To act responsibly has always been a guiding principle to Hermansson & Co. Recently we have more in depth analyzed what this actually means to us in terms of sustainability — environmental and social issues, how we actually work and what we can do to improve. We learn and develop every day, especially in the relation with our stakeholders, our customers and suppliers. Many of our wine producers have been with us since we started the business twenty years ago and our long cooperation has created a familiar and open dialogue that also inspires new relations.
Labour conditions in the supply chain
As an importer to Systembolaget Hermansson & Co has adopted the BSCIs Code of Conduct (Business Social Compliance Initiative). That implies that also our producers shall work in alignment with the Code that includes ensuring decent working conditions. We look upon the BSCI framework as a useful tool to conduct dialogue with our suppliers on the matter of social responsibility. External audits are also performed.
Read more about BSCI
In 2014 we begun to map and measure all our carbon emissions, including emissions from transports and travelling. Now we have a good basis for further dialogue with our distributors and producers. We have also chosen to compensate for all our emissions coming from electricity, business travels and distribution from producer to Systembolaget’s stores and HoReCa.
Through an external climate consultant, Zeromission, we carbon compensate in a tree planting project in Malawi where improved knowledge about tree planting and gardening also lead to increased biological diversity and better soil that helps the local farming.
Access to water is together with climate change some of our generation’s greatest environmental and societal challenges. Water is an important aspect also in many of the countries of our producers. We have chosen to approach the issue by joining a network together with other Swedish food and beverage companies, including Systembolaget. The network is coordinated by Swedish Water House at Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). Through participation we learn more about tools and methods that the global food and beverage industry uses to measure and handle water issues. We see this as a good basis for further discussions with our producers.
More and more consumers ask for organic wine, which we see as a positive trend. Many connect organic with good health and even though this connection is not scientifically proven, less use of pesticides is generally preferred. Several of our producers already work with more or less organic methods. But since the organic regulations are comprehensive, some chose not to go all the way and certify the wine as organic. Our ambition is to continuously increase the share of organic in our assortment. In 2016 we launched three new organic and KRAV labelled products: Creative Wine Toscana Biologico, Black Tower Sparkling and Famille Excellor Biologique.
Sound drinking culture
Working with alcohol is a complex mission. In Sweden we are strictly regulated in terms of where and how the product may be sold, which create a good basis for sound product marketing. Hermansson & Co advocate a sound drinking culture where alcohol is consumed reasonably and adds something extra to adult people’s life. Through our membership in Swedish Spirits and Wine Association (SVL), we finance a school information initiative, created by SVL for adolescents about alcohol, Talk about Alcohol. The purpose of the initiative is to postpone the possible entrance for young people to alcohol and to give them a responsible approach to alcohol. Through SVL we also support the industry’s own alcohol inspector (AGM) who monitors that companies in the industry keep a high ethical level in all market communication and follow market guidelines.
Our own impact
Even if much of the sustainable impact in our business occurs outside our company, e.g. in the supply chain, we also focus on our own impact and rooms for improvements. We assort our waste, use ecodriving, measure and carbon compensate for our transports and travels and buy eco labelled product to the office whenever possible. We believe that employees that feel well also work well and that this is best performed in an open and inclusive organization. All employees have their own career development plan and appraisals are conducted on an annual basis. All employees are offered a basis for maintain or improve their physical and mental wellbeing through individual as well as group oriented coaching and wellness activities.