What is Swedish Match’s view on sustainability?
Sustainability entails generating value for the Company and its stakeholders while addressing environmental impacts – in order to assure long term and sustainable growth.
Swedish Match creates shareholder value by offering tobacco consumers enjoyable products of superior quality in a responsible way. By providing products that are recognized as safer alternatives to cigarettes, Swedish Match can contribute significantly to improved public health.
For Swedish Match, a sustainable and responsible business goes hand in hand. Consistent with the Swedish Match vision, the Company works systematically with Corporate Sustainability across the organization – a work that provides many long term benefits to the Company. It helps to make Swedish Match more competitive, to identify and reduce costs and risks, as well as to strengthen the corporate reputation and brand. It also enables the Company to be an attractive employer. Working with sustainability is thus an important element for Swedish Match’s value creation and future growth.
Who is responsible for sustainability issues at Swedish Match?
The Senior Vice President Investor Relations and Corporate Sustainability, Emmett Harrison.
Does Swedish Match engage in corporate social responsibility?
For Swedish Match, social responsibility implies working conscientiously and responsibly in relation to the Company’s external stakeholders.
Value creation derived from working closely with external stakeholders can have direct positive benefits on the Group as well as to the stakeholders themselves. Swedish Match has chosen to structure its social responsibility communication towards four stakeholder groups/areas external to the Company: suppliers, consumers and the marketplace, communities, as well as regulators and scientific bodies.
Swedish Match has a long history of social investments and community involvement. The Company’s approach is to conduct community projects that are relevant to local business operations and to make investments in other independent projects. These include providing support for children, the disabled, and people in need. Other important initiatives include safeguarding cultural heritage, enriching public community life (such as supporting the arts and educational institutions), and restoring public spaces. Swedish Match may also decide to provide emergency relief in the event of natural disasters.
In Sweden, Swedish Match has supported The Solstickan Foundation for 75 years through its sales of certain lights products. For every product sold under the Solstickan brand, a portion of sales goes to the Solstickan Foundation. The Foundation works primarily towards the benefit of children and the elderly who are chronically ill or disabled.
In Brazil, Swedish Match continues its community involvement by supporting the “Bom Menino” (Young Boy) project, which is a skill building program that enables youths, ages 14 to 18, from low income families to develop educational, employment, and social skills.
For more examples, see the 2014 Sustainability Report, pages 32-33.
Considering the type of products you sell and the business you are in, is it not contradictory that you regard social responsibility and corporate sustainability to be important issues?
Some people may question whether a tobacco company can be sustainable in the long term. For Swedish Match, sustainability and tobacco are not incompatible, and the Group strives to conduct business in a responsible and sustainable manner towards its stakeholders and the environment.
Tobacco products are not without risk, however certain tobacco product categories carry lower levels of risk than others. Swedish Match believes that snus can play an important role in reducing harm related to tobacco (harm reduction) and providing consumers with health benefits compared to cigarettes, consistent with a society moving away from cigarettes.
Does everyone at Swedish Match use tobacco products?
The use of tobacco by adults is a personal choice. Not everyone at Swedish Match uses tobacco products. Just like for adults working in all companies, some of our employees choose to use snus or smoke cigarettes.
Does Swedish Match report on its sustainability efforts according to any global standard?
Successful sustainability activities require a methodical approach to reporting. Swedish Match publishes a sustainability report annually which is available as a soft copy on the Company’s website.
Swedish Match currently reports according to the GRI reporting guidelines for self-declared B level. Global Reporting Initiative has performed an Application Level Service which concludes that the 2014 Sustainability Report fulfills the requirement of Application level B.
Since 2007, Swedish Match contributes with data for greenhouse gas emissions in a global annual review administrated by the non-profit organization Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
How does Swedish Match decide on which GRI measures to report?
For the past years, Swedish Match has conducted a sustainability stakeholder survey among prioritized stakeholder groups (consumers, customers/retailers, employees, legislators/regulators, investors/financial analysts, the scientific/health community, and suppliers). This methodical engagement helps the Company to consider the views of stakeholders and to examine whether the Company is focusing on sustainability activities that are material to stakeholders.
