SHV has established a long history of reliable performance, providing a solid foundation to fuel growth for generations to come. This has been built on a strong and clear organisational structure that supports swift, entrepreneurial decision making, while at the same ensuring the appropriate checks and balances are in place.

The Supervisory Board of Directors (SBD) frequently meets with the Executive Board of Directors (EBD) to discuss strategy and results providing for an effective decision making process. Site visits also help the SBD to remain up to date with the Groups and their various businesses. The EBD plays a pivotal role by defining strategy and capital allocation, while Group management teams manage the individual businesses.

Main strategy pillars are periodically measured and monitored between the EBD and Group management by means of the Living Strategy programme. Strategy execution is measured and monitored based on the so-called Delivery & Development agenda, which classifies main strategy items into concrete topics. Delivery agenda items relate to execution-ready initiatives, whereas Development agenda items are strategic items which need to be further explored and detailed before going to the execution phase. This structured approach provides a solid framework for discussion on current performance as well as ongoing business developments.

Within SHV, we all share the responsibility to act with integrity in line with both the law and with our own policies. As part of a culture that never has—and never will—tolerate unethical or unlawful behaviour, we are duty-bound to conduct business in an ethical and compliant manner. Any failure to do so will be immediately investigated and any appropriate action will be taken.

A robust Ethics & Compliance framework incorporates a set of policies aimed at our main risk areas: Third Party Due Diligence, Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Trade Sanctions and Export Controls, Competition Law, Privacy, and Whistle Blowing. The Ethics & Compliance department works closely with a number of areas across the business including management, HR, Legal, and Internal Audit.

The Groups are responsible for implementing policies within their own organisations, adapting them to their own specific needs, and continuously ensuring they remain up to date. Where relevant, they may also incorporate additional policies such as Anti-Money Laundering and Workplace Conduct.

Dedicated Ethics & Compliance departments within each Group provide insight into the expected levels of behaviour and support management in maintaining unimpeachable standards. The departments also provide colleagues worldwide with all the right tools to deal with challenging circumstances and difficult dilemmas.

SHV also offers Speak Up, a confidential, company-wide phone line and webservice that allows all employees and stakeholders to safely voice any concerns they may have about workplace practices.

Taken together, this comprehensive set of measures helps to ensure that SHV continues to meet its strong commitment to a company-wide culture of integrity and trust.

Speak up

Besides the Shared Values and Ethics & Compliance guidelines, SHV gives clear guidance to Groups on expected business conduct.

The SHV Policies and Guidelines provide the Groups with clear direction on the standards that are expected from all colleagues. They not only help to ensure to conduct business better, but also help on the journey to becoming an ever more self-evaluating and faster learning organisation.

The Business Support Framework (BSF) equips Groups with the controls they need to monitor adherence to the SHV Policies and Guidelines. The BSF consists of 30 key controls, which are assessed throughout the year by the Groups themselves as well as by the independent Internal Control departments. Each Group is also required to supplement these 30 key controls with another 50 to 70 Group-specific ones.

The independent Internal Audit function, operating both at SHV and at Group level, provides insight and support to stakeholders through regular audits on business processes. Audits may also encompass large ad-hoc projects and specific topics.

This all allows Internal Control and Audit to provide the reassurance that all activities are conducted in line with the SHV business principles.

Risk and Control

As part of the annual risk management cycle, the Executive Board of Directors (EBD) conducted a company-wide risk assessment over the course of 2022. The assessment aimed to identify key risk areas, validate the effectiveness of internal control measures, and identify the actions required to manage risk within SHV parameters.

The assessment confirmed the company’s risk appetite as strategically open with a more cautious attitude to operations and finance while executing the chosen strategy. SHV remains committed to a way of working that makes no compromise on safety, quality, and compliance. With respect to the latter, the Executive Board of Directors reiterated a zero-tolerance approach to areas such as fraud, bribery and corruption.

By adopting an outside-in perspective and identifying focus areas, the assessment identified 10 key risks currently faced by the organisation. Geopolitical and macro-economic factors remain in wake of the global pandemic and political unrest - the effects of which will continue to be felt in the coming years. Challenges in the supply chain also pose a threat, linked to pandemic measures as well as climate change. The pace of digitalisation and technological developments also needs to be addressed by Group business models. And with the world confronted by increasingly severe cyber-attacks and ever more sophisticated cyber threats, IT security needs to be continually managed.

Risk is also present in continued tight labour markets that pose challenges to attract and retain the talent and specialist skills required by certain areas of the business. And finally, the speed and breadth of legislative change around the world creates a continuous need to stay abreast of all necessary compliance measures, laws, and regulations. For example, potential changes to ESG-related regulation represent a significant new risk - mainly pertaining to the financial sustainability aims of the European Commission and its Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

The company’s regular business processes, together with a robust set of internal controls, continue to effectively manage these risks. As part of an update to internal control measurements, a number of processes have been improved to ensure this remains the case.   For instance; Sustainability controls will focus on double materiality assessments as well as the completeness and accuracy of the reported sustainability data by the Groups. Furthermore, when Investment Proposals are prepared, their impact on Group’s Sustainable Development Goals will also be considered. SHV also asks its Groups to duly apply the SHV Minimum Global Standards for Project Management, in order to strengthen the governance and execution of the business transformation projects. As the common element of these control measures, SHV increases focus on ‘data’ and its quality.

In terms of safety, we continued to increase awareness and promote a safe and healthy work environment through safety leadership programmes and Group-specific Life Saving Rules. On a cultural level, our purpose “Courage to care for generations to come” underpins the company culture by highlighting our core values. In 2023 the Health and Safety Community across SHV and its Groups will also focus on ‘Visible & Felt Safety Leadership’ to further embed the safety culture in the company.

The company tests the effectiveness of internal control measures throughout the organisation twice a year, with the results reported to local management, Group Management, the Executive Board of Directors and Supervisory Board of Directors.

Overall, the EBD considers that these measures, together with existing operating procedures and control frameworks, effectively address the risks that confront SHV both now and in the foreseeable future.

Ethics & Compliance

Internal Control and Internal Audit