ESG/DEI Policy

Orchard Anti-Corruption Policy
Revised March 2018

Orchard embraces technology that monitors Environmental, Social and Governance Initiatives. ESG reporting, building efficiency and health/wellness programs have become core items of focus for property managers and our baseline expectation is for staff to engage with and support all Orchard ESG programs at the property level.

Orchard “Green Team” and Green Sheet deliverable that maintains a record of all environmental efforts put in place for our corporate office. Team meets monthly with updates made to the Green Sheet for publication. Social and Community involvement includes regular volunteer efforts such as Guadalupe Creek Cleanup, Second Harvest Food Bank, Family Giving Tree (backpack and holiday gift drives,) Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast and we are a major ASVB sponsor. Company Governance initiatives includes anti-corruption policy, a diversity-based Leadership Team and Woman-Owned Business structure.

Orchard supports the pursuit of LEED certification, Energy STAR and all codes and ordinances that require ownership compliance. All items mentioned previously as ESG Corporate Initiatives also encompass and apply to most of our managed portfolio. We expect all Orchard employees to participate and gain buy-in to similar programs at the property level, provided they are supported by our clients.

Service provider (vendor) partnerships typically appear as part of procurement requirements in the management agreement. When contracting for goods and services on behalf of our clients, we maintain strict adherence to the guidelines and requirements set forth by the terms of the agreement.

Compliance with this policy is mandatory.

This policy provides guidelines for handling situations involving corruption. Its purpose is to ensure all Orchard employees and all independent third parties who work on Orchard’s behalf (such as independent contractors, consultants, agents, suppliers, vendors, general contractors and others who do business with Orchard) understand and comply with applicable laws and Orchard’s policy against corruption.

Compliance with this policy and U.S. anti-corruption laws is mandatory. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action up to termination of employment or termination of a business relationship with Orchard.

Speak Up.

If you have any questions or are aware of a violation, you are encouraged to immediately contact Orchard HR representatives.

No “head-in-the sand” attitude.

As a third party working on Orchard’s behalf, you and Orchard can be legally liable if signs of kickbacks, bribery or corruption are ignored, even by subcontractors.

Example: You are a property manager working on Orchard’s behalf. You are informed of the potential for profit by accepting services from a contractor to work on your home for free as a “favor” or thanks for approving a service contract on one of Orchard’s managed properties. Neither you nor Orchard may accept services or products in this context. You and all third parties working on Orchard’s behalf have an obligation to ensure that subcontractors understand and comply with this policy and any applicable anti-corruption laws.

Don’t ignore these types of situations. Contact the Orchard HR Representative immediately.

Gifts, meals and entertainment.

Under various anti-corruption laws, it is illegal to provide cash or anything else of value (like gifts, business meals or entertainment) to individuals to obtain or retain business, or to secure any improper advantage. These laws do not prohibit reasonable and customary business gifts, meals and entertainment. However, there are some important rules that you must follow:

  • No improper influence or special treatment: Never give or receive anything of value to influence a decision or obtain special treatment
  • No cash: Cash or cash equivalents (such as gift certificates, checks, or gift cards that are greater than nominal value) are never acceptable as business gifts
  • Infrequent: Frequent gifts to the same individual, even if inexpensive, are not appropriate
  • Transparency: The gift must be given openly, at an appropriate time and circumstance—not secretly, or through a third party

Dealing with third-party representatives.

Orchard does business with third parties, including suppliers, consultants, vendors, contractors and agents.

When interacting with third parties, Orchard employees are expected to clearly communicate Orchard’s zero tolerance approach to corruption. Third parties are expected to understand and comply with this policy and applicable anti-corruption laws as well. Third parties also have an obligation to ensure that subcontractors understand and comply with this policy and all applicable anti-corruption laws. Orchard can be liable for the actions of third parties who offer or give something of value to benefit Orchard’s business. This can include the payment of commissions or fees to intermediaries who are engaged in promoting Orchard’s business.

Be on the lookout for these red flags when dealing with third parties and subcontractors:

  • Rumors of or a reputation for offering or accepting kickbacks
  • Minimal detail on invoices or expense claims, or lump-sum requests
  • Requests for advance payments or unreasonably large commissions or payments, or that payments be made through a third party
  • Insistence on using a specific consultant or one who provides little or no obvious added value If you become aware of any of these red flags, please contact the Orchard HR Representative.

Travel expenses.

Orchard can pay reasonable travel expenses and the company follows these guidelines:

  • All travel reimbursements are supported with appropriate receipts
  • Arrangements are made directly with service providers—cash payments or per diems should not be provided
  • The primary focus of the trip is business, keeping entertainment or leisure activities to a minimum
  • Third parties working on Orchard’s behalf have an obligation to ensure that subcontractors understand and comply with applicable laws and Orchard’s policies.

A word about “facilitation or expediting payments.”

Expediting and facilitation payments are not permissible and strictly prohibited by Orchard except in limited circumstances (e.g. imminent threat to health or safety) or with prior written client approval.

If you have a question about whether a certain payment represents a facilitation payment, have been requested to pay a facilitation payment, or you suspect one has been made, please contact Orchard HR representatives.

The importance of accurate records.

Some anti-corruption laws create a separate offense for failing to keep accurate records of business transactions. Ensure that all relevant records—including invoices and expense reports—accurately reflect the associated business transactions. Never misstate facts, omit critical information or modify records or reports in any way to mislead others, and never assist others in doing so.

Stay out of the gray areas.

This policy is designed not merely to provide guidance on complying with the law, but also to help avoid even the appearance of questionable conduct in connection with Orchard’s operations. Here are some helpful tips for avoiding violations:

  • When you have doubts or concerns, ask questions
  • Don’t let questionable behavior go unchallenged. Take compliance seriously and encourage others to do the same
  • Be vigilant! Monitor third parties closely
  • If you hear rumors of improper payments or other suspicious activities, never ignore them! Contact Orchard HR Representatives with any questions.