In IHG, we believe that strong ethics and good business should go together naturally. We are committed to operating our company with integrity and in accordance with the highest ethical standards.
Our reputation is built upon the trust and confidence of all our stakeholders, and is an integral part of our vision to make IHG one of the very best companies in the world.
This Code of Ethics and Business Conduct ('The Code of Conduct') sets out the principles and standards describing how we should work and behave, wherever we are in the world. It applies to all directors, officers and employees of IHG, and should be read together with the company's core values (our 'Winning Ways').
We must all uphold our responsibility to behave ethically and protect the reputation of our company. These principles lie at the heart of who we are, and nothing should ever compromise our commitment to honesty and integrity.
Responsibility for Compliance with the Code of Conduct
All directors, officers and employees are responsible for abiding by this Code of Conduct. This includes responsibility for the failure to exercise proper supervision and the responsibility to report a violation by subordinates. Disciplinary action may, when appropriate, include dismissal.
The standards set out in The Code of Conduct are necessarily general and do not address each and every situation that may confront employees throughout the world. Where appropriate, guidance should always be sought from management. In addition, the Company Secretary and Group Internal Audit are available on a confidential basis as independent sources of advice.
Health and Safety
We are all responsible for helping to maintain a safe and healthy working environment in line with local laws and regulations and in accordance with our internal standards.
We recruit and promote individuals based solely on their suitability for the job without discriminating on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status or disability unrelated to the role. In some countries these principles may be modified by national legal requirements on affirmative action.
We will not tolerate harassment of any employee by any person, for any reason.
We are committed to preserving and protecting the environment and to economic growth and prosperity. These goals are not only consistent but mutually reinforcing. Protecting the environment is an investment in all our futures. We are also committed to constructive participation with all stakeholders in the ongoing process of sustainable growth.
Conflicts of Interest
We must always act in the best interests of IHG and avoid any personal preference or advantage. This includes situations where personal, family or financial interests conflict with those of IHG, or where an employee holds an interest in an organisation seeking to do business with the Group. If you encounter a potential conflict of interest you must disclose the details and stand back from any related decision-making process. In addition, you should avoid apparent conflicts of interest which occur where a reasonable observer might assume there is a conflict of interest and, therefore, a loss of objectivity in your dealings on behalf of the Group.
Relationships with Business Partners
It is in IHG's best interests to establish mutually beneficial commercial relationships with our guests, suppliers and business partners. Offering or accepting gifts, entertainment or personal favours is only acceptable if their value is modest and the practice is consistent with local business culture. You should not accept gifts, entertainment or favours which might place you under any obligation or which would reasonably be viewed as influencing business transactions. Any gift or hospitality of more than token value must be reported to senior management who will determine whether it can be accepted.
The Group is committed to open, free and fair competition in all our markets. We will compete vigorously but honestly, observing all competition and anti-trust laws. Guidance on competition and anti-trust compliance can be found in regional competition law and anti-trust compliance manuals and guidelines.
We will not tolerate fraud of any description. You have an obligation to report any suspicions of fraud in accordance with the Disclosure Procedures detailed at the end of this Code of Conduct.
Property, Assets and Resources
IHG resources must be protected and must not be used for personal gain. This includes tangible assets such as stocks, equipment and cash, in addition to intangible items such as intellectual property, computer systems and confidential information. Information held within the Group such as business plans, pricing, financial data and guest details remain the property of IHG and must not be disclosed outside the Group without prior permission. The storage and use of guest data may be further subject to data privacy regulations which must be complied with.
Political Activity and Contributions
We are all free to take part personally in political activities in our own time. However, we must not create the impression that we represent the Group in these matters. In dealing with regulatory and public policy issues that affect the Group, we do not make party political donations but deal with the government of the day on matters which concern the business.
Records, Disclosure and Communications
As a publicly listed Group, we are required to comply with the rules relating to disclosure of material and price-sensitive information under the relevant UK and US legislation, and the rules and guidance of the United Kingdom Listing Authority and the New York Stock Exchange.
In accordance with our disclosure obligations, financial communications and reports will be delivered in a manner that facilitates the highest degree of clarity of content and meaning so that readers and users will be able to quickly and accurately determine their significance and consequence. Matters relating to the activities and performance of the Group must not be discussed with representatives of the media unless specifically authorised as part of your role. Our Group Communications department will co-ordinate any announcements, statements or responses to questions from the media, particularly those which relate to share price or commercially sensitive information.
If you are in possession of confidential price-sensitive information which has not been made public and could affect our share price you may not buy or sell shares in IHG, or provide such information to third parties for that purpose. In addition, certain employees may not deal in IHG securities at any stage during pre-defined 'close' periods. The full details of this policy can be found in the Code of Practice for Dealing in IHG plc Securities.
We are committed to compliance with the laws and regulations of the countries and jurisdictions in which we operate. In the unlikely event that a local law or regulation conflicts with the Code of Conduct, you should continue to comply with the law but you must report the circumstances of the conflict according to the Disclosure Procedures detailed at the end of this Code of Conduct.
The Group provides the following stepped approach for raising questions or concerns over interpretation or violation of the Code of Conduct. We do not permit retaliation against employees making good faith reports of suspected breaches of the Code of Conduct.