Ethics in action

Our ethics programme sets standards for good conduct, and our Ethics and Deontology Division works hard to ensure that we meet them. Aim: make every employee an effective, responsible stakeholder with respect for our company and for other people.

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Our ambition

SNCF is already a world leader in passenger mobility and freight transport and logistics. We plan to keep growing, becoming a major player in the industry and a worldwide standard-setter for all types of mobility.

Our ethics programme will help us meet this goal. It’s an integral part of our growth process and it permeates everything we do, both inside and outside the company. The programme is geared around four main priorities:

  • identify the principles of conduct we expect employees to follow and the best practices that result from them
  • disseminate these principles, promote them, live by them, and encourage others to live by them as well
  • ensure that we practice these principles, identify any shortcomings, and correct them, and
  • sanction inappropriate conduct.

Contact the Group Ethics Division

Our goals

By adopting an ethics programme, we’ve created a powerful tool to protect our long-term growth, look after our employees, and protect our company from all forms of inappropriate and unfair conduct. It also offers a sensible, deliberate approach to handling sensitive issues. Our ethics programme has three main goals:

  • make each employee an effective, responsible stakeholder who respects both our company and other people
  • help us protect SNCF, our image and our interests from every type of threat
  • give us the tools we need to better meet the expectations of the French State, transport organizing authorities, our clients and our suppliers, and to deepen their trust in us.

Looking back

In 1998, then-SNCF Chairman Louis Gallois created an oversight office to expand our ethics programme, and after careful consideration, in 2000 the office released its first tangible product—our original Code of Ethics. In late 2009, the oversight office became the Ethics Division, with its scope expanded to include all tasks required to promote ethical conduct at SNCF. In 2011, we released our Ethics Guide and created a whistle blower programme.

In 2014-15, we developed and deployed our first anti-corruption initiative, and in late 2016 we adopted our new SNCF Group Ethical Charter, which sets out 5 values and 11 principles of conduct. Also in 2016, we issued the Ethics Memo, a quick-reference version of the Charter, and in 2017 we applied the 8 anti-corruption measures required by France’s new Sapin II Act.

Our team

The Director of Ethics and Deontology reports to our Deputy CEO Financial Strategy. Once alerted to an internal or external ethics issue, the Director can take action in any SNCF department, working in partnership with experts throughout the group and supported by a team with expertise in many areas of ethics—purchasing, financial and/or accounting misconduct, business practices, harassment, discrimination and more.

Group Ethics Committee

We know how important ethical conduct is, both for employee development and for our technical, financial and business performance. That’s why we’ve created our own Group Ethics Committee to monitor and address all ethics issues arising within the group. The Committee’s responsibilities include:

  • making ethics policy recommendations to SNCF’s Executive Committee
  • ensuring that we adopt the right policies and take the right steps to help our employees learn the principles in the SNCF Ethics Guide, take ownership of them and comply with them
  • helping adapt the Ethics Guide to SNCF’s various divisions, business areas, functions and subsidiaries through adoption of codes of ethics and/or good conduct.
  • reviewing feedback from the Ethics and Deontology Division and making suggestions based on lessons learned
  • proposing ways of incorporating ethical principles into employee training, particularly during orientation and managerial internships