Business conduct/Code of ethics

What procedures has the Company put in place to ensure that it is adhering to the requirements of the UK Bribery Act and Bunzl’s CR policy and procedures?

The Group has in place comprehensive CR policies and procedures to address the requirements of the UK Bribery Act including a thorough Bribery risk assessment of the operations and a well established reporting framework to ensure that all employees comply with the relevant standards and regulations. In addition, new processes were introduced to undertake appropriate due diligence checks as part of the acquisition of new businesses or the appointment of new agents. During 2011/2012 all of Bunzl’s management and sales and purchasing employees undertook our tailored Corporate Responsibility (‘CR’) training modules. This series of short animated videos explain the Company’s CR policies, they are available in 13 languages. In early 2015 all relevant employees revisited the suite of modules which have been developed and enhanced since their original launch. There are now a total of 11 modules which provide an overview of the business conduct/code of ethics policy and anti-bribery issues such as facilitation payments and gifts and entertainment, competition law and cyber-security. We also refreshed the posters which are displayed in all our facilities to advertise our whistle blowing facility – ‘Speak Up’.

Every new employee at Bunzl is required to undertake this training and to confirm that they have completed the CR modules. In addition, each employee contract includes a CR handout which also covers in greater detail our CR framework and the company’s practices and policies relating to anti-bribery matters.


  • Does Bunzl have a specific policy on child labour and forced labour?

    Bunzl prohibits child or forced labour in all of its operations and we monitor the age of our workforce across the world. Our CR policy relating to employees states that Bunzl adheres to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (‘UDHR’) as well as local laws. Article 4 of the UDHR bans forced labour. Article 25 refers to children being entitled to special care and assistance and Article 26 gives a right to education. We also work closely with our suppliers to ensure that they meet internationally recognised minimum requirements for workers’ welfare and conditions of employment, as defined by the International Labour Organization of the Ethical Trading Initiative. However, the majority of countries in which Bunzl operates have their own laws banning child labour.

  • What is the proportion of female employees in Bunzl across the total workforce, at senior management level and at Board level?

    Bunzl supports the principle of equal employment opportunity and this approach includes the monitoring of the gender mix throughout our businesses. In 2016 the male to female workforce ratio at Group level was roughly 2:1. Geographically the split varied with our Continental Europe and UK & Ireland business areas having a male to female ratio of roughly 2:1 and Australasia 3:2. In Latin America the male to female ratio was roughly 1:1 and in North America 7:3. The Executive Committee includes one female. Bunzl’s board appointment processes incorporate diversity principles in line with the UK Corporate Governance Code. The Board currently includes two female non-executive directors.

  • What is the distribution of Bunzl’s staff across the world?

    Bunzl currently operates in 30 countries and has around 16,000 staff across the world. Bunzl North America employs c. 34% of staff whilst Continental Europe and UK & Ireland have respectively approximately 25% and 22% of total our total staff. Finally, Rest of the World, comprising Australasia and Latin America, have a total of 19% of our staff.

  • What is the makeup of staff across the Group?

    The majority of our workforce is employed within operations, many of whom have no formal qualifications. We seek to recruit the right people who are passionate about our business and to provide opportunities for people to progress within the organisation on the basis of their skills, experience and aptitude.

  • Does Bunzl respect freedom of association and collective bargaining for its employees?

    Bunzl adheres to the UDHR. Article 20 refers to the right to freedom of association. Bunzl is also committed to upholding the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work policies, defined by the International Labour Organization. In the US some of our operations, particularly in the northeast, are represented by trade unions with which we have negotiated pay contracts. Bunzl does not restrict any of its employees in any of the countries in which it operates joining a trade union if they wish to do so.

Environment & Climate change

  • How has Bunzl decided which carbon emissions to report?

