Fostering Stakeholder Dialogue
Our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Commitment
Beyond its commercial and financial goals, Dufry is also committed to contributing to the travel retail industry and to society in general.
Dufry is a global travel retail operator with over 2,400 duty-free and duty-paid shops in airports, cruise lines, seaports, railway stations and downtown tourist areas. We employ over 31,000 employees (FTEs) across the 65 countries where we hold operations and represent in our stores over 1,000 different global and local brands. Dufry is part of the Swiss Market Index MID (SMIM) on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a balanced share of large and small shareholders.
Dufry is aware that the impact of its operations goes far beyond its financial goals and is fully committed to contribute to the travel retail industry and the society. Understanding the effects our company has on society and the environment is a vital part of achieving our sustainability goals. This sustainability report, prepared following the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, Core Option, serves Dufry to assess the impact under the three dimensions of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – and to share with our stakeholders our vision of sustainability. This report is available online and complements the information shown in the sustainability section of our corporate website.
Evolution of our materiality assessment
Dufry started making inroads in sustainability reporting back in 2016 with its first materiality assessment commissioned with Ernst & Young. As a result of this assessment, we disclosed our first Materiality Matrix, which outlines the topics that are relevant to both our stakeholders and our business and, which served to establish our sustainability reporting framework. Following this milestone, we published our first Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards in 2017.
The creation of that materiality matrix was a scaled process, which began with the assessment of a number of internal and external sources such as our existing policies and regulations, publicly available materiality assessments of peers and the SASB requirements (Sustainability Accounting Standard Board) as well as the report of the Governance & Accountability Institute. As a next step, we gathered stakeholder feedback, mainly through various internal sources, but also through our role in trade conferences and associations, one-on-one discussions and the on-going dialogue with stakeholders. This, together with the expertise brought from a third party advisor, enabled us to identify a total of 15 topics that we consider most important to our business and to our industry, and that marked the basis of our ESG Report of 2017.
Our vision of sustainability however is not a static one, and every year we review our materiality matrix to ensure it remains accurate and that the information reported is relevant for our stakeholders. In this regard, during 2019 we have revised the social, environmental and economic impacts of our business, and consequently evolved the material topics of our ESG Reporting by including Data Privacy and IT Security amongst the key topics of our reporting. With the addition of Data Privacy and IT Security, the list of topics totals 16, all listed in Dufry’s Materiality Matrix.
Stakeholder interaction and dialogue
Engaging with our stakeholders on a regular basis to understand their expectations, needs and concerns is part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability. For 2019, the group of relevant stakeholders included in our materiality assessment remains valid, and includes, airports and other landlords, customers, employees, investors (incl. shareholders, bondholders and lending banks), public authorities, suppliers, media and communities. We interact with our stakeholders in a number of different ways, both formal and informal.
The graphic below shows our interaction with the core ones. Especially remarkable is the interaction with both suppliers and landlords, which permits Dufry to provide superior service to our customers. Known in the industry as the Trinity (airport authorities & landlords, retailers and suppliers), the tight lines between these three groups permit to improve dialogue and mutual understanding between landlords, retailers and suppliers to the benefit of our customers. Beyond the Trinity described above, our employees and investors are the other two key stakeholders contributing to our company’s success.
Dufry also holds relationships with additional groups of interest, which include:
- Travel Retail Associations and Industry Bodies – Dufry is an active member of each of the regional and national associations in the countries and regions in which it operates and is proud to have senior staff members on the Board of the some of the most respected industry bodies – ETRC, MEADFA, IAADFS, ASUTIL or the Duty Free World Council. This gives Dufry a voice in industry debates, ensuring that it plays a proactive role in shaping the industry’s future.
- Government & Public Institutions – The relationship with this group is of major importance, as they are the generators and guardians of laws and regulations that circumscribe Dufry’s operating environment. New laws and regulations can have a significant impact on the business and Dufry needs to be aware of any changes and be prepared to influence draft regulations and react to comply as needed.
- Media – an important group for Dufry as it permits the company to communicate with some of our main stakeholders. Dufry strives to build strong and close collaborative relationships with media and our communications teams maintain direct and longterm relations with media representatives and influencers and provide them with timely information on a wide range of global, regional and local topics.
- ESG Community – comprised of ESG rating agencies and the ESG community in peer companies of Dufry, the relationship with this group of stakeholders permits our company to have a better understanding of the main topics of concern on a global basis and identify areas of improvement on our ESG reporting and communication.
- Communities and Charities – As part of its social commitment, Dufry supports many activities in communities in which it operates. Dufry has a particular focus on education, youth development and charities for children and encourages its employees to work as active members at a local level. For detail information, please see our Community Engagement section.
A step forward – UN Global Compact
The path initiated by Dufry in 2016 reached a major milestone in early 2020 when Dufry applied to become a signatory member of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate citizenship and sustainability initiative. As a signatory, Dufry will support the Global Compact’s 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anticorruption, reinforcing the company’s commitment to responsible business practices on a global basis.
By joining this initiative, Dufry is committed to making the UN Global Compact and its principles part of the strategy, culture and day-to-day operations of the company, and to engage in collaborative projects, which advance the broader development goals of the United Nations, particularly the Sustainable Development Goals.
Improvements carried out during 2019
- Application as Signatory member of UN’s Global Compact (early 2020)
- Strengthened Dufry’s Code of Conduct to make it more comprehensive and detailed
- Increase of breadth and depth of HR data – which now covers 100 % of our workforce
- Successful roll-out of our HR employee platform, Dufry Connect, now covering 31,787 employees
- Engagement survey, aligned with our cultural transformation program ONEDUFRY, completed
- Increased number of suppliers have signed our Supplier Code of Conduct
- Successful roll-out of Cybersecurity and IT protection training and communication campaign
- Strengthened governance structure with the implementation of the Lead Independent Director function –
- and having a board member overseeing Dufry’s ESG strategy and engagement
- Revised and updated materiality matrix
- New channels of employee communications rolled-out
- Completed the setup of our distribution centers and their respective warehouses (Barcelona, London,
- Miami and Hong Kong) to further centralize distribution of products and reduce emissions
- Active participation in the ACI Europe Climate Task-Force
Further details on these topics discussed can be found under the headings of the respective dimensions listed below
- Create a sustainable and profitable company.
- Foster customer satisfaction and shopping experience to trigger their recognition.
- Support local economies by buying local goods and services, paying local taxes and employing local staff.
- Minimize our environmental impact by operating an integrated and efficient logistics chain to transport products.
- Reduce our waste and energy consumption.
- Support our landlords in their initiatives to protect the environment.
More from the Annual Report 2019
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