Building Trust in the Workplace
We build trust and succeed together. Respect for each other in the workplace, combined with our commitment to following our values, this Code, and company policies, is a powerful foundation for achieving our collective goals.
We build trust by...
We Build Trust with a Respectful Work Environment
Show respect for all
At Alcon, we treat others with fairness, respect, and dignity, we encourage diversity, we welcome a wide range of ideas and perspectives, and we foster an inclusive culture. We value one another’s contributions as well as the strengths that come from our differences.
Alcon expects you to be respectful, act professionally, and demonstrate courtesy, consideration, and sensitivity to the dignity and values of others when interacting with colleagues, guests, business partners, customers, government representatives, and other Alcon business contacts. This is true regardless of where the interactions occur (for example, at Alcon facilities, customer or vendor offices, business trip destinations, or work-related social events).
We expect our work environment to be safe, respectful, and free of improper conduct. Simply put, we expect and insist that our associates are both respected and respectful.
No improper conduct
We expect our work environment to be free of improper conduct; physical or verbal harassment or mistreatment in any form is unacceptable. Similarly, Alcon will not tolerate any harassing or other improper conduct directed at its associates by others with whom the company does business.
We are committed to treating associates and job applicants fairly. It is our policy that skills, qualifications, and other job-related and business criteria are the basis for all employment-related decisions (including hiring, promotion, termination, compensation and benefits, and access to training, development, and transfer). We are an equal opportunity employer. We provide a workplace that is free from discrimination related to age, race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, nationality, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, characteristics, or expression, genetic information, disability (mental or physical), marital or domestic partnership status, political belief, creed, religion, covered veteran or military status, and any other status or characteristic protected by law.
Integrity In Action
We Build Trust with a Safe Work Environment
We are committed to providing a healthy and physically safe work environment for our associates and visitors.
Health and Safety
We continually assess the health and safety impact and risks associated with our business activities. Our health and safety policies and procedures are designed to help people work safely and prevent injuries. Regardless of your role or work area, we expect you to:
- Know and follow the health and safety requirements that apply to your job
- Conduct yourself in a manner that promotes and protects your own health and safety, and that of your co-workers and guests, whether you are conducting business in the workplace, at an Alcon facility, in the marketplace, or on the roadways, and
- Speak up promptly about any accident or personal injury and any situation or condition that poses a potential safety threat (for example, a request to do a task you consider unsafe, or suspicion that any equipment, tool, and/or vehicle is not operating appropriately and may be unsafe).
We maintain a drug-free workplace at all locations. You are expected to comply at all times with company policies regarding use or possession of drugs or alcohol.
We take proactive precautions at our facilities to minimize security risks to associates and visitors. Violence and threats of violence are not acceptable in the workplace.
You must not possess or use firearms or other weapons while conducting Alcon business and while on Alcon-owned or leased property, unless specifically authorized under applicable local law and local company policy. This prohibition applies even if you are licensed to carry a firearm.
You are expected to report promptly to the company any security concerns, including actual or threats of violence in the workplace.
Integrity In Action
We Build Trust by Managing Conflicts of Interest Appropriately
You must conduct Alcon business dealings ethically, fairly, and in the best interest of Alcon. A conflict of interest exists whenever your personal interests or relationships conflict, or may appear to conflict, with Alcon’s business interests. You must not engage in activities that present conflicts of interest.
When you encounter a situation that presents a possible conflict of interest, you must either avoid or decline the opportunity, or follow the Alcon conflict of interest disclosure process. After you disclose the situation to the company, your manager will advise you of the appropriate action. In some cases, the action may be permitted, with conditions.
The following are examples of actual or potential conflicts of interest that require company evaluation. Click on each box to learn more:
Outside Business interests
Outside business interests you or your spouse, domestic partner, or immediate family member has that may conflict with Alcon interests, such as:
- Owning, participating in (for example, as an officer, member of a board of directors, or a consultant), or being employed by another company that does, or seeks to do the following:
- Compete with Alcon
- Buy goods or services or receive grants or donations from Alcon
- Supply goods or services to Alcon
- Distribute our products
- Enter into a joint venture or another type of business partnership with Alcon
- Personal financial interests or prospective investments that could be significant enough to pose a conflict with independent business judgments you make for Alcon (e.g., investments in a customer, competitor, supplier, distributor, or business partner, or in opportunities learned of through Alcon), or
- Accepting other outside responsibilities that interfere with your ability to perform your job at Alcon.
