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Corporate Responsibility

Our Code of Conduct and other related policies set out the ethics, principles and standards that are required to be consistently upheld by each division, business and corporate function within the Group.

Business and ethics

Our Group Code of Conduct and Ethics (our Code) together with our Anti-Corruption and Bribery Policy and other related policies, set out the ethics, principles and standards that are required to be consistently upheld in each business and corporate function within the Group. It also applies to our business partners: suppliers, agents and customers. Download our Code of Conduct and Business Ethics (PDF 0.13MB) to find out more.

The Group has a Speak-Up hotline available in all countries where the Group has operations. The Speak-Up line can be used by any employee in the Group or by third parties and allows them to report any incidents or inappropriate behaviours in their own language. The confidentiality of the information reported is correctly protected. The Group also carries out refreshment training on the basic principles of our Code as well as the Speak-Up line, so it is well known and, in the case of the Speak-Up line, can be used as needed, by any employee in the organisation.

You can submit your concern on a confidential basis to our Speak-Up Line, which is managed for us by an independent company named Expolink, by clicking on the ‘Submit a Report’ section within this link: http://www.expolink.co.uk/stockspirits.

Stock Spirits Group considers that having good corporate responsibility is an essential element of achieving our overall objectives and acting as a responsible organisation. This includes developing strong relationships with our suppliers and customers, ensuring best-in-class people are joining the organisation and our commitment to the environment. We are committed to doing business responsibly and ensuring a culture of integrity.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires large UK businesses to publish a statement describing the activities they are undertaking to prevent slavery and human trafficking in their own business operations and supply chain. The Stock Spirits Group statement fulfils the requirements of this act and covers all group companies.

You can download our Modern Slavery Statement here.

Alcohol and society

We are conscious that our products should be enjoyed responsibly by those who choose to drink them, and we do not want irresponsible drinking to harm the health of our consumers. We believe that efforts to reduce the misuse of alcohol are most effective if all parties involved (including authorities, individuals and producers) work together.

Czech Republic and Slovakia

Our companies in these markets are founding members of ‘Fórum PSR’, which brings together the countries’ major spirits producers and distributors to work against alcohol abuse. The forum focuses primarily on preventive and educational projects targeting the serving of alcohol to minors, drink-driving and excessive drinking.

Additionally, we actively introduced the ‘PSR, (drink responsibly)’ platform within our media, in-store and other brand communication. Forum members have also pledged to observe a code of conduct that strictly regulates their advertising activities. Stock Plzeň Božkov is a member of the Spirits Trade Association in the Czech Republic. This Association was active during 2018 in supporting the local government in its ongoing efforts to implement a strong regulatory environment in the spirits industry.


Stock Polska belongs to the Association of Employers Polish Spirits Industry (ZP Polski Przemysł, Spirytusowy), the trade organisation which, as part of its work, promotes responsible drinking through educational programmes and public campaigns. These include, ‘Don’t drink and drive’; ‘Better start for your child’ aimed at pregnant women; ‘Here we check Adulthood’, where the campaign’s objective is to reduce the availability of alcohol to the underage, by encouraging retailers to request identification from younger customers and the most recent campaign ‘Alcohol. Always responsibly’ which aims at building knowledge that all alcoholic beverages contain the same substance, therefore they have the same impact and all of them should be consumed responsibly. As the campaign is scheduled for three years, it will come to an end in mid-2019.

A significant part of the activity is carried out across social media and through campaigns held at universities, industry meetings and events. There are also workshops for retailers during which guidelines on ‘Responsible selling and serving alcohol beverages’ are communicated and ZP PPS actively supports both local and national responsible alcohol campaigns, such as the ‘European Night without Accident’.


In Italy, we are a member of Federvini, the national trade association founded in 1917 which, as part of its role, promotes responsible drinking using educational and informative programmes.


Our businesses are fully aware of their responsibilities to the environment. In addition to mandatory compliance programmes, many of our businesses have undertaken a number of voluntary initiatives, which demonstrate the importance that is given to environmental matters.


In the 9 months to 30 September 2018, we continued our environmental awareness campaign, using the ‘Sztokus’ mascot. The campaign's purpose was to raise eco-awareness of both Stock Polska personnel and employees of the Company’s contractors, and to reduce our environmental impact as a business.

The campaign covered several areas including eco-awareness and behaviour; reducing the amount of generated waste and its segregation; water, gas and electricity saving initiatives; and communication campaigns focused on environmental protection, including posters, banners and stickers displayed throughout the premises.

