Sustainability is evident in all decisions made by Swedish Match and in the everyday life of all employees.
“We would not be able to build a financially successful company otherwise,” says Emmett Harrison, Vice President Investor Relations and Corporate Sustainability.
Sustainability is a highly integrated part of the Swedish Match business operation. Yes, you could also say that it represents the backbone of the company, because without a focus on the environment and people, long-term success and financial profitability would not be possible. Emmett Harrison is completely convinced of this.
“If you want a competitive, attractive and well-liked company, every decision made must take the world around us into consideration. Accordingly, sustainability issues permeate the entire company, in production facilities and in the Board room.”
Swedish Match is involved in many projects aimed at improving the environment and the circumstances of people worldwide. However, the company is not alone in making decisions about the commitments in which the company chooses to invest. Swedish Match engages in an active dialog with its stakeholders.
“Yes, in the past three years, we have conducted a sustainability survey among our stakeholder groups, which include consumers, retailers, employees, authorities, politicians, investors and researchers. And, we listen just as much to our customers as we do to our investors.”
This year, Swedish Match was involved in projects in Brazil, the Philippines and the US.
“The purpose of many of the projects is to attract young people living in impoverished areas and provide them with education and jobs. For example, in Brazil, where Swedish Match has a major production facility for lighters and matches, the ‘Bom Menino’ project is being implemented, which provides young people with education and then employment at Swedish Match.”
Plant and offices
Another priority in Swedish Match’s sustainability work is the environment – the objective is to continuously implement improvements.
“We work single-mindedly to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and cut down on energy and water consumption. And our efforts have generated results. Most of our production facilities in the world, with products that account for more than 90 percent of Swedish Match’s sales of proprietarily manufactured products, are environmentally and quality certified according ISO 14001 and ISO 9001.
But, even inside Swedish Match’s offices, the ambition is high.
“Here, is it natural to choose low-energy lamps, reduce unnecessary printing and switch off computers and lights when employees go home. Yes, it’s important that the environmental effort permeates the entire operation. As with other parts of our sustainability work, it’s become part of our backbone.”
Published: Sep, 2013