Compliance means conformity with requirements, i.e. complying with laws and other regulations as well as with the company's internal codes of conduct and policies. Ethical corporate culture, in turn, refers to company’s core values which aim to promote ethical and responsible conduct and bring real added value to the company’s business. Compliance is a broad term which in practice covers all legal regulation. It includes, among others, codes of conduct, anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws, competition laws, securities market legislation, data protection and privacy, environmental legislation, supplier codes of conduct, human rights, anti-money laundering legislation as well as health and occupational safety legislation.
There is no “one size fits all” in compliance. Each company must define what compliance means to them, which areas of compliance are the most essential for the company’s business and which areas are most likely prone to compliance risks. The risk assessment is affected by the company's line of business, geographic location and operational environment, markets and competition, customers, business partners and possible actions with authorities. Understanding the big picture as well as ability to prioritize are both essential. Above all, compliance is about building trust and ensuring that the company and its management and employees are committed to do the right thing and run the company’s business in compliance with laws and regulations as well as company’s internal policies and guidelines.