Managing Corporate Social Responsibility
At Royal Unibrew, we are committed to conducting our business in an ethical, responsible and sustainable way – and we aim to make a positive contribution to the environment, the local communities and the wider society.
In 2019, we intensified our efforts, improved our transparency and defined new ambitious short-term corporate social responsibility targets. We also continued to build the platform for our longer-term sustainability strategy – and as part of this process we plan to present more specific long-term targets during 2020.
Royal Unibrew is a strong regional beverage company, founded on local anchored facilities, employees and sourcing of materials and services. We aim to provide successful brands that people trust and therefore, we have always been committed to contributing positively to the development in the areas in which we operate, to limiting our environmental impact, to establishing safe and good working conditions for our employees and to delivering high quality products to consumers.
We also realize that being regional but with global markets, we continuously need to improve our efforts and expand our sustainability scope to encompass the entire value chain across our markets.
We seek to drive improvements through innovation, operational excellence, and by partnering with our end-to-end supply chain.
Royal Unibrew’s value chain/process flow
“We signed up to UN Global Compact in 2019 – emphasizing our commitment to take responsibility and to ensure ongoing progress. During 2020 we will integrate sustainability more explicitly in our business strategy.”
UN Global Compact and SDGs commitments
During 2019, we continued our endeavors towards establishing a well-defined and transparent corporate social responsibility framework.
In 2019, we defined which of the 17 UN SDGs (Sustainability Development Goals) to focus on, based on the materiality assessment conducted in 2018 and also taking into account the composition and nature of our business.
As planned, we also decided to sign up to UN Global Compact to further emphasize that we take responsibility and are committed to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) – and continuously strive to improve our efforts in accordance with the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact regarding: Human Rights, Labor Rights, Environment and Anti-corruption.
The 10 principles of UN Global Compact are incorporated in our objectives and actions and in order to ensure ongoing progress we have defined a range of short-term objectives for 2022, which only mark the start of our more systematic, documented and data driven journey. The objectives are categorized within four main areas: Consumers, Environment, People and Business integrity. By working systematically within this framework, and reporting publicly about our efforts, we aim to improve our performance.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
We apply the 17 SDGs as a framework for defining our targets and measuring on our progress with a special focus on the following goals:
SDG 3: Good health and well-being
SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation
SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
SDG 13: Climate action
SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Our policies and systems
For many years, Royal Unibrew has been working in accordance with European and national legislation as well as international guidelines, conventions and standards for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. Our policies and systems at either Group or country level ensures that we conduct our business in accordance with regulatory requirements and guidelines.
All our production sites are operating in accordance with internationally recognized quality standards and all sites are food safety certified. In addition, we have a systematic approach to environment, health and safety, where several sites are certified, too.
All employees conduct mandatory e-learning program and training in the company procedures and policies.
Objectives and SDGs
The top 10 priorities of our materiality assessment conducted in 2018, including consumer interests, packaging materials, transportation, operational efficiency, employee satisfaction and well-being, constitute the framework for our objectives and prioritized initiatives, which links into action plans aligned with several of the 17 SDGs.
In the 2018 materiality assessment, we identified and rated 42 material issues based on stakeholders’ expectations and impact on Royal Unibrew. The top 10 priorities are related to consumer health, environment & climate, employee satisfaction and well-being as well as improving communications.
Sustainable strategy ready in 2020
With the materiality assessment in 2018 and the 2019 initiatives we have established a platform for our future sustainability efforts and in 2020, we will integrate sustainability more explicitly in our business strategy.
Although Royal Unibrew needs to consider global developments and potential impacts and risks in a long-term perspective (2030), we believe that it is very important for our continuous progress and performance to define shorter-term objectives and measure on our actions and results on an ongoing basis. Our inherent values and culture, our policies and procedures as well as our competencies and business set-up are also fundamental enablers for our sustainability journey.
We have established short term objectives (2020 to 2022) within selected areas such as alcohol and sugar content in new products, CO2 emission for activities “inside our fence”, packaging material and packaging waste as well as lost time incident frequency.
Improved accountability and transparency
Signing up to the UN Global Compact was the starting point for further formalization of our CSR efforts, including further improvement of transparency in our CSR policies, systems and due diligence processes.
Establishing clear accounting policies for CSR and sustainability indicators and thus establishing the basis for transparency and external assurance has been an integral part of this process. When measuring the development of the indicators, we have selected 2015 as the baseline year – in line with the time frame of the international and national agreements on climate as well as common industry practice. The choice of specific indicators and the way we measure our results are still work in progress, and the indicators and our reporting will be further fine-tuned in the coming years.
We strive to work with a balanced approach towards our stakeholders, both by disclosing potential risks to our business and how we control these, as well as by showing the opportunities for Royal Unibrew; commercially, as a trusted partner in the local community and not least as a great place to work.
We have implemented policies and procedures to minimize risks from our activities and to ensure our freedom to operate. Compliance with legal and other requirements, including our ethical policy, is fundamental. Potential risks may include food safety incidents, workplace incidents, human rights violations in the value chain or failure to attract and retain the right employees preventing our business from expanding.
Market availability of recycled packaging material, lack of well-functioning waste collection and recycling systems, unintentional emissions or inefficient processes are the main risks for our environmental footprint.
Our CSR activities, including our CSR objectives and targets, are anchored at the Board of Directors, which sets the direction for our strategy, targets and Group policies together with the Executive Management. The targets are aligned by and implemented through the Growth Leadership Team.
Descriptive notes for the non-financial highlights and ratios
Note 1: Basis for preparation
Royal Unibrew A/S has developed a CSR data reporting manual encompassing roles and responsibilities, data scope, reporting, controls and documentation requirements as well as a detailed description of each key performance indicator.
Note 2: Environment & Climate data
Royal Unibrew has reported on environmental performance for a number of years. Therefore, data are available from 2015 to 2019. The data has been corrected to the new reporting requirements mentioned in Note 1.
The increase in consumption of energy and water and generation of waste including wastewater is due to the increased production volume and to acquisitions in 2018 (Terme di Crodo and Lorina) and 2019 (Bauskas Alus). Whereas consumption of energy per hectoliters has improved as has the associated CO2 emission due to a keen focus on energy reduction projects, the water consumption per hectoliter has from a steady reduction, increased in 2018 and 2019, mainly due to lower efficiency at the acquired sites. If corrected for the acquired sites, a 9% reduction would have been obtained within the same time period.
For the first time, we have calculated the CO2 emission for transportation (downstream), including GHG Scope 1 and Scope 3, i.e. owned and leased vehicles as well as third party forwarders measured as kg CO2 equivalent. The calculation is based on industry standards and direct input from our forwarders. It is estimated that at least 80% of the footprint is accounted for, but further data development is needed. The same applies to our CO2 emission from packaging material.
Note 3: People wellbeing & development data
Royal Unibrew A/S has for 2015 to 2019 collected data for lost time incidents (LTI) and disclosed information in our annual report. The data has been corrected to the new reporting requirements mentioned in Note 1. The acquisitions in 2018 and 2019 have a negative impact on our LTI performance (by 6% and 8%, respectively), but the performance would have declined anyway between 2018 and 2019.
There may be underreporting of LTIs as the focus traditionally has been on registering incidents for production/ware housing and to a lesser degree distribution, sales and administration. We will enhance the awareness in this area in 2020 and beyond.
As it may be noted other relevant data for occupational health and safety performance has only been collected for 2018 and 2019, as the recording has been lacking at some entities before that time. The same applies to employee engagement and diversity. We are working on improving recording and reporting.