Pukka finds genuine transparency in Responsible100

Pukka Herbs opts for corporate reporting with a difference as it bids to be honest about the way it does things.

Winner in the 2degrees Champions Awards 2015

The background

Responsible 100 is corporate reporting with a difference.

It is not for companies content to simply claim to be responsible, it is for those intent on proving it. It identifies and supports transparency in business by requiring companies to report on key responsibility issues which are then open to public scrutiny.

As a business, Pukka believes in being honest about the way we do things – in fact the meaning of Pukka in Hindi means genuine, real or authentic and was the reason why we chose our name. Responsible 100 is a means of evidencing this in an objective way as well as offering the opportunity to learn from others and share experiences. We therefore decided to become a founding member of this initiative and have been actively involved in supporting its development to improve our own practices as well as encouraging others to do the same.

What did we do

We have answered questions on issues including local sourcing, waste, charitable giving, Fairtrade, tax transparency, product information and carers and have allowed every answer to be published.

We have also contributed to developing questions by providing feedback on what constitutes exemplary, commendable, justifiable or unacceptable performance. This has included ways to improve the clarity of the question and make it suitable for a wide variety of businesses, including SMEs. We have met with NGOs and businesses to discuss the questions and responses provided by Responsible 100 member companies and prospective member companies.

To promote Responsible 100 more widely, we have tested a version of the questionnaire which provides a quick overview of performance by providing yes/no answers to questions. We completed it ourselves and also sent it out to 7.5% our suppliers. We also link to Responsible 100 on our website and encouraged them to join the 2degrees network.

The result

We have helped to develop and promote a reporting solution that we believe is the best on the market for genuine transparency. It explains how sustainability challenges and opportunities are addressed by businesses and the reasons behind their decision-making. It allows comparison with other companies and offers the opportunity for public comment.

We have been able to better understand the various social and environmental challenges we face, assess our current practices, determine how we compare with others, identify what better and best practices look like, and if appropriate adopt them. We have also been able to re-evaluate how well our values and ethics are manifest in how we actually operate and prepare our business for future challenges that will become more significant as our business grows.

We have already moved from commendable to exemplary performance in climate change and have taken action that will lead to continual improvement in others.

The personal pitch

We have not reported in this way as a response to an external or shareholder request but because of our own values. By opening up our policies and practices to public scrutiny we aim to both improve our own performance and inspire others to do the same by providing examples of best practice.

We joined the initiative before any current member, were the first member company to commit to answering every available question and have answered more questions than the majority of other companies.

We have contributed answers to every draft question requested for completion by Responsible 100 and provided feedback. This commitment to developing our understanding of sustainability issues and taking action to ensure that we make a positive impact on people and the environment has resulted in us having the one of highest cumulative scores.

Suppliers, contractors and solutions providers used

Responsible 100 and its members and supporting network of NGOs. Over the last 18 months, Responsible 100 has improved its tax question with the Tax Justice Network, ActionAid, and The Center for Global Development. It has improved its whistleblowing question with Public Concern at Work.

It has improved its diversity question with The Equality and Diversity Forum. It has improved its human trafficking question with Finance Against Trafficking, Anti-slavery International, and the Institute for Human Rights and Business. It has improved its executive pay question with The High Pay Centre, ShareAction, Pay Compare, The Equality Trust, The Work Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), Manifest and PIRC. It has improved its corporate governance question with Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility and ShareAction. It has created a new question on open and free internet with Privacy International, Christian Aid, OpenCorporates, ONE campaign and Sustainalytics.

Links to relevant supporting materials

Embedded content: http://www.responsible100.com/
Embedded content: http://www.pukkaherbs.com/pukka-planet/stories/
Embedded content: https://vimeo.com/116241589

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