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Principles in Brief

Stewardship and Compliance


The essence of stewardship is recognizing our obligation to always act in a manner that respects the rights of others.  By rights we refer to the universal right for everyone to live as they choose, so long as they don’t violate the rights of others. This includes everyone’s right to their own property along with the obligation to manage it responsibly and do the same for all other resources for which they are stewards.

Throughout history, the role of business in society has been to provide goods and services that help people improve their lives, and to do so responsibly. Likewise, our experience has been that we only succeed when we benefit others. Good stewardship is vital to mutual benefit, which, in addition to our moral and legal obligations, is why we all have stewardship obligations.

Nothing is more important than human life. Thus, the safety of all those with whom we interact – such as employees, contractors and communities – is our top priority. To create the conditions for a safe workplace, all employees need to take personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them, and to ask questions and challenge practices whenever they have concerns.

Similarly, proper regard for the environment starts by understanding and giving priority to the highest-consequence risks. We proactively use technology, data, sound science, good judgment and economic thinking to implement responsible environmental practices — even if not required by law. We seek to identify and apply beneficial technologies and practices that use fewer resources and improve the environmental performance of our products and processes. This benefits our customers, employees, investors, communities and people throughout society.           

Compliance with all laws and regulations is a requirement of every employee. Each of us is expected to know and understand the legal and regulatory requirements for our roles, identify anything that might lead to non-compliance, and discuss with our supervisors and others who are knowledgeable how best to comply. When unsure about how to respect the rights of others, work safely, be environmentally responsible or comply with legal and regulatory requirements, stop, think and ask before proceeding.

Our words and commitments matter. Success depends on us having the courage to stand up for what we believe and not make commitments or act in ways that are inconsistent with our principles. This is central to what makes our approach to Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) different than most. We focus on helping people improve their lives and communities by motivating and empowering them rather than controlling and coercing them. We all need to be responsible for our actions, thoughtful about resources entrusted to our care and always respectful of the rights of others.

See Koch’s Stewardship Framework on for more information.