Values and behaviours (continued)
Introduction Report of the Executive Board Report of the Supervisory Board
In 2018, we focused on four key areas:
We launched a new workshop to build inclusive
leadership which will be attended by all General
Managers and the Global Functional Leadership
Teams in 2019.
We are developing a global ambassador
community to help management teams
understand and respond to local challenges
and requirements and meet our global diversity
aspirations. The ambassadors will join a dedicated
development programme in early 2019.
We have designed a programme that supports
talented female employees in their development
and career progression across the organisation -
to be launched in early 2019.
We continue to support operating companies
and global functions in integrating inclusion
and diversity in their Annual People Plans,
talent management strategies and everyday
In November 2018, our CEO, Jean-Francois van
Boxmeer, signed the European Round Table of
Industrialists (ERT) Inclusion Diversity pledge,
the first pan-European commitment of its kind to
promote inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
Brand Promoters play an important role as
ambassadors of our products, helping us to
communicate the value of our products directly to
consumers. In March 2018, allegations came to our
attention with respect to the working conditions
of Brand Promoters employed in Africa, specifically
related to harassment. We took these allegations
seriously. Our ambition is that Brand Promoters
feel proud of their work with us. We see it as our
responsibility to aim to provide safe working
environments for them.
With the help of Brand Promoters, NGOs, partners
and our operating companies, we defined a set of
seven guiding principles and created a new Brand
This policy became effective in June 2018.
It covers agency contracts and working conditions,
availability of support, mandatory training and
guidelines on uniforms and places Brand Promoter
safety at the core.
To better understand market realities, we
commissioned a series of independent, third
party external assessments through three
leading pioneers in the field of ethical and socially
responsible business practice. In Africa, a 17-country
assessment was carried out by Partner Africa
and a follow-up assessment was carried out in
four countries. In Asia, Impactt conducted an
assessment of 11 countries, while in the Americas
we worked with Arche Advisors in 14 countries.
As a consequence, 815 Brand Promoters were
interviewed globally, 103 agencies were assessed,
and 169 incognito assessments were carried out.
Heineken N.V. Annual Report 2018
All in all, the assessments found that all Brand
Promoters were paid at, or above, the national
minimum wage. No allegations of consensual
or forced prostitution were made by any of the
promoters interviewed, but instances of harassment
were reported. The single biggest issue found
was that policies and management systems
were lacking in many of the agencies. Therefore,
improvements were made in the areas of tendering,
procurement and contracting agency services,
including background checks, due diligence and
ensuring commitment and adherence to the
HEINEKEN Supplier Code.
From the outset, we committed to stop deploying
Brand Promoters in markets, channels or outlets
where we could not apply these principles. In few
markets, we stopped working with Brand Promoters.
In some markets, we temporarily paused working
with them. In others, we significantly reduced the
number of agencies we work with and/or stopped
working with specific outlets. As we know that
creating and ensuring safe working conditions is
not a one-off action, we are taking multiple actions
and embedding Brand Promoters' safety in our
commercial execution processes. This means
both internal and external compliance audits will
continue to be conducted on an ongoing basis.
We recognise that changing the working conditions
of Brand Promoters globally will take time and we
are committed to playing an active role in this.
To bring this change, we need to involve other
parties, including civil society as a whole as well as
the stakeholders involved. Most Brand Promoters
work through agencies and work for multiple brands
in venues and events that are run by third parties.
This poses dilemmas and challenges. We have
nonetheless decided to take a leadership role to
foster this change and we are actively engaging
with our industry peers, NGOs, third party agencies,
bar owners and Brand Promoters themselves to
make this change possible.
For more details on our Brand Promoters policy and the third party
assessments in the regions, see our website.