systems where appropriate. Information and subsequent activities will feature in next year’s annual report.
As a Group KBZ is still in the process of conscientiously introducing its Code of Conduct, policies and auditing/monitoring and reporting processes. Although the Group has always endeavored to work to the highest ethical standards, the relative isolation of Myanmar businesses until recently has restricted our exposure to the latest international standards and processes. We want to ensure that we implement the very best standards and stand as a flag-bearer both for Myanmar and the international business community. We appreciate that this will take time for an organization as large as KBZ Group, but we are 100% committed to implementing processes as rapidly as possible and transparently report on all findings and activities. We anticipate that our Transparency Report for the next 12 months will be more extensive as training and systematic processes are more firmly embedded across the subsidiaries.