Our approach to responsibility
Quite simply, acting with responsibility is the right thing to do. Today’s business environment is dynamic and unpredictable, so we need to identify and manage our current and potential risks.
Our purpose is to provide safe, nutritious and affordable food and clothing that offer great value for money. In doing these things well, we know we are doing good every day by helping to make millions of people’s lives better.
We are proud of our history and, at the same time, we are focused on making a positive difference now, and in the future. A great deal has changed since we were established more than 80 years ago, but one thing has remained constant: our commitment to operating responsibly and ethically at all times.
To demonstrate how we live our values every day, we have collated the themes expressed by our individual businesses into a groupwide summary:
Read more about our values
Our company is built on integrity, strong principles and ethical business practices, and good governance is vital to our continued success.
The Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary has overall accountability for all responsibility issues and is supported by the Director of Group Secretariat. Our Group Human Resources (HR) Director has overall responsibility for operational safety and environment matters and is supported by the Group Safety and Environment Manager. Both the Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary and the Group HR Director report to the Chief Executive.
Within individual businesses, accountability for responsibility sits with the Chief Executive and a corporate responsibility (CR) lead. Each Chief Executive is required to sign and submit an annual summary and mitigation plan for all types of business risk including safety, environment and other material responsibility issues. These are collated and reviewed by the group board, to help monitor our overall exposure. These formal processes complement the regular CR and HSE group leads’ meetings, helping to maintain best practice sharing across the group.
The divisional CR and HSE leads act as key points of contact between the centre and individual divisions. Responsibility is embedded across many roles, and as a result the CR lead role allows for the effective communication and cascading of information and requests across the group.
For further information, see our ESG Appendix (PDF) and Annual Report (PDF)