GRI Indicators covered in this section:
102-12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 31, 32
201-1, 4, 204-1, 205-2, 206-1
407-1, 410-1, 415-1, 419-1

 

SDGs covered in this section:
5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.7
8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.8
9.1, 9.4, 9.5
16.1, 16.3, 16.5, 16.6, 16.7

Dufry is aware that the long-term sustainability of its business relies on the capacity to build, establish and maintain trusted relationships with all our stakeholders. That means going beyond the strict compliance of legal frameworks and leading the way in terms of sustainability. To do so, Dufry has set up main lines of action, which include the following:

  • Corporate Governance – Continuous assessment of our corporate governance structure and policies to ensure compliance with the applicable legal framework, as well as the Dufry Code of Conduct to reflect stakeholder’s needs and expectations
  • Alignment of ESG and business strategies - Ensuring that critical business decisions made to drive Dufry’s sustainable and profitable growth also consider potential ESG impacts. Dufry's ESG strategy is supervised by the Board of Directors and ensures alignment of business and sustainability strategies, as well as sustainable value creation for our stakeholders
  • Compliance and control – Setting up robust internal bodies and structures that ensure education and control over compliance of codes and regulations, including internationally accepted human rights standards and a zero-tolerance policy in respect of bribery and corruption
  • Stakeholder dialogue and engagement – Understanding the needs, concerns and expectations of all our stakeholders and participating in discussions about topics impacting our industry
  • Wealth creation – Delivering value to our shareholders and bondholders remains a key priority for Dufry. Furthermore, Dufry is aware that the impact of its operations goes beyond that of revenue generation and its activity can generate a positive impact where it operates its stores. Favoring local economies, ensuring fair salary and working conditions, sharing of expertise and partnering with local companies is part of this area of focus.

 

A member of the SXI Sustainability 25 Index®

Dufry became a component of the SXI Switzerland Sustainability 25 Index® Price (SSUSTX) in September 2021. This index measures the development of Swiss companies which are considered sustainable according to a measurement framework provided by Sustainalytics, a provider of ESG research and analysis. All stocks in the index universe are screened for their sustainability score by Sustainalytics. The top 25, representing leaders within their respective global industry, are selected for inclusion in the new index. The index has a fixed composition of 25 components which is reviewed annually. The index was launched by SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX) in 2014.

For Dufry, who debuted in the SIX indices in 2005, this represents an important milestone as it reflects an endorsement of the group's efforts in terms of transparency of sustainability management and underpins the Group’s ESG strategy.

 

ESG governance

Dufry’s top-management oversees the development and implementation of Dufry’s ESG Strategy. The highest responsibility over ESG-related decisions relies on the Board of Directors' Lead Independent Director who, among others, oversees the Group’s ESG strategy development and execution, ensuring alignment with the business strategy. Execution of the sustainability strategy is led by the Group CEO. He presides over the interdisciplinary ESG Committee, which meets every two months and is attended by several members of Dufry's Global Executive Committee team (GEC), as well as Global Heads of other relevant functions. This committee meets at least six times a year and is supported by Dufry´s ESG department for the day-to-day execution of the strategy. In 2021, the ESG Committee met 6 times.

 

Socio-economic compliance

Having operations in 66 countries means complying with different national laws and regulations, as well as maintaining an active dialogue to foster ongoing stakeholder and social engagement. For this reason, from a global perspective, Dufry’s position towards compliance necessarily needs to have a more holistic and broader approach, by also taking into account international norms and best practices, including the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact. In this regard, Dufry has a number of initiatives and control mechanisms in place that permit the company to monitor and ensure compliance with national and international laws and follow respective ethical standards.

 

Governance & corporate policies

Dufry believes that active corporate governance is important to the development of the company and also a way to ensure the sustainable provision of long-term benefits for shareholders, employees and society.

Dufry's Governance system serves as a control mechanism in relation to a number of elements, including bribery and corruption, tax, executive remuneration, shareholders’ voting possibilities and internal control. Most of these topics are covered in the Corporate Governance report.

Especially relevant for the sustainability of our industry is the corruption and bribery phenomena, which can be the cause of negative economic, social and environmental impacts. From a business perspective, corruption distorts the functioning of the market and undermines governance institutions and in general, the rule of law.