Accepting or soliciting anything of any material value for personal benefit
Accepting or soliciting anything of any material value for personal benefit (such as payments, gifts, travel, entertainment, favors, or personal services) from another company that has any tie to Alcon or Alcon business interests. There is no conflict of interest if the thing of value is generally available to all Alcon associates.
Any close personal relationship
Any close personal relationship with a co-worker whose career advancement, compensation, or other term or condition of employment you have the ability to influence; or any close personal relationship with a business partner, customer, or competitor.
Use of Alcon assets (both physical and intangible) for inappropriate purposes
Use of Alcon assets (both physical and intangible) for inappropriate purposes, such as for personal business gain or the benefit of family and friends, political purposes, or to benefit or solicit for charitable organizations or endeavors not initiated by Alcon. You may use Alcon resources for incidental personal use only if this does not interfere with company business, your job performance, or that of others, and does not violate restrictions in this Code or a company policy.
Integrity In Action
We Build Trust by Managing Information and Resources Properly
Click each topic below to learn about managing information and resources properly:
Alcon provides you with the resources you need to do your job, including company information, information technology systems, funds, and physical assets. You must use company resources appropriately for Alcon business purposes, and obtain appropriate company authorization for expenditures or other transactions where required.
You are expected to report promptly to the company any theft of or damage to company assets.
If you are involved in contracting for Alcon, you must follow applicable company processes and verify contract provisions accurately reflect the nature, value, and content of the proposed transactions and relationships.
Our business success depends in part on the appropriate protection and use of confidential information. Confidential information is information that is not currently known or generally available to the public. It may be information owned by or relating to Alcon, or other organizations or individuals.
Examples of Alcon confidential information include (but are not limited to): research information, product design details, manufacturing methods, non-public financial results, business plans and strategies, potential licensing and acquisition agreements, and legal memoranda and advice. From time to time, Alcon is also entrusted with confidential information that belongs to third parties.
To safeguard confidential information:
- Never disclose confidential information to anyone not authorized to receive it, whether inside or outside of Alcon
- Use sound, professional judgment to determine whether information is confidential; consult a supervisor or company lawyer if there is any doubt about whether information is confidential in nature
- Mark and handle Alcon confidential information appropriately given its categorization
- Protect confidential information against risks of theft, loss, misuse, and unauthorized modification or disclosure
- When creating or modifying information, verify the accuracy of any resulting company records
- Do not discuss confidential information in places where the conversation may be overheard and do not display it in areas that could allow inappropriate access (for example, in public areas at Alcon facilities, airports, airplanes, restaurants, lobbies, elevators, and restrooms), and
- Report promptly any information security incidents to Alcon information technology security associates.
You must also respect the intellectual property rights and confidential information of third parties by:
- Not obtaining confidential information of third parties by improper means (including from individuals under an obligation of confidentiality, such as consultants, vendors, or current or former employees of the third party), and
- Not using materials of external parties in a manner inconsistent with the rules governing intellectual property rights, including copyrights.
Consult a member of the legal department if you have a business need to disclose confidential information. A confidentiality agreement may be required, with a signature from the third party and approval from a member of the legal department.
Special company approval processes also apply to disclosures that will be made:
- Involving private personal information
- In a forum accessible by the public, such as in scientific publications, financial disclosures, presentations at conferences, press releases, and social media, or
- To government authorities.
Consult with a member of the legal department if you have questions about the proper process.
You are expected to use only approved company communication platforms when exchanging substantive electronic communications related to Alcon associates, customers, and the conduct of Alcon business. You should not use unapproved communications platforms, including but not limited to ephemeral platforms where the communications delete automatically, to conduct substantive electronic communications.
Communications related to Alcon associates, customers, and the conduct of Alcon business made over any social media platform (e.g., Facebook or LinkedIn) or received through an unapproved communications platform must comply with applicable company policies. Our policies govern who may communicate, what is communicated, what approvals are required, and what must be retained.
Inventions you make using Alcon information and assets are Alcon’s property. You must submit details about inventions and ideas you make on behalf of Alcon to the legal department for study and review and cooperate fully in protecting these company assets. The company decides whether to obtain patents or maintain them as trade secrets.
Another way we build trust is by properly using and protecting personal information entrusted to us by patients, consumers, healthcare professionals, other customers and business partners, and associates. Individuals who provide us with their personal information depend on Alcon to protect their data and privacy; we must honor their trust.
If information could identify an individual, either independently or when used in combination with other information within Alcon’s control, you must collect, use, store, handle, and disclose it only with appropriate notice or consent (where consent is legally required) and in accordance with the company’s detailed privacy and data protection policies (global and local). Direct any questions to your manager or to Alcon Legal.
Integrity In Action