Ethics and compliance

Ahlstrom is committed to conduct its business in an ethical and honest manner around the world.

Ahlstrom is committed to conduct its business in an ethical and honest manner around the world. We have a comprehensive Compliance Framework which is dynamic, reflecting changes in legal requirements where we operate. The Compliance Framework helps us to understand and put into practice our ethical values and to describe the process for reporting and investigating allegations of misconduct.  

Ahlstrom’s Code of Conduct is the foundation for all the policies within the Ahlstrom Compliance Framework. Other key policies included in the Compliance Framework are:

  • Approval & Signing Policy 
  • Anti-bribery Policy
  • Competition and Anti-trust Policy 
  • Donation Policy 
  • Trade Compliance Policy 
  • Insider Rules 
  • Risk Management Policy

The goal of these and other related policies is to ensure that Ahlstrom’s compliance standards meet or exceed the requirements of changing anti-bribery, environmental, trade and export regulations as well as other laws affecting international commerce. To reinforce compliance, 185 employees participated in compliance trainings organized by our Legal function and 151 in trade compliance training courses in 2015.

The Code of Conduct is available in eight languages, while an e-learning program can be completed in English, German and Chinese. The program is part of the induction process for all new employees.

We have designed our processes to promote an effective application of the Code of Conduct throughout our global business operations. In a consistent manner, we have aligned our Supplier Code of Conduct with the Code of Conduct to integrate our principal suppliers into Ahlstrom’s compliance efforts. It has been successfully implemented with our main raw material suppliers. Our Anti-Bribery Policy clarifies the rules that we follow in relation to bribery and other corrupt practices such as facilitation payments, kickbacks and secret rebates, and defined our approach with respect to gifts, expenses and hospitality, and donations.

We also have a separate Human Rights Policy, which is aligned with the principles of the ISO26000 social responsibility standard and is derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our policy commits us to supporting human rights throughout our value chain and not only in our own operations and suppliers but also with our customers.

The Code of Conduct, Supplier Code of Conduct and Human Rights Policy can be obtained from our website

 Our human rights policy



In 2015, we launched a system known as SpeakUp for all employees to report unethical or unlawful behavior. The reports may be anonymously completed in 13 languages by phone or to an external service provider’s website. Ahlstrom’s Chief Compliance Officer evaluates the information received and decides the appropriate course of action. All reports are managed with utmost confidentiality.

The reported number of grievances was 12 in 2015 and all cases were appropriately investigated. There were no fines or non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with rules and regulations and zero incidents for human rights violations. Business areas and functions are mainly responsible for implementing compliance as there is no specific compliance function at Ahlstrom. The Chief Compliance Officer oversees the implementation and the Legal, Human Resources and Finance functions assist the CCO in compliance related matters.  

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