Aalto University

III Our responsibility to act ethically  / part 2

We are committed to performing all our activities with integrity and promoting fair and honest practices. Our responsibility to act ethically is the third pillar in Aalto University’s Code of Conduct. See also part 1 of this pillar.
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We act honestly — all our activities are guided by our values and integrity.

All relevant laws and regulations as well as this Code and other Aalto University policies are always the foundation of what we do.  

Conflicts of interest

We are committed to recognising, disclosing and avoiding financial and non-financial conflicts of interest, whether perceived or actual, that could compromise or conflict with our responsibilities towards Aalto, or which could impair our ability to perform our duties and responsibilities towards Aalto objectively. As employees of Aalto, we also have a special duty to comply with rules related to disqualification.


All our relationships with external stakeholders must reflect our commitment to performing all our activities with integrity and promoting fair and honest practices. We will not accept bribery of any form and we refrain from any activity or behaviour that could give rise to the appearance or suspicion of such conduct or the attempt thereof. Aalto makes a clear distinction between gratuitous donation and compensable cooperation in all its activities.

Gifts and hospitality

Offering or accepting hospitality should be done sparingly and always be legitimate and proportionate in the context of Aalto’s activities. Our employees are not allowed to accept benefits or gifts of significant cash value from any current or potential external service providers, suppliers or other partners. Such benefits include journeys, meals, entrance tickets, supplies or services, gift cards etc. Benefits or gifts worth more than one hundred euros (€100) are considered as having significant value.


Part 1 of pillar 3 discusses academic freedom, responsible conduct of research and openness and responsibility in communication

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  1. Keep in mind not to let the line between personal and professional interests become blurred. Personal relationships, outside employment or personal business opportunities need to be separated from your duties as an employee of Aalto e.g
    • You should not prepare or implement actions that are linked to or benefit a company in which you have an interest; or take part in making decisions as an employee of Aalto.

    • Remember that for example wife, husband, partners, parent-child or grandparent-grandchild cannot be in a supervisor-subordinate/student relation.

    • You can use Aalto facilities, infrastructure and equipment for outside work or interests if such use has been agreed with the university on commercially priced terms and conditions.  

  2. Employees should remember to promptly disclose an actual or potential conflict of interest to our superior when it arises and annually.
  3. Don’t exchange gifts, hospitality or other benefits that look like an attempt to improperly influence a decision. 
    • You should decline gifts of any value from current or potential suppliers or other business partners in relation to supplier selection, tender process or contract negotiations.

  4. Refuse any suspicious offers (such as payments in cash) and never offer any facilitating payments.
  5. Aalto University’s name, any assets or resources of Aalto to shall not be used to promote the interests of political parties or candidates as Aalto University is politically neutral. However, on commercial basis, Aalto University may lease its facilities also to political parties or candidates.
  6. Learn and abide by any specific laws and policies applicable to your own field of science or work. 
    • For example, when doing international contract research, pay attention to possible trade control restrictions and compliance requirements, such as, e.g. dual use technology export control rules and economic sanctions.




Return to the Code of Conduct main page

Move to pillar III / part 1

Return to pillar II: Our responsibility for sustainability

Move to pillar IV: Our responsibility for assets


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