AKVATERA LT, UAB is a modern, specialized pet food factory, which has been successfully operating since 2004. The factory facilities are among the most modern in Eastern Europe. From the very beginning, the factory has invested not only in modern technology, but also in the qualifications of its employees. The recipes for the products are based on the latest research based on animal nutrition requirements and global standards. AKVATERA LT, UAB supplies a wide range of products with original and customer brands to the largest Lithuanian retail chains, zoo stores, and exports them to 50 different countries around the world.
We, AKVATERA LT, UAB (hereinafter – the Company), seek to create benefits for our customers, employees, society, shareholders and are responsible for our actions that affect the environment around us, so we must be honest, ethical and comply with applicable laws in all areas of activity.
The corporate responsibility of our Company is defined by the Business Ethics Code, which discloses how we build business relationships and adhere to standards of conduct in our dealings with employees, customers, partners, suppliers, government organizations and institutions, and the public. In all markets and countries in which we operate, we strive to develop our business in a fair and transparent manner and to adhere to high standards of business ethics.
We expect our employees to follow the laws and by-laws of the Republic of Lithuania, the Company’s values and help nurture them in their daily actions and decisions. This code sets out some of the principles of ethical conduct, so if you find yourself in a situation that is not described, we hope that employees will be able to make the right choices and apply the advice given and will also seek advice from their manager.
WHO DOES THE CODE APPLY TO?
The Business Ethics Code is intended for all employees, partners, suppliers and other stakeholders with whom we cooperate. We must ensure a constant ability to adapt to new working methods and rules of conduct, and we strive to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability, so these principles are at the heart of our business relationships.
To establish the general provisions and principles of the Company’s business ethics, as well as the main guidelines for their implementation and the resolution of potential conflicts of interest. To develop employee responsibility for their actions. To inform and educate on issues related to ethics and conduct in the business environment to protect employees from conflict situations and unethical behaviour. To this end, we define cases of intolerable behaviour.
ENSURING COMPLIANCE WITH THE CODE
The Company has daily contacts with a variety of stakeholders on a variety of issues: customers, employees, business partners, competitors, shareholders, governmental and regulatory authorities, non-governmental organizations, and local communities. That is why we apply extremely high standards of business ethics. We are fully committed to ensuring quality, service, ethics and fair dealing with others inside and outside the Company and to complying with all applicable laws and regulations. AKVATERA LT, UAB provides information channels through which employees, customers, business partners, suppliers and other interested parties can report behaviour that violates the principles enshrined in the Business Ethics Code.
The Company conducts its activities honestly, ethically and in compliance with all legal acts. We respect human rights and advocate healthy working conditions, we do not tolerate corruption. Good and business-like relations are important in forming a good reputation of the Company, therefore we are open to the public and civic.
FAIR TREATMENT OF EMPLOYEES
We aim to be an attractive employer for current and future employees, able to attract, educate, improve and retain qualified, talented and motivated people in a professional work environment. We treat all employees with respect and fairness.
We select employees according to their competence, professionalism and values, according to which we also determine the limits of responsibility and form tasks.
We aim to create a work environment where individuals are respected regardless of individual differences, talents or personal characteristics, and employees ’work is valued in terms of performance and value behaviour. Managers must communicate politely with subordinates and give them clear and understandable instructions.
Employees are encouraged to maintain a working and friendly environment in the Company, to prevent conflicts, to address the causes of disagreements, and to be polite, helpful and orderly.
Employees must limit the Company’s costs as much as possible so that the available resources are used in the most rational way.
We strive to create and continuously improve a safe and healthy work environment, create equal opportunities to become members of the AKVATERA LT, UAB team, improve as professionals, achieve good work results and constantly participate in the implementation of common goals.
We are confident that employees are the greatest value of the Company, the creative force that drives us forward.
Every employee must have a good understanding of their role in the Company. Work is accounted for fairly and transparently.
We part with our employees honourably.
Outside work, employees are encouraged to follow generally accepted standards of conduct.
For us, respect is the foundation of a personal and business relationship. Our goal is to bring together a team that brings together people of different nationalities, cultures, races, religions, political views, material status, education, age, sexual orientation, marital status, gender, appearance, physical and intellectual abilities.
We do not tolerate any discrimination, humiliation, harassment or insult based on the gender, age, nationality, race, religious and political beliefs or other personal characteristics of employees. All employees have equal conditions to work and improve in the Company, and their work is evaluated according to the results.
