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Supplier code of conduct

Standards of the supplier code of conduct


A message from our supply chain

Black Hills Corporation is committed to safety, diversity, environmental leadership, social responsibility and ethical business practices. These fundamental values ensure that the decisions we make today are the right decisions for tomorrow. We expect our suppliers of goods and services to adhere to these fundamental values and apply them to how they do business.

This Supplier Code of Conduct describes our expectations in more detail. Suppliers should educate their employees, agents and subcontractors so that they understand and comply with this code as well as their own ethics and compliance guidelines. Noncompliance can alter Black Hills Corporation’s business relationship with a supplier, potentially resulting in termination of the business relationship.

I thank each of our suppliers, vendors and contractors for their commitment to these values. Upholding the highest standards of ethical, social and sustainable conduct is at the core of our relationship.

Brett Anderson
Director Supply Chain Management

The Supplier Code of Conduct does not create contractual rights or establish all legal requirements for doing business with, or on behalf of, Black Hills Corporation. Each supplier is responsible for knowing, understanding and complying with laws and regulations necessary to conduct business with Black Hills Corporation.

References herein to Black Hills Corporation include Black Hills Corporation and all of its subsidiaries; references herein to “suppliers” include but are not limited to, suppliers, vendors and contractors.

Healthy and safety

Safety is our first priority. Suppliers must share Black Hills Corporation’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace by exercising good judgment in work decisions and applying safe work practices (including regulatory and contract-specific requirements) to all activities. Suppliers must ensure that employees working on Black Hills Corporation property adhere to general and site-specific safety requirements, including prohibitions on the use and possession of illegal drugs and alcohol, restrictions on weapons possession (per state and federal laws and regulations) and support for a violence-free environment. 

Environmental protection and sustainability

Black Hills Corporation aspires to be an industry leader in protecting our environment. We are committed to meeting or surpassing all applicable regulatory requirements and enhancing the communities we serve. We actively seek suppliers that share our commitment to protecting the environment. Suppliers must abide by the letter and the spirit of all federal, state and local environmental laws, as well as applicable Black Hills Corporation policies and procedures. 

Legal and regulatory compliance

Suppliers must comply with the letter and spirit of applicable legal requirements including those prohibiting bribery, kickbacks, corruption and other unethical business practices intended for the purpose of obtaining an improper advantage. Suppliers must comply with antitrust and fair trade practices laws including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Federal and state energy regulatory commissions have specific codes and standards of conduct that address discrimination and preferential treatment between regulated companies and their affiliates. Black Hills Corporation and its suppliers must ensure compliance with these codes and standards.

Business gifts and courtesies

Whenever a gift or entertainment is offered in the context of a business relationship, there is a risk that it may influence, or appear to influence, a business decision. Exchanging modest gifts and courtesies may be acceptable under certain conditions; however, it is never required for doing business with Black Hills Corporation. Suppliers must never offer or provide personal incentives or rewards to Black Hills Corporation employees in an effort to influence a business decision such as a procurement award. Providing cash or a cash equivalent of any kind to a Black Hills Corporation employee is strictly prohibited.

Conflict of interest

A conflict of interest exists when a supplier faces a choice between what is in its best interests (financial or otherwise) and what is in the interest of Black Hills Corporation. A conflict may arise if a supplier:

  • Employs a Black Hills Corporation employee or someone with a close personal relationship to a Black Hills Corporation employee
  • Is partially or fully owned or controlled by a Black Hills Corporation employee or family member
  • Has access to Black Hills Corporation’s proprietary information while providing goods and services to Black Hills Corporation’s competitors
  • Is involved in developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) and seeks to bid on the work covered by the RFP 

Suppliers must promptly disclose any potential conflict of interest to Black Hills Corporation for review prior to entering into any business transaction. If a potential conflict arises during the business relationship, it must be disclosed promptly after it becomes known

Business records

Accurate, reliable information and records are critical to meeting Black Hills Corporation’s financial, legal and management obligations. Suppliers must comply with generally accepted accounting principles including a system of internal controls to promptly, completely and accurately prepare required reports, vouchers, reimbursement requests and invoices. Suppliers must follow all applicable laws and contractual requirements in creating, maintaining and disposing of records reflecting their business dealings with Black Hills Corporation. 

Fair treatment

Suppliers must conduct their operations in a socially responsible and nondiscriminatory manner. Suppliers must ensure that their workers, while engaged in work or services for Black Hills Corporation, do not engage in behavior that intimidates or harasses others. All Black Hills Corporation suppliers must comply with the letter and spirit of labor and employment laws must comply with the letter and spirit of labor and employment laws and the expectations outlined in our Human Rights and Labor Policy available on the Supplier and Contractor webpage.

Company resources

Suppliers must use Black Hills Corporation resources responsibly and only for legitimate business purposes. Black Hills Corporation resources include company facilities, equipment, systems, technology assets, information and office and field supplies.  Suppliers cannot use Black Hills Corporation’s name or logos, trademarks or other intellectual property without the express written consent of the company. Intellectual property rights of third parties will always be honored. Suppliers and their employees also are prohibited from using Black Hills Corporation resources or facilities to solicit or distribute information or materials not connected with regular Black Hills Corporation work.

Any information provided to suppliers by Black Hills Corporation, including employee and customer information, must be managed in compliance with Black Hills Corporation’s policies and requirements, particularly privacy and IT security requirements, as well as applicable laws and regulations. Confidential information can only be shared within your company on a need-to-know basis. Suppliers cannot share Black Hills Corporation’s confidential information with third parties without express written permission.

Supplier selection and diversity

Black Hills Corporation is committed to fair and ethical dealings in bid evaluation, negotiation, award decisions and the administration of purchasing and sourcing activities.  We expect our business partners to seek, use and develop diverse suppliers while performing work on our behalf. Compliance with this Supplier Code of Conduct is mandatory for suppliers, their subcontractors and all non-employee workers providing services for or on behalf of Black Hills Corporation.

We reserve the right to conduct investigations and audits, including supplier site visits, to verify that a supplier’s business operations meet the expectations outlined in this code. Suppliers and their employees must cooperate in the event of an audit or investigation. Deficiencies may result in a request to remove a worker from a Black Hills Corporation site, a remediation plan or termination of the business relationship.  

Supplier compliance

Reporting concerns

Suppliers, their employees or their subcontractors must report actual or suspected noncompliance with this Supplier Code of Conduct by Black Hills Corporation employees or suppliers.  Reports may be made by:

  • Notifying your Black Hills Corporation representative
  • Contacting the Director of Supply Chain at 605-721-2631
  • Sending a letter to the Black Hills Corporation Compliance Office, Attn: Director of Corporate Compliance, PO Box 1400, Rapid City, SD 57709
  • Contacting the Director of Corporate Compliance at 605-721-2306
  • Contacting Black Hills Corporation’s Ethics Help Line at 888-418-1644

We encourage open discussion regarding any questions or concerns about this Supplier Code of Conduct or in our business relationship.  Suppliers may direct any questions or concerns to the contacts listed above.

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