In 2018 the following projects were set up and completed:

  • On 23 April, to celebrate Earth Day, potted plants, reusable shopping bags and leaflets on consumer responsibility were distributed among the employees.
  • To promote environmentally-friendly commuting, we encouraged our employees to participate in the carpooling programme and erected a roofed bicycle rack on the grounds of the employee car park.
  • A waste segregation quiz was organised for the employees and winners received ecology-related prizes.
  • As part of the Health and Safety and Environmental Protection Day, employees visited a stand devoted to the idea of Zero Waste at Home and Work and were given practical advice on ways of reducing their impact on the environment.
  • In October the campaign ‘Tree for waste’ encouraged employees to bring recyclable waste such as paper, plastic or glass, in exchange for seedlings.

The main mottos of all environmental projects were “Zero waste” and “I’m a responsible consumer – I use no single-use packaging”.

In 2018 we reduced the amount of generated waste by 19.43% and recycled 96.75% (2017: 89%) of the waste produced on site. In 2018 we reduced our utilities consumption in comparison to the corresponding period (January–September 2017) electricity by 10.2%; gas by 36.11% and water by 20.7%.

Czech Republic

In the 9 months to 30 September 2018, we improved efficiency of energy and water consumption. Gas consumption decreased by 10% due to increase of the efficiency of heating by exchange of ventilation exchangers in the administrative building and replacement of electric controllers on the central heating distribution. Water consumption decreased by 3% and was achieved by better planning.

In our production facility in Prádlo, electricity consumption decreased by 6% due to several projects including new electrical installation, newly installed efficient lights in blending premises and outdoors.

We were able to recycle 96% of the waste produced through employee training and improved processes of waste sorting.

Greenhouse gas emissions

In the financial period 2018 (1 January 2018 – 30 September 2018), the Group’s total Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions were 26,230 tonnes and 6,924 tonnes of CO2e respectively, a total of 33,154 tonnes. This is a 13.5% increase compared to 28,938 tonnes during the same 9 months period in 2017 (22,398 tonnes of Scope 1 and 6,540 tonnes of Scope 2 CO2e).

The emissions intensity for the financial period rose by 9.9% to 403 grams CO2e per litre of packaged product compared to 365 grams during the same period in 2017.

This increase is due to the higher level of activity at the Baltic distillery site in the financial period relative to the same period in 2017 when the facility was not operational due to the breakdown of the grain dryer for a period. Baltic’s core activity is energy-intensive rectification, which is why it accounted for 77.6% of total Group emissions in the financial period. In addition, the site’s energy mix results in higher emissions per unit of energy used compared to other sites. An increase in activity at Baltic consequently leads to a disproportionate increase in emissions intensity at Group level.

As in prior years, we have applied the latest available DEFRA UK location based conversion factors (2018) to calculate the current year emissions. All data capture procedures, conversion and reporting have undergone independent limited assurance by ERM Certification and Verification Services (CVS).

The Group complies with all current regulations on emissions including greenhouse gas emissions, where such regulation exists in our markets. We have reviewed the impact on the business from the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU), and are conducting audits in line with these requirements.

We have reported on all of the emissions sources required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Reports) Regulations 2013. These sources fall within our consolidated financial statements. We do not have responsibility for any emission sources that are not included in our consolidated financial statements.

The Independent Assurance Statement from ERM Certification and Verification Services is available here (PDF 0.25MB).


The success of a business depends on its people, therefore we are committed to providing every employee and potential employee with equal opportunity in all areas of employment. This is underpinned by our Equality and Diversity policy which can be downloaded here.

Following the AGM in May 2018 where there were high votes against the resolutions re-electing the members of the Nomination Committee, I contacted those shareholders who had cast votes against, suggesting a meeting or call. Out of the seven shareholders contacted, two responded. From those conversations, the lack of diversity on the Board was clearly a reason for voting against. As previously explained, the Committee had commenced a search for a new NED in May and Kate Allum joined the Board on 1 November 2018. Our Board now consists of one female (12.5%) and seven males (87.5%).

The Company remains committed to ensuring a diverse and representative Board and to ensuring that appointments are based on merit. Boardroom diversity will continue to be an important area of focus for the Committee with the aim of attracting and maintaining a Board which has a broad range of skills, backgrounds and experience, ensuring the best people are appointed. Whilst the Board does not currently meet the voluntary target for gender set by the Hampton-Alexander Review for FTSE350 Boards, this target has now been included within the Board Diversity Policy. The Committee will work towards the target when vacancies arise in the future, however, given the size and tenure profile of the Board, it may take slightly longer than 2020 to achieve.