Based on recent sustainability stakeholder surveys, Swedish Match has chosen to conceptualize and focus its efforts on seven strategic sustainability focus areas deemed to be material to the Company. The Company has set overall ambitions within each area, and going forward the focus will be to set clear objectives and targets. Swedish Match works to encourage positive changes through its activities toward each stakeholder group.
Is the Company listed on any Sustainability Index?
Swedish Match is listed on the OMX GES Sustainability Index Sweden, which rates Swedish companies on their preparedness on environmental, social, and governance issues (ESG).
How do you communicate the risks of using your snus products?
Swedish Match does not claim that the Company's smokeless products could not have any adverse health effects. Swedish Match recognizes that tobacco use raises valid questions about nicotine dependence, and the role of nicotine in special populations such as during pregnancy and among patients with cardiovascular conditions.
Swedish Match seeks to constantly reduce or minimize presumed health risks in its snus products and to contribute to increased knowledge on the characteristics and use of snus. Consequently, Swedish Match supports independent research and conducts its own research and development efforts which focus on the continuous improvement of products.
Swedish Match believes that adult consumers have the right to enjoy tobacco products with the common knowledge of the health risks associated with them. On our website, under the Snus and health section, we publish information about our tobacco products. We also discuss nicotine and nicotine addiction.
Where can I find more information regarding the potential health risks associated with smokeless tobacco?
Please see the Snus and health section on Swedish Match’s website.
Can you explain the concept of harm reduction in more detail?
The adverse health effects of tobacco use are primarily related to inhalation of smoke. Scientific data clearly demonstrate that the health risks associated with smokeless products in the Western world are significantly lower than those of cigarettes.
Data from both Scandinavia and the US show that smokeless tobacco is used by many smokers for smoking cessation purposes. The Swedish experience shows that the availability of snus has contributed to less people taking up smoking. Swedish males have record low rates of tobacco-related disease although their overall rate of any tobacco-use is comparable to that of other countries.
Swedish Match is convinced that smokeless tobacco products manufactured according to Swedish Match’s quality standards play an important role to achieve harm reduction, as has been demonstrated by several scientific studies. Smokeless tobacco provides a sensible alternative to cigarettes and other smoking products, foremost because it does not deliver toxic pyrolysis products. In addition, environmental tobacco smoke is not an issue with smokeless tobacco.
The risk of a man dying from a tobacco-related illness is less in Sweden than in any other European country, although tobacco consumption is on a comparable level with that of other countries in Europe. Researchers refer to this paradox as “the Swedish Experience”.
For more information, please refer to the Snus and health section on our website.
How can you be sure that your products are safe and of consistently high quality for your consumers?
The safety and quality of our products is an important component for Swedish Match. For more information on product quality and safety, please see the 2014 Sustainability Report, pages 24-25.
The GOTHIATEK® quality standard for Swedish Match’s snus products is a guarantee to consumers that new technology, new methods for analytical testing and other scientific advances are continuously incorporated into manufacturing processes with the overarching aim of minimizing any adverse health effects among consumers of snus.
For more information, please refer to the Snus and health section on our website.
Most of Swedish Match’s matches are safety matches which mean that the match only will be ignited when struck against a specially treated, chemically active friction surface on the side of the box. The most important properties of safety matches are that they strike easily, do not split or drop burning debris, do not easily break, do not continue to glow after the flame is extinguished, do not contain toxic heavy metals, and are environmentally sound. Matches do not self-ignite during normal handling.
Regarding lighter safety, Swedish Match’s largest lighter brand, Cricket, is one of the world’s safest lighters. It is manufactured with self-extinguishing nylon, which cannot burn when the ignition source is removed. With Cricket, the “fixed flame technology” was invented to provide the best safety for consumers; a proprietary patented system where the flame is fixed and creates a uniform and reliable flame during the entire lifetime of the product. Innovative, advanced technology and quality ensure that Cricket’s child-resistant lighters comply with very high demands and with the ISO 13869 European directive. All Cricket pocket lighters are manufactured according to the quality standard ISO 9994:2006 and undergo more than 60 tests prior to being released on the market.
Do you add any substances to snus, such as E500, that increases consumer addiction?
