We are serious about our ambition and hold ourselves accountable for our progress towards our goals and commitments. Creating meaningful governance structures and the enabling environment within The Adecco Group ensures that we deliver on our promises, stay on top of risks, and capitalise on the opportunities of making our organisation truly sustainable.
Our approach to sustainable business conduct is an integral part of our Future@Work strategy. Sustainability for us is not a one-off effort or something that sits separate from the business. It is an integral part of how we do business. We can only be successful as an organisation if we are mindful of the broader impact of our activities and consistently embed material environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into all that we do.
Our ESG governance
Strong governance structures and clear lines of accountability enable us to deliver on our ambition and commitments. This must start at the top.
With its members as stewards of the company, the Board of Directors has ultimate responsibility for the overall strategic direction and oversight of ESG-related matters. It has assigned certain of these duties and responsibilities to to some of its committees:
The Governance and Nomination Committee (GNC) assists the Board in its overall responsibilities as they relate to ESG, oversees the Group’s initiatives, and reviews the principles related to ESG and the reporting on its efforts.
The Audit Committee (AC) oversees the Group’s ESG risk management and jointly with the GNC reviews the Group’s progress against ESG targets.
The Compensation Committee provides recommendations to the Board regarding the general compensation policy of the Company, including plan details pertaining to ESG considerations.
The Group Executive Committee approves and review.s the Group’s ESG/sustainability approach, policies and targets, ensures embedding in the Group strategy, and is accountable for the implementation across the Group’s business units and functions.
The ESG Steering Committee oversees the day-to-day implementation of the Group’s ESG Framework and ESG Scorecard, defines the Group’s ESG priorities and targets, reviews progress against objectives, and identifies gaps to close. It is chaired by the Group CFO and consists of senior representatives from the three global business units as well as select leaders of relevant Group functions, such as HR, Sales, Finance, Public Affairs, Communications and ESG, all reporting either directly to the Group CEO or to Executive Committee members.
The Group ESG function develops the strategic sustainability direction for the Group together with key stakeholders; it is responsible for driving and coordinating efforts, ensuring alignment across the Group, engaging with stakeholders, and reporting on progress. The Group Head of ESG regularly reports to the Board of Directors/GNC and the Group Executive Committee.
But for any truly integrated approach, this must be a collaborative effort, with both top down and bottom up input. We want to ensure our activities are meaningful and appropriate to the relevant context, needs and perspectives. Global topic leads are responsible for defining topic approaches, policies, processes and targets in line with the Group framework and rolling them out through the functions, across the business units and into the countries. Regional/country leads then translate the global frameworks into meaningful local action and implement relevant policies, processes, targets and actions at regional/country level.
Embedding ESG throughout our business is not simply the responsibility of select leaders, functions, or committees. How we conduct our business comes down to the decisions and actions that each of our colleagues takes, day to day. We are thus also seeking to continuously increase the awareness and understanding among our colleagues of our approach to sustainable business conduct and the role they can play in helping to drive progress.
Do you want to help us make the future work for everyone? Take a look at the opportunities available at the Adecco Group here.
ESG in the Group’s compensation framework
To support the achievement of our ESG-related objectives and ensure an additional layer of accountability for key priorities, compensation for Executive Committee Members is linked to select material ESG measures. The Short-Term Incentive Plans of the Group Executive Committee Members contain, in addition to the core financial, strategic, and functional goals, specific performance objectives that are related to the main ESG goals and priorities of the Group. For more information, please see the Remuneration Report within the latest Adecco Group Annual Report.
ESG in enterprise risk management
We want to ensure we have the appropriate mechanisms in place to consistently and continuously identify and mitigate ESG-related risks impacting our business and stakeholders and, where possible, to turn these risks into opportunities. To this effect, we integrated ESG as a separate risk category into the Group’s enterprise risk management framework while also embedding ESG-related considerations into other risk categories where deemed relevant.
The process is conducted on a regular basis, steered by Group management, and overseen and approved by the Board of Directors. Country and business line management teams are involved as well as Group management and corporate functions to ensure consistency and comprehensive coverage by leveraging the expertise of the people in the organisation close to the risks. This is consolidated through an unbiased and honest view on risks that can have a significant impact on their operations and their ability to meet objectives. Where needed, action plans are developed, and progress is reviewed during regular business meetings.
For more information on our risk management approach and principal risks, please see our latest Adecco Group Annual Report.
Responsible tax practices
At the Adecco Group, we believe that contributing to public finances through responsible tax practices is an integral part of how we seek to make the future work for everyone and a key contribution we as a business can make towards helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Agenda.
We operate a Group-wide policy on tax that is regularly reviewed by the Board of Directors’ Audit Committee. Relevant guiding principles, processes and controls have been defined and implemented throughout the Company. We report revenues and pay taxes in the countries where we operate and value is created, and do not engage in artificial tax-driven structures and transactions. We fully comply with both the tax law in all countries where we operate and international standards, namely OECD standards.
To build trust and accountability with our stakeholders and strengthen their understanding of how we create value through the taxes we contribute, and the underlying approach we take, we want to be transparent in our efforts. We have thus published the Adecco Group’s first tax transparency report, which explains our tax principles and actions to remain tax compliant in the markets we operate in. We disclose our tax guidelines and pricing policies for intra-Group transactions and how we manage our tax risks, tax compliance and tax audits, as well as our tax contributions to the economies of our markets worldwide.
We continuously engage with a broad set of stakeholders. This helps us to uncover relevant insights, build resilience and increase the chances of receiving early warning on issues, continuously validate our efforts and ensure we continue to be on the right track, while building trust and credibility.
Key stakeholders include our colleagues, candidates and associates, clients, shareholders, suppliers, authorities, trade unions, institutional and policy stakeholders, and civil society. Engagement may happen for example through direct interactions and dialogue such as stakeholder panels, through associations, standardised surveys such as Client, Candidate and Associate Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) or Peakon employee engagement surveys, or through broader research projects such as Resetting Normal.
Policies, Standards and Guidelines
Our policies, standards and guidelines are a key element of our approach to responsible business conduct. They define how we want to do our business, and what we expect of ourselves and our business partners throughout the world. They are updated on a regular basis to ensure continued alignment with evolving legislation, regulation, best practices and expectations.
The following provides access to our publicly available documents. These are complemented by many more internal policies, guidelines, and documents e.g. in the area of human resources, data security and privacy, compliance including anti-bribery and corruption, finance and accounting, tax, procurement, or IT.