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Corporate Responsibility

Our Code of Conduct and other related policies set out the ethics, principles and standards that are required to be consistently upheld by each division, business and corporate function within the Group.

Business and ethics

Our Group Code of Conduct and Ethics (our Code) together with our Anti-Corruption and Bribery Policy and other related policies, set out the ethics, principles and standards that are required to be consistently upheld in each business and corporate function within the Group. It also applies to our business partners: suppliers, agents and customers. Download our Code of Conduct and Business Ethics (PDF 0.13MB) to find out more.

The Group has a Speak-Up hotline available in all countries where the Group has operations. The Speak-Up line can be used by any employee in the Group or by third parties and allows them to report any incidents or inappropriate behaviours in their own language. The confidentiality of the information reported is correctly protected. The Group also carries out refreshment training on the basic principles of our Code as well as the Speak-Up line, so it is well known and, in the case of the Speak-Up line, can be used as needed, by any employee in the organisation.

You can submit your concern on a confidential basis to our Speak-Up Line, which is managed for us by an independent company named Expolink, by clicking on the ‘Submit a Report’ section within this link: http://www.expolink.co.uk/stockspirits.

Stock Spirits Group considers that having good corporate responsibility is an essential element of achieving our overall objectives and acting as a responsible organisation. This includes developing strong relationships with our suppliers and customers, ensuring best-in-class people are joining the organisation and our commitment to the environment. We are committed to doing business responsibly and ensuring a culture of integrity.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires large UK businesses to publish a statement describing the activities they are undertaking to prevent slavery and human trafficking in their own business operations and supply chain. The Stock Spirits Group statement fulfils the requirements of this act and covers all group companies.

You can download our Modern Slavery Statement here.

Alcohol and society

We are conscious that our products should be enjoyed responsibly by those who choose to drink them, and we do not want irresponsible drinking to harm the health of our consumers. We believe that efforts to reduce the misuse of alcohol are most effective if all parties involved (including authorities, individuals and producers) work together.

Czech Republic and Slovakia

Our companies in these markets are founding members of “Fórum PSR”, which brings together the countries’ major spirits producers and distributors to work against alcohol abuse. The forum focuses primarily on preventive and educational projects targeting the serving of alcohol to minors, drinkdriving and excessive drinking.

Additionally, we actively introduced the “PSR, (drink responsibly)” platform within our media, in-store and other brand communication. Forum members have also pledged to observe a code of conduct that strictly regulates their advertising activities. Stock Plzeň Božkov is a member of the Spirits Trade Association in the Czech Republic. This Association was active during 2017 in supporting the local government in its ongoing efforts to implement a strong regulatory environment in the spirits industry.

Poland

Stock Polska belongs to the Association of Employers Polish Spirits Industry (ZP Polski Przemysł, Spirytusowy), the trade organisation which, as part of its work, promotes responsible drinking through educational programmes and public campaigns. These include, “Don’t drink and drive”; “Pregnant – don’t drink”; “Responsible drinking”, an educational programme promoting responsible alcohol consumption, including guidelines on “How to sell and serve alcoholic drinks responsibly”; “Here we check Adulthood”, where the campaign’s objective is to reduce the availability of alcohol to the underage, by encouraging retailers to request identification from younger customers; and the most recent campaign “Alcohol. Always responsibly” which aims at building knowledge that all alcoholic beverages contain the same substance, therefore they have the same impact and all of them should be consumed responsibly.

Italy

In Italy, we are a member of Federvini, the national trade association founded in 1917 which, as part of its role, promotes responsible drinking using educational and informative programmes.

Environment

Our businesses are fully aware of their responsibilities to the environment. In addition to mandatory compliance programmes, many of our businesses have undertaken a number of voluntary initiatives, which demonstrate the importance that is given to environmental matters.

Poland

During 2017, we continued our environmental awareness campaign, using the ‘Sztokus’ mascot. The aim of the campaign was to raise the eco-awareness of Stock Polska personnel and employees of external partners and to reduce our environmental impact as a business.

The campaign is carried out at several levels:

  • Eco-awareness and behaviours
  • Waste segregation and reduction
  • Water, gas and electricity savings initiatives
  • Communication campaigns for environmental protection, including posters, banners and stickers displayed throughout the business.

In 2017, the Polish team organised several environmental initiatives which included: encouraging employees to travel to work using public transport, bicycles or carpooling (sharing their cars with coworkers); video conferencing rather than travelling to meetings and an initiative aimed at increasing recycling by offering employees a pot plant in exchange for their recycling.

In 2017, the amount of waste we produced increased by 2%. We were able to recycle 89% of the waste we produced on site. Electricity increased by 4%. Increased use of the rectification facility led to 47% higher gas usage, and 14% higher water consumption compared to last year.

