By Sir Ian Good, chairman
Edrington's values are central to the way the company works and the success it has achieved. They are the values established by the founding Robertson family and upheld by the three sisters, with whom I was privileged to work. We strive every day to live up to their high standards, and in so doing, we create enduring brands and deliver superior financial returns.
These cultural values are reinforced by formal codes of conduct that require the highest standards of business ethics and a consistently responsible approach to marketing.
Edrington was created to be independent. We are proud to be privately owned by The Robertson Trust and proud to keep our home in Scotland. Our tradition of independent thinking informs our business decisions and enables the management team to take a considered, consistent and long-term approach to brand building and investment.
Edrington actively encourages staff to get involved and share in the success of the company, through initiatives such as the Edrington Achievement Award and the Chairman’s Special Award, and by offering attractive employment benefits.
The Robertson Trust extends that involvement to communities in an unprecedented way, giving nearly £15 million in donations to Scottish charities in 2011 alone. The Brugal Foundation is funded by annual donation from profits and makes donations to charitable projects within the Dominican Republic. In other locations, Edrington offers its Giving is Rewarding scheme, allowing company employees overseas the opportunity to have local fundraising matched by the company.
Edrington has built a reputation for integrity in our business dealings, and we passionately believe that integrity delivers results. Edrington is now a thriving international organisation of more than two thousand people, all trained in our Code of Responsible Marketing and Code of Conduct.
The 1961 construct of The Robertson Trust and Edrington was a business model of great ingenuity, and Edrington has developed that heritage of innovation across its dealings. Edrington has built a world-class supply chain and created a distribution network that is flexible to the needs of the company, its partners and its markets.
To see why our innovation in building our brands has won so many awards, visit our brand websites for The Macallan, Brugal, The Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark and Highland Park.
Edrington’s business progress has been matched by a commitment to the highest standards of responsibility. Contributing positively to communities, responsible alcohol consumption, and the environment is integral to the company’s daily business activity.
The CSR team drives Edrington’s social responsibility agenda, and the company believes that we work best when we work together. Edrington is pleased to be a contributing member of the UK Public Health Responsibility Deal, consistently beating targets on including responsibility messages on our products.
Edrington directly funds and supports the Drinkaware campaign, and builds on its commitment by abiding by industry codes and producing its own international Sales and Marketing Code.
Because we work across different countries and different cultures, all staff are trained in Edrington's Code of Conduct, which explains how our values apply to business activities and relationships, and sets out the standards we require from colleagues and the companies we work with. Edrington's Global Sourcing Guidelines is based on the Ethical Trading Initiative Code, and sets out the standards we expect of our suppliers.
Edrington is committed to actions that will improve the sustainability of our industry and the natural environment upon which it relies.
The company is a key supporter of the Scotch Whisky Association’s environmental strategy, and by working in partnership, it is estimated that the industry will achieve its targets earlier than the 2020 deadline.
Edrington’s support for the keynote commitment: to ensure that 20% of our industry’s primary energy requirements will be delivered from non-fossil fuel sources, will increase significantly with the opening of a new biomass energy plant in 2013.
Working with Zero Waste Scotland, a revolutionary new lightweight bottle has been successfully developed for The Famous Grouse which delivers a reduction of 14% on the weight of the current bottle. This marks a significant contribution towards the company’s target to reduce packaging weight by 10% before 2020.
The Robertson Trust is the largest independent grant-making trust in Scotland. The majority of its income is derived from Edrington dividends.
It was established by the three Robertson sisters in 1961 in response to a series of hostile takeover attempts. In order to ensure the long term independence of their interests and protect the welfare of their employees, and to continue their tradition of charitable giving, they donated their business interests to the charitable trust.
Last year the Robertson Trust awarded £14.7m to 746 charities. Since its inception in 1961 the Trust has given more than £110m to Scottish charities.
The Robertson Trust is a fitting tribute to the independence, benevolence and business acumen of three remarkable women.
The Trust’s aims remain unchanged: to be an accessible and flexible funder that is able and willing to react to changing circumstances.
As Edrington grows internationally, it has extended the principle of donating a share of the company’s profits within its international markets.
Trusts in Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden allocate donations to causes that support: Financially and/or socially disadvantaged people, protecting nature and the environment, and cultural and sporting activities.
Edrington Korea and Edrington Taiwan contribute to scholarship programmes to support talented students facing adverse circumstances.
The Brugal Foundation Brugal volunteers help the Vida Azul (Blue Life) Foundation to clean up the local beaches.
In 2012 The Brugal Foundation focused on the issues posed by environmental change in the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican side of the Hispaniola Island contains some of the richest biodiversity to be found in the Caribbean islands. The Foundation has provided both funding and resource to protect this environment and continue the tradition of supporting causes that improve the wellbeing of the Dominican people.
Brugal runs operations in two locations within The Dominican Republic. In the south, San Pedro de Macorís is the centre for distillation, and Puerto Plata in the north is home to production and warehousing. Both locations have developed exciting programmes to preserve the environment and improve the wellbeing of local residents.
At the distillery in San Pedro de Macorís, located at the Higuamo river basin, Brugal has created a nursery for the reproduction of mangrove plants, possibly the only one of its kind in the country. Restoring the natural habitat for mangroves has in turn contributed to the reforestation of the area surrounding the Higuamo River, the National Aquarium site, and the shore of the Caracol Beach to the south west.
The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources recently acknowledged the company’s sustainability efforts with the award of The National Cleanest Production prize. Run in conjunction with the Ministry of Trade and Commerce, this award is a fitting accolade for the way in which Brugal has simultaneously raised awareness of environmental issues and taken action.
Employees have embraced the issue enthusiastically, signing up to the company’s drive to be energy efficient and use natural resources sparingly. Their enthusiasm extended to volunteering for a number of activities organised by NGOs and foundations that support the Dominican environment.
Brugal’s band of volunteers joined the International Coastal Clean-up Day co-ordinated globally by the Ocean Conservancy. Local organisers, The Vida Azul (Blue Life) Foundation, welcomed a large team who gave up their time to remove debris and restore the coast to its picturesque best.
The company has also been keen to transfer knowledge on sustainability. In recognition of its leading role, The Brugal Foundation was invited to join the board of directors of the first Environmental Institute of the Dominican Republic. This will allow it to continue to support good causes in sustainability and help protect one of the most diverse ecosystems in the Caribbean region.