Statement of corporate social responsibility, cf. Danish Financial Statements Act §99a

The compulsory statement of corporate social responsibility describes the business model of JPS Marselis ApS in relation to corporate social responsibility, policies for corporate social responsibility and risk assessment, as well as a description of actions and results.

JPS Marselis ApS has elected to publish its statement in accordance with Section 99a as indicated on the company website.
The following statement includes JPS Marselis ApS reporting for 2019/20 and is part of the management report as stated in the annual report.

 

Description of the JPS Marselis business model

JPS Marselis and its subsidiaries form part of a structure that focuses either on property (JPS Administration A/S and JPS Germa A/S) or individual enterprises (Tropica Aquarium Plants A/S, Hornbaek A/S, Vahle A/S and Dansk Administrationscenter A/S). These companies are each structured as focused subgroups with their own subsidiaries. The individual companies have a large degree of independence operationally, with their own organisational structures and management with responsibility for running their company. The companies’ underlying subsidiaries manage activities identical to, or closely related to, the company’s main business activity.

Most of the Group’s revenue comes from its own production (wood products/nursery). The remainder of its turnover is essentially generated from retail activity and real estate lettings.

The Group’s procurement of raw materials is limited to timber from forests primarily in the Nordic and Baltic countries, which is purchased in large quantities from approved suppliers. The Group’s procurement of components involves the purchase of a large number of products from suppliers around the world. Common to all of these products is the fact that they are manufactured by suppliers with high quality standards.

In essence, the Group’s turnover is based on sales to professionals who sell the goods on to both private individuals and professional clients. This proportion of turnover is not made directly to private sector and only to a limited extent as direct sales to the public sector. The Group’s property is mainly let to private tenants (for residential purposes).

The above characteristics of the Group’s overall business model mean that there are some CSR-related issues that are particularly important to our business. This applies especially to employee relations, our use of resources in the form of energy and raw materials etc. as well as good business ethics.

 

CR – policy and risk assessment

JPS Marselis has adopted policies for corporate social responsibility in the areas of human rights, social conditions and employee relations, anti-corruption and business ethics, as well as environment and climate. The Group’s CSR policy provides the framework for a common approach among our employees in relation to our values and our goal of behaving sustainably and responsibly. The policy outlines a series of guidelines and our expectations of one another, summarising how we should conduct ourselves as employees and as an employer. The policy is based on the United Nations’ ‘Global Compact’.

JPS Marselis has also conducted an overall risk assessment of the areas mentioned above, with the most significant risks outlined below in connection with the policy in each individual area.

Human rights

JPS Marselis is active in a large number of countries around the world. Regardless of where we have our operations, we always strive to observe human rights, value our employees and treat them with respect. We support and respect the UN’s international Universal Declaration of Human Rights, protecting human rights internationally, and observe ILO conventions and recommendations.

JPS Marselis has conducted an overall risk assessment with regard to human rights. The Group has operations in many different countries, including countries that might be defined as ‘high-risk’. The managers of all of these activities are now familiar with our policies and approaches to human rights – regardless of geographical affiliation. The latter is thought to be a contributing factor to reducing the risk of human rights violations.

Social conditions and employee working conditions

At JPS Marselis, we believe that it is the people who achieve the results. We strive to be a responsible employer that ensures proper terms of employment, safe and healthy working conditions and a motivating working environment for our employees.

JPS Marselis has conducted an overall risk assessment with regard to social conditions and employee working conditions. Given that JPS Marselis regards its employees as the Group’s most important resource, CR risks are thought to be an area of particular significance in the context of social conditions and employee working conditions.

The activities undertaken by the Group require employees to be dedicated and highly competent, with significant demands placed on their skills. For the most part, the company has an educated labour force or employees who have acquired the necessary skills after an induction and further training, making it possible to meet the company quality and safety standards. This is also a contributing factor in ensuring that a high level can be maintained in terms of working environment standard.

With regard specifically to social conditions and employee working conditions, activities taking place outside of the former ‘Western Europe’ (Latvia) are thought to be particular risks, because management culture and motivating working environments do not have the same prevalence and historic integrity as we know it. For this reason, we place a particular focus on these areas in our day-to-day management and controlling of the subsidiaries. The outcome of this specific focus is thought to reduce the outlined risks. Continual improvements are being made to minimise the risks in this area.

In terms of the policies in this area, no non-compliant activities/decisions were confirmed (in this area) for the financial year in question.

Anti-corruption measures and business ethics

Over the years, JPS Marselis has built up a reputation as a company that maintains a high level of integrity and ethical conduct. We counteract all forms of corruption, including bribery.

JPS Marselis has conducted an overall risk assessment with regard to anti-corruption measures and business ethics. The JPS Marselis vision is to be one of the best at creating value in a proper and credible manner, done by committing ourselves and our companies to assuming responsibility and acting in the interest of sustainability, regardless of the country of our business operations. This vision is firmly anchored in the manner in which JPS Marselis runs its business, which has helped to build up the Group’s good reputation. As such, it is not thought that this area poses a major risk for CR; even so, a firm focus is placed on it to ensure that a high standard is maintained.