    Bunzl is an international Group operating on a multi-site basis across 30 countries. We have prioritised our efforts to measure our environmental impacts to the areas over which we had most control. Bunzl has for some years calculated and reported Scope 1 and 2 emissions both in our Annual Report and through CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project). In our 2011 Annual Report, Scope 1 and 2 emissions were for the first time identified as Key Performance Indicators and since 2013 have been subject to external assurance. In 2015 we extended our carbon emissions reporting to include information on selected Scope 3 areas. Again we have prioritised our efforts to identify those areas over which we have most control and our reporting comprises emissions from third party carriers, business flights, waste and electricity transmission losses. We are aware that there is still work to be done to refine our Scope 3 data which is provided for transparency of our emissions, particularly in relation to the distribution of products. The majority of the businesses which have been acquired since 2010 do not have their own fleet and in addition all our businesses, irrespective of whether they have their own fleet, will distribute a proportion of goods by third party carriers where it is more efficient and cost-effective to do so.

  • Why is water usage and emissions not mentioned as one of the key elements of Bunzl’s environmental impact?

    Direct water usage is not a significant environmental impact for Bunzl as it is principally confined to staff hygiene and workplace cleaning purposes. As we do not manufacture any of the goods we sell, water discharges, apart from internal sanitation, are limited to rainwater run-off from the yards of Group locations where the water is treated by interceptors in accordance with local legislation.

  • Why are less than 30% of Bunzl’s operations ISO14001 certified?

    Currently, measured by revenue, approximately 26% of the Group’s operations are ISO 14001 accredited. Accreditation is based on processes and practices which are implemented Group-wide through our EHS management programme, although some parts of the business have not elected to become formally certified. In Continental Europe, France Securite has become MASE certified to reflect the requirements of its customer base. This certification encompasses continuous improvement in EHS performance and is externally assessed.


  • How do you ensure that your suppliers adhere to appropriate CR standards?

    Our suppliers are asked to adhere to our Suppliers’ policy whereby they are expected to aspire to similar CR standards as Bunzl’s own operations. Bunzl’s principal suppliers are world class organisations with well developed policies and practices in this area, for example, SCA tissue, Kimberley-Clark, Georgia Pacific, Ecolab and 3M. We first wrote in 2011 to those suppliers that provide us with 50% of our product by value to make them aware of our CR policies and aspirations and to encourage them to adopt a similar approach. We wrote to these suppliers again in 2015 to update them on our progress and to understand how their policies and practices have evolved.

    We have our own quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) audit team (based in Shanghai) whose main aim is to perform regular social and environmental audits of our suppliers in Asia to ensure that such matters as labour, health and safety and environmental practices meet our standards. This team audits approximately 80% by value of product purchased of our suppliers in Asia. We work with any suppliers who do not meet our standards to help them improve.We have identified a number of issues within the audit which we consider to be “zero tolerance” issues relating to labour practices. Any suppliers identified as having zero tolerance issues in their operations become a key focus for the audit team and the relevant procurement professional within Bunzl. Such suppliers are provided with an action plan to correct the identified issues and completion of these actions are monitored by our audit team. The Board of Bunzl plc monitors these identified suppliers and the ensuing actions to ensure suppliers are working with us to reach the standards we require.

    As Bunzl expands its own operations into new territories our supply chain continues to expand. In 2015 the remit of the Bunzl Risk Management Committee was extended to include supply chain risks and its membership now includes senior procurement professionals. In 2016 the Committee commissioned a project to confirm and identify social risks across Bunzl’s supply chain based on geography and product category. The initial data collection has been completed and we are now analysing the results, reviewing our current supplier interventions and considering the need to develop further actions to engage with those suppliers identified as high risk to ensure they are all working towards our CR standards. In addition we are developing a training programme for our procurement teams worldwide to promote their understanding of social risks.

    We recognise continuous improvement in supplier management as an integral part of our CR programme and are committed to delivering goods which are produced sustainably.

  • How will Bunzl comply with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015?

    As required by the Act, Bunzl will shortly provide a statement on the steps taken during the 2016 financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of its supply chains, and in any part of its own business.This will be published on

    Bunzl has for over ten years been taking steps to address these issues and has a comprehensive suite of Corporate Responsibility policies that cover key impacts to our business, full details of which can be found on this web-site.

    Our policies commit to compliance with the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (the’UDHR’) and to working with suppliers to ensure that adequate standards are maintained in all areas of CR and in particular relating to their employees where we require that at least internationally recognised minimum requirements for workers’ welfare and conditions of employment are met. The minimum requirements are those defined by the International Labour Organization or the Ethical Trading Initiative”. The UDHR, the International Labour Organization and the Ethical Trading Initiative all prohibit forced labour i.e. slavery and human trafficking.

