Policy for ethics and external environment
These guidelines are provisions for research ethics and business practice at NIVA and apply to the institute and every employee, subsidiary companies, board members as well as temporarily hired or contract personnel. The text below summarizes the parts of NIVA's policy documents that are relevant to external personnel and partners.
Research ethics and research practice
NIVA’s researches must live up to norms for research as regards probity, openness, quality and honesty. We have committed ourselves to engage in proper research practice in keeping with the research ethics guidelines of the National Committee for Research Ethics in Science and Technology (NENT) and the research ethics guidelines of the National Committee for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (NESH).
NIVA’s internal processes to ensure that research is conducted in accordance with recognized ethical standards, including the treatment of possible cases of fraud, are established in accordance with the Norwegian Act on the organization of work with research ethics.
Business ethics and corporate social responsibility
NIVA’s business practice is rooted in principles of exemplary business ethics and social responsibility. Our guidelines are based on international conventions and stipulate minimum ethical standards. NIVA respects the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and meets the requirements of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as ILO’s Eight Core Conventions that concern child labour, forced labour, trade unions and collective bargaining, as well as workplace discrimination. National standards for minimum wages are the lowest acceptable level. All employees shall receive wages that cover basic needs and which are paid directly to the employees regularly and on time. Working hours shall not exceed limits stipulated by national law and overtime work is regulated within the framework of respective legislation.
NIVA’s implementation of the Transparency Act
NIVA is a foundation with more than 300 employees and has several wholly and partly owned subsidiaries: Akvaplan-niva, BallastTech-NIVA, NIVA Chile, NIVA China and NIVA-tech. As a large company according to Norwegian Accounting Act, NIVA is covered by the Norwegian Transparency Act. Akvaplan-niva carries out its own assessments and reporting. The other companies are small but are taken into account in NIVA's due diligence assessment.
NIVA performs work in research, monitoring, investigation, problem solving and consulting. The activities of the institute mainly take place in Norway, while a number of projects are carried out in partnership with internationally recognized institutions that are characterized by high competence and level of education.
NIVA's supply chain mainly consists of large suppliers who are represented in Norway and who will thus carry out and account for due diligence assessments related to their business. Based on the nature of the business, NIVA considers it unlikely that our activities cause or contribute to negative consequences related to human rights or decent working conditions.
NIVA has some aid projects, where prior to the start, separate risk assessments are made. These are assessed and approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which also primarily finances the projects. As a consequence of the Transparency Act, NIVA is considering increasing the level of detail of the risk assessments with regard to human rights and decent working conditions.
Raising awareness of the entire organization regarding the new regulations is also an important measure for NIVA through 2022.
NIVA's management system is certified according to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Negative effects or risks of negative effects on human rights or decent working conditions will be reported and handled in the same way as other deviations and observations in the incident system or as a notification via a suitable, established channel.
The first report on NIVA’s due diligence assessments will be available on niva.no by 30 June 2023.
Health, safety and environment
NIVA consider the health and safety of our employees to be more important than the business operations. NIVA shall plan and perform the work in a way that safeguards a safe and good work environment in accordance with applicable laws and regulations for the business area, for employees and for external personnel.
NIVA’s services and deliverables shall have the greatest possible positive environmental impact and contribute to sustainable social development. A precautionary principle applies when business may represent environmental challenges, and business activities are to be conducted in line with valid environmental legislation.
NIVA’s environmental policy:
- Research for a sustainable future - NIVA researches, investigates and finds solutions to challenges related to the use and protection of water resources. This gives us the motivation to conduct our business in an environmentally friendly manner.
- NIVA will work systematically and continuously to reduce our own environmental impact, and will affect employees, partners and suppliers in the same direction.
- NIVA will operate within the framework of the current environmental legislation.
Correct information, accounts and reporting
NIVA’s business information is to be communicated precisely and comprehensively both internally and externally. All accounting and financial statements must be correctly registered and provided in keeping with laws and regulations, including relevant bookkeeping standards. Any intentional action leading to incorrect representations in accounting material will be treated as fraud.
NIVA competes fairly and ethically within the framework of relevant competition rules in the markets where we operate. We do not engage in price cooperation or distribution of markets.
NIVA opposes all forms of corruption, such as bribes and dealings involving improper manipulation or persuasion. NIVA will actively work to ensure that this does not occur in NIVA’s or our subsidiaries’ activities, both nationally and internationally. It is forbidden to bribe or receive bribery, and any observations or suspicions of this must be reported to NIVA’s management. NIVA commits contracting partners to abide by and adhere to the rules and procedures applying to NIVA.
NIVA demands honesty, uprightness, loyalty and integrity in all relations involving our research and business activities. All employees and representatives of NIVA are to promote the institute’s fundamental values in their activities and work for NIVA.
Commitments of our principals, partners, suppliers and sub-contractors
NIVA makes demands regarding research ethics, business ethics and social responsibility upon entering contracts. The parties shall declare their obligations to abide by international conventions concerning human rights, employees’ rights, HSE as well as corruption and fair competition. NIVA will prefer suppliers with a certified management system when operating in markets where certification is widespread.
If NIVA in any way finds itself associated with contract partners who fail to live up to fundamental principles of business ethics, this is deemed a breach of contract and represents grounds for terminating the agreement.