At Royal Unibrew, we are committed to conduct our business in a sustainable, responsible and ethical way.
Royal Unibrew is a strong regional beverage company, founded on locally anchored facilities, employees and sourcing of materials and services. We aim to provide successful, sustainable brands that people trust. We have therefore always been committed to contribute positively to the development in the areas we operate in, to limit our environmental impact, to establish safe and good working conditions for our employees and to deliver high quality products to our consumers.
We also realize that being regional yet with global markets, we continuously need to improve our efforts and have a sustainability scope that encompasses the entire value chain across our markets.
Our sustainability approach is underpinned by Royal Unibrew’s purpose and strategy, our continued support for the UN Global Compact (UNGC) principles, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as our recent endorsement of the TCFD framework with balanced disclosure of climate risks and climate opportunities.
A strong company culture is crucial for our ongoing progress – a culture in which decisions are taken with respect to our consumers’, customers’, suppliers’ and other key stakeholders’ views and priorities, and a culture that encourages people to take responsibility for their actions. We believe that this approach is a strong foundation to integrate sustainability deeper into our organization and to realize our ambitious targets.
During 2021, we worked intensively to implement plans and activities for each strategic pillar in all markets to ensure that Royal Unibrew is progressing and delivers results on both our short-term and long-term targets. By joining the Science Based Target initiative, we have set the course for full scope 3 transparency within the next 24 months. We believe that our current decarbonization targets will be approved.
Furthermore, Royal Unibrew has been laying the foundation and initiated the integration of the five acquisitions completed in 2021. The new companies, their business models and competences, encourage us to reconsider some of our programs and approaches, such as our responsible sourcing and supplier management procedures, as well as it challenges some of our KPIs.
Tax and EU Taxonomy
Creating jobs and deliver prosperity in the communities Royal Unibrew is a part of is a tangible contribution for society
Total tax contribution (country-by-country)
Royal Unibrew seeks to comply with all tax legislation to its business operations. We operate in many markets, either via our own sales companies or via distributors, whereas, our production is located in countries in Europe.
Royal Unibrew follows the OECD principles for transfer pricing disclosures and documentation and use external advisors in preparing the documentation. The country-by-country tax disclosure is based on the GRI 207 tax guideline.
In 2021, Royal Unibrew paid DKK 5.4 billion in Taxes, Excise duties and VAT. Excise duties, VAT and some taxes are collected on behalf of the tax authorities in countries where we operate.
We are not currently eligible for disclosing in accordance with the EU Taxonomy for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation, as our activities are not in scope. We do however, reserve the right to investigate further once the guidelines from the EU commission are finalized.
Royal Unibrew is already considering the overarching principle of Do No Significant Harm (DNSH) in our business decisions. We have not evaluated the four remaining objectives of the EU Taxonomy, yet: Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, transition to circular economy, pollution prevention and control, protection and restoration of biodiversity.
Our policies and systems
Royal Unibrew is working in accordance with international and national legislation as well as international guidelines, conventions, and standards for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. Our policies and systems ensure compliance.
In 2021, we codified several of our internal guidelines and the Board of Directors adopted our policy on Business Ethics and our policy on Environment & Climate. Furthermore, we put forward additional requirements for our suppliers, i.e., establishing an addendum to our current Code of Conduct, addressing CO2 reduction targets and renewable energy for all categories and specific requirements for agriculture-based raw material and packaging material.
Our Data Ethics Policy adopted by the Board of Directors, specifies requirements for topics such as legality, ethical design, security, transparency and respect for human rights.
The majority of our production sites are operating in accordance with internationally recognized quality standards and are food safety certified in accordance with standards recognized by GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative). In addition, we have a systematic approach to environment, health and safety, where several production sites are certified, as well.
Royal Unibrew’s policies 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, incl. occupational health and safety but also quality & food safety, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), competition, responsible marketing and responsible products. The basic requirement for Royal Unibrew is being in legal compliance, i.e., having the right mechanisms, systems and programs 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.
Our governance structure
Our sustainability activities are anchored at the Board of Directors, which set the direction for our strategy, targets, risks, opportunities and group policies together with the Executive Management (see the section on Corporate Governance). The targets are aligned by and implemented through the Growth Leadership Team, consisting of the SVPs and VPs for our main markets and group functions, including Group Director CSR. To ensure focus on sustainability, Group CSR reports directly to the CEO.
Signing up to the UN Global Compact in 2019 was the starting point for further formalization of our sustainability efforts, including further improvement of transparency in our sustainability policies, systems and due diligence processes. We aim to continuously improve these fundamentals.
Establishing clear accounting policies for sustainability data and thus establishing a basis for transparency and external assurance has been an integral part of this process. Group CSR and Finance are responsible for measuring our results, including good practice guidelines for risk and controls. Based on the accounting policies, a control framework is established to ensure consistent quality in our reports and documentation. The ESG data governance responsibility lies at the Audit Committee, whereas the Board of Directors oversees all sustainability aspects.
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 sustainable beverage company and locally as a sustainable partner 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 business ethics policy, is fundamental.
Potential risks may include food safety incidents, workplace incidents, human rights or anti-corruption violations (in entire value chain), failure to attract and retain the right employees, non-conformities or litigations regarding responsible marketing requirements. Market availability of recycled packaging material, lack of well-functioning waste collection and recycling systems, unintentional emissions or inefficient processes are the main environmental risks. Climate related risks are generally assessed as being low, whereas we see opportunities in being a leading sustainable beverage company, i.e. our purpose and strategy to be THE PREFERRED CHOICE of the future.