The Swedish Match quality standard, GOTHIATEK®, ensures that the contents of snus are consistent with or lower than limits prescribed by the Swedish Food Act. Sodium Carbonate (E500) is neither new to snus nor a secret ingredient. It is basically baking soda – an approved additive commonly used in food and has always been added to Swedish Match snus to ensure a stable shelf-life. Sodium Carbonate also affects the pH level in snus. The pH level in all our products has remained at the same level as long as we have produced snus. The contents of snus, including E500, have always been displayed on our cans.
There is a large body of scientific evidence about snus, not least about the complex relationships between nicotine, pH and addiction. In theory, a higher pH would increase the amount of free nicotine that can be extracted by an individual consumer. However it is an utterly unfounded allegation that we have raised the pH levels in our products. The pH levels in Swedish snus have remained at around 8.5 for as long as the product has existed. For more information about snus, nicotine, and nicotine addiction, please refer to the Snus and health section on our website.
Ultimately, as a company, we have brought and will continue to bring products to market which our consumers show a preference for and, as always, we will strive to ensure that these products are of a quality second to none. Swedish Match has gone beyond its legal obligations to voluntarily develop an open quality standard in the interest of producing the best possible products for our consumers.
Does Swedish Match use genetically modified tobacco in your products?
No, Swedish Match does not use any kind of genetically modified tobacco in its products.
Does Swedish Match conduct animal testing?
No, Swedish Match does not conduct animal testing of its products or product constituents.
What do you think of the fact that youths use your products? Do you work together with customers/retailers to prevent underage tobacco sales?
Swedish Match has an “Under 18 No Tobacco” principle and believes that all tobacco products should only be sold to adults of legal tobacco age, and who are 18 years of age or over. To prevent the underage use of tobacco, Swedish Match works with retailers, distributors, and public officials. The Company does not direct its marketing, advertising, or promotion of tobacco products to people under the age of 18 and will continue to educate and inform tobacco retailers in order to prevent the underage sale of tobacco as well as provide support and leadership in any efforts they make to demonstrate their endorsement of the “Under 18 No Tobacco” principle.
In 2014, Swedish Match formed a new company vision: a world without cigarettes. Sweden’s uniquely low cigarette consumption is credited to the availability and accessibility of Swedish snus and has significantly improved public health in Sweden. In the implementation of the new vision, Swedish Match have reformulated the “Under 18 No Tobacco” principle for the Swedish market to a new “Under 18 No Snus” principle. Swedish Match believes that no one should use cigarettes, regardless of age. However, Swedish Match considers snus an adult product and to prevent the underage use of snus, Swedish Match works with retailers, distributors, and public officials. This is for example accomplished together with trade organizations via information pamphlets which are handed out to retailers. Swedish Match also provides retailers with signage with, for example in Sweden, the “Under 18 No Snus” message to be placed on or in connection to the snus coolers in the stores together with an explanatory pamphlet.
Child labor within the tobacco supply chain still exists. What is Swedish Match’s view on child labor and what actions have been taken to combat it?
Child labor is indeed a difficult issue to tackle, but one that needs to be addressed.
Swedish Match does not tolerate child labor and our view on this issue follows the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 32.1.This article defines child labor as economic exploitation of children and states that children should not perform work that is likely to be hazardous or harmful to the child’s health as well as physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social development or interferes with the child’s education (Code of Conduct, section 184.108.40.206).
Among tobacco farmers, there is a known risk for incidents of child labor. The Company therefore continuously works with its tobacco suppliers and through industry collaboration to ensure that the issue of child labor is addressed.
The Company’s tobacco purchasers visit suppliers and tobacco markets on a yearly basis to proactively discuss social issues. In addition to promoting responsible farming practices, the respect of human rights and other important matters, Swedish Match partners with suppliers in its efforts toward the elimination of child labor in the supply chain.
Swedish Match is a small purchaser in the global tobacco market; the Company buys less than one percent of the world’s total tobacco supply. The Company’s tobacco leaf suppliers are all audited by other large international tobacco companies as well as Swedish Match. The suppliers also have own strict policies with regard to human rights, child labor, and farming practices.
In 2013, Swedish Match entered into an agreement with AB Sustain (previously LeafTc), an independent and experienced consultant, in order to enhance the supplier responsibility process within the Company’s tobacco leaf supply chain. For more information, please see 2014 Sustainability Report, pages 22-23.
