Chapters
Annual Report 2018

Focus area 3: Being a responsible and trustworthy partner

Our ability to create value through our operations and products is largely determined by the impact of our activities along our value chain. We take responsibility for human and labor rights within our organization and for safeguarding them along our value chain.

We are committed to ensuring we deal with suppliers that do not infringe on human rights and are aligned to the various international standards for responsible business conduct. A collaborative and constructive approach to our value chain partners is therefore an essential ingredient to our success.

3.1. By being a responsible employer

We believe the quality of our eye care is enabled by the excellence of our people. GrandVision is committed to maintaining responsible working conditions for all employees and creating high levels of employee engagement and alignment.

Managing for excellence

To give our people the ability to excel in their work, we are committed to investing in their capabilities and expertise. We focus on employee engagement and continue to organize the governance and quality of our global HR approach to ensure it is implemented and monitored across all our countries and retail banners.

Our global HR agenda is determined based on our local needs, combined with what we need to achieve our future goals. It is strengthened by a set of global policies and procedures and is designed to contribute to our overall business performance in line with our strategy.

At the same time, our local HR leaders share knowledge and best practices to further develop and generate efficiencies across the organization. Their team members participate in global HR projects touching important topics such as the need for recruiting and upskilling digital talent, employer branding and onboarding.

The performance of our HR agenda is measured and monitored by a set of global KPIs on a quarterly basis. These KPIs provide accurate information on the factors that drive and motivate our people and enable us to develop more effective responses to our evolving requirements in areas such as productivity, retention, recruitment, vacancies, sick leave, and engagement levels. All local operating companies now report these KPIs on a quarterly basis and the overall result is shared among all HR leaders.

In 2018, we started working on rebranding our HR community into a “People & Culture” team, to reflect our ambitions to move from a recruitment and administration-focused HR role, towards one in which HR is a partner to the business to support the implementation and success of the company’s overall strategy.

In 2019 the main topics of the Global HR agenda will be around organizational effectiveness, culture and talent management. It is a fait accompli that we will continue to put our people first and at the heart of everything we do.

Employee engagement and satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is equally important to us as customer satisfaction, and as such, we continuously measure it and look to improve it. This approach distinguishes us every day, across our stores, our TechCenters and our retail support functions.

Our local businesses have long used employee surveys to track employee satisfaction. Recently, we began applying a consistent employee engagement approach with aligned methodologies across all countries. Through this harmonized format we are better able to gather valuable information about levels of engagement, our people’s understanding of the company’s plans and objectives, and the effectiveness of their managers. Each local organization, including the GV Headquarters at Schiphol, is acting effectively on the outcome of the surveys and is constantly looking for ways to increase results. In 2018 we consistently measured our employee-NPS (eNPS) across all countries on a quarterly basis, using the outcome as a ‘temperature check’ of employee happiness.

In each country, as well as at GrandVision HQ, action plans and measurements are taken each time in order to continuing learning and improving. Examples of specific actions taken in 2018 are the development of:

  • Tools and initiatives to improve the dialogue between employees and management; as well the dialogue across different functions
  • Leadership training programs

Equal opportunity

As a responsible employer of a very diverse workforce and active across a wide range of communities, we strongly believe in equal opportunity for and diversity among our employees. We recognize that each individual is unique, and acknowledge all differences, which may include ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical abilities, family status, religious beliefs, perspective, experience or different ideologies. We have therefore established principles of inclusion and diversity in the GrandVision Anti-discrimination and Equality Policy. By fostering a culture of respect and openness, we aim to create and maintain a working environment in which employees feel safe to communicate openly and respect one another’s perspectives while preserving a flexible work-life balance. We strive to make our work space free of discrimination, harassment and victimization on the basis of:

  • Gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment
  • Race, color, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • Hours of work
  • Religious or political beliefs
  • Disability
  • Age

These principles trickle down into all our people-related operations, such as training and development, employee retention and succession planning. We also support the right of all our employees to form and join trade unions and other organizations of their choice, and to bargain collectively in support of their mutual interest. Currently, 44% of our employees around the world (headcount) are covered by (local) collective bargaining agreements.

GRANDVISION'S GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY

GrandVision is committed to business practices that do not infringe on human rights and that are aligned with various international standards of responsible business conduct, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

Our Global Human Rights Policy sets out standards, expectations, and commitments in relation to our responsibility to respect human rights across our own operations, and to not knowingly contribute to human rights violations by other parties.

You can find our Human Rights Policy on our website.

Supporting diversity at GrandVision

We see diversity as an integral part of how we do business that is crucial to our commercial success as it also reflects the diversity of our customers. Therefore, we are committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion that reflects the communities we operate in. This starts from the moment we select a candidate through a fair recruitment process based on objective criteria. Furthermore, our internal remuneration systems are based entirely on the requirements of each position and the professional background and skills of every candidate, regardless of gender, race or social background.

