Our Code of Conduct forms a foundation for our sustainability approach and efforts throughout the Group. It represents the commitment of Swedish Match and all our employees to conduct business activities in a responsible manner, demonstrating integrity and respect to our stakeholders and society as a whole.
The Company's CFO is responsible for sustainability issues at Swedish Match.
Swedish Match develops, manufactures, and sells quality products with market leading brands. The Group’s product segments are Smokefree, Cigars, and Lights. With its vision of a world without cigarettes, the Group is dedicated to the improvement of public health by offering attractive alternatives to cigarettes with its smokefree products.
Swedish Match is dependent on having relevance and size to reach new markets. A portfolio of various products is needed to be able to reach markets in the US and to successfully reach out with snus and nicotine products without tobacco.
Swedish Match’s five focus areas and overall goals are:
Improve public health: Our goal is to eliminate cigarette use and tobacco related morbidity and mortality by offering smokers attractive and safer sources of nicotine for recreational use (such as Swedish snus and other nicotine containing products like ZYN).
Ensure ethical business practices: At Swedish Match, we will take the necessary steps to ensure that ethical business practices are maintained within our own company and in our relationships with all outside parties.
Reduce environmental impact: Our goal is to limit our environment footprint while growing our business. We are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and waste along our value chain from sourcing to our own operations and continuing through consumer use.
Human rights in our supply chain: Our goal is the elimination of child labor and other human rights violations in the Company’s supply chain.
Equal opportunity. Our continuing objective is to be a truly open and inclusive employer. In this environment, with zero tolerance for discrimination, all employees have equal opportunity to achieve their full potential – resulting in a more diverse workplace.
Swedish Match most recent materiality analysis was conducted in 2020. Read about the process on leading up to our five focus areas under Stakeholder dialog and materiality analysis.
Our Code of Conduct covers important sustainability topics above and beyond our five focus areas. It includes our policies on practices regarding ethical business, employment and labor, the environment and workplace.
For best impact and transparency, we believe that group-wide efforts and reporting are most effective if concentrated to key focus areas. Through participation in the Sustainable Tobacco Program, STP, we also address a broad array of key sustainability issues in our tobacco supply chain. Some of the specific questions we have received from external stakeholders relate to deforestation and biodiversity, water stress and occupational health and safety. Please read more about these topics and how we approach them under Other topics outside our focus areas.
Our five sustainability focus areas and our overall sustainability strategy contribute to nine of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are the areas that are material to the Company and where we believe we can have a positive impact. Please see UN Sustainability Development Goals aligned with our focus areas for more information.
Since 2007, Swedish Match contributes with data for greenhouse gas emissions in a global annual review administrated by the non-profit organization CDP.
All products are not for everyone and some consumer groups should not use certain products. This is particularly true for tobacco and other nicotine containing products which are intended for adult use only. Certain other consumer groups are also deemed vulnerable.
For tobacco and nicotine containing products, Swedish Match has an “Adult only policy” which firmly states that all such products shall only be marketed and sold to adults of legal tobacco age in each market. If the legal tobacco age in any market is below 18, Swedish Match shall still adhere to a policy of 18 years of age or over. This means that we shall not direct any marketing, advertising or promotion of tobacco and other nicotine containing products to persons under the age of 18 or the legal tobacco age if it is higher. We are committed to educating, informing and cooperating with retailers, distributors and public officials to prevent the underage use of tobacco and other nicotine containing products. Where it is legal, we may sell and market our products online and use face to face marketing and sampling, but only to age verified adults.
Swedish Match’s Code of Conduct is available on the Company’s website.
The Code consists of several 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 third 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 initiatives 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.
As part of our activities to help ensure awareness of the Code of Conduct and to find out whether our employees have reviewed or been informed about the Code of Conduct, we conduct periodic employee surveys. Mandatory training on the Code of Conduct is done through e-learning to supplement town hall meetings and similar events. Employees without e-mail accounts, hourly employees and consultants receive training related to the Code of Conduct in group sessions. All employees are to participate in the training on an ongoing basis. Matters addressed in the Code of Conduct are continuously communicated to employees through, for example, the Company’s Intranet.
To further secure sound business ethics within the organization, we encourage all employees to speak up if they become aware of behavior that is not in line with the Code of Conduct. Please see Ensure ethical business practices for more information on the whistleblower function.
At Swedish Match we have zero tolerance towards corruption and bribery. Swedish Match shall not participate in, or through third parties, endorse any corrupt practices. This is clearly stated in the Code of Conduct. Raising awareness and knowledge in these areas within our organization is of high importance and relevant employees are required to complete a specific e-learning on the subject. The e-learning is also open to anyone else within the organization.
Swedish Match has focused on certifying those facilities that account for the largest part of the Company’s production and sales and the majority of our production facilities (9 of 15) are ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 certified. Non-certified factories include our match factories in Curitiba and Piraí do Sul, Brazil, lighters factory in Manaus, Brazil, and businesses acquired since 2017 (Swedish Match Denmark, previously V2 Tobacco, House of Oliver Twist, and Gotlandssnus).
In our focus area Reduce environmental impact we commit to doing our part in line with the Paris Agreement, supported by science-based targets for our business’ value chain.