With regard specifically to anti-corruption measures and business ethics, activities taking place outside of the former ‘Western Europe’ (Latvia) are thought to be particular risks. To provide some background, the business environment there typically is, or has been, susceptible to bribery and corruption, as these are considered important ingredients historically when it comes to meeting business targets. For this reason, we place a particular focus on these areas in our day-to-day management and controlling of the subsidiaries. The outcome of this specific focus is thought to reduce the outlined risks.

In terms of the policies in this area, no non-compliant activities/decisions were confirmed (in this area) for the financial year in question.

Climate and environment

JPS Marselis Group companies use raw materials in their work that are predominantly produced in a way that is positive for the environment. This applies both to the primary raw material, wood, which comes from forests in northern Europe, and to plants purchased in. We recognise that transportation of raw materials, plus the production/processing that takes place subsequently, has an impact on the environment. Our CR policy for climate and environment requires us to take responsibility in relation to the environment and impact on the climate, doing so via proactive efforts to protect the environment, which includes reducing our consumption.

JPS Marselis has conducted an overall risk assessment with regard to climate and environment. As a result of continually reducing consumption of resources as a consequence of a desire for environmental responsibility and sound business practice, this area is not thought to pose a CR risk for the Group. When purchasing raw materials, certification tends to be a central requirement (e.g. FSC), which means that we are ensuring that the raw materials fulfil a number of CR requirements.

In terms of the policies in this area, no non-compliant activities/decisions were confirmed (in this area) for the financial year in question.

 

Description of action taken and outcomes

CR initiatives at the JPS Marselis Group are undertaken primarily at individual company level, with these ongoing efforts prioritised based on the areas with the greatest CR risk. This often links with the points of focus which are also business-related in perspective, i.e. social conditions and employee working conditions, as well as climate and environment.

2019/20 is the third year for reporting on corporate social responsibility (§99a), so it is relevant to describe a short status for the individual business areas.

Within the area of social conditions and employee working conditions, Hornbaek is focusing heavily on safety in production where machinery is used for processing. Ongoing efforts are being made to improve working conditions, via improvements to shielding, working posture for manual processes and use of special materials for heavy lifting and transportation. In dispatch, electrically powered trolleys (among other things) are now being used during packing. Programmes are in place and ongoing to provide safety training and to provide protection in the physical working environment. At Hornbaek Baltic, filling and quality control are, for the most part, manual processes. The focus there is on ensuring ergonomically correct working posture and sufficient lighting during this process. Over the course of the year, systematic work was carried out to prevent work accidents. Thus, in 2019/20 we had no work accident incidents in the Group.

Within the area of climate and environment, Hornbaek has had a focus on use of FSC-certified timber in production for many years already. Sourcing sufficiently certified timber that meets Hornbaek’s strict quality requirements is a constant challenge.
Hornbaek Baltic has invested in a new paint line with reduced environmental impact, as the process can be implemented with lower energy consumption and less paint waste. In the year we have invested in a new kehler with reduced energy consumption.

Tropica is a big consumer of water, electricity and heating This is because aquarium plants require large amounts of water, light and a fixed temperature of 23 degrees in the greenhouses With regard to water, more than 80 percent of all the water consumed by Tropica to produce plants comes from rainwater from roofs. The rainwater is collected in a large external tank with capacity for 1.3 million litres of water.
Tropica is working on its electricity consumption by using alternatives to traditional electric lighting in one of its nurseries. In recent years, use of LED technology has helped to reduce overall electricity consumption.

Heating consumption has been reduced through a variety of measures. Two different types of curtain are used in production depending on the weather. When the sun is shining, as much sun and heat must be locked in as possible, and when it’s cold outside, the heat needs to be retained as much as possible. In the year, it has been decided to begin the establishment of a multi-layer production of aquarium plants, which will provide even better opportunities for reducing total heat consumption.
It has been decided to start an education programme in UN Sustainable Development Goals starting in autumn 2020 since we want to be concrete on which areas are relevant in individual business areas. The programme will be implemented across Tropica, Hornbaek and Vahle.

In 2019/20, the Group supported the “Myanmar villages” project through DanChurchAid, project “School ind Forest of Enemies” through LM/CHM as well as DanChurchSocial in Aarhus – a home for the city’s homeless and vulnerable and additionally, other smaller projects. Furthermore, the Group has funded Christmas concerts with the purpose of giving the people in most need in Aarhus a Christmas package. Also the Nigerian hotels have provided help to local communities during the Covid19 pandemic.

In 2019/20, we also conducted overall assessments of the primary risks in the fields of human rights and anti-corruption and business ethics, as the basis for further work. The assessment work was, like the development of the policies for Corporate Responsibility in general, conducted across the entire organisation, with the involvement of the Group’s major companies. This year, there were no specific circumstances requiring special management.

In 2020/21, the Group is going to maintain CR efforts in the areas of social conditions and employee relations as well as climate and environment. We would also like to look into suitable ways in which we could expand our efforts within the two other areas i.e. human rights and anti-corruption measures and business ethics.