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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

We spend billions of Danish kroner with tens of thousands of suppliers around the world, and take measures to work only with those who share our belief in doing business the right way. Through our supplier relationship management practices, we select those who share the high standards set out in our Supplier & Licensee Code of Conduct, working to ensure that it is understood and followed while identifying and understanding any issues and measuring their compliance.

We reserve the right to conduct audits of supplier sites. In 2020, we carried out multiply integrated quality audits to ensure our vendors are complying with the code and other relevant quality standards. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we conducted fewer on-site audits than planned and focused on business-critical suppliers.

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, 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.

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