Furthermore, Swedish Match is since 2008 represented on the Board of the ECLT Foundation, Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing. ECLT is an international alliance of several parties active in different parts of the tobacco industry (trade unions, growers, and companies) with the ILO and Save the Children as advisory bodies. The aim is to eliminate child labor on tobacco fields. Swedish Match’s major tobacco suppliers are also members of ECLT and in many cases have programs of their own to help enable young people to receive education. Swedish Match believes that eliminating child labor in tobacco is an issue that is better handled in a joint effort between trade unions, the corporate sector (manufacturing industry), and the tobacco growers (ITGA, International Tobacco Growers’ Association). Most of the other larger tobacco companies are also members of the organization. For more information, please see 2014 Sustainability Report, pages 22-23.
Is Swedish Match involved in any lobbying practices?
Swedish Match has a public affairs team reporting to the SVP legal affairs.
The main responsibility of the public affairs team at Swedish Match is to maintain a dialogue with regulators and government officials. This team works closely with the scientific affairs team, which also has a dialogue with regulators as well as with the scientific community. The two teams are divided between Sweden, Norway, and the US, and Swedish Match also has a representation office in Brussels. According to the Corporate Communications Policy, individuals in these departments are authorized to speak on behalf of Swedish Match.
To promote integrity in lobbying practices within its operations, Swedish Match is committed to conduct its outreach with legislators and other stakeholders according to the highest standards. Employees adhere to the Swedish Match Code of Conduct and it is encouraged that the Company’s advisors do the same.
For more information, please see the 2014 Swedish Match and Sustainability, pages 30-31.
How does Swedish Match work to reduce its negative impact on the environment?
Swedish Match’s environmental responsibility extends across the value chain, from sustainable tobacco sourcing and forest management to efficient management of energy, waste, and water in manufacturing, to eco-efficiency measures in all facilities.
Although the production processes and raw materials used in the tobacco industry generally are considered to have limited environmental impact, improvements and savings from more efficient use of resources can have positive direct benefits on the sustainability and profitability of the Company as well as on the environment itself.
Swedish Match has a Group environmental policy (Group Principles on Environmental Management), established to make sure that Swedish Match commits to continuous environmental improvements, working diligently toward the reduction and prevention of negative environmental impacts in its activities. This document is available on the Company website. In addition, in the Swedish Match Code of Conduct, a section is dedicated to practices and internal procedures with regards to the environment.
For more information, please see the 2014 Swedish Match and Sustainability, pages 34-43.
Is Swedish Match certified according to any ISO-certifications?
The majority (10 out of 12) of the Company’s manufacturing facilities, with products accounting for more than 95 percent of Company sales of its own produced products, are certified according to the environmental management standard ISO 14001 as well as the quality management systems standard ISO 9001.
Why are not all of Swedish Match’s production facilities certified according to the ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 standards?
Swedish Match has focused on certifying those facilities that account for the largest part of the Company’s production and sales. All factories that produce tobacco products (snus, moist snuff, chewing tobacco, and cigars) are certified according to both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. During the past years, the Company has also started to certify those facilities that produce lights products (matches and lighters). The match factories in Tidaholm and Vetlanda were certified according to ISO 14001 in December 2011 and the lighter factory in Manaus in January 2013.
Of twelve production facilities, ten have both ISO 9001 certification and ISO 14001 certification. This represents products that account for more than 95 percent of Company sales of its own produced products.
What kind of packaging does Swedish Match have for its snus and snuff cans and can you recycle them? What about other products?
Swedish Match strives to deliver the best possible products while minimizing waste. The Company works to reduce packaging materials while introducing continuous improvements that not only deliver high consumer value, but also reduce the negative environmental footprint. Swedish Match also strives to use environmentally adapted materials in its packaging.
For information on the packaging of Swedish Match’s products, please see the 2014 Sustainability Report, page 40.
What is Swedish Match’s view on littering and recycling of products?
Swedish Match works to facilitate consumers’ disposal of the Company’s products after use. Swedish Match also strives to design product packaging for this purpose.
