1) PURPOSE AND FIELD OF APPLICATION

Coopar’s Code of Ethics is the official document that defines the values on which the cooperative is founded, moral obligations towards its stakeholders and corporate ethical policy.

The purpose of this document is to ensure that COOPAR’s ethical values are clearly defined and constitute the base element of the company’s culture, as well as the standard of conduct of the members and collaborators in the management of the activities and affairs.

In general terms the code of ethics describes the rights, the duties and the responsibilities of COOPAR in relation to all of the stakeholders.

Every member and collaborator, dependent or independent, is obliged to respect the norms contained in the present code of ethics while performing their duties.

The following principles represent the behavioral obligations that each must adhere to while dealing with the previously cited stakeholders.

Respect for the rules expressed in this document is monitored by the committee which has the authority, autonomy and independence to carry out inspections as they deem fit.

2) RESPONSIBILITY

The committee is the supervisory board that has the duty to ensure the correct implementation of the code of ethics.

3) THE VISION AND MISSION OF COOPAR

The COOPAR cooperative aspires and works to create a fair society, a society respectful of diversity, based on equality, justice, the right to liberty of self-determination and equal opportunity for all human beings.

In light of this, COOPAR adopts gender perspective and instruments of political action to promote interdisciplinary research, awareness, training and information with the objective of eliminating discrimination and guaranteeing equal opportunity.

Research and training represent two particularly relevant fields of action that favor the integration of gender perspective in varied areas of study, offer references and operational instruments useful for intervention in gender affairs, both to promote greater awareness and to spread new political, economic, social and cultural practices.

4) STRUCTURE OF THE CODE OF ETHICS

4.1) General ethical principles


Legality

All recipients are bound to scrupulously comply with the applicable law of our territory, in addition to COOPAR’s articles of association.

Honesty

All recipients, in their respective realms, are bound to comply with applicable law, the code of ethics and articles of association. In no way will the pursuit of the interests of the cooperative justify dishonest conduct. No one is authorized to give, or promise, money or other gifts to public or private persons neither for personal reasons nor in the interest of the entity.

Correctness

All recipients are bound to respect the rights of all subjects affiliated in any way either privately or professionally with regards to opportunity, privacy and decency. Members and collaborators must avoid discrimination and conflicts of interest while conducting their activities for the cooperative.

Transparency

All recipients are bound to respect the transparency (clarity, completeness and pertinence) of all information given in order to avoid misleading situations both internal and external to the cooperative.


Confidentiality, diligence and loyalty

All recipients shall respect the confidentiality of the information acquired while conducting their activities and use them exclusively within context, for the purpose of their work and to not disclose (communicate, publish or share in any way) sensitive or confidential information without the explicit consent of the interested parties and the cooperative. (v. art. 321 CO, in particular paragraph 4)

Responsibility

All recipients are responsible, in accordance with art. 321 CO, to damages caused intentionally, unintentionally, by gross negligence or failure to comply with the directives issued by the cooperative.


Equal Opportunity

The cooperative is firmly committed to respect the principle of gender equality in the work place, without the distinction of gender, civil state, sexual orientation, religious faith, political opinion, union affiliation, color of skin, ethnic origin, age or disability.

Respect for human dignity

Respect for people, whether they are associated, collaborators and/or third parties, is one of the general principles that guide the Cooperative. All recipients are bound to respect and adhere to this principle both with respect to the cooperative and others.

Efficiency, spirit of service, development of human resources

The cooperative is committed to providing benefits and services, according to the criteria of efficiency and cost effectiveness, conscious of the social value it contributes to the community. The cooperative considers human resources as an indispensable element for the existence, the development and the success of the company. To this end it is committed to develop competencies and stimulate the potential of its members, and all collaborators, to allow them to fully realize their goals. All are offered equal job opportunities, taking into account specific professional qualifications and performance capabilities, without discrimination.

4.2) Stakeholders


Stakeholders are defined as anyone who has an interest in the performance or the success of the cooperative; the following are the principle stakeholders:

Members: are the social owners of the cooperative.

Collaborators:independently from the contractual form that binds them to the cooperative or from the member status, are those that with their dedication, competence, professionalism and well-being, strive for the realization of the social mission.

Clients/End-users: are the direct and indirect recipients of the services provided by the cooperative.

Public entities:are the group of institutional parties (local, national and of the European Union) with which the cooperative works to acquire the management of services, eventual authorizations, accreditations and/or funding.

Suppliers:: are the business partners that supply products and services with which the cooperative collaborates with mutual interest.

Community: are the people with whom the cooperative comes into contact, and the territories in which it operates, via the services it provides.

4.3) Ethical principles for the management of external relations


4.3.1) Clients / Users

Professionalism, competence and honesty represent the guiding principles that all members and collaborators must respect in their relations with all clients/users.

Protection of the confidentiality of personal data

The cooperative gathers and processes personal data of clients, partners, members, collaborators and others. The personal data consists of any information that may serve to identify, directly or indirectly, a person and may include sensitive information that reveals ethnic or racial origin, political position, union affiliation, state of health, sexual orientation or criminal record.