In the case of Dufry, the subject of corruption is of considerable importance, as the company expands its operations to many countries with elevated corruption levels and participates in many public procurement processes to bid for airport, seaport and other concessions around the globe each year.

Dufry prohibits bribery and corruption at all times and in any form. We believe that in order to remain a solid business leader, all business must be conducted ethically and in full accordance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations. Dufry requires all of its employees, officers and directors to behave at all times with honesty, ethics and within the confines of applicable law and in full compliance with Dufry’s Code of Conduct. Where laws, rules or customs exist that are different from the principles set out in the Code of Conduct, Dufry employees, officers and directors are required to follow whichever sets the higher standard in this regard.

Dufry also wants its employees, officers and directors to fully respect the safeguarding of integrity and fair dealing when carrying out their activities on behalf of Dufry and to promote the sustainability, diversity, decent work, human rights, zero tolerance to harassment and discrimination standards adopted by the Dufry Group as set out in the Code of Conduct.

Dufry’s Code of Conduct outlines the types of conduct which are not permissible and imposes strict rules in relation to charitable contributions and sponsorships, as well as gifts, hospitality and entertainment expenses, to minimize the risk of corruption. In addition, the rules require careful due diligence to be conducted on any external partner Dufry is working with, including a procedure that must be followed to vet all new joint venture partners, consultants for business development projects, counterparts to M&A transactions and other similar counterparts.

Dufry also conducts compliance training of employees, officers and directors, as applicable on an ongoing basis. These training sessions reflect the ongoing changes introduced in our Code of Conduct. Dufry’s Compliance Department regularly evaluates the content of Dufry’s training on Compliance and Corporate Policies. The efforts of the Compliance Department are fully coordinated with, and supported by, the COOs of each Region and the respective HR departments, who help identify the individuals, including new hires, who should receive the training.

Individuals who receive training have been selected based on the following criteria:

  • Community heads at Headquarters (Finance, Treasury, Procurement, Business Development, Internal Audit, HR, IT, Commercial, Marketing, Customer Service)
  • Local managers with exposure to business development, external partners and third-party contractors
  • Managers with exposure to procurement negotiations 
  • Managers with exposure to government officials such as airport authorities, customs or other public authorities
  • Managers with signatory power or appointed as directors or officers of a Dufry Group subsidiary
  • Investor Relations managers 
  • Corporate Communications and Media managers
  • Members of the Legal and Governance Department
  • Members of the Internal Audit Department, Loss Prevention and ERM department
  • HR managers worldwide

During 2020 and 2021, over 950 managers at all levels of the organization and from across all the regions have completed this training. New employees, officers and directors are provided with a copy of the Dufry Code of Conduct when they join the company and are required to acknowledge acceptance of its terms in writing. Additionally, Dufry employees, officers and directors have access to all of Dufry’s compliance and corporate policies, including its Code of Conduct on Dufry Gate for their reference.

General Compliance Training
Region Staff trained in 2021
HQ 153
Europe, Middle East & Africa 6,583
Asia Pacific 728
The Americas 7,043
Total 14,507

The rest of the employees not included in the managers list do also receive compliance training. In 2021, this training reached over 14,500 employees on average via online compliance update trainings and communications campaigns. The primary training topics included harassment, discrimination, insider trading, data privacy and how to report a wrongdoing.

Dufry properly investigates all complaints and prohibits retaliation or discrimination against any employees, officers and directors who report a concern made in good faith. Since 2018, two new Group-wide reporting channels complement the email reporting channel compliance@dufry.com: (1) a worldwide, toll-free hotline in 9 languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Mandarin, Russian, Greek and German) also accessible via local dial-in numbers for all countries in which Dufry operates; and (2) the online reporting website.

These reporting channels, run by an independent third party, ensure the integrity of such investigations by acting as a centralized contact point, through which any wrongdoing or corruption concern are reported directly to the Compliance Department, reporting to Dufry’s General Counsel and member of the Global Executive Committee, for further investigation.

 

Risk management and control

The risks inherent to Dufry's business are divided into two groups: Financial risks (found on pages 189 - 209 of the Financial Report) - related to interest rates, exchange rates, credit risks and liquidity risks - and non-financial risks. A comprehensive description of the Group’s risk mapping is available in the Sustainability Report 2021 Annex.

