BIO commits to the highest standards of ethics, integrity, and professionalism. To ensure this, a number of policies have been implemented.

Code of Ethics

In 2021, BIO reviewed its code of ethics and rules of conduct for all staff members and directors.

This Code sets out Principles and the Rules of Conduct by which the Principles are implemented, and provides further guidance with regard to what constitutes appropriate behaviour. The Code is complementary to any contractual, legal, and regulatory provisions governing any relationship with BIO.

Whistle-blower policy

BIO must take necessary measures to ensure that its activities are conducted in accordance with the law, and with the highest degree of ethics and integrity. Improper and illegal actions can cause irreparable harm to BIO and/or its stakeholders, and adequate policies and procedures should be put in place to detect, investigate and, where appropriate, pursue legal action against such actions.

BIO has elaborated this whistleblower policy to provide balance and effective protection to to any staff member who would report a breach of, inter alia, the code of ethics and rules of conduct. BIO wishes to foster a culture of good communication and corporate social responsibility within its organization, whereby reporting persons are considered to contribute to self-correction and excellence. Subject to applicable law, however, this Policy does not create any obligation to report a breach.

In 2021, BIO reviewed its whistle-blower policy.

Disclosure policy

The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries SA/NV (BIO) considers public access to information a key component of effective engagement with all its stakeholders, including BIO’s shareholder and the public, in the fulfilment of its mandate. Public access to BIO information improves transparency and accountability and creates trust in BIO’s activities.

Grievance mechanism

BIO has an online accountability tool that responds to grievances and demands for redress by people affected - or potentially affected - by the projects it finances. This grievance mechanism promotes more inclusive and sustainable development by giving affected people a greater voice in the projects that impact them.

Since its implementation in 2018, international standards and recommended practices evolved. So, in 2021, BIO amended its policy accordingly and improved:

  • accessibility and visibility of the mechanism
  • predictability of the process
  • protection of complainants
  • possible remedies
  • disclosure
  • personal data protection