    Within our own operations our Employees policy is implemented and monitored by a team of human resource professionals. In addition we have a team of internal auditors who periodically visit Bunzl locations and audit the operations to ensure that they meet relevant standards. Further the profile of our operations in terms of locations and roles, (the majority of our businesses are based in North America, Europe and Australasia and are involved solely in the procurement, consolidation and supply of manufactured goods) means in our view the risk of the use of forced labour is low.

    Within our supply chain, the majority of our suppliers are based close to our selling companies. Bunzl has written on a number of occasions to the top 50% of suppliers by value of goods purchased, to ask them to aspire to similar standards of corporate responsibility as Bunzl, including no forced labour within their own operations or within their own supply chain.

    We also import supplies from south-east Asia and in 2008 we set up a procurement office and a quality assurance and quality control (‘QA/QC’) team based in Shanghai. The QA/QC team audits our key suppliers across south-east Asia and specifically check if there is any forced labour within supplier’s operations. If such issues are identified then Bunzl will work with the supplier to rectify the issue and if the issue is not rectified within an appropriate time frame then Bunzl will cease trading with that supplier. We are currently reassessing the risk profile of all of the countries in which we operate and from where we receive supplies to consider whether we need to add any further safeguards with regard to forced labour.


  • What types of charitable organisations does the Company support and what particular criteria must be met in order for Bunzl to consider making a charitable donation?

    Companies and employees within the Group have a longstanding tradition of supporting local initiatives as part of their involvement in their local communities. In 2016 Bunzl contributed a total of £712,000 to charities (not including employee fundraising and in-kind donations). We encourage our employees to participate in local initiatives and, subject to certain restrictions, employee donations are matched by the relevant Bunzl Company. We focus on five areas: healthcare, disability, environment and education and benevolent societies. It is Bunzl’s policy not to donate to sectarian or political projects and parties.

  • What is the process for applying to Bunzl to obtain support for a local community project?

    Each business is encouraged to support its local community and it is our policy to continue to support appropriate local community activities. Please feel free to write to your local Bunzl company with information about your project or alternatively use the details found in the ‘Contact Us’ section.

  • Which charities has Bunzl supported over the last financial year?

    In 2016 Bunzl provided support to, amongst others, St John Ambulance supporting a Mobile First Aid Unit for London, the Alzheimers Society, Crisis, a charity undertaking work to support the homeless and Carers Trust, a UK charity supporting those who care for family members and friends with disabilities and chronic illnesses. In addition we supported a number of healthcare initiatives, which assist both our employees and the communities in which they live, through Macmillan Cancer Support and Diabetes UK.


  • Does Bunzl have a policy/standards for handling customers?

    At Bunzl a main goal of ours is to build strong relationships with our customers and to provide high levels of service at all times. We acknowledge that our business largely depends on our customers and, as part of our customer policy, we ask our employees to act with professionalism, efficiency and honesty. Each Bunzl business handles customer relationships locally in keeping with local norms and standards. Our Customer Policy can be viewed within the CR policies section of the Bunzl website.

  • Does Bunzl have government or public sector contracts?

    Bunzl does service a number of government and public sector contracts within a number of different businesses. The number of such contracts as a proportion of the total is relatively small being less than [5%] in the majority of our businesses across the world. Whilst the number of government contracts Bunzl has is low, for all our contracts we have a rigorous tender process which includes controlled procedures outlined by the relevant authorities.

Performance indicators

  • Bunzl’s objectives are all for only one year, what hasn’t Bunzl set longer terms objectives?

    Bunzl has integrated its target setting for the environment/climate change and health and safety performance indicators within the annual financial budgeting process. Currently only annual targets are set during this process.

  • Is the Bunzl CR programme externally verified?

    We engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (‘PwC’) to undertake a limited assurance engagement, reporting to Bunzl plc only, using International Standard on Assurance Engagements (‘ISAE’) 3000 (Revised): ‘Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information’ and ISAE 3410: ‘Assurance Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Statements’ over certain information relating to carbon emissions, fuel usage and accident incident and severity rates. They have provided an unqualified opinion in relation to the relevant KPIs and data and their full assurance opinion is also available in the Responsibility section of our website. This is the fourth year for which we have received assurance over CR data.