Next to recruitment, our diversity initiatives extend to all other areas of our business. These include talent development, skills enhancement, recruitment, appointments to the Management Board, employee retention, mentoring and coaching programs and succession planning among others.

By paying special attention to diversity in all our operations, we aim to build a work environment that encourages:

  • Respectful communication and cooperation between employees
  • Teamwork and employee participation among all groups and employee perspectives
  • Work/life balance through flexible work schedules to accommodate employees’ varying needs
  • Employer and employee contributions to the communities in which we serve to promote a greater understanding and respect for diversity

Gender diversity at GrandVision

In terms of gender diversity, 69% of all GrandVision full-time employees are women. The share of women between all GrandVision segments varies between 60+ and 77%, with the highest participation seen in Other Europe. Our workforce in the Americas & Asia segment is more equally balanced, as women represent 62% of the total. In the senior leadership team of about 143 people, women represent around 30% of the workforce.

Gender diversity (total and per segment, FTEs)

2017

2018

Male employees (% of total)

31%

31%

Female employees (% of total)

69%

69%

of which G4

70%

68%

of which Other Europe

77%

77%

of which Americas & Asia

58%

62%

Diversity on Board Level

To reflect the diversity of the communities in which we work, as well as the diversity of our entire workforce, GrandVision has implemented a diversity policy for the Management Board and Supervisory Board. The policy can be found on GrandVision's website. It takes into consideration the differences between people in the organization and acknowledges the importance, acceptance and respect of differences between individuals.

The Supervisory Board’s aim is to reflect a diversity of age, gender, nationality, education and work experience. The statutory objective for a balanced governance composition is a minimum of 30% male and female representatives. This objective is currently not met by GrandVision.

In the long term, the Supervisory Board's aim is to ensure that its composition and that of the Management Board is a fair and balanced representation of the company's entire staff and its customer base.

Ethics and good conduct

GrandVision’s Management Board believes that a respectful working environment creates a culture focused on long-term value creation for the company and its affiliated enterprises. The Supervisory Board supervises the activities of the Management Board in this regard.

We at GrandVision value Integrity, Trust, Openness and Team Work above all. We work relentlessly for our customers, keeping their experience and needs central to all that we do. We believe these are key ingredients for our success and we therefore share a common understanding and a set of guidelines to help reinforce and uphold our values. These are actively promoted by the Management Board and the Supevisory Board.

GrandVision has a Code of Conduct and a Whistleblower Procedure that enable our employees, customers and other stakeholders to detect and alert the organization should a deviation occur.

In 2018, our Compliance Officer received 13 whistleblower reports. These were all followed up in line with the Whistleblower Procedure and duly reported to the Audit Committee. Copies of the GrandVision Code of Conduct and Whistleblower Procedure can be found at www.grandvision.com.

To ensure our employees have a thorough understanding of the GrandVision Code of Conduct and Whistleblower Procedure, these policies were translated into local languages in the countries in which GrandVision operates. In 2018, 86% of our employees were trained in the Code of Conduct through a compulsory e-learning program and test. For new hires, the Code of Conduct training is part of the onboarding process.

In addition, the company has established an Antitrust and Competition Law Compliance policy across the entire Group. The Management Board is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness and implementation of these policies while every GrandVision employee receives an awareness training on these topics once a year. A copy of the GrandVision Competition Law Policy can be found at www.grandvision.com.

As part of GrandVision’s wider compliance program, we have launched a program on Data Protection and Cybersecurity in 2016. The program aims to ensure compliance with all relevant legislation in this area, including but not limited to the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

Additionally, the program helps to create and maintain a culture of responsible and safe handling of personal, customer, and employee data. As part of this program a set of policies was created and rolled out in all countries. The policies cover issues related to personal data and information protection, data retention, IT end-users, data breach protocol and social media. To make sure the cybersecurity compliance program is implemented in all GrandVision countries, we have set up a governance structure.

In 2016, Data Protection Officers (DPOs) were appointed in every country and made responsible for the implementation of the respective policies. This community of DPOs has been trained through internal legal webinars and organizes regular calls to facilitate the sharing of best practices. An e-learning module on Data Protection and Cybersecurity was created and rolled out across the organization in 2017. Employees are required to take this module on annual basis.

Throughout 2018 the focus remained to make our countries GDPR-compliant whilst further strengthening the governance structure.

3.2. By sourcing our suppliers responsibly

As a trustworthy partner, we are committed to ensuring we deal with suppliers who also recognize their responsibility to their employees and the communities they affect. We examine our entire value chain for opportunities to foster economic stability and are committed to business practices that do not infringe on human rights and are aligned to the various international standards for responsible business conduct, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

Ethical business conduct

We use GrandVision’s Supplier Code of Conduct to clearly communicate our expectations and assess supplier performance through a variety of measures. We also look to work with suppliers to reduce any negative impacts on people and society. The policy includes mandatory requirements on the observation of human and labor rights in business relationships with GrandVision, as set out in our Code of Conduct. GrandVision ensures all suppliers receive and acknowledge a copy of the Policy, and clearly communicates the importance of ethical business conduct. We verify alignment to the Supplier Code of Conduct and Social Compliance Standards through regular third-party audits, using a certified grading system. All employees engaged in procurement and with suppliers also have responsibility and accountability for compliance with this policy.