In 2003, Swedish Match introduced a new double lid, a disposal lid, for some of its snus products, creating an extra space in the lid where used portion bags can be placed. The design enables consumers to store their used snus pouches if they cannot find a trash can in close proximity where they can dispose of them. In 2012, the disposal lid was introduced the for moist snuff pouch products in the US. The lid was the first of its kind for the product category. In 2013, Swedish Match introduced a new can design for snus pouch products in Scandinavia. The new design includes a larger disposal lid enabling consumers to store a larger quantity of their used snus pouches than before. The design is now also available in the US.
In Sweden, the Company is involved in the community project “Städa Sverige”, an anti-littering campaign for a cleaner and safer Sweden.
Swedish Match strives to use environmentally adapted materials in its packaging. For both Swedish snus and US moist snuff, the plastic cans and lids are made from polypropylene. Rolls of cans are mostly shrink-wrapped in polyethylene. At complete combustion, only carbon dioxide and water remain from these plastics. All coloring agents in the plastic are approved for food packaging.
Swedish Match is a major supplier of matches. What can you say about sustainable forestry practices and biodiversity? What about FSC certification?
Timber sourcing and forestry is an important area for the Group as Swedish Match sources wood and maintains plantations for use in its match production. Swedish Match uses aspen, pine, and poplar, and sourcing takes place near production, primarily from sources in Sweden and Brazil. All sourcing must be from timber that meets or exceeds the minimum requirements of government regulations.
In Sweden, Swedish Match uses aspen wood for the manufacturing of matches. The wood is mainly sourced from the southern part of Sweden (Götaland and Svealand).The largest volumes are purchased through large wood suppliers, such as Södra, Sydved and Mellanskog. Smaller volumes of wood are sourced directly from individual forest owners.
The Company uses approximately 25,000 m3 of aspen wood per year. Aspen grows naturally together with other kinds of wood and the cutting is often done where spruce is planted. All cutting of wood must be performed according to the Swedish forestry law and all final cutting of wood above an area of 0.5 hectares must be reported to the Swedish Forest Agency.
Swedish Match Industries AB is since 2009 certified according to the FSC Chain of Custody standard and the standard for controlled wood (license code FSC-C037294).
In Brazil, more than 95 percent of Swedish Match’s wood consumption comes from the Company’s own plantations. The remaining small volume is bought from well reputed companies in Brazil. Swedish Match owns approximately 5,800 hectares of planted forests in two different reforestation projects in Brazil:
- The pine reforestation project is scattered around five farms in the Paraná state in the south of Brazil. It covers approximately 3,300 hectares of Pinus elliottii forests and nearly 3.4 million trees. The forest has a 25 year rotation period.
- The poplar reforestation project is carried out in six farm groups in the south of the Paraná state and in the north of the Santa Catarina state. Approximately 2,500 hectares are covered with 800,000 poplar trees, in places where the specie has shown good adaptation. The aim has been to obtain high quality matches by overcoming difficulties concerned within pine wood splint production and the use restraints imposed to Paraná pine wood. The poplar reforestation project is a pioneer project and Swedish Match has been working for 20 years to find out the best methods and forest management systems from nursery to harvest.
The main goal of the reforestation projects is to supply wood for safety matches and match box production in a self-sufficient manner.
The Company harvests and plants close to 350 hectares annually, representing more than 250,000 seedlings every year. In the combined area of all the plantations, 20 percent of the area remains untouched for the preservation of native forest. This is in accordance with Brazilian legislation, which is extensive and rigorous. In addition, areas adjacent to rivers are protected in accordance with the Permanent Protection law of Brazil.
Some examples of environmental monitoring and control as well as biodiversity initiatives in Brazil:
- For all pest and disease controls, only materials approved by Brazilian authorities are used. Swedish Match has constantly strived to replace traditional pesticides in favor of more environmentally friendly natural biological means of control.
- A rich variety of different bird and wildlife species can be found on the plantations.
- Water quality in rivers inside and adjacent to plantations is monitored upstream and downstream. Until now, no toxic residuals have been identified which confirms that there is no water contamination detected.
Tobacco is grown on fertile land where other crops, for example food could be grown. What is Swedish Match’s view on the alternative uses of land currently used for tobacco production?