The Committee will continue to seek diversity when considering new appointments to both the Board and the senior management team and will work with the Executive search firms, in a manner which enhances opportunities for diverse candidates. The Board Diversity Policy will continue to be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure it remains appropriate.

The Policy will be fully taken into account when the next Board vacancy arises. As mentioned above this may not be in the very near future given the tenure profile of the Board.

Health and safety

Health & Safety

The health and safety of our employees, contractors and visitors to our sites is taken very seriously and is a high priority for the Group.

With regard to performance during the period to 30 September 2018, there were no major accidents or incidents notifiable to the authorities. There was a significant reduction in accidents at work and lost time incidents (LTIs) have decreased by 60% compared to the prior year. As the graph above demonstrates, the reduction in LTIs over the three-year period between 2016–2018 emphasises the effect of our proactive focus on health and safety across the Group. There were six minor LTIs recorded in 2018 and Poland recorded a year without any LTIs in the supply chain.

With regard to our focus on governance and continuous improvement, cross Group health and safety forums are held quarterly, which support the local monitoring and review of practices, systems, processes and initiatives. The annual externally facilitated property and safety management audits, carried out across the Group, resulted in an improvement in scores across all locations.

Comprehensive and holistic safety improvement plans are in place across all locations and cover culture and behaviour; education, training, awareness and ownership; asset safety; and systems, processes and ways of working.

Audit action plans are managed locally and at Group level, and are supported by the compliance team.

Formal local and Group health and safety reporting is presented on a monthly basis to the local management team, Group leadership team and to the Board and includes updates on: safety performance for the period; safety initiatives; investment updates; action plan performance; and reviews and audit updates.

Safety engagement and accident prevention includes the following:

  • Quarterly safety days are held in Poland and the Czech Republic and focus on key safety improvements areas. Education, training, awareness and ownership for safety is a key component of our approach to health and safety and ensures our employees are aware, enabled, participating, empowered and engaged in safety at work.
  • Proactive safety reporting and actioning includes documenting unsafe acts, unsafe conditions and near miss reporting, which was introduced in 2015 and is embedded in our supply chain operations.
  • During the period to 30 September 2018 a target of one unsafe act/unsafe condition/near miss reported per employee per month was set and was achieved at a 98% completion rate for notifications.
  • The MILA driver safety initiative was introduced during the year for all company car users in Poland and Slovakia and monitors key safety and economy areas of driver performance such as speed, seat belt wearing, acceleration, braking and fuel economy.
  • Each month there is a hot topic to focus on and communicate. Some examples of those actions during the year were HALO pedestrian safety, slips trips and falls, hazardous areas training, contractor management, fire and explosion prevention and action, equipment and asset safety, car driver safety training, ergonomics and physiotherapy.

Continuous investment is made in the area of health and safety including property and asset protection.

Human Rights

The Group strives to comply fully with relevant legislation in the countries in which it operates and ensures that human rights are protected in all the production plants and offices from which the Group operates. As mentioned previously, we have a Code of Conduct that we ask all our suppliers to adhere to. This requires that they and the persons acting on their behalf act without regard to gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin or disability in accordance with our  Equality and Diversity Policy.

Employee involvement and policy regarding disabled persons

A description of the action taken by the Group in relation to employee involvement, including how the Group provides employees with information on matters concerning them and the Group, can be found in our 2018 Annual Report and Accounts. Procedures are in place that are designed to provide for full and fair consideration and selection of disabled applicants to ensure they are properly trained to perform safely and effectively, and to provide career opportunities that allow them to fulfil their potential. Where an employee becomes disabled in the course of their employment, the Group will actively seek to retain them wherever possible by making adjustments to their work content and environment, or by retraining them to undertake new roles.


During the year the UK corporate office raised over £4,000 for charity which included taking part in the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ supporting Macmillan Cancer and continuing to support the Project Artworks ‘Art on Loan’ programme.

Stock Polska donated 30,000 PLN to enable a group of local children to attend the ‘Odyssey of The Mind World Finals’ in USA.

In Slovakia retired laptops were donated to local charities and as part of their ‘Healthy Company’ initiative, a life balance lecture was organised alongside First Aid training for office staff in April as part of World Health & Safety Day.