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Code of conduct

By KPN Ventures


KPN connects people. We do this outside our organization by providing customers with the best products and services. But we are also looking for connections with our partners and within our company.

KPN is here for the whole of the Netherlands. In order to understand what moves our customers, we think it is natural that our company is a representative reflection of society. So KPN attaches great importance to diversity and inclusion: we want people to feel free to be themselves. Working together with people from different backgrounds, and with different ideas and styles, leads to better ideas and faster innovation. It stimulates creativity and flexibility.

It is very important that we work together to build a prosperous and sustainable future. That’s why KPN wants to connect with and invest in a wide variety of organizations, governments and other businesses. Both in the Netherlands and beyond. Therefore KPN has created a Code of Conduct for its employees and it has created a “Supplier Code of Conduct” for its suppliers.

As a complement to KPN’s existing Employee Code of Conduct and Supplier Code of Conduct, we have created this separate KPN Ventures Code of Conduct.

Scope of our KPN Ventures code of conduct

KPN endorses and observes all international guidelines with regard to human rights and good employment practice. Consumer safety is a priority. We comply with all international legislation, as well as the national and local laws of the countries in which we are active. KPN expects all of its business partners, including the start-ups it invests in through its KPN Ventures corporate venture capital fund, to do likewise.

We expect everyone associated with KPN Ventures to abide by this Code of Conduct, such as employees, contractors, founders, funders, investors, mentors, advisors, students, volunteers, speakers, and attendees of our events. This Code of Conduct applies to all of these people in any setting associated with KPN Ventures, including offices, work events, social outings, conferences, homes, lodging, phone calls, video conferences, e-mails, chat, social media, blogs, and other online communication. If, in our judgement, a person poses an unacceptable risk to the professional community, KPN Ventures may take action against that person based on other information or behavior outside that community.

Diversity and inclusion

KPN wants to be representative of our society. Everybody is welcome, regardless of gender, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, labor limitation or age. We believe that diverse teams are more successful. We like to think in terms of inclusion rather than of specific target groups. Diversity speeds up innovation and worldwide developments such as globalization, and an ageing workforce means that the workforce should also be more broadly based. We actively create a culture in which every employee feels stimulated to show and use their unique qualities and create value for their teams. See also KPN’s website to learn how we practice diversity and inclusion in KPN.

At KPN Ventures, we recognize that the power relationship between investors and the people they may invest in is heavily weighted in favor of the investor. This is similar to the employer/employee or teacher/student relationship, even when no investment has yet been made. As such, we are especially aware of the potential for abuse or harm by the more powerful person: the investor or anyone who influences the investment decision. We encourage investors to consider this imbalance of power in all of their interactions with founders and to take particular care to avoid using their power to intentionally or unintentionally coerce the founder.

Furthermore, we recognize that women are currently underrepresented in the Dutch start-up and investor ecosystem. We therefore seek to avoid implicit biases in our investment process, and we will actively promote the creation of diverse management teams and supervisory boards at our portfolio companies.

Diversity and inclusion

In the sub-code “How we interact” (part of KPN’s Code of Conduct) we state that we protect each other against inappropriate behavior. We define inappropriate behavior as:

  • Sexual harassment: offensive, unwelcome or suggestive remarks, requests for sexual favors, or any other form of verbal or non-verbal behavior with sexual connotations.
  • Intimidation: verbal, non-verbal or physical pressure intended to coerce someone into acting in a certain way or making a certain decision.
  • Aggression and violence: verbal, non-verbal or physical threats, or any other encroachment on another person’s integrity.
  • Discrimination: differentiating between people on the grounds of irrelevant characteristics. All forms of discrimination are wholly unacceptable. The same opportunities shall be granted regardless of race, ethnic origin, religion and belief, political opinion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender. Discriminatory behavior or remarks are degrading because they imply that a person is inferior to others.

KPN has policies and procedures in place that can be followed by both the victim and their colleagues or manager in a case of harassment or inappropriate behavior. We encourage our employees to report incidents that involve inappropriate behavior to our Security department, which has a protocol for these cases. We also expect our partners/suppliers to treat all employees with respect and dignity. Physical or verbal abuse or other harassment and any threats or other forms of intimidation are prohibited.

Reporting procedure

KPN greatly values honesty, transparency and integrity. KPN actively creates a climate in which every person feels free to report all instances of suspected misconduct, without fear of retaliation. KPN requires all KPN employees to report any incidents of suspected misconduct or suspicions thereof, and we encourage third parties to do so. Misconduct includes fraud, unethical conduct, and infringement of the law, regulations, the KPN business policies or the KPN Code of Conduct.

KPN assures anyone reporting actual or suspected misconduct that they will not experience negative consequences in their work or relationship with KPN.Violation of the Code of Conduct can be reported by using the SpeakUp Line, an anonymous reporting procedure which can be contacted by telephone or secure website. KPN SpeakUp Line is managed externally by an independent organization. Finally, employees can report incidents anonymously by letter to the chairman of the Supervisory Board.

Download the “SpeakUp” reporting procedure