At Royal Unibrew business ethics are an integral and important part of the corporate culture. By respecting a set of ethical principles and guidelines, we believe we create stronger relationships with all our stakeholders.
Royal Unibrew’s ethics policy and our Code of Conduct provide guidance for our employees, third parties acting on behalf of the Company and suppliers regarding anti-corruption, environment, human rights and labor standards but also GDPR, competition and marketing law. The basic requirement for all Royal Unibrew’s actions and interactions is being in legal compliance, i.e. having the right mechanisms to ensure that we have no violations.
Internal controls and the whistle-blower scheme are important means for controlling and reporting potential irregularities also by external stakeholders. Regular training is among the tools to ensure compliance internally, thus employees are trained in relevant aspects depending on their function inside and outside of the Company. All employees were GDPR trained by e-learning and had to pass an exam in 2019.
In 2020, we plan to expand our e-learning capacity by encom- passing competition law and anti-corruption in the platform.
One whistle-blower case was managed in 2019.
We aim to ensure that our suppliers meet our high standards. A Code of Conduct targeting suppliers was developed in 2019, whereas the ethical policy has been integrated in our contractual agreements for a long time. Our suppliers’ product safety performance has been evaluated systematically during 2019 and in 2020, we will through a risk-based approach enhance our supplier management to explicitly include further relevant CSR aspects, including carbon footprint, employee well-being and safety and human rights, in our evaluation as well.
Royal Unibrew operates in a number of predominately European countries and is therefore subject to both national and international tax rules. At the same time, the nature of Royal Unibrew’s business implies that both direct and excise duties are paid in the individual markets. Through its tax payments, Royal Unibrew contributes positively to the societies in which it operates – as well as by creating jobs and using predominately local suppliers and thereby supporting the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals.
The following general principles apply to Royal Unibrew’s management of tax issues:
- Royal Unibrew pays taxes on its activities in the countries in which the activities are carried out, and no special tax structures for the purpose of tax optimization are applied.
- Royal Unibrew always aim to comply with national and international tax legislation and sets out to enter into an open and constructive dialogue with the tax authorities.
- Royal Unibrew has an internal organization which monitors and controls procedures designed to ensure compliance with tax legislation.
- Royal Unibrew wants to communicate openly and fairly about its tax policy and tax payments.
- Royal Unibrew was not involved in any cases of non-compliance with tax legislation in 2019.
In 2019, the effective tax rate was 22% of profit for the year (2018: 22%). Royal Unibrew paid corporation tax of DKK 338 million on its operating activities (2018: DKK 251 million). In addition, Royal Unibrew’s activities generate other considerable tax payments, including excise duties on beer, mineral water and other items, VAT, personal taxes and social security contributions. The total contribution through taxes in 2019 amounted to DKK 4.8 billion (2018: 5.0 billion). The decrease in tax contribution relates to changes in excise duty rates, lower campaign activity in Finland and a shift in product mix from alcoholic beverages to non-alcoholic beverages.
Supporting sustainable business development in On-Trade
In 2019, we actively promoted our new tap wall concept. Tap walls were installed at more than 100 bars and have room for offering several taps to local microbreweries. The purpose is to avoid outcompeting the smaller breweries and to support bar owners, microbreweries and Royal Unibrew to meet the great interest in specialty beverages. We call it sustainable business development.
We plan to expand the concept to include water and soft drinks. We expect tap walls to be installed more broadly in hotels and restaurants – implying an environmental benefit as more beers, ready-to-drink and/or soft drinks are sold in reusable kegs.
In addition to backing the craft beer market, Royal Unibrew supports bar and cafe owners’ development and optimization of their business, enabled by Royal Unibrew’s knowledge of customer sales of individual beverages, in combination with an in-depth market knowledge of the neighborhood, area or city. Our sales consultants have access to these data via our CRM (Customer Relation Management) system and may provide the insight on the fly or may offer a more detailed conversation.