UniCredit Group and restorative justice
Sep 03, 2009
by Dan Van Ness
UniCredit Group is a European company whose mission is "to create a new way of banking by thriving to serve our clients with innovative solutions." It has 168,000 employees operating in 10,000 branches in 22 countries in both Eastern and Western Europe.
According to its website, UniCredit Group began a process called "Values Laboratory" in 2003 that engaged over 1500 people in an attempt to articulate the principles that would enable the company to create a corporate culture that contributed to both profitability and sustainability.
It identified "three spheres of justice" that guide behaviours of the Group and its employees. The first consists of laws and government regulations imposed on the business. The second consists of the various agreements, customary practices, contracts and so forth that are adopted within companies. The third sphere are the values of the Group. These guide individual decision-making within the context of the guidance of the first two spheres.
This third sphere is outlined in an Integrity Charter that articulates the key organizational values and suggests how they apply to colleagues (employees), customers and suppliers, investors and the communities within which the Group works. The website explains:
The Charter focuses on the notion of Integrity because, as a key driver of social legitimacy and reputation, only integrity can deliver Sustainability.
Sustainability, in turn, allows profit to be transformed into value for our Stakeholders. We are keenly aware that a business can be a part of the market only to the extent that it has the reputation to keep it there.
With the aim to guarantee the proper application of the Integrity Charter, we have designed the Restorative Justice System. This System promotes individual responsibility and the voluntary resolution of matters between parties and it is supported by a Groupwide “Ombudsman” network that works to resolve matters in which the Values of the Integrity Charter may have been compromised.
The Ombudsmen are internal appointees completely independent who report directly to the Group’s Chairman and they are responsible for assessing the validity of the claims in each case.
Every year all people who work for UniCredit Group are involved in the Integrity Charter Day, the annual Group event devoted to remember and discuss about the importance of the Integrity Charter and of its implications in every day working life.