We do not support the use of children or forced labour.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
We try to provide safe and healthy conditions in the workplace and constantly improve them, we ensure the safety of work processes, we take into account the factors harmful to health and dangerous in the work environment, and we implement preventive measures. In the work environment of AKVATERA LT, UAB, the safety rules applicable to it apply, which are established by laws and internal legal acts of the company.
Every employee is acquainted with the work safety rules in detail before starting work in the Company. We encourage employees to update this knowledge on a regular basis.
We work in an area where the safety of employees is of paramount importance, so we strictly adhere to the established occupational safety requirements, constantly improve the working environment, implement preventive measures in order to minimize the factors that may adversely affect the health or safety of employees.
Every employee must inform management if they see a threat to safety in any area, suggest ways to improve the work environment.
We respect the privacy of our employees. We collect, store and use personal data of our employees in accordance with the law.
It is important to ensure the protection of confidential information of the Company. Confidential information includes non-public property, financial and technical information, as well as data on shareholders, employees and customers and suppliers. The employee must know which information is confidential and, if in doubt, must find out.
In accordance with the law, the Company may review, regularly inspect and store all data, information and correspondence, monitor the employee’s workplace and other areas of the organization, and use the communication tools provided by the organization.
The Company does not interfere in the personal lives of employees, but in their daily personal activities, employees must not damage the reputation of the employer and refrain from any actions that may cause dissatisfaction or mistrust of business partners, customers or the public.
ALCOHOL AND OTHER PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES
We strive to ensure the safety of employees and the quality of work performed, as well as a healthy environment for employees, partners and customers. Employees are prohibited from using alcohol, illegal drugs, alcohol or drug abuse at work.
Employees who do not adhere to this ethical principle are warned and may be fired.
MANAGEMENT OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
When starting to work for the Company, each employee must inform whether he or she does not engage in and does not intend to engage in activities that may cause a conflict of interest. We strive for employees to express their interests openly and honestly. Employees must avoid activities that are contrary to the legitimate interests of AKVATERA LT, UAB or cast doubt on the employee’s loyalty. The employee must inform their manager if they intend to take up employment, engage in other professional activities, become a member of the management bodies or participate in other active activities outside the company, to check whether such activities will not cause a conflict of interest.
Employees must act honestly, responsibly, unselfishly and avoid situations that could create conflicts of interest. Employees should not have direct control over family members, relatives or other persons working in the Company with whom the employee has a close personal relationship. The employee should not make decisions at work that could directly affect the situation of the said persons.
ENTERTAINMENT, GIFTS AND BRIBERY
We comply with anti-corruption laws and regulations. It is not acceptable to us that under any circumstances AKVATERA LT, UAB would be involved in non-transparent relations with business or government institutions or their extreme form – bribery. A bribe may be the giving or receiving of a financial or other valuable consideration, so gifts and entertainment may be considered bribes in certain circumstances.
Employees may not accept or give gifts, offer or accept entertainment, or other personal benefits that could in any way affect their activities in connection with the Company’s activities. Gifts of hospitality and business contacts may not include the provision or receipt of money, loans, support, travel, job offers, compensation, discounts on goods, services, or any other valuable consideration.
Offering, promising or accepting a bribe, directly or indirectly, is intolerable. Any such action must be reported immediately to the direct manager or the Company’s management.
AKVATERA LT, UAB ASSETS
We use the Company’s assets: tools, materials, time and other resources only to pursue the Company’s business interests. In cases where employees are allowed to use the organization’s assets for personal purposes, employees must ensure that the employee’s activities do not violate law, public order and good morals, do not harm the Company’s business interests and do not waste the organization’s resources.
We are constantly looking for effective solutions to optimize the use of funds.
We use only legal and legally acquired software and production equipment. Computer systems and equipment are intended for use directly for work-related purposes. Employees are not permitted to download illegal or inappropriate content or programs from the Internet or store them on employees’ computers and other company media.
The Company collects and stores confidential information about activities (processes, products, etc.), about employees, customers and business partners. It is the duty of each employee to protect such confidential information from disclosure.
Employees may share this non-public information only with those collaborators who need to know that information for work purposes. This information may be disclosed to third parties only if this is necessary for the performance of the organisation’s activities or is required by applicable law to ensure the confidentiality of the recipients. The personal data of all employees, customers and business partners is collected, stored, used and stored in strict compliance with the law.
The obligation to protect confidential and non-public information remains with employees upon termination of their employment with the Company.
