Mercuri International enables sales excellence by transforming your organization and empowering your people to reach their full potential. We deliver sales performance to organizations globally and locally through expertise and customized solutions. With Mercuri’s unique combination of consulting and training expertise and research, we annually run more than 12,000 workshops helping more than 2,000 clients in more than 50 countries, and in over 30 languages, to become more efficient and effective in their sales activities, and achieve necessary improvements in their results.
Mercuri International’s majority owner is Bure Equity AB, a listed company on the Nasdaq Stockholm Stock Exchange.
Policies and frameworks for sustainability reporting have been developed by the Board of Mercuri International Group and our owners.
At Mercuri, we are convinced that the future value creation is depending on a sustainable way of conducting business. Mercuri’s aim is to reinforce a sustainable development through creating awareness of sustainability within the Group and our interested parties. Our sustainability work is reported to the Mercuri Board of directors regularly.
Sustainability will be an area of continuing development and the result will be reported externally on an annual basis. The area of priority may change year by year. The Group CFO is responsible for the coordination of the sustainability work within Mercuri and it is conducted in close operation with local units where local management is responsible for the implementation and day to day follow-up in each unit.
UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles is the basis for Mercuri’s sustainability. This means Mercuri is operating in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor;
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labor; and
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
POLICIES AND GUIDELINES
Mercuri is regularly reviewing the relevant policies that have been identified as important for the sustainability reporting. These policies have been approved by the Board of Directors. The policies are; the code of conduct, the whistleblower policy, the environmental policy and the policy for diversity and equal opportunities.
The policies are the framework for how Mercuri shall act as a responsible company, employer, and supplier on the market. All the employees and other representatives for Mercuri have a responsibility to know and apply these policies in the relevant context. The internal frameworks and policies are revised annually and amended whenever required.
The code of conduct is a framework for the Mercuri employees and freelancers on how to act and behave professionally in all external as well as internal contacts. According to the 2022 survey, 80% (previous year 64%) of the MDs declare that this policy is part of the management work.
The whistleblower policy is to provide Mercuri employees with a framework to report misconduct and serious incidents relating to the company without fear of reprisal. Company employees and freelancers shall feel confident that notifications made under the whistleblower policy are taken seriously and are handled professionally and confidentially. The 2022 survey shows that 80% (previous year 69%) of the MDs use this as part of their management work.
The environmental policy includes the framework that all Mercuri representatives should consider regarding the environmental aspects in all parts of our business. According to the 2022 survey, 80% (previous year 85%) of the MDs declare that this is part of management work.
The policy for diversity and equal opportunities describes how Mercuri as an employer shall act to provide equal opportunity when selecting, hiring, promoting, transfer, and compensation to all qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, sex, pregnancy, marital status, disability, or any other status protected by law. According to the 2022 survey, 90% (previous year 85%) of the MDs declare that this policy is part of the management work.
Our customers, employees, the board of directors and our owners are the main interested parties of Mercuri International. The prioritized areas of the sustainability work are influenced by our main interested parties.
PRIORITIZED AREAS FOR SUSTAINABILITY
Mercuri supports the UN Global Compact principles. Most of the operation is within Europe and Mercuri complies with the legislation on all markets present. Human rights are reflected in the other topics of our sustainability reporting.
Every year a survey is made among the management in the Mercuri subsidiaries, where the units MDs answered questions on if any issues regarding the UN Global Compact 10 principles have been identified during 2022. This will be followed up with a similar survey during 2023 to measure the development. No issues have been reported during 2022 or 2021. In the 2022 survey 80% of the participants stated that they have knowledge of the 10 principles.
Diversity and equal opportunity
Being a company with international business in many countries in various parts of the world, Mercuri is exposed to cultural differences in the customer- as well as the employee-relation. Mercuri believes in having an organization with many diversities as this is motivational, inspirational and adds business opportunities. The Mercuri code of conduct defines that the group shall be a workplace open for all individuals and the corporate culture gives equal opportunities for everyone, free from harassment and intimidation. A too homogenous organization may limit the perspective and opportunities and risks may consequently be overseen.
No violation of our policy for diversity and equal opportunities has been reported.
In December 2022 23% (previous year 12%) of the group management and 49% (previous year 48%) of the average number of staff were women. The ratio per geography can be found in note 6 in the 2022 Annual Report.
Attract and retain employees
Being a people company delivering services as the main business, Mercuri’s future is depending on attracting and retaining people with the right knowledge and competence. Mercuri has a solid process for hiring new staff and for assessing the need for competence development through individual meetings on a regular basis.
