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Responding department: Public Affairs and CSR

Stock exchange symbol: (RI:FP)

Does your company have a publicly available commitment to respect human rights?

  • We have a publicly available commitment to respect human rights, integrated in the Pernod Ricard Commitments to Sustainable Development: [link]
  • Furthermore, we have a Responsible Procurement policy, that includes Human Rights: [link] 

How are human rights governed in your company?

At Group Level and at top management Level, the Managing Director in charge of HR and CSR; Pernod Ricard ‘s internal Charter sets out the requirement that its employees comply with the law, including fundamental principles such as the respect of human rights.

As a decentralized organisation, Pernod Ricard hands responsibility to its subsidiaries for the adoption, respect and promotion of content of its Charter locally. Managing Directors of each subsidiary are all evaluated on social aspects as well as economic performance.

In order to ensure compliance with these 10 principles of Global Compact, the Group has appointed a « CSR leader » in each of its entities and it has committed to holding an annual meeting with the CSR leaders to examine practices pertaining to Human Rights and to other priority issues set out in the groupwide CSR Model. All subsidiary managers ensure the global enforcement of the principles of the Global Compact.

The Group performs internal audits and has regular dialogue with the employees and their representatives in order to ascertain that the principles are known and observed.

How are human rights managed within your company?

We would like here to give two elements as illustration:

1. Pernod Ricard made a formalized commitment to human right through its CSR European agreement [link] - On 7 January 2014 in Paris, Pernod Ricard and EFFAT (European Federation for Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions) concluded a European agreement on Corporate Social Responsibility.

By signing this document, which is applicable to all the Group’s subsidiaries within the European Union representing more than half of the global workforce, Pernod Ricard and EFFAT are expressing their desire to see the Group create a framework for its international expansion by encouraging its subsidiaries to go beyond legal and regulatory requirements in the area of CSR. Developed in conjunction with the European Works Council, this agreement is part of a joint voluntary approach undertaken by the three stakeholders. Its aim is to develop an attractive CSR policy – it will therefore apply equally to all of the Group’s subsidiaries within the European Union, pre-empting applicable local legislation and collective agreements, covering the following aspects: health and safety at work, evaluation, training & development of employees, social welfare, fight against discrimination, anticipation, consultation & social supportive measure in the event of restructuring, labour relations, working environment, contribution to social and economic development, and reduction of environmental impacts. All European subsidiaries are covered by this agreement. Their commitment to enforce this agreement is formalized by the signature of their General Managers of each subsidiary in European Unions. In order to gradually extend the agreement to all its companies, Pernod Ricard shall encourage all non-European companies and/or all companies that are or not 100% owned by Pernod Ricard to formally enter the agreement and gradually enforce it.

2. Pernod Ricard has made a formalized commitment to include CSR factors in supply chain management in its Procurement Code of Ethics and in its Responsible Procurement Policy;  It includes labors factors and Human Rights. It covers all Group subsidiaries. This commitment applies throughout the Group and is supported by senior management. The Managing Director of each subsidiary is responsible for implementing this policy. In 2011, Pernod Ricard chose to increase the involvement of its suppliers and subcontractors: a working group was created to formalize Pernod Ricard’s commitment to Responsible Procurement with documents and tools to consolidate the existing actions. The following documents and tools were established by the working group:

  • December 2011: Responsible Procurement Policy, signed by the CEO, for products and services, covering all purchases made by all employees;
  • first half 2012: pilot testing of Ecovadis, CSR Assessment tool for suppliers and subcontractors;
  • second half 2012: following the success of the pilot, gradual adoption of the supplier and subcontractor CSR assessment tool for the categories most at risk;
  • second half 2012: risk analysis methodology to allow subsidiaries to identify which suppliers and subcontractors should be assessed as a priority;
  • second half 2012: finalisation of the “Suppliers’ CSR Commitment” that suppliers have to sign, for deployment in 2013. This document is also aimed at subcontractors [link] ;
  • first half 2013: translation of essential procurement CSR documents, now available in English, French, Spanish and Mandarin;
  • first half 2013: harmonisation of CSR audit standards for suppliers and subcontractors

The Group’s labour requirements for suppliers and sub-contractors refer to the United Nations Global Compact and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) fundamental conventions and address the most relevant issues in the sector: trade union rights, abolition of child labour, non-discrimination and equality of remuneration. Today, Pernod Ricard’s major suppliers have completed a questionnaire on labour issues. Buyers receive guidelines to ensure that they comply with the Pernod Ricard Procurement Code of Ethics in their dealings with suppliers and subcontractors.

What is the company’s approach to the engagement of stakeholders (including workers, and local communities impacted by the company’s activities), on human rights issues?

The Pernod Ricard’s stakeholders engagement process is on all CSR aspects, including Human Right - there is no process dedicated only Human Rights.

In 2012, in order to gain a better understanding of stakeholders’ expectations and incorporate them into its CSR strategy and initiatives, Pernod Ricard developed a dedicated project. The goal is to help subsidiaries to:

  • identify all of their stakeholders;
  • draw up a mapping of stakeholders;
  • facilitate dialogue with them;
  • Incorporate stakeholders’ expectations into their CSR strategy.

To achieve these aims, the Group has created dedicated tools and guides, accompanied by a training course. In early 2013, four pilot countries tested these tools, which will be improved for wider rollout in 2015. The tools include of course dialogue with employees / trade union and external stakeholders on Human rights.

Priority human rights issues: What are some of the priority human rights issues for your company?

The company selected the following from a check list:

  • Health
  • Workplace diversity / non-discrimination
  • Freedom of association
  • Product misuse
  • Children and child labour

Actions on 'other' issues

See example / results in Pernod Ricard Registration document [link] – Chapter 3

How are human rights commitments and information about how the company addresses its human rights impacts communicated, internally and externally?

Many Communication tools on those topics:

  • Intranet, Pernod Ricard Internal Social Network, and e-mails to local correspondent when key topics that require specific action
  • Externally, Pernod Ricard website and Registration document ( [link] – Chapter 3)

What provisions does your company have in place to ensure that grievances from workers and affected communities or individuals are heard, and can you provide examples of remedies provided?

  • The Group listens to the employees concerns by conducting every two years an opinion survey to find out the key elements that need to be improved in the Group and in each affiliates / teams and launch actions plan regarding the results.
  • Pernod Ricard is committed to protecting employees that come forward to report issues in good faith. Such issues will be dealt with in confidence. We will not accept any retaliation or discrimination against an employee who reports conduct that he or she believes violates this Code, a Group policy or the law.

The Group encourages employees to speak up in case of a serious concern, regarding any behavior by an employee or third party against the Code of Business Conduct: [link]. The Legal Department is responsible for implementing this code and as necessary the Group General Counsel can convene the Group Executive Committee for a resolution of the matter.

Which external and collaborative human rights initiatives does your company participate in, and what is the nature of your involvement?

Pernod Ricard is a signatory of the UN Global Compact since 2003 – Our communication on progress is integrated in our Registration Document, Chapter 3.

Which are the key one, two or three elements of your approach to human rights that been developed or amended since June 2011? Please indicate if these actions were in response to the UN Guiding Principles.

Two Major initiatives launched / developed:

  • The Pernod Ricard CSR European Agreement
  • The supplier process (see above for those two initiatives)

What are some of the obstacles and challenges that your company encounters in implementing its human rights commitments?

A common framework recognized by all states would be appreciated.