Stakeholder engagement and activities

Swedish Match maintains an active dialogue with its various stakeholder groups. The frequency of engagement differs by type and stakeholder group. It also varies in different parts of the Swedish Match organization.

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.

Consumers

Swedish Match’s target consumers are adults who use smokeless tobacco products, cigars, matches, and/or lighters. The Company’s consumers of smokeless tobacco products are mainly found in Scandinavia and the US. Consumers of Swedish Match cigars are primarily located in the US. Consumers of matches and lighters can be found worldwide – in Europe, Latin America, Australia, as well as parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Examples of activities:

  • Consumer surveys
  • Focus groups

Customers/retailers

Swedish Match’s primary customers are wholesalers and selected retailers of tobacco and lights products. The Company’s products are sold through supermarkets, convenience stores, tobacconists, and gasoline stations. Other important channels include bars and restaurants, as well as Scandinavian Travel Retail outlets, such as airports and ferries. Matches and lighters are widely available wherever tobacco products are sold. Wholesalers and retailers of tobacco products are mainly situated in Scandinavia and the US, whereas matches and lighters are sold worldwide.

Examples of activities:

  • Customer surveys
  • Direct dialogue in meetings and ongoing contact

Employees

At year-end 2015, Swedish Match employed an average of 4,488 people, of whom 39 percent were women, with the largest number of employees in the Dominican Republic, Sweden, and the US followed by Brazil, the Philippines, and the Netherlands.

Examples of activities:

  • Performance reviews
  • Dialogue and close cooperation with labor unions

Legislators/regulators and the scientific-health community

Swedish Match’s primary business is tobacco which is a highly regulated industry. Swedish Match strives to uphold an open dialogue with regulatory authorities, policymakers, and the scientific/health community. A vital part of regulatory relations is to share knowledge and insights and thereby stimulate a mutual dialogue and understanding of products and business operations at large.

Examples of activities:

  • Dialogue and updates on various activities

Investors/financial analysts

At year-end 2015, ownership outside of Sweden corresponded to 73.2 percent of total share capital, an increase of 2.1 percentage points compared with 2014. Swedish ownership interests, totaling 26.8 percent, were distributed among institutions, with 8.2 percent of the share capital, mutual funds, with 9.8 percent, and private individuals, with 8.8 percent.. In 2015, there were approximately 20 sell side financial analysts regularly covering Swedish Match.

Examples of activities:

  • Regular Board meetings
  • Annual General Meeting
  • Teleconferences
  • Surveys from SRI-analysts
  • Regular meetings with investors and analysts

Suppliers

Many of the largest suppliers to Swedish Match are involved in the purchase of tobacco. The Company buys tobacco from a small number of large, global, independent leaf tobacco suppliers. The Company sources forestry and paper products for its match production from a small number of suppliers, increasingly from Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM) certified sources. For indirect materials, the supplier base is larger and more local.

Examples of activities:

  • Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Purchasing negotiations with prioritized suppliers based on the Group Procurement Policy
  • Supplier surveys
  • Direct dialogue in meetings and ongoing contact