The demographics of employees is a future risk that already has been addressed. With aging staff, Mercuri will in the coming years face a situation where a potential large number of staff leaving for retirement. One key focus area is to continuously position the company by employing, training and developing staff to more than compensate for those going on retirement. Mercuri is constantly looking for new professional staff and this has now been accelerated. Retention of staff is another risk area. There is a trend among the younger generation that individuals stay with companies for a shorter period compared to the older generations. Mercuri is working intensively in shorting the introduction period with focus on the time for a person to become a fully trained consultant with a solid customer platform.
Our employees are also highly attractive on the market among competitors and customers and there is a risk that employees will leave for external challenges. Remaining an attractive employer that offers individual motivational measures such as development and attractive incentive schemes are key for the future success of Mercuri.
Here are some examples of initiatives made in some of our units; team building events, well-being activities, workshops, idea-box, flexible working hours, opportunity of distance working, job sharing, personal development and creating a learning culture. Since 2019 Mercuri has made an employee satisfaction survey each year, which is followed up by management and employees. Next survey will be conducted in May 2023. There have been a positive development in Mercuri’s employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) in the last four employee surveys; from 8 in year 2018 to 26 in year 2022. Furthermore, Mercuri is working actively in the area of modernizing the internal communication platform to meet future expectations and demands from the staff and to support the future way of collaboration and working.
Planned future activities include improving internal communication, succession plan for employees close to retirement, internal training, knowledge sharing and clear career path possibilities and continuing creating a learning culture.
To measure the social status, we keep track and report on the number of days employees are on sick leave annually. During 2022 Mercuri had an average on 7,7 (previous year 4,7) sick-days per employee.
The Mercuri business has not a heavy direct impact on the environment, such as industrial production. We have identified that the most impact areas are – travelling, cars, office and paper use. During the pandemic travel by air has been close to zero. As expected the travelling increased during 2022. However, the digitalization and use of virtual meeting application will continue and keeping the need to travel at a lower level. We encourage minimizing the traveling by air and place meetings respect to the travel distance. All travel should be carefully planned, and the necessity of the physical meeting evaluated versus a more time efficient and environmental friendly virtual meeting. One unit has established car-sharing and several units have actively proclaimed public transportation. When we renew car lease agreements we encourage hybrid or electric cars. As a result of the new way of working, flexible work areas and working from home, we have evaluated the possibilities to decrease office space in some units. A second area which has a direct impact on the environment is the use office supplies where Mercuri is actively working on finding and implementing digital alternatives to minimize the paper use.
Phone and virtual meetings are preferred instead of face to face meetings requiring traveling, when not necessary. We have seen a rapid increasing use of digital tools and co-operation platforms supporting the virtual meetings. Such meetings include both internal meetings as well as external customer meetings and training sessions. The trend accelerated during the pandemic whereby most meetings were held virtually and this way of working will continue also post-pandemic.
Today most training material is made available to the customers digitally rather than physically. Also internally the printouts have decreased. During 2022 Mercuri will further decrease the office paper use and minimize travelling by air transportation. Mercuri established and launched a digital learning center (DLC) in Milano, Italy during 2019. The DLC supports the global organization with customized and off the shelf digital learning solutions, available for the learner anywhere, anytime, and across multiple platforms. Mercuri has in 2022 invested in our own Sales Enablement Platform, MIpower. This will further strengthen our ability to deliver digital content to our customers. The demand for virtual and digital trainings increased as foreseen. A trend that was partly fueled by the pandemic, but also driven by the ongoing change and digitalization. Mercuri foresees that the trend will continue, although we may see a return to face-to-face meetings over a shorter period of time once the restrictions are being released and vaccinations completed. Mercuri expect significant increase in digital deliveries during 2023.
Business ethics and anti-corruption
Business ethics and anti-corruption is a key area within the sustainability area for Mercuri to be a competitive company today and in the future. Mercuri has zero tolerance for corruption and upholds a high standard business ethics. We believe these are decisive cornerstones for the future success of the company. Breach of the business ethics or anti-corruption policies would severely damage the Mercuri brand and limit our possibilities to do business going forward.
All employees have received the code of conduct and the whistleblower policy and are expected to know and follow these. The whistleblower policy has established a possibility for anonymous reporting of misconduct to an external lawyer.
Any indications and reports on misconduct of the code of conduct is treated with the highest priority.
During the year, no incidents under the framework of the whistleblowing policy have been reported. Neither has any crime or corruption occurred that are known by management.