Social topics

To achieve our business strategy of becoming THE PREFERRED CHOICE, we must attract, build and retain talented people at all levels and in all markets in which we operate. We will evaluate our success based on our long-term business results, our engagement surveys and our ability to place key talent in critical positions.

We want to be the preferred partner for our customers with a broad portfolio of tasty high-quality products for any occasion and deliver the most relevant innovations for our consumers. We want to support the consumers in making healthy, nutritious and sustainable choices by always providing an alternative to regular beverages, i.e., sugary drinks, alcoholic drinks, etc. Moreover, we want to provide transparency for the consumer when choosing beverages.

Royal Unibrew has policies for social matters as put forward in our Business Ethics Policy and further elaborated in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct. Our policies are codified in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) with the principles set out by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN Guiding Principles, the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Compared to 2022, we have increased the level of impact of attraction and retention of employees, whereas human rights and labor standards in our own operations, mainly located in Europe, have been slightly downgraded from a net risk perspective. The area has been regulated for years, and we have processes in place ensuring compliance.

We have ambitious targets concerning our customers and consumers, including local communities. The same applies to our people. Other supply chain objectives are covered under governance topics.


Own workforce

Attraction and retention

We aspire to have the proudest employees in the industry by fostering a sustainable and winning culture.

We strive to cultivate the proudest employees, as they are the foundation for Royal Unibrew’s success and progress. Our performance builds on our deeply rooted culture as well as our strong experience and know-how within the beverage industry. We continuously work to ensure that our leadership model accommodates our strategic ambitions to deliver future growth, while nurturing a sustainable culture and providing a healthy working environment. Among the core initiatives to support our ambition of being THE PREFERRED CHOICE for our people are the establishment of Royal Unibrew’s Expectations and strengthening of our performance management. In addition, we have initiatives covering  organizational and people development, engagement surveys and digitalization of people processes, etc.

Royal Unibrew’s Expectations is a framework developed to support our leaders in performing effective value-based leadership. The framework supports our leaders in acting as role models by demonstrating proper behavior in line with the expectations of Royal Unibrew while pursuing and achieving our shared ambition to be THE PREFERRED CHOICE. Local empowerment is at the core of our business model; hence, the ownership and commitment to fuel implementation of Royal Unibrew’s Expectations is locally anchored.

During 2023, we further rooted Royal Unibrew’s Expectations in the organization and based on the positive experiences and measurable impacts of these initiatives, we have decided to roll out the key principles to all Royal Unibrew employees – aiming at providing an even more broad-based anchoring of sustainable cultural values. Alongside, we will continuously develop the leadership framework, including strengthening the communication, activation and implementation of new initiatives.

Attracting, developing and retaining talented people remain key to our success, and we continue to invest in experience-based people development to ensure organizational readiness and hereby successful strategy execution. We continuously invest in the identification and development of talent across the organization through strengthened succession planning, both as a way of identifying talent as well as building and deploying talents to seize the increasing number of growth opportunities, both domestically and internationally.

Measurement of progress and feedback are essential for achieving ongoing advances in our people management. Therefore, we are establishing well defined and digitalized people management processes in all our business units, including regular and constructive performance reviews and development planning. The digitalized performance management process provides our leaders with a common support tool to steer their performance conversations and track previous dialogues, supporting the employees’ individual development and talent deployment across the organization into sustainable careers across functions and countries. Furthermore, the digitalization of performance management, employee master data and recruitment processes improve the human capital development and tracking. As the external and internal expectations for tracking and reporting will increase in the coming years, digitalization of all our people processes becomes even more central.











In 2023, the overall engagement score decreased marginally from 4.1 to 4.0 and the ambassador willingness decreased from 4.0 to 3.8, correspoding to 76% of our employees. Hence, we are not fully meeting the targets of more than 80% of our employees to be Royal Unibrew ambassadors. Proudness decreased sligthly from 4.2 to 4.1, whereas more employees believe Royal Unibrew is a sustainable company (increasing from 4.0 to 4.1). This signifies that more than 80% of our employees are proud of working at Royal Unibrew and believe that the company is focusing on sustainability. Going forward, we will carry out employee engagement surveys once a year to measure engagement both for short-term developments and changes and long-term trends compared to past years.

The total employee turnover in 2023 remained at approximately the same level as in 2022, yet slightly increasing from 17.1% in 2022 to 17.7% in 2023. Although still high, we operate in a time where the unemployment rate has been quite low across all our markets, while we are at the same time integrating companies into the Group. Taking the given labor market trends into account, we work actively to retain diverse, qualified and talented employees by offering attractive working conditions, including an attractive work environment and good career opportunities.  Leave of absence due to non-work-related illness has decreased from 3.6 % in 2022 to 3.0% in 2023.

Employees by country:

Country Average FTE
Denmark 1,322
Finland 731
Norway 347
Latvia 340
Lithuania 323
Netherlands 314
Italy 253
France 136
Canada 96
Sweden 69
Estonia  31
UK  12
USA  10
Total 3,984


Own workforce

Diversity, equality and inclusion

Our strong commitment to a 100% sustainable culture at all levels and in all markets is reflected in our ambitious KPIs and our Executive Incentive Program.