Centralized supplier management for better business conduct

We have continued to work on managing the number of our suppliers, and in 2018 we partnered with 47 strategic suppliers, of which 24 are from OECD countries and 23 are from non-OECD countries. In 2018, the number of our strategic suppliers from non-OECD countries increased significantly, from 16 to 23, due to the fact that we have contracted also second-tier suppliers. Partnering with strategic suppliers enables us to manage the procurement of services and products centrally and with standardized GrandVision Supply Chain (GVSC) contracts, including our Supplier Code of Conduct.

From our strategic suppliers based in OECD countries, 83% (20 out of 24) has signed our Supplier Code of Conduct. While as of 2018 all new contracts, or renewed contracts automatically include GrandVision's Supplier Code of Conduct. By 2025, our target is to have all our strategic suppliers in OECD and non-OECD countries sign our Supplier Code of Conduct and comply fully with our working requirements.

As a result of harmonization and centralization, the number of local suppliers has decreased by 44% in the past year. We now have only 110 local suppliers for Goods-For-Resale. Having fewer partners to negotiate with improves conditions for doing business and helps to provide even more affordable eye care to the communities in which we operate, and our customers

with tailor-made solutions for their needs.

In 2018, our spend remained concentrated on strategic suppliers, retaining a concentrated spend index (CSI) of 95%. We proceeded with harmonizing all local contracts with suppliers and replacing them with standardized GrandVision Supply Chain (GVSC) contracts, including our Supplier Code of Conduct. During 2018, we concluded 18 new contracts using the standardized contract.

Centralizing supplier management or supporting local business?

We are centralizing contracts and supplier management because it improves our conditions for doing business.

As we have fewer suppliers to deal with, there is a clear efficiency and quality benefit. In negotiating prices, but also in ensuring the social and environmental management in our supply chain.

However, centralization has less desired side-effects as we work with more globalized established suppliers, rather than supporting local suppliers. Doing business with local suppliers directly and indirectly contributes to local job creation, tax payments and economic growth. We choose to centralize because it contributes to our strategic objectives. We aim to transform our Supply Chain into a true end-to-end product value chain.

Centralized supplier management enables us to capture all opportunities, from better brands and products, to reduced lead times and inventory, increased margins and improved buying conditions, as well as strong and consolidated go-to-market mechanisms.

Auditing our strategic suppliers

The majority of our Exclusive Brand frames are produced in non-OECD countries, where potential risks are considered to be higher than for suppliers from OECD countries. By third-party certification, including audits, we enforce responsible operations from our strategic suppliers.

We expect that our suppliers have certain quality management system in place, including ISO certifications and a product recall procedure. We also expect them to operate within requirements of our Supplier Code of Conduct.

GrandVision uses a certified grading system, which scores by section (e.g. child labor/young labor, forced labor, health & safety, freedom of association, discrimination, working hours, compensations, environmental laws & regulations, business integrity) and based on the section scores gives an overall % score as well as an overall “traffic light” color coding system score, to keep track of the further measures we need to undertake:

  • “Green” means that the supplier has fulfilled all our requirements (no critical, nor major negative findings) and the supplier will be audited again in two years.
  • “Yellow” means the supplier fulfils most of our standards (no critical findings, and high scores in most of the sections), however, they must make improvements in certain areas. These areas will be re-audited in three months' time.
  • “Red” means that the supplier does not fulfil most of our criteria (having critical findings, and/or low scores in most of the sections), and will be fully re-audited in three months' time.

In 2018, we managed to audit 91% (21 of 23) of our global suppliers of our Exclusive Brands frames and sunglasses in non-OECD countries, using a supplier audit rating system certified by SGS, the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. The majority of non-OECD suppliers fulfilled all requirements in GrandVision’s Code of Conduct and Social Compliance Standards, while six suppliers fulfilled the majority of requirements. The one supplier that did not manage to meet the requirements will be reviewed again within three months. If the review shows that the requirements are still not met, we will cease our cooperation with this supplier.

Responsible sourcing

2015

2016

2017

2018

2025 Target

Suppliers in non-OECD countries

Signed Code of Conduct or equivalent (% of total)

12.5%

68.8%

100%

83%

100%

Audited (% of total)

18.8%

93.8%

100%

91%

100%

Fulfilling all requirements (green)

0%

47%

94%

67%

100%

Fulfilling most requirements (yellow)

100%

53%

6%

29%

0%

Not fulfilling most requirements (red)

0%

0%

0%

5%

0%

Suppliers in OECD countries

Signed Code of Conduct (% of total)

6%

23%

80%

83%

100%