Laying the foundations for sustainable and responsible growth
In 2013 DIA delivered the three targets it had set for itself in 2012 in order to consolidate its sustainable growth model: (i) approval of the company’s formal corporate social responsibility policy; (ii) realisation of further energy savings thanks to new efficiency measures; and (iii) development of a white collar crime prevention program.
1.3.1. Corporate social responsibility policy
DIA’s Board of Directors approved the group’s high-level corporate social responsibility policy on 6 May 2013. Underpinned by the company’s dual objective of contributing to social wellbeing and minimising the impact of its business on the environment, the company enshrined the following eight principles.
To promote best corporate governance practices, prioritising transparency, ethical business management and responsible risk mitigation.
To establish and maintain open, two-way communication with stakeholders (consumers, employees, franchisees, suppliers, civil society and shareholders) in order to become better acquainted with their expectations and efficiently tailor business operations to deliver on these expectations.
To work to continually improve all processes in order to promote access to quality food at unbeatable prices, tying the company’s community work to the provision of food to the neediest and most vulnerable, with child nutrition as a signature program.
To promote and ensure compliance with the United Nations Global Compact.
To promote respect for diversity by creating the right conditions for fostering teamwork among people of differing backgrounds and abilities.
To promote workplace health and safety for everyone working at the company.
To train the people working at the company and help them develop their careers.
To make a difference to the environment by better effective management of natural resources, driven by efficiency and innovation, in order to minimise the adverse consequences of DIA’s business activities.
These enacting policies round out the general framework regulating corporate social responsibility at DIA. Development of this framework began in 2012 with the identification of the five values (efficiency, initiative, teamwork, respect and customers) which inspire and govern all of DIA’s activities and guarantee their sustainability. These values formed the basis for the drafting of the business ethics code, a code of conduct with which all DIA group employees must comply.
In 2013, the company carried out an intense communication campaign in all its markets to publicise this code across all its subsidiaries.
Meanwhile, it continued to work on improving its corporate social responsibility record. To this end, it became a member of Forética in May 2013; this international platform is devoted to encourage ethical and socially responsible business management.
1.3.2 Taking energy savings to the next level
One of the goals for 2013 set out in last year’s Sustainability Report was the delivery of additional reductions in energy consumption by means of new energy-saving and efficiency initiatives.
In 2013, the company completed the installation of 320,000 LED tubes in Spain and Portugal as part of a project that will help cut carbon emissions by 20,800 tonnes and be rolled out to France and Brazil next. In addition, the group invested around €5 million to install doors on its refrigeration cabinets in 1,154 stores in Spain as part of an initiative that will translate into energy savings of over 21 million KWh, equivalent to 9,812.29 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
In order to protect the environment, the company continued to work in parallel on reducing the environmental impact of its product packaging. To this end it continued to use eco-design criteria, thereby reducing the raw materials and energy resources consumed and optimising production and logistics processes.
End-to-end waste management, which was trialled at one warehouse in 2012, was implemented across all the Spanish warehouses in 2013.
Also in 2013 the group analysed the environmental footprint of nine warehouses in Spain as part of a longer-term plan for increasing efficiency in the logistics arena. The warehouse analysis encompassed an assessment of the various facilities’ waste management efforts, controls over emissions and discharges, water and energy consumption performance and the measures in place to minimise the environmental impact of their installations and activities. This exercise is the first step in a program that will entail the environmental assessment of all of the group’s facilities and operations.
In the latter part of the year the company also embarked on an ambitious project to document the environmental management system, working on the drafting and dissemination of environmental management procedures, with a view to ensuring homogenous application across the board of the environmental standards committed to by the company.
Membership of the Spanish Energy Efficiency Business Platform
The DIA group’s decision to join the Spanish Energy Efficiency Business Platform marks a milestone in its effort to consistently eke out further energy efficiency gains.
This platform, which was set up in 2011, is the first attempt by big businesses from different sectors to join forces to promote activities targeted at the promotion of energy efficiency by sponsoring and implementing initiatives designed to bring about energy savings and reduce companies’ carbon footprints.
By joining this platform in early 2013, DIA has committed to deliver energy savings across the company and on the part of its customers in the years to come and to reduce and offset its greenhouse gas emissions.
1.3.3. Anti-fraud plan
On the corporate governance front, DIA made further progress on its efforts to combat fraud and corruption, one of the goals it specifically committed to in the 2012 Sustainability Report.
Delivering on one of the three sustainability targets laid down for the year, the company drafted and enacted an anti-fraud plan which is already up and running in Spain. Work has begun on implementing the plan in Portugal and the idea is to roll it out to the other operating markets in the near future.
New internal controls
In 2013 DIA continued to fine-tune its internal control systems. In September it formally approved its internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) system and policy. This policy can be downloaded from the corporate intranet and has been distributed via e-mail to the implicated departments.
The policy provides a general description of the ICFR system and its objectives and addresses ICFR roles and duties, the methodology for carrying out the ICFR function and how financial reporting risks are managed.