Active engagement with our stakeholders helps us perform as an agile business – responding to opportunities as they arise and safeguarding us against threats when they emerge. Creating open and meaningful dialogue with all our stakeholders helps to steer our strategy in a way that creates the most sustainable value for our business, now and in the future.
Consumer feedback is a gift. We engage directly and across all platforms with the people who love our drinks through our Consumer Engagement team. The team cares deeply about supporting anyone who has questions, concerns, suggestions or ideas for improvements. In 2020, the team engaged with more than 32,000 consumers globally. The learnings from this engagement are tracked, analysed and fed into our Marketing, Quality and R&D teams to make sure the consumer remains at the heart of everything we do.
We engage with suppliers to address challenges and drive positive change through our Procurement and Supplier Quality Assurance teams and processes, as well as through conferences and training sessions for suppliers. We are committed to sourcing the materials we need and the ingredients of our drinks in a responsible manner and continually strive for the highest ethical standards, holding our suppliers and partners to the same criteria. Our Ethical Business Policy details our commitment to human rights and covers bribery and corruption, conducting business with respect, integrity and equality, and managing personal activities and interests. Our approach is guided by international conventions and standards, including the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Our policy extends to our suppliers and other trading partners and compliance is monitored through our responsible sourcing programme.
Our extensive portfolio, considerable knowledge of the soft drinks category, and strong customer service levels make us a trusted partner for our customers. We are well known for sharing our expertise with customers and helping them navigate fresh challenges and legislative changes. For example, during the early months of the pandemic we converted our trade-facing Sensational Drinks website into a one-stop shop for supporting the licensed and hospitality trade in Great Britain. When pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants closed at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Britvic was on hand to provide information on how to keep equipment in working order during the shutdown. In July 2020, when these same venues reopened, we offered instructional videos on restarting dispense equipment, top tips on how to boost sales and advice on the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme. We were also able to offer free training through our partners.
We want the communities in which we operate to thrive and, through our community support programmes, we offer a variety of mechanisms by which our employees can support their communities including paid community days, matched fundraising and drinks donations. Britvic and its people want to make a meaningful contribution to our communities through our myGiving programme. We offer community volunteering days to enable our employees to support the causes that mean most to them. We also encourage employees to fundraise on behalf of a registered charity close to their hearts.
We want our people to thrive in a dynamic, highly inclusive workplace that truly values each individual, while recognising we are all stronger together. By doing this, we attract and retain the very best talent, and the very best people. We receive regular employee feedback through our Employee Heartbeat survey which we conduct every six months alongside more regular informal feedback sessions. The feedback we receive is invaluable in shaping how we work.
The group’s investor reach is global, and Britvic liaises with investors in the UK, the USA, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Australia. Our Director of Investor Relations is responsible for all primary contact with shareholders, potential investors and equities research professionals. The CEO, CFO and Chief Strategy Officer provide regular engagement support with other Executive team members and functional specialists involved as required. The Chairman regularly proactively engages with investors to understand their views on governance and the performance of the Company against its strategy and on any other matters specifically concerning the Company. There is a regular programme of meetings with major institutional shareholders to consider the Group’s performance and prospects. The Group reports its financial performance to shareholders four times a year: half-year and full-year announcements and Q1 and Q3 trading updates.
Businesses don’t exist in a vacuum, and we often engage with a wide range of policymakers, non-governmental organisations and trade associations – to understand how best to improve our operations to the benefit of all in society. While we never make political donations, we will represent our views on the issues that affect our business to political actors, both directly and with relevant industry bodies and trade associations, and always while complying with relevant local laws. We also talk to those non-governmental organisations with an interest in our industry to ensure we understand their concerns, and wherever possible learn from them.