The role of businesses in society these days has been emphasized particularly due to their sensitivity to social, ethical, and environmental issues. Issues like environmental damage, improper treatment of workers, or even faulty production that inconveniences or endangers customers are highlighted in the media. A reputation that can be built over a number of years can be ruined in an hour through incidents that compromise social, ethical, and environmental standards. In some countries government regulation regarding environmental and social issues has increased. Even investors and investment fund managers have begun to take account of a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy into investment decision-making, commonly known as ethical investing.
The primary objective of Signet Group is to be a jewellery retailer of choice for a majority of the population in the countries where it has a footprint. Moreover, the primary financial objective of the Group is to be profitable in its operations and deliver an acceptable growth in value to shareholders, which is sustainable. In achieving its aforementioned objectives, Signet Group faces concerns regarding social, ethical and environmental matters. These matters, if not dealt with efficiently and effectively, may hinder the Group from progressing and achieving its objectives. These concerns are outlined below:
Accountability to stakeholders
Health and safety. and
In recent years, expectations of stakeholders of public companies have increased. It is imperative that the companies manage and respond to these changing expectations so that business viability is not questioned.
The success of Signet Group, for that matter any company, is dependent on the strength and effectiveness of its relationships with its various stakeholders. Stakeholders have varying expectations of the company. For instance, shareholders or investors have an insatiable expectation of a competitive overall return from the company. They demand that the company maximize shareholder wealth. If Signet does not have a strong social, ethical and environmental (SEE) framework in place, there is a possibility that the company’s reputation can be compromised which, in turn, may hurt its operations and finally, its revenue potential and profitability.
Signet Group has a no-tolerance policy for unlawful discrimination. In respect of people with disabilities, full and fair consideration is given to employees. Unfair employment practices can potentially put the reputation of the organization at stake which may lead to losses.
Signet Group actively participates in the Association of Jewelers of America to implement the SEE standards set by the industry across the organization. This is to ensure that SEE risks at the mining, trading and secondary processing phases of the supply chain are managed through effective cooperation within the industry.