  • Which quality systems is Bunzl certified to?

    Some of Bunzl’s companies hold ISO 9001 quality accreditation.

  • Where can I find prior year CR reports?

    Previous CR reports can be found on our website using the CR Reports Archive.

  • Does Bunzl have a policy on animal testing?

    Bunzl is a distributor of a variety of products and our policy is not to source products tested on animals. Our goal is to use only suppliers that assess the safety of their products by non-animal, in-vitro testing. However, some of the raw materials used in products distributed by Bunzl may have been tested on animals in the past or may need to be so tested in the future under ‘REACH’ (EU Regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) to assure human and environmental safety. REACH testing ensures that the level of such testing is kept to an absolute minimum (forced data sharing). Bunzl’s policy is to avoid products with ingredients which have been tested on animals unless it is proven to be mandated by a legal requirement.

Health & Safety

  • How does Bunzl manage Health and Safety across its sites worldwide?

    The health and safety of our workers is a priority for Bunzl and we are committed to achieving continuous improvement in health and safety performance. With our bespoke Bunzl Risk Management System (BRMS), we are able to measure the number of incidents that result in time lost from work and time lost due to those incidents. We are also able to use data from BRMS to report on and manage health and safety performance across the Group. In addition to this all our sites are subject to Group-wide safety policies and processes which are developed by our qualified safety practitioners and reviewed by the Bunzl Risk Management Committee. Our sites are audited by our own Internal Auditors, qualified safety practitioners and our insurers. Some of our businesses hold OHSAS 18001 accreditation which is based on processes and practices which are implemented Group-wide through our EHS management programme. In Continental Europe, France Securite has become MASE certified to reflect the requirements of its customer base. This certification encompasses continuous improvement in EHS performance and is externally assessed.

  • Have employees within Bunzl been trained in Health and Safety?

    All new employees receive induction training that includes safe working practices and emergency arrangements. On-going refresher training will be provided for high risk activities such as driving vehicles, operating materials handling equipment and manual handling. Some training is provided on-line with a set of questions at the end to demonstrate understanding. Others such as commercial vehicle and materials handling equipment will be a mixture of practical and theoretical training. The practical training may comprise driver ride-alongs and/or feedback from on-board telematics or cameras. Theoretical training will be a combination of on-line or classroom based learning. UK Ireland have introduced a Safe Urban Driving course as one of their CPC modules comprising practical cycling and a classroom based session designed to provide commercial drivers with first-hand experience of being a vulnerable road user. Our Safety Observation Programmes are designed to ensure that training is effective and employees implement safe working practices.

  • Does Bunzl have Emergency Response/Business Continuity Plans in place?

    Bunzl plc has a risk management framework designed to identify and assess the likelihood and consequence of risks and to manage the actions necessary to mitigate their impact to acceptable levels. Business continuity forms part of the Company’s risk management framework which is assessed by each business and business area, the Executive Committee and ultimately the Board. At Bunzl plc level the business continuity plan addresses the provision of essential business services during any incident or emergency situation, while providing for the protection and safety of all employees. Business area management undertake business risk reviews to identify key facilities which if unable to operate would adversely affect the Group’s ability to serve its customers. Plans are developed for each of these key sites and these plans are testing periodically in order to ensure that our businesses are able to respond effectively to emergencies. These plans are reviewed as part of our Internal Audit process. As Bunzl grows through acquisition, the number of sites requiring plans is reviewed regularly by the Bunzl Risk Management Committee. In addition, the Group seeks to reduce the impact of destruction of, or damage to, facilities through the use of multi-site facilities with products stocked in more than one location.

    Evidence of the effectiveness of these plans can be seen in our North America business area’s response to various US hurricanes such as Hurricane Catrina and our businesses in Australasia also successfully implemented their plan during the flooding in Queensland.

  • What are Bunzl’s high risk areas in terms of Health and Safety?

    We view on-road driving, driving of materials handling equipment, such as fork-lift trucks, within the warehouse and manual handling to be our main high risk areas.