Swedish Match acknowledges the importance of sustainable agriculture, and that support and collaboration from national governments as well as international organizations is essential in order to address these issues.
It has been estimated that less than 0.1 percent of the agricultural land in the world is devoted to tobacco farming, and that this land may also be used to grow non-tobacco crops, such as food, during certain months of the year. Swedish Match’s standpoint is that tobacco farmers are best positioned to choose the composition of crops they grow. Tobacco farming is also a valuable and predictable source of income, which contributes to increase the welfare of farmers and can enhance food security in the middle run.
How does Swedish Match work to reduce its environmental footprint related to the transport of its products and personnel?
Swedish Match has an ambition to develop all business in order to obtain sustainable solutions with both financial and environmental benefits. A few examples of ongoing activities are investments in appropriate video equipment to reduce the amount of travelling, encouraging employees to take the train instead of the flight when travelling, and optimizing transportation by hiring environmentally friendly transport companies when possible. The Company has also developed a Group Travel Policy available to all Swedish Match employees.
As the vast majority of production of the Company’s primary products (snus and moist snuff as well as cigars and chewing tobacco) are produced and sold in the same geographic area (Scandinavia or the US/the Dominican Republic), the need for air freight or long distance transports is reduced and thus third party emissions are avoided. In addition, matches and lighters for the Brazilian market are produced in Brazil.
How does Swedish Match work to prevent fraud and corruption?
Swedish Match is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, probity, and accountability in all its affairs. No type of fraud or corruption will be tolerated.
Swedish Match will promptly take action to investigate and address any allegations or indications of fraudulent behavior. Monitoring of implementation of and adherence to the Code is undertaken via the Internal Audit department.
Swedish Match’s The Code of Conduct clearly explains how to act if fraud or corruption is discovered within the Company and to whom to raise a concern. All concerns about misconduct are treated seriously and will be assessed in a timely manner. If an employee raises a concern, Swedish Match and the person to whom the concern has been raised will make every effort to protect that person’s identity. Swedish Match does not tolerate harassment, reprisal, or victimization and will protect the rights and the reputation of the persons involved.
Employees can also raise a concern anonymously through the whistleblower function, available on the Company’s intranet, or send in the Noncompliance report form. Employees can find details on how to use the whistleblower function on the intranet.
Do you have a Code of Conduct?
Swedish Match has a Code of Conduct applicable to all employees, regardless of location or role. The Code of Conduct is the foundation for the Company’s position in areas related to corporate sustainability.
The Group’s commitment to Corporate Sustainability and responsibility ties directly to its core values: passion, ownership, innovation, and quality. The core values are central in Swedish Match’s vision of how the Company wants to conduct its business. All values are reflected with regard to conduct internally among employees and externally in relation to business partners as well as other stakeholders in the Company’s business environment. Each core value is accompanied by a statement describing how Swedish Match’s employees can live the core values.
The Code of Conduct complies with international conventions and guidelines on human rights and labor conditions. The international conventions and guidelines referred to here are the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the eight ILO Core Conventions (Nos. 87, 98, 29, 105, 100, 111, 138, and 182), and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
The Swedish Match CEO has the overall responsibility for the Code, ensuring that it is periodically reviewed and that changes are approved by the Company’s Board of Directors. All managers are required to ensure that the Code is understood by their subordinates and to make efforts that the Code is applied. Monitoring of implementation of and adherence to the Code is undertaken via the Internal Audit department.
Which areas do your Code of Conduct cover?
The Code consists of a number of topics related to the following four areas:
- Our people: Swedish Match respects its employees and their human rights, and supports internationally proclaimed human rights conventions and guidelines wherever we operate. Our policy on human rights and employment practices is based on local and international labor laws, recommended practices and guidelines.
- Our business: Swedish Match is committed to sound business ethics in all our business activities and relations with stakeholders, both within our own operations but also with regard to outside parties. We build relationships through honesty and integrity and we respect the laws and regulations in the countries in which we operate.
- Our environment: Swedish Match promotes sound changes that reduce environmental impacts caused by our operations and we encourage our employees to be conscious and proactive in minimizing these impacts. We undertake programs to continuously improve our environmental performance.
