Fiscal 2020 Universal Registration Document

5. Corporate governance

Sodexo’s financial independence is guaranteed by the family shareholding. As of August 31, 2020, Sodexo’s family holding (continue from page 239) company , Bellon SA, held 42.8% of the shares and 57.1% of the exercisable voting rights. This financial independence is based on three simple principles:

  •  choosing low capital-intensive activities;
  •  continuously maintaining sufficient liquidity to fund growth, reimburse medium-term debt, and pay dividends to shareholders;
  • preserving a strong balance sheet and sound financial ratios.

Financial policies establish rules applicable to areas such as investment approvals, and the management of working capital, cash and debt.

Group financial policies require all decisions involving external financing to be made by the Group Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Executive Officer or the Board of Directors, depending on the amount and type of the transaction.

The Group Finance Department prepares a ten-year financing plan for the Group each year.

Group financial policies are designed to prevent any speculative positions being taken and to avoid risk in connection with financing and cash management activities.

Procurement policy

The objectives of the procurement function are documented in the Group’s procurement policies and processes. The performance of Sodexo’s procurement teams in the main countries where it does business is measured through savings metrics, which enable the Group to gauge the impacts of procurement initiatives and demonstrate the savings achieved.

The Group’s priority is to ensure that suppliers and subcontractors that deliver Sodexo products and services have the right skills, capabilities and potential to carry out the tasks assigned to them. Our risk management guidelines set out the procurement procedures that our teams are required to follow in terms of working with and managing suppliers and subcontractors. The level of initial evaluation process and type of on-going management procedures for suppliers and sub-contractors directly depend on the product supplied or service rendered, and include verifying issues such as food safety and traceability.

In line with the Group’s procurement policy, suppliers and subcontractors must sign the Sodexo Supplier Code of conduct which sets out Sodexo’s requirements for adopting responsible best practices concerning ethical, social and environmental issues.

Business Integrity Guide

The Business Integrity Guide sets forth the Group’s standards for achieving business integrity. Adherence to these uncompromising standards is part of what it means to be an employee of an industry-leading, best-in-class company. Sodexo employees must never compromise adherence to this guide for financial or other business objectives or personal gain. Sodexo does not tolerate any practice that is not born of honesty, integrity and fairness, anywhere in the world where it does business.

Corporate Responsibility

Since its creation in 1966, Sodexo’s vocation has been to improve the Quality of Life for its employees and all whom it serves and contribute to the economic, social and environmental development of the communities, regions and countries in which it operates. In 2009, the Group formalized its Corporate Responsibility roadmap, the Better Tomorrow Plan. A revised version of this roadmap, Better Tomorrow 2025 was released in 2017 .

The roadmap focuses on Sodexo’s role as an employer, as a service provider and as a corporate citizen as well as on the impacts that it has on individuals, on communities and on the environment. It has 9 measurable commitments to action by 2025 with interim targets.

Sodexo’s commitment to the environment as a service provider is to source responsibly and provide management services that reduce carbon emissions. Since 2009, Sodexo has implemented a low carbon strategy which is motivated by our desire to improve Quality of Life. Our strategy takes into account the business opportunities, risks and their financial implications.In particular, these commitments are demonstrated through the following actions:

  • renewal of the technical partnership agreement with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to work on carbon reduction throughout Sodexo’s supply chain;
  • membership of the Better Buying Lab initiative led by the World Resources Institute (WRI) to promote the consumption of more plant-based food;
  • combined management focus on achievement of the 34% carbon emissions reduction target, compared to 2017 baseline year.

In the area of nutrition for the health and wellness of consumers, Sodexo is committed to food safety and the promotion of a balanced diet for its consumers. Sodexo plays a critical role in the fight against obesity and malnutrition and provides solutions to make health and wellness a priority.

In the area of social, economic and environmental development in the cities, regions or countries where Sodexo is present, we focus on the following actions:

  • Sodexo has been supporting the fight against hunger through Stop Hunger a global network created 20 years ago;
  • working with local and small businesses and contributing to local economies through the Partner Inclusion program which allows thousands of local businesses to integrate Sodexo’s value chain;
  • tackling waste by engaging with clients and supply partners to provide innovative solutions on food waste through the deployment of the program WasteWatch;
  • promoting gender balance with a target of having at least 40% woman among Sodexo’s senior leaders by 2025.

Sodexo is committed to respecting human rights wherever it does business. This commitment, with its core policies and procedures are based on international texts such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and by the principles set forth in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.