Our climate targets were set through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and approved in March 2019. Swedish Match has committed to reduce absolute scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions 41 percent by 2030 and 75 percent by 2050 from a 2017 base year. The targets are in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep the rise in global temperature below 2°C compared to preindustrial levels. Please see Reduce environmental impact for more information.
Timber for our match production is sourced locally, close to our factories in Sweden and Brazil. Nearly all of the timber for production of matches in Brazil is grown in Swedish Match’s own plantations. Our plantations consist of roughly 4,500 hectares of planted poplar and pine in the south of the Paraná state and in the north of the Santa Catarina state. Our plantations adhere to strict growing requirements beyond those levels set by local laws and regulations.
Aspen used for the production of matches in Sweden is sourced from the southern part of Sweden in the vicinity of our splint factory and is primarily sourced through major timber suppliers. Relatively small quantities are also sourced directly from individual forest owners. Swedish Match Industries AB, the entity producing matches in Sweden, is certified according to FSC’s standards for Chain of Custody and Controlled Wood.
We continuously work to reduce the use of packaging material and other materials associated with our products and explore the possibilities to use recycled materials where permitted in the local legislation. We also work actively towards increasing the recyclability of consumer packaging materials at the end of their product life and collaborate with our business partners in local markets to raise consumer awareness and implement littering prevention initiatives.
We have implemented different initiatives to address the issue of post-consumer waste from our products. We have ceased the use of black plastic cans for our snus range sold in Scandinavia, eliminating more than 800 tons of non-recyclable plastics annually. We also partnered with organizations in Sweden and Norway to provide infrastructure to further enable recycling and raise consumer awareness regarding littering issues.
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.
Paperboard is the standard snus packaging used for loose snus. It is made from recycled paper and the inside is covered in paraffin wax to keep the product separated from the packaging. Using paperboard means that the packaging materials will biodegrade easily.
For cigars, the usage of FoilFresh® packaging has provided longer shelf life of products, reducing the need for returns of old or stale product, which in turn can reduce waste to the landfill.
Also, the use of 100 percent recycled paperboard within certain packaging formats has increased significantly over the past years. All byproduct paper from the production of packaging material used in the Company’s factory in Dothan (Alabama, the US) is returned to the supplier, who converts it to an energy source.
For matches, post-consumer recycled fibers are being used for the vast majority of the production of inner and outer match boxes. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials are increasingly being used for match cardboard.
For lighters, packaging for utility lighters has been developed which helps to minimize the use of material. This also helps to maximize the amount of units that can be loaded on freight containers when distributing the products. Nylon usage for lighter production at the Assen factory has been reduced which should result in notable waste reduction in production in the coming years.
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.
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.
No, Swedish Match does not use any kind of genetically modified tobacco in its products.
We recognize that child labor represents a serious human rights violation in many parts of the world, including areas where we have suppliers. We are committed to improving our risk analyses and processes to proactively reduce and eventually eliminate child labor and related human rights issues with regard to this focus area in our value chain.
Please see Human rights in our supply chain for information on our efforts within this area.
In our efforts to contribute to a more sustainable world, managing our supply chain sustainably is fundamental to long term success. We have procedures in place, and under continuous development, to further emphasize sustainable supply chain management. Our Supplier Code of Conduct specifies what we expect and require from our suppliers in terms of employment and labor practices, workplace practices, ethical business practices and environmental management practices. The Supplier Code of Conduct forms the basis for our relationship with suppliers and is an integral part of most of our significant business agreements.
Activities to assure sustainable supply chain management include active dialogue and communication of Swedish Match’s requirements, follow-up on adherence, sustainability audits and proactive community investments.
Please see Human rights in our supply chain for information on our efforts within this area.
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.
No, Swedish Match does not conduct animal testing of its products or product constituents.
Swedish Match 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. 29, 87, 98, 105, 100, 111, 138, and 182), and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Nine of the UN SDGs align with our sustainability focus areas where we believe we can have a meaningful impact and where we have tangible commitments and goals connected to the detailed targets set by the identified SDGs. We also contribute to seven of the remaining eight goals through our general business contribution and societal engagement. Please see Our contribution to the UN SDGs for more information.
We believe that the most important element of our efforts is to foster a genuine culture of equal opportunity with the right tone from the top. The Group Management Team (GMT) is fully committed to our equal opportunity efforts. Progress is continuously being monitored and senior managers are mindful to set clear examples that help developing and fostering the culture. Many actions are taken each year to ensure that we create and maintain an inclusive work environment. We continually have initiatives to assess and improve our culture from a diversity perspective. We monitor our recruitments and promotions, organize gender equality programs, perform detailed equal pay analyses and conduct other equal employment opportunity efforts. Employee satisfaction and perceived ability to advance and develop are tracked through a global employee opinion survey which also includes parameters on discrimination. Please see Equal opportunity for more information.
At December 31, 2020, the share of females among Swedish Match’s total workforce was 41 percent. The share of female managers with direct reports were 26 percent and the share of females in senior management (defined as participants in the Company’s LTI program) was 18 percent.
In 2020, one member (13 percent) of Group Management was female. Share of female members in Board of Directors appointed by the Annual General Meeting was 38 percent.
Please see Equal opportunity for more information.
Swedish Match complies with the eight International Labour Organization (ILO) Core Conventions (Nos. 29, 87, 98, 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.