Czech Republic

In 2017, we improved efficiency of water and energy consumption. Water consumption decreased by 14% due to the installation of two new water treatments (reverse osmosis) in production (blending) which increased efficiency of water use. Reduction in water was also achieved by better planning. Electricity consumption decreased by 4% due to several projects including the installation of two new highly efficient compressors, better control of the compressed air leakage, newly installed efficient lights in blending premises and improvement of behaviour and discipline. Gas consumption decreased by 4% due to better planning. We were able to recycle 96% of the waste produced through employee training and improved processes of waste sorting.

Greenhouse gas emissions

In 2017, the Group’s total Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions were 31,770 tonnes and 9,001 tonnes of CO2e respectively (CO2e), a total of 40,771 tonnes. This is a 11.5% decrease compared to 46,055 tonnes in 2016 (35,955 tonnes of Scope 1 and 10,100 tonnes of Scope 2 CO2e), and is due to reduced production and related energy consumption at the Baltic distillery because of the breakdown of the grain dryer in Q2 and Q3 2017.

The emissions intensity for 2017 reduced by nearly 16% to 367 grams CO2e per litre of packaged product compared to 436 grams in 2016. An increase in overall production was offset by a lower proportion of total production from the Baltic distillery which uses fuel with a high emission factor. The Baltic distillery accounted for 72.8% of Group emissions in 2017 and remained the largest single emitter in the Group as its core activity is energy intensive rectification.

As in prior years, we have applied the latest available DEFRA UK location based conversion factors (2017) to calculate the current year emissions. All data capture procedures, conversion and reporting have undergone independent limited assurance by ERM Certification and Verification Services.

The Group complies with all current regulations on emissions including greenhouse gas emissions, where such regulation exists in our markets. We have reviewed the impact on the business from the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU), and are conducting audits in line with these requirements.

We have reported on all of the emissions sources required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013. These sources fall within our consolidated financial statements. We do not have responsibility for any emission sources that are not included in our consolidated financial statements.

The Independent Assurance Statement from ERM Certification and Verification Services is available here (PDF 0.15MB).

Diversity

The success of a business depends on its people, therefore we are committed to providing every employee and potential employee with equal opportunity in all areas of employment. This is underpinned by our Equality and Diversity policy which can be downloaded here.

The Group recognises the communities in which it operates and the benefits of having a diverse workforce at all levels. The Group takes its responsibilities with regard to equality and diversity seriously and expects all colleagues to also observe this.

The senior management teams in our markets comprise predominantly of local nationals who understand the cultures in which we operate. We have an Equality and Diversity policy which applies to all colleagues as well as a recruitment policy which is inextricably linked to the Equality and Diversity policy to ensure that we recruit high calibre individuals matched to the requirements of the role we wish them to undertake, irrespective of gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin or disability. As a consumer-focused business, we recognise the value that a diverse mix of employees provides us with, particularly in terms of consumer insights.

As an example of our diversity, at 31 December 2017 we had a diverse mix of age with 18% under 30 (17% in Poland and 19% in Plzeň) and 12% over 50 years old (12% in Plzeň and Poland). In the bottling area 3 out of 5 shift leaders in Plzeň and 3 out of 16 shift leaders in Poland are women. In our production plant in Czech Republic 60% of the managerial positions are held by women.

As at 31 December 2017, at Board level, 100% (8 out of 8) of the Directors are male, while at senior management level 91% (10 out of 11) are male and across the Group 59% (556 out of 930) of all employees are male.

Diversity is key to the success of the Group, with emphasis placed not only on gender but also on culture, nationality and experience, and our Board continues to demonstrate diversity in the wider sense, with Directors from Poland, Canada, and Italy as well as the UK, bringing a range of both domestic and international experience to the Board. The Board’s diverse range of experience and expertise covers not only a wealth of experience of operating in FMCG but also extensive financial, marketing and commercial expertise.

Human Rights

The Group strives to comply fully with relevant legislation in the countries in which it operates and ensures that human rights are protected in all the production plants and offices from which the Group operates. As mentioned previously, we have a Code of Conduct that we ask all our suppliers to adhere to. This requires that they and the persons acting on their behalf act without regard to gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin or disability in accordance with our  Equality and Diversity Policy.

Employee involvement and policy regarding disabled persons

A description of the action taken by the Group in relation to employee involvement, including how the Group provides employees with information on matters concerning them and the Group, can be found in our 2017 Annual Report and Accounts. The Group has an equal opportunities policy, and procedures are in place that are designed to provide for full and fair consideration and selection of disabled applicants to ensure they are properly trained to perform safely and effectively, and to provide career opportunities that allow them to fulfil their potential. Where an employee becomes disabled in the course of their employment, the Group will actively seek to retain them wherever possible by making adjustments to their work content and environment, or by retraining them to undertake new roles.

Charity

During the year the UK corporate office took part in the Macmillan Cancer Support coffee morning which raised £400. Lesley Jackson, former CFO, opened her garden to the public as part of the National Garden Scheme and raised £2,400 for the charity.