The cooperative is committed to obey the laws in force with respect to the protection of privacy.

4.3.2) Suppliers

The criteria for the choice of suppliers must be based on professionalism, cost efficiency, transparency and greatest advantage for the cooperative.

The choice must not be subject to bribery or corruption, and must not pursue prices excessively discounted with respect to the market price as this may lead to the procurement of products/services from illicit sources.

All consultants, suppliers and any third parties in general that operate on behalf of the cooperative are bound to act with the utmost transparency, correctness and respect towards the law, and must avoid:

  • any situation of conflicting interests that may arise and which should be reported immediately to the committee
  • committing any act that is or could be considered against the law and/or regulations in force, even if said act should derive any sort of advantage, or interest, for the cooperative
  • eventual personal relationships of consultants with the suppliers and should be reported to the cooperative’s committee before any negotiation.

Every supplier/consultant must, by contract, comply with this code of ethics.

4.3.3) Public administration and public institutions

No member or third party that represents the cooperative is authorized to accept any form of gift (exceeding a modest value) or favoritism by public officials, and are required to report immediately to the committee.

4.4) Ethical principles for the management of internal relations


 

4.4.1) Members

Protection of confidential information and the correct management of documents

COOPAR’s proprietary information belongs to the cooperative. Members and collaborators are required to take the necessary precautions to ensure that all confidential company information is safeguarded from diffusion both internal and external to the cooperative.

In the event that confidential information must be communicated, for business requirements, it is necessary to ensure appropriate protection.

Utilization of confidential proprietary information for private use is forbidden. This rule has no time limits and continues past the period of employment or association.

Third party confidential information (Clients / Users –Public administration)

Without proper authorization members and collaborators may not ask, receive or use confidential information of third parties.

Client, supplier, competitor, partner and consultant information that has been published or made public are not to be considered reserved. Nevertheless, if it should contain explicit reserved information please refer to the committee.

It is forbidden to use third parties to acquire illicit confidential information of others.

Management of documents

The cooperative’s documents are a valuable company resource. To protect them, all are required to take the necessary measures to guarantee that they are managed in compliance with the procedures of the quality assurance system.

4.4.2) Committee

The committee members are prohibited from:

  • returning contributions to the members or freeing members from the obligation to pay contributions, except in the case of a legitimate reduction of share capital, and from making reductions in the share capital, mergers or demergers in violation of the legal provisions to protect the creditors;
  • allocating profits or advances on profits not yet gained or which are required by law to be set aside as reserves and may not, according to the law, be distributed;
  • fictitiously creating or increasing the company’s capital via unlawful operations.

4.4.3) Collaborators

The choice of collaborators is to be made taking into account the requirements of the cooperative and the professional profile of the candidate respecting the principles of equity and equal opportunity and refusing any form of favoritism, nepotism and patronage.

Employment relationships are to be formalized with a regular contract (performance mandate), refusing any type of irregular employment conditions.

Every collaborator of the cooperative is bound to respect both the previously stated ethical principles and internal regulations with particular attention to requirements regarding the protection of health and safety in the workplace.

It is the cooperative’s duty, in the evaluation stages of potential services to acquire, to take into account all eventual foreseen and necessary costs to ensure the health and safety of workers and to monitor the safety management system.

The cooperative does not tolerate discrimination or illegal molestation in any form and requires all collaborators to report potential situations to the committee.

5) RECEIVERS

The members and all collaborators of the cooperative, receivers of this code of ethics, are bound to respect the principles outlined here permeating daily associative and professional activities.

All those (suppliers, service providers, consultants, etc.) who collaborate with the cooperative are bound to respect the standards of the code of ethics to the extent the rules may apply to them.

The rules contained in the present code of ethics supplement the articles of association and serve to guide the behavior and internal procedures in those operative moments that haven’t been analytically foreseen and disciplined.

6) DIFFUSION OF THE CODE OF ETHICS

The cooperative commits to promote the present code of ethics to all intended recipients, sending a copy and asking a written confirmation of receipt in return.

New subjects will be notified as they become intended recipients of the present code of ethics and, hence, once accepting the given responsibility, acceptance as member, stipulation of a consultation relationship or collaboration with the cooperative.

The present code of ethics enters into force on the date of the constitution of the cooperative.

7) DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING

The committee has the duty to vigil over eventual violations of the obligations foreseen by the present code of ethics and to convey the results of any surveys conducted to the assembly with eventual proposals of disciplinary measures to be implemented.

Penalties

The competent body, according to the gravity of the illicit activity foreseen in the present code of ethics that should be carried out by a recipient, will take the just measures independently of any eventual penal actions that may be taken by a judiciary authority.

Behavior acting in conflict with the present code of ethics could result in the following consequences:

  • the collaborators, a severe failure to provide services/products will result in the termination of the working relationship;
  • the committee members, just cause for revocation of mandate with immediate effect;
  • the members, termination of the member status.

In the event any of these situations should occur the cooperative has the right to claim for any damages it may have incurred.

 

Lugano, 2014