Ethics and Compliance
The Nature Conservancy established an Ethics and Compliance Office in 2004 to help assure that all of its activities are lawful, ethical, and consistent with “Integrity Beyond Reproach,” a core Conservancy value. The Ethics and Compliance Office is staffed by a Chief and a Deputy Compliance Officer. The Chief Compliance Officer reports directly to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.
The Office has four core areas of responsibility: training, policy and procedure development and oversight, risk assessment, and investigations of noncompliance. In addition to investigating allegations of noncompliance made directly by staff and others, the Office manages a Hotline which is available to all employees to make anonymous reports of, or inquiries about, compliance issues. The Office provides regular compliance training to every Conservancy employee, members of the Board of Directors, Chapter Trustees, and other volunteer advisors.
In 2013 and 2014, the Ethisphere Institute named The Nature Conservancy one of the World's Most Ethical Companies.
Code of Conduct
At The Nature Conservancy we value above all else the highest ethical conduct of all employees, Board members, Chapter trustees and other volunteers. The Conservancy is guided by five organizational values: Integrity Beyond Reproach; One Conservancy; Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures; Commitment to Diversity; and Tangible Lasting Results. These values are reflected in the Conservancy’s Policies and Standard Operating Procedures, which are incorporated into this Code of Conduct.
As part of our Code of Conduct, every Conservancy employee and volunteer acting on behalf of the Conservancy is expected to comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations in every country, state, or locality in which the Conservancy operates. If there is a conflict between the law and Conservancy policies, employees and volunteers are expected to comply with the stricter of the two unless to do so would be a violation of the law. Employees and volunteers are expected to comply with this Code of Conduct and are required to report, promptly, any violations or perceived violations.
Policies and Procedures
In addition to its Code of Conduct, the Conservancy has a Policies and Procedures Manual that provides clear direction to achieve the Conservancy's mission in accordance with the highest legal and ethical standards. Compliance with the Manual is overseen by the Ethics and Compliance Office. The Manual includes, among others, policies and procedures on Conflicts of Interest; Confidential Information; Lobbying Limitations; Participation in Candidate Elections; Reporting Suspected Violations of Law or Policy (Whistleblower Policy); Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Diversity; Workplace Harassment Prevention and Reporting; and Records Management.