Dufry adopts a risk management model based on three levels. This model is applicable to all subsidiaries of the Group. The company is supported by an Enterprise Risk Management software called GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance), which allows a comprehensive identification and management of potential risks that may affect the business.

First level – The commitment of Dufry and all its subsidiaries with integrity and transparency begins with its own staff. Dufry requires all its employees, officers and directors to act at all times in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Conduct. The latter describes the types of behavior not allowed, and imposes strict rules regarding the operation of the business.

In addition, the rules require each employee, officer and director to perform due diligence and carefully assess new external partners with whom Dufry plans to work, including a procedure to be followed to examine all new minority partners, consultants for business development projects, partners for transactions & M&As and similar counterparts.

Second level – There are different governance functions across the organization including the Compliance, Legal, Finance and Human Resources departments in charge of monitoring the main risks and establishing the most appropriate controls to mitigate, as well as ensuring compliance with the policies and procedures of the Group. The scope of the Compliance and Corporate Governance function is based on the following pillars:

  • Review and compliance with the set of global company policies
  • Establishment of the overall framework of approvals of the Group and establishing a policy of “four eyes” for validations
  • Training, both for the members of the staff identified with greater exposure to risk and for the rest of the employees
  • Global corporate risk management
  • Creating internal communication channels to ensure the integrity of the compliance program.

Third level – The Group’s Internal Audit provides independent and objective monitoring and consulting services designed to add value and improve Dufry’s operations. This function covers all subsidiaries and applies a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of governance processes as well as risk management and control, including assessing risk management procedures and the potential committing of fraud. The main risks identified in the course of internal audits are reported to senior management and the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors, and its status is updated periodically until resolution or acceptance are given by the governing bodies.

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. We interact with our stakeholders in a number of different ways, both formal and informal. For 2021, 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.

The eco-system illustration included in the ESG Strategy graphically describes the close interaction of Dufry with its core stakeholders. Especially remarkable is the interaction with both suppliers and landlords, which permits Dufry to provide a superior service to customers. Known in the industry as the Trinity (airport authorities & other landlords, retailers and suppliers), the tight lines and collaboration between these three groups allow for an improved dialogue and mutual understanding between landlords, retailers and suppliers, to the ultimate benefit of our customers. This interaction has remained critical and valuable during 2021 as air traffic started to be restored and the operation of our stores recovered towards normality.

Beyond the Trinity described above, our employees and investors are the other two key stakeholders contributing to our company’s success. Dufry however, holds relationships with a larger group of stakeholders, which include:

  • Travel Retail Associations and Industry Bodies: Dufry is an active member of each of the relevant regional and national industry associations in the geographies in which it operates. We are proud to have senior staff members on the Board of some of the most respected industry bodies – ETRC (European Travel Retail Confederation), MEADFA (Middle East & Africa Duty-Free Association), IAADFS (International Association of Airport Duty-Free Stores), ASUTIL (South American Association of Free Stores), UKTRF (UK Travel Retail Forum) and the DFWC (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.
  • Service Providers – Understanding the relationship of Dufry with key service providers – mainly with IT, and logistics suppliers among others – is fundamental for Dufry to have a more holistic view of its ESG impact and to assess and eventually address improvement areas.
  • Media – Is 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, ESG powerhouses (such as United Nations Global Compact, GRI or SBTi), and the ESG community of the travel retail and airport industry. 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 within 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 as well as general health and water related initiatives and encourages its employees to work as active members at a local level. Please see our Community Engagement section for more detailed information.

Partnerships with landlords and suppliers

The Trinity approach mentioned above is of special interest for Dufry as a way of achieving the company’s ultimate objective of delivering a superior shopping experience for our customers. The pursuit of this objective however requires both joint collaboration – in the way the offer is presented to customers – and in ensuring that the responsibility towards society and the environment expected from Dufry, is also demonstrated by our partners.

