Governance of sustainability
Responsible governance is fundamental to building a resilient and successful organisation in which sustainability is embedded at all levels.
We aim to work openly and transparently with our stakeholders across the value chain to create an inclusive and fair business. Robust policies, standards and management systems help us meet our commitments and guide our businesses to address the risks and opportunities facing them.
Our Boards and committees provide the leadership necessary to implement the principles of good corporate governance across the Group, ensuring that all our decisions and actions are based on integrity, responsibility, accountability, fairness and transparency. The Boards approve our approach and review performance. The Boards delegate specific areas of responsibility to a number of committees, which have authority to make decisions according to their terms of reference.
The Group sustainable development (SD) function provides guidance and helps define the actions required to achieve our goal of growing responsibly. This includes monitoring and assessing material risks and opportunities facing the Group. It also oversees the management of the Sustainable Development Management System (SDMS) and facilitates all Group sustainability reporting and external assurance.
Internal and external engagement is a key responsibility of the SD function. Internally, this involves supporting businesses to better identify and address relevant sustainability related topics, business risks and opportunities, as well as reporting our positions and performance across the 10 Growing Responsibly Action Areas. Externally, it is about overseeing and fostering engagement and collaboration with stakeholders to develop a shared understanding of the SD landscape and help tackle the issues no single sector or organisation can solve alone.
Our Sustainable Development Management System (SDMS) guides the effective governance of all aspects of sustainability and the implementation of our policies and standards. It covers all facilities and activities that we manage and operate (including those in which we hold a controlling interest), new developments, and mergers and acquisitions. Activities undertaken by contractors, either on Mondi sites or while under our management, are also incorporated into our SDMS.
In 2018, we commenced the review of our operating standards, the second tier of our SDMS, which set minimum requirements for Mondi operations to comply with Group policies. This review is being carried out to acquire expert input into the standards the Group should adopt to be in line with industry good practice, and to assess our operations’ readiness to meet the upcoming requirements contained in the standards.
The group-wide risk management framework is designed to address all significant strategic, sustainable development, financial, operational and compliance risks that could undermine our ability to achieve our business objectives in the future. We exercise due diligence prior to the introduction of new operations, practices, processes and products.
Our sustainable development risk and change management standard guides the way sustainable development risks are identified and managed. Our risk management approach – particularly relating to environmental issues – incorporates the precautionary principle, which implies our responsibility to protect the natural environment from harm where there is a plausible risk.
The internal audit function is an integral part of the Group’s governance. Its purpose, as an independent assurance function, is to evaluate whether business risks are being managed effectively within the context of business objectives. A system of internal control is one of the primary means of managing risk and the evaluation of its effectiveness is central to internal audit responsibilities. Mondi’s system of internal control comprises the policies, procedures and practices, as well as organisational culture that collectively supports effective operation in the pursuit of our objectives.
The audit committee oversees the adequacy of Speakout, our Group-wide anonymous whistleblowing system. Internal audit is responsible for the day-to-day monitoring of the Speakout process, ensuring management is appropriately informed about reported issues and related risks are adequately managed.
We are opposed to all forms of corruption and illegal practices. Mondi does not tolerate the giving or receiving of bribes, nor does it condone anti-competitive practices in its dealings with governments or in the marketplace. The Group does not permit contributions or donations for political purposes
Mondi was not the subject of any legal actions for anti-competitive behaviour, anti-trust or monopoly practices during 2018.
During the year Mondi paid fines totalling approximately €37,000 involving five cases. The largest amount, approximately €20,000, was paid by our Richards Bay mill (South Africa) for exceeding effluent quality parameters.