- Our job and workplace: Swedish Match is committed to responsible and safe practices and procedures in all business activities both on the job and in the workplace. We promote a working environment with high standards of ethics and morale, where our employees respect and care for one another, Swedish Match as well as the environment.
How can you be sure that your employees know and adhere to your Code of Conduct?
The Code of Conduct applies to all employees within the Swedish Match Group, regardless of location or role. Those persons who are not legally employed by Swedish Match but effectively act as if they were (those who represent Swedish Match through consultancy agreements or similar), also need to follow the Code. Managers and supervisors have certain additional responsibilities according to the Code and shall ensure its implementation.
When working at Swedish Match, you agree to comply with the requirements of the Code, as well as local principles and procedures that apply to your position and work. It is your personal responsibility to make sure that the actions you take comply with both the words and the spirit of the Code.
Monitoring of implementation of and adherence to the Code is undertaken via the Internal Audit department.
If you are a manager with subordinates, you shall take necessary steps to ensure that the employees you are supervising are aware of, understand and adhere to the standards of conduct outlined in the Code.
How do you work with ethical, social, and environmental issues within the supply chain?
Swedish Match endeavors to support and promote ongoing efforts with regard to ethical, social, and environmental issues within its supply chain.
As of 2013, supplier contracts have been revised to incorporate standards of conduct. Swedish Match’s major contracted suppliers are expected to sign off on and adhere to the Company’s Supplier Code of Conduct. This document reflects Swedish Match’s internal Code of Conduct and specifies what Swedish Match expects and requires from suppliers in the following four areas: employment and labor practices, workplace practices, ethical business practices, and environmental management practices.
For more information, see the 2014 Sustainability Report, Supplier Responsibility, pages 22-23.
What action does Swedish Match take when the Company finds out that its suppliers do not adhere to the Company’s policies?
During the supplier engagement process, Swedish Match may recommend that certain actions be taken to improve a supplier’s sustainability efforts. Should a supplier fail to comply with the Company’s recommendations, Swedish Match shall strive to resolve the situation through cooperation and information or, if deemed necessary, terminate the relationship.
What does the gender distribution look like in Swedish Match’s workforce? In the management team? In the Board of Directors?
Of Swedish Match’s total workforce in 2014, 38 percent were female employees. In terms of gender per geography, 41 percent of the total US and Dominican Republic workforce was female in 2014. In Sweden and Norway, 39 percent of the total workforce was female, in Brazil 30 percent, and in the Philippines 45 percent. In the Netherlands, 7 percent of employees were female.
In 2014, two members (29 percent) of Group Management were female. Four members (40 percent) of the Company’s Board of Directors were female, including employee representatives but not deputy employee representatives.
How does Swedish Match work to promote trade union rights?
Swedish Match complies with the eight International Labour Organization (ILO) Core Conventions (Nos. 87, 98, 29, 105, 100, 111, 138, and 182). Within the area of freedom of association and collective bargaining, the Company specifically complies with convention number 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention) and number 98 (Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention).
Swedish Match recognizes and respects employees’ rights and freedom to join or form (non-violent) assembly or associations of their own choice and to bargain collectively. No employee shall be subject to dismissal, discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or retaliation for exercising these rights. Swedish Match shall facilitate open communication and direct engagement between employees and management in situations where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining are restricted under law.
Employee representation structures are in place on all sites in Sweden. In accordance with the Act on Co-Determination at Work (MBL), Swedish Match has an agreement concerning collaboration with trade union organizations active in the Group´s Swedish business units. Under this agreement, a council comprising management representatives and employee representatives appointed to the board of Directors meets in advance of scheduled Board meetings and on other ad hoc occasions. The council focuses on particular issues that could result in MBL negotiations. A reference group also meets in advance of such Board meetings, comprised of local trade union representatives on waged and salaried employees.
In the US, union rights are protected by law under the National Labor Relations Act. Swedish Match complies with all legal requirements of the Act by respecting employees’ freedom of association, mutual aid or protection, self-organization, to form, join or assist in labor organizations, to bargain collectively for wages and working conditions through representatives of their own choosing and to engage in other protected concerted activities with or without a Union.
In Brazil, union participation is mandatory according to the Brazilian Labour Laws. Annual negotiations of agreements and labor conditions are conducted within each professional category.