We have fully integrated processes in place to manage and mitigate environmental, social, ethical and other corporate responsibility risks to our business. They’re explained in detail in the corporate governance section of our Annual Report and financial statements.
The principal risks and uncertainties that have a direct impact on our corporate responsibility strategy include:
The impact on sales, costs, profit and cash of:
-Cost of raw material products, services and utilities
-Seasonal conditions and the weather
- Changes in UK and overseas legislation and regulation – for example, consumer protection laws or environmental regulations
- Changes in UK fiscal and employment policy – for example, the minimum wage
- Failure to manage supplier relationships and ensure appropriate quality checks are in place
Almost all the actions we take in order to operate our business, may have an impact on the risks we face. So talking to stakeholders helps us identify emerging issues and take appropriate action to reduce the risks they pose and save potential compliance costs. Similarly, meeting our commitment to use less energy and bulk materials will reduce our exposure to future price rises.
We complete a risk assessment exercise every year – covering social, ethical and environmental risks. We use the results to plan our internal audit and risk management programmes. This year, having reviewed those risks considered relevant and material at a corporate level to our corporate responsibility agenda, we confirmed that our risk profile is representative and that there are no material risk gaps.
A Risk Assurance Forum meets twice a month and reports to the Risk Committee.
Our Group internal audit programme for 2011/12 included audits in the following areas related to our CR activity:
- Charity receivables process
- CRC Efficiency Scheme (validation)
- Packaging reduction
- Bribery Act – compliance
Our Group internal audit plan for 2012/13 includes audits in the following CR related areas:
The objective of this audit is to provide assurance that HR related data is complete, accurate, timely, valid and fit for purpose.
QA: Pre shipment inspection
The audit will seek to ensure that there are efficient and effective controls within the end to end process.
CRC Efficiency Scheme (validation)
In 2011, internal audit provided resource to validate the carbon reduction scheme submissions. As 2012 is the first full year of the scheme, resource has been assigned to validate the submissions again this year.