Working responsibly

Ethics, anti-bribery and corruption, and transparency

Our ability to do business relies on developing trust with our stakeholders, including investors, governments, business partners, suppliers and communities. This means we must always work in an ethical and transparent way.

Ethical business

Since our inception, we have maintained a strong stand on ethical matters. We seek to demonstrate leadership throughout our business and in our relationships with others. The way we act, day to day, is critical in realising opportunities, obtaining funding, implementing our plans, delivering value and maintaining our licence to operate.

Our position on ethical matters continues to grow in importance, with interest from investors, funding institutions and other stakeholders. Poor performance could result in negative impacts on people and communities, an inability to access opportunities and funding, and loss of reputation.

Code of Ethics

Together, our values, Business Principles and Code of Business Ethics form our integrated Group Code of Ethics (‘the Code’), which underpins the way we work. The Code details our Company position and provides guidance on issues including conflicts of interest, bribery and corruption, political contributions, tax principles, insider trading, and competition and anti-trust. The Code is integrated into our corporate responsibility (CR) policies and forms part of our CRMS.

Every employee is required to sign up to the terms of the Code and abide by them in all their business activities. Internal audits conducted by independent parties regularly assess our compliance with different elements of the Code.

In turn, we require contractors and service providers working on our behalf to comply with the Code, and we audit them against it to ensure consistent application.

Anti-bribery and corruption

Our robust anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) policies are increasingly important as we start to operate in new areas of the world where standards of transparency may be less developed. We assess our potential partners and contractors to ensure they apply compatible standards, clear expectations, and effective control and reporting mechanisms.

We have a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption, as detailed in our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy. Our ABC procedures cover a wide range of risks, ranging from facilitation payments to receipt of gifts and hospitality.   

Employees are encouraged to report any incident they believe may compromise our Code of Ethics through our whistleblowing procedure. They can speak directly to their regional director, use a confidential phone line or contact the charity Public Concern at Work. Where appropriate, independent investigations are conducted.

Transparency and reporting

We continue to engage in and report on our business activities transparently and openly. Relevant information and regular announcements are provided via the investor area of our website, and through investor meetings and roadshows, most of which were held remotely during 2020.

As a listed public company, we continue to report annually in line with UK regulations. We are committed to responsible and transparent reporting, and have been recognised for the quality of our work in this area. We report against the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards at a ‘Core’ level.

Payments to governments

We support financial transparency in our industry because we believe it will lead to long-term sustainable growth and build greater trust in Cairn.

We continue to participate in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which commits oil and gas companies to transparency about tax contributions and other payments to governments.