ESG Trinity Cooperation

The close ties that unite the members of already mentioned Trinity have significantly extended in 2021 to ESG-related issues, especially environmental issues. From the suppliers’ standpoint, Dufry has participated in a number of sustainability events and working sessions to identify ways of better engaging with customers when it comes to communicating the environmental brand values. By sharing different visions and strategies, Dufry has learnt more about suppliers’ ESG proposition and that has served to fuel our pilot project on “sustainability signaling” described under the customer focus section.

On the airport front, and as indicated in the Environmental Protection focus area of the report, Dufry plays an active role in several airport's Sustainability bodies, supporting the airport efforts when driving their ESG strategy. This includes cooperation on environmental topics, where Dufry for example, as part of a multi-stakeholder group, has an active role in determining and planning for levels of energy and water consumption savings that work for the airport's reduction objectives and targeting.

Collaboration however is also extended to other dimensions of ESG. In this regard, Dufry is also involved in airport forums aimed at establishing responsible employment practices and helping building a pipeline of skills required today and in the future.

Supplier Code of Conduct As stipulated in its Supplier Code of Conduct, Dufry expects suppliers and business partners to comply with the law, stipulated contract conditions and international best practices in respect of human rights, the environment, health and safety and labor standards. As a further step towards achieving a more sustainable supply chain, Dufry developed its Supplier’s Code of Conduct already in 2017, with the purpose of ensuring that our suppliers across all product categories, have in place and apply accepted business standards, as described by the UN Global Compact, regarding:

  • Ethics and integrity 
  • Labor and employment practices and working conditions
  • Environmental compliance and sustainability
  • Product safety and security.

Combined with the Corporate Governance and the Remuneration Reports, both the Supplier Code of Conduct and the Dufry Code of Conduct provide detailed insights on how Dufry assumes its responsibility concerning social, ethical and environmental standards and how we put into practice the principles of sustain able development in our day-to-day work. Both Codes are regularly assessed to ensure they remain relevant and reflect developments in law, regulation and professional ethics. 

We expect all of our suppliers and business partners to comply with the principles included in Dufry Supplier’s Code of Conduct, and ultimately to replicate these standards further down their own supply chain. As explained in Customer Focus in the section Recertification of Supplier Code of Conduct, in 2021 we continued our effort to proactively share the Code with additional suppliers from all product categories, and Dufry will continue to extend the reach to additional suppliers in 2022.

 

Corporate citizenship

Dufry is aware of its responsibilities towards society. As a corporate citizen, Dufry is expected to contribute to the production of higher standards of living, wealth and quality of life wherever the company operates, whilst maintaining profitability for shareholders. Dufry showcases its strong corporate citizenship foundations through its undeniable commitment to ethical behavior when doing business, as described in Community Engagement.

This is paired with Dufry's participation in several industry initiatives geared towards safeguarding the consumer and to environmental protection. Amongst others, Dufry has contributed to the development of several Codes of Conduct for the travel retail industry (such as the UK Code of Conduct on Disruptive Passengers and the ETRC and DFWC Codes of Conduct on Sale of Alcohol), and is a member of the ACI Climate Change Task Force. Dufry is also a signatory member of the UN Global Compact since January 2020 and has actively promoted the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through awareness campaigns organized in cooperation with airport landlords and the UN.

Stakeholder Value Allocation

As part of its corporate citizenship, Dufry contributes to the economic development of the economies in countries where it operates through the payment of fair and competitive salaries, taxes and the purchase of local products and services. As a way of assessing the economic impact of our business, Dufry annually discloses its stakeholder value allocation, which reflects the direct monetary impact of its operation over its main stakeholders.

Accrued value allocated to our employees in form of remuneration, retirement benefits, social security payments and other personnel expenses amounted to CHF 635.4 million in fiscal year 2021. CHF 250.2 million were interest expenses as payments to our bondholders and lending banks. Income taxes paid to public authorities and communities amounted to CHF 19.8 million in 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts on the industry and on Dufry’s business, the Board of Directors had proposed to the 2021 General Meeting not to pay any dividend for the fiscal year 2020, in order to protect the liquidity of the Company. As explained in the Chairman Letter and with respect to the 2022 General Meeting of Shareholders, the Board of Directors will propose to keep the dividend payment suspended, thus continuing the strong focus on protecting the liquidity.

Additionally, Dufry contributes every year to a comprehensive number of social initiatives, which are described in Community Engagement.

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