It is the policy of Ahlstrom to comply throughout the organization with all applicable laws and regulations and to maintain an ethical workplace for its officers and employees as well as an ethical relationship with its customers, suppliers and other business partners.
The Board of Directors has approved the Code of Conduct and the key compliance policies for the company. The company’s compliance approach is based on the following elements:
- Management commitment and leadership on compliance
- The Code of Conduct and other key compliance policies
- Compliance controls, monitoring, communication, education and training
- Whistleblowing channel
- Disciplinary actions
The Board of Directors, assisted by its Audit Committee, is responsible for overseeing how compliance is organized and managed at the company. The Chief Compliance Officer is responsible for supporting the Board and senior management in implementing compliance.
The Board of Directors and the CEO have the overall responsibility for the internal controls. The CEO is responsible for ensuring that processes and procedures are available to safeguard the internal controls and quality in financial reporting. The structure and steering documents in the form of policies, guidelines and instructions provide the basis for ensuring the maintenance of quality in the internal controls and financial reporting. The divisions and group functions are responsible for applying these policies and guidelines to achieve efficient and appropriate controls on the basis of their individual circumstances and operational contexts.
Ahlstrom’s Internal Audit is an independent and objective assurance function with the purpose to improve the effectiveness of the business processes and to ensure compliance with company’s policies and procedures and applicable laws and regulations. It evaluates and improves the effectiveness of the control, risk management and governance processes, and facilitates the implementation of best practices to ensure that various risk management, control and governance processes are adequate and functioning as planned.
The Audit Committee is responsible to oversee that the Internal Audit is properly organized. Since 2017, Ahlstrom’s Internal Audit function has been outsourced to a global service provider with relevant expertise in this area. Administratively, Internal Audit reports to the CEO and CFO as well as to the Audit Committee. Internal Audit conducts regular process audits, site and subsidiary audits as well as audits at other Group units in accordance with the audit plan approved by the Audit Committee. Internal Audit reports regularly on its activities to the Audit Committee and to the Executive Management Team. It also makes recommendations to the Executive Management Team members and local management based on its observations and monitors the implementation of the action plans made based on its recommendations. Internal Audit is coordinated with the work of other assurance functions to avoid overlapping and to identify any gaps in controlling and monitoring.