PROTECTION OF PERSONAL DATA
The Company respects the privacy of its employees, customers, partners and other persons whose data are processed and implements technical and organizational safeguards in the Company to ensure that personal data is processed lawfully and no more than is necessary to achieve the purposes of personal data processing. In carrying out its activities, the Company processes personal data in accordance with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Law on the Legal Protection of Personal Data of the Republic of Lithuania and other applicable legal acts.
BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS
Our goal is to ensure that all of our business and financial records are accurate. All documents of our Group are prepared in accordance with legal requirements and good business practices.
The accuracy and completeness of business and financial records is the responsibility of each employee, not just those in the accounting and analytics departments. Employees of the organization are strictly prohibited from falsifying documents, distorting or concealing the true nature of transactions or operations. Staff must ensure that all reports submitted to external bodies are correct, accurate and timely.
The documents are part of the Company’s assets, so every employee must treat them as responsibly as with all other work equipment.
FAIR BEHAVIOR IN SOCIETY
Our goal is to ensure sustainable, long-term and successful operations by reconciling the interests of shareholders, the Company, employees, customers, business partners and the public. Good and business-like relations with these organizations and individuals are very important for us in shaping the Company’s reputation and maintaining the smooth implementation of goals. Our connections and communications must be professional, transparent, and should not exceed established confidentiality.
Customer relations are the most important thing for us, our goal is to be the first choice for our customers. We work and strive for them, so we strive to maintain impeccable professional relationships with our clients. This means we work to meet the needs and expectations of our customers, being honest with them. We welcome feedback and evaluation from our customers. We take their comments into account and react quickly.
RELATIONS WITH BUSINESS PARTNERS
We are constantly expanding the circle of partners both in Lithuania and abroad. We are trying to strengthen the relationship. We give priority to sustainable, long-term cooperation. Also, for those partners whose understanding of business ethics does not conflict with our principles. Our goal is to build constructive and mutually beneficial relationships with business partners. Therefore, we communicate in a business-like manner, adhering to business ethics, without forgetting our goals. We operate on the basis of trust and agreement. We expect business partners to compete fairly in their business.
Business partners should not offer gifts or other benefits to our employees that could affect the objectivity of our employees toward our business partners.
We protect the confidential information entrusted to us by our business partners and use it only to the extent agreed with the business partner or required by law.
RELATIONS WITH COMPETITORS
We respect all stakeholders in our business, including our competitors. We keep in touch with them as much as we would like them to do with us.
We realize that competition is one of the biggest drivers of business efficiency. Knowing your competitors is an important part of our business, ensuring our competitiveness in the market. We collect, use and share information about our competitors and their activities only through legal and ethical means.
We do not seek a competitive advantage through illegal or unethical means. We operate in competitive markets, so we constantly compete in compliance with the laws and regulations governing competition and the fair functioning of the market.
RELATIONS WITH STATE INSTITUTIONS AND GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES
We always comply with the law and provide all necessary information to the authorities and respond to comments. We apply extremely strict and high standards of transparency in our dealings with public authorities and authorities. We strive to maintain good relations with the state supervisory authorities of the countries to which we export our products.
We do not tolerate the offer or acceptance of bribes or any other form of improper benefit, or the direct or indirect giving or offering of any valuable consideration or any benefit.
RELATIONS WITH THE COMMUNITY
Being close to the population as producers and suppliers of products, we are also part of the community. We strive to nurture a good partnership, to be reliable partners and active participants in public life. In the course of business development, we cooperate with the public, seek to maintain dialogue and take comments into account.
We feel responsible for protecting human health, the environment and natural resources. Our main goal is to minimize the negative impact on the environment. We are constantly improving the packaging of our products in search of the least environmentally harmful materials and technologies. We conduct our day-to-day operations in compliance with all the requirements of environmental law, and we have all the necessary permits to operate.
Support and charity are provided within the framework of our socially responsible activities. We support those projects that meet our ethical standards, values and priorities. We do not support projects that increase social exclusion and discrimination, political initiatives and the promotion of religious beliefs.
We are not involved in politics. We do not comment on political events or make any political statements. Employees of AKVATERA LT, UAB may not provide direct or indirect political support or funding to political parties on behalf of the organization.
We respect the political views of our employees and do not restrict their personal political activities. Our employees may not use the reputation or resources of AKVATERA LT, UAB, including working hours, for the purposes of their political activities or political interests.
RELATIONS WITH SHAREHOLDERS
We communicate with shareholders in a transparent and regular manner and provide them with information about the Company’s financial condition, inform them about the most important changes in our activities that may affect the value of their shares, always take into account their expectations and answer questions. We report only factual data and provide information based on our knowledge. We strive to work profitably while developing a more sustainable business.