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Responsible Business

Living by our Compass

While commercial success and the achievement of targets are important, they should not be at the expense of conducting our business in an ethical way. Our dedicated programme, Live by our Compass, was launched in 2016 and forms part of our SAIL’22 strategy.

The Compass programme consists of the Code of Ethics and Group Policies, and sets out the expected standards of behaviour within the company and towards external business partners such as customers and suppliers. It aims to instil a culture of compliance across the organisation, emphasising the importance of integrity at all levels.

Our policies and accompanying manuals help guide behaviour in specific areas. You can find them here.

Responsible Sourcing

Around the world, we collaborate with tens of thousands of suppliers. These business partners provide ingredients, packaging and logistics 
for our products, as well as other goods and services that keep our operations running. We seek suppliers who share our values and responsible approach to business. To work with us, they must meet the standards set out in our Supplier and Licensee Code of Conduct and accompanying technical standards, and commit to extending these standards to their own suppliers.

The standards include requirements on business ethics, labour and human rights, quality, health and safety, and environmental sustainability. We also drive action by suppliers in our Together Towards ZERO focus areas. For example, many of our suppliers have large carbon and water footprints, and we require them to commit to reducing carbon emissions and managing water risk. This in turn helps us cut our own value chain environmental footprint.

Human Rights

The Carlsberg Group Human Rights Policy outlines our commitment to respecting human rights, as defined by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, in all of our activities, relationships and throughout the value chain.

We continually improve our ability to identify potential or actual human rights issues connected to our business, and to take appropriate action to prevent or mitigate them.  And we are committed to open and unbiased dialogue with our stakeholders to ensure that our approach remains relevant and aligned to their expectations.

The Policy applies globally to the management, employees and contract workers of all entities in the Carlsberg Group, and is overseen and approved by the Executive Committee. It is supported by the Human Rights Manual, which provides greater detail on the requirements and guidance for employees to implement the Policy.

Our expectations of suppliers, vendors, agents and contractors are addressed in our Supplier & Licensee Code of Conduct. In 2019, we reviewed and updated the Code to reflect the changes in both our own supply chains and the global marketplace. Updates include strengthened commitments, clarity on the scope and requirements to ensure compliance with the UK Modern Slavery Act.

Human rights due diligence

Our approach to human rights due diligence focuses on working with experts, and both local and global stakeholders to identify and prioritise our salient human rights risks.

The due diligence process includes: 

  • Assessing and prioritising salient human rights risks
  • Integrating the findings around the identified risks into our ways of working
  • Tracking progress on actions to prevent and mitigate risks
  • Reporting progress internally and externally, both through our annual Sustainability Report and on this website.

Grievance mechanisms

Employees and contract workers should be able to raise concerns about possible violations of human rights without fear of retaliation. We encourage employees to talk their line manager in the first instance, or to raise their concern with their HR or compliance representatives. Concerns can also be sent to [email protected], or reported anonymously to our third party Speak Up system via telephone or online. It is operated across the business by an independent third party appointed by Carlsberg Group, and any issues are monitored by the Carlsberg Group Legal and Compliance function.

Embracing Diversity & Inclusion

We aspire to become a more diverse and inclusive company to reflect the breadth of our people, customers and consumers. We are working hard
to build a culture where people feel they can bring their true selves to work and be heard. Led by our CEO, Cees ’t Hart, we are making diversity and inclusion (D&I) a business priority to help create a winning team that supports innovation and better serves our customers around the world.

Ensuring Product Quality and Safety

Consumers expect nothing but the best from Carlsberg. We closely monitor our manufacturing operations and supply chain to make sure we always provide them with high quality and, above all, safe products. 

All our major European breweries and 92% of our large Asian breweries use quality management systems certified to ISO 9001, and we continually enhance our robust processes to ensure end-to-end product quality. We also adhere to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards, which support continuous improvement in food safety throughout the supply chain.

Contributing to Economies

Carlsberg’s brands bring enjoyment to millions of people and in doing so make a positive impact on economies and communities around the world. The jobs we create in our operations and supply chains, and the taxes we pay, make a significant contribution to local and national  economies. Our business has a global presence, supporting UN Sustainable Development Goal 8 to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Following a decline in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the hospitality industry, our total economic contribution grew in 2021 as these restrictions were eased in parts of the world, particularly in Western Europe during the summer. However, people and businesses in many markets continue to face significant hardship.

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