Responsible business conduct
In 2021, the Transparency Act was passed in Norway with effect from 1 July 2022. Central to the Transparency Act are the OECD’s guidelines for multinational companies. These guidelines form the basis for authorities’ expectations of business activities and conduct. They also underpin the minimum social safeguards measures in the EU Taxonomy Regulation, approved by the EU Commission in 2018 and applied to large, listed companies from 1 January 2022. Due diligence on responsible business conduct defines the method for mapping how the company affects people and the environment, and for implementation and follow-up of measures and communication with stakeholders (see figure). This method is used as a basis for Scandza’s work with ESG.
The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (1)
The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are recommendations addressed by governments to multinational enterprises operating in or from adhering countries. They provide non-binding principles and standards for responsible business conduct in a global context consistent with applicable laws and internationally recognised standards. The Guidelines are the only multilaterally agreed and comprehensive code of responsible business conduct that governments have committed to promoting.
Scandza Group’s Board of Directors meets quarterly and holds the overall responsibility for ESG in Scandza. This report is reviewed
and approved by the Board. The Management Group, authorised by the Board of Directors to manage the Group, has the day-to-day responsibility for developing and implementing Scandza’s sustainability strategy based on identified risks and opportunities. From 2021, the Head of Communication and Sustainability will be in the Management Team together with VP for sales, marketing, production and finance for all the underlying subsidiaries. This means that sustainability is firmly on the agenda, and an integral part of topics that are discussed and decided in the Management Group.
Responsibility for the development, implementation and follow-up of sustainability within each area lies with the top manager for the respective areas. This includes safety and security, product quality assurance, human resources, financial, legal, and communications and the implementation of Group policies, strategies, and procedures. They are also responsible for setting strategic direction in line with our DNA, and reporting on risk and performance within these topics to the Management Group. The Management Group through the Head of Communication and Sustainability is responsible for raising issues related to sustainability to the board.
VP supply chain The VP supply chain is also part of the Management Group, and has the corresponding responsibility for sustainability. This is implemented and followed up at all production sites, where this responsibility is managed by Production site managers. Production site managers report to the Head of Communications and Sustainability twice a year through our Sustainability Reporting System. The Head of Communication and Sustainability also follows up and coordinates all business unit managers as well as production site managers on an ongoing basis.
Risk assessment and mitigation is increasingly becoming an integral part of our strategy processes, business conduct and operational decisions. Our approach is outlined in our governing documents, strategies, and management system.
Our governing documents:
- Scandza DNA
- Code of conduct
- CSR Policy
- Quality policy
- HSSE Policy
- Procurement policy
- Supplier standard
- Supplier Questionnaire
Scandza has four business areas operating through subsidiaries in five countries. All operations comply with applicable national and local laws and regulations.
Scandza’s Health, Safety, Environment (HSE) and Quality management system allows for an effective distribution and communication of the governing documents, internal processes, and management of deviations for each business unit, as well as Simployer and our intranet. The quality system meets the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Standard (2) for food safety, which provides assurance to customers that our products are safe, legal and of high quality. The system is audited annually.
Having an open dialogue with our stakeholders is part of the methodology defined by OECD due diligence guidance for responsible business conduct. Scandza has continuous engagement with our key stakeholders throughout the year. These include employees, owners, customers, consumers, suppliers, financial institutions, national and local authorities, local communities, and civil society. Dialogue is important for several reasons. It reveals how we affect the environment and our stakeholders and also gives us valuable information about how Scandza itself is affected. Furthermore, it is important to be able to implement the right measures in the most efficient way possible. A full overview of our stakeholder engagement and the topics raised is included in the appendix of this report (3). We continuously update the assessment based on these dialogues and our ESG strategy and risk assessments will be updated accordingly.
Scandza works continuously to understand and define the risk related to Scandza’s own operations and in our value chain. In addition to stakeholder dialogues, we see the need for additional information related to risk and how we as a company affect our stakeholders. Industry reports, research, seminars, and general media make an important contribution to understanding where we can find potential risk. This is a continuous process that forms the basis for our action plans to reduce and prevent risk.
Understanding risk related to people and the environment is not just about mapping how Scandza affects these areas, but also how Scandza itself is affected by them. Environment and social conditions have a far greater impact than previously affected our business. International and national regulations, financial markets, technological innovation, consumer preferences and market development are some factors related to, among other things, climate, which affect our strategies and operations.
Both how Scandza affects the environment and its stakeholders, as well as how Scandza itself is affected, have been taken into account in our strategic decisions and daily operations over a long period of time. Nevertheless, we see that this work must be part of our management systems and systemized to a greater extent. In 2021 and in 2022, we have therefore started work to ensure that we identify relevant risks systematically, that this is lifted to the Management Group and influences our decisions and operations at all levels, and that the most important areas are lifted to the Board of Directors regularly. How we will track over time and share the results with our stakeholders, will be included in the work. The work will be in accordance with the requirements from the Transparency act and the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Whistleblowing provides an opportunity to anonymously report potential misconduct; anything that is not in line with our values and policies. Our whistleblowing service is an early warning system to reduce risks. It is an important tool to foster high ethical standards and for maintaining customer and public confidence in us. Scandza encourages its employees to report non-compliant working conditions, as defined by the Working Environmental Act. Our whistleblowing procedure is readily available on our website. The procedure is based on the act and instructs employees and external business partners on how to notify any censurable conditions. Notifications can be made either with full name or anonymously, and shall be handled seriously, impartially, properly, and adequately. Anyone who, in good faith, reports censurable conditions or misconduct shall be protected against any form of retaliation.
We communicate about how we work with the environment and social conditions through our annual report for sustainability. From 2022, we will also communicate at minimum yearly about what risk we have mapped, what measures we have implemented and the effect of these through our website.
Knowing that the food industry compiles some of the greatest social and environmental challenges, we see that many steps are being taken to move the sector in a more sustainable direction. This is happening through new consumer preferences, new solutions, increased regulation and cooperation in the sector (please see this page for more information).