For Richemont, corporate social responsibility (‘CSR’) is about how we manage our impact on society and the environment. We strive to operate responsibly and to act with integrity and thus make a positive contribution to the economy, our people and our local communities. This is particularly the case in Switzerland and France, where Richemont continues to make significant investments in its manufacturing base. In the year under review, we invested € 144 million in our manufacturing base (2011: € 82 million).
We seek to eliminate or mitigate CSR risks, where identified, in partnership with our employees, and other stakeholders through the application of good practices. When appropriate, such as with the Responsible Jewellery Council, we also work in partnership with our peers and competitors. Equally, we seek opportunities, including ways to reduce our environmental impact and costs, and to develop employees during their careers.
More generally, Richemont has a risk management process which gives consideration to strategic and operational risks, including environmental, social and governance risks. All identified risks are quantified according to their probability of occurrence and potential impact and subsequently prioritised by Group management. A consolidated risk report, which includes action plans prepared by the Group executive directly responsible for addressing the risk, is reviewed annually by the Audit Committee and the Board of Directors.
An example of an action plan arising from this risk management process was the additional investment made by the Group to ensure that goods containing precious metals fully comply with importation documentation requirements, which may differ on a country-by-country basis.Another example is the decision to have the Group’s environmental data assured by an independent body.
Regarding governance, the Board of Directors elected to give shareholders the opportunity to vote on the Richemont compensation report in 2011. This opportunity, which is considered best practice in Switzerland, will be given again at the 2012 annual general meeting. In response to suggestions from certain stakeholders, the content of the compensation report was further extended in 2012.