In 2015 we launched our updated Code of Conduct. The Code, which is available on our website and Group intranet, was developed to improve communication, expand disclosures and utilise Q&As to give practical examples. It was translated into several languages widely spoken in the Group, given to each employee and subsequently to all new starters. We also recommunicated our whistleblowing procedures to all employees in 2015 and more detail on this is given under the Business Ethics section.
The Board has overall responsibility for corporate responsibility and considers and approves our key policies including the Code of Conduct, Environmental Policy and Health and Safety Policy. These policies set a standard for all of our businesses and 1,800 employees worldwide. All of these policies are available on our website and Group intranet and are central to our approach on corporate responsibility. The Board has delegated the co-ordination of our corporate responsibility efforts to me and, with the Operations Executive and senior management, we focus our efforts on the areas of business ethics, environment, employees, and community and charitable donations. Our size dictates that our approach to corporate responsibility must be flexible and pragmatic, focusing our resources where necessary to comply with legal requirements. The Board and Operations Executive regularly considers the Group’s reputation with progress against our corporate responsibility objectives actively measured. For example, each month health and safety performance is reviewed to learn important lessons in this vital area, adapting our policies, reporting structure and practices in light of our performance, experience and regulatory changes.
We also launched a Group intranet in 2015, MyVitec, providing employees with a centralised location to find important information on all Group policies, procedures and benefits.
In 2016 we plan to ensure that our Code of Conduct is communicated to all our major suppliers and customers and that we ensure our supply chain is robust with no reputational issues associated with it. We will undertake further training of our employees in this area to ensure our values are understood. We will continue our review of health and safety procedures to improve working practices and to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all our employees and third parties on our sites. We will continue to focus on diversity, talent development and succession planning to ensure we have the best talent and resources to deliver on our strategic objectives. Progress against each of these will be reported on in the 2016 Annual Report.
Group Chief Executive