Core to our business strategy is a fundamental belief that a diverse and inclusive working environment in Royal Unibrew will create extraordinary and sustainable business results through our approach to local markets, local products and people.

We continue to focus on building and driving a sustainable culture by assessing and monitoring the organizational health, including employee turnover, sick leave, safety culture, diversity, equality and inclusion – and by initiating new initiatives to support this agenda.

We expect all our leaders to embrace their role as inclusive leaders by being committed to building diverse teams of complementary strengths, skills, experiences and perspectives. Furthermore, we expect them to foster an inclusive culture where all employees have a sense of belonging, equitable opportunities to realize their potential and in which all employees feel free to speak up. These expectations and our strong commitment to sustainability in general are reflected in the executive incentive programs by setting ambitious sustainability KPIs as part of the programs.

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy (DEI) is our commitment to ensuring a diverse workforce, an inclusive workplace with equal opportunities and leadership valuing DEI. Gender is only one dimension of diversity, and we fully recognize that diversity is any dimension that differentiates our people, e.g., ethnicity, race, age, nationality, disability status or sexual orientation.

Traditionally, the beverage industry is male dominated. However, we aspire to achieve a more balanced gender representation. Specifically, our target is a representation of at least 40% of the underrepresented gender across the Group and in the Board of Directors by 2025. In our Senior Leadership Team, incl. direct reports, in Royal Unibrew A/S, our target is 30% by 2027, currently at 27%. Our action plan to achieve this target is based on three elements: attraction, retention and inclusion.

In 2023, we have reviewed hiring processes, including job advertisements and job interviews to increase recruitment of diverse profiles and reduce biases in the hiring process. Our objective is to ensure robust shortlists of competent diverse candidates for job vacancies and always recruit the best candidate for the job. At the end of 2023, 27% (2022: 26%) of all employees were women.






Our ambition is to increase female representation at all levels. For the international management teams, we have unfortunately seen a downward trend in female representation during recent years, but 2023 marked a change in this tendency. There was an increase in female representation at leadership levels except for the Senior Leadership Team, though still not enough to adhere to the 40% principle in all countries. While the underlying development has been positive for the past years, we have seen that acquired companies have had a lower share of females at management level. The development over recent years emphasizes that the change toward a more balanced gender representation requires an extraordinary effort and continuous push within the area. This includes finding new ways to achieve critical mass of diverse talents and retain and develop the talents among office workers as well as within the production area.

Employees by gender, Int. Management teams

2023 2022 2021 2020 2019
Female % 32 28 29 33 32
Male % 68 72 71 67 68


Own workforce

Safety culture

We are committed to maintaining and continuously improving our employees’ safety and keeping a harassment free working environment. We recognize that one accident is one too many, and we continue to focus on mitigating risks by allocating more resources and sharing best practices across the Group.

All employees (100%) are covered by occupational health and safety management systems that emcompass procedures for identification and control of potential hazards (physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, psychological health and well-being aspects), training, monitoring, recording and investigation of incidents and legal compliance.

Royal Unibrew engages with employees in many ways either formally through the worker’s councils, where representatives of employees and managers meet on a regular basis to discuss cooperation, challenges and progress, or informally via regular 1:1 development interviews and through our open feedback culture on daily basis. Furthermore, all employees and subcontractors have the opportunity to speak up on their own through representatives, managers, HR or our whistleblower mechanism.

All employees can be part of a collective bargaining agreement if they choose to. The majority of white-collar employees in Royal Unibrew are covered by legal requirements stipulating employee rights such as wages during parental leave, terms of notice, etc., rather than directly through a collective bargaining agreement. The distribution between white-collar and blue-collar employees in Royal Unibrew is 56% to 44%, respectively. Furthermore, all employees in Royal Unibrew have contracts stipulating rights (work hours, vacation, benefits, etc.) and responsibilities.

As we aim for zero lost time incidents, we have conducted behavior-based safety campaigns in several markets. In addition, we have worked on communicating safety aspects to enhance incident prevention, not only concentrating on lost time incidents but also on safety observations and near-misses. Improving root cause assessments for preventive measures have been in focus as well as more inspections and audits.

We measure the effect of our initiatives and track performance. In 2023, we did not have any fatal accidents among our employees or contractors. However, the frequency of incidents increased by 17% compared to 2022, resulting in 13 incidents per 1 million working hours. Therefore, we have started a range of initiatives anchored at the management level.

The severity rate measured as lost days per 1 million working hours has decreased significantly by 51% since 2019, measured organically. Behavior and lack of codified procedures accounted for almost 73% of our lost time incidents in 2023, whereas lack of physical barrier, PPE use, and lack of training accounted for 20%.

The latest employee engagement survey shows that 15% of the employees find they have been either bullied or sexually harassed. Our objective is to be 100% harassment-free, measured as more than 90% of our employees feel they have a harassment-free working environment.