Since joining Flint Group, I have never failed to be impressed with the strong set of values the employees of Flint Group have adopted in their short history of being one global organisation. Flint Group has been built from companies with roots stretching back over 230 years – and has been able to draw from experience to mix and match values based on “best practice” to create our “Flint Group” culture.
Sustainability is deeply engrained in our values and the way we do business. We recognise that maintaining a high degree of economic, environmental and social sustainability is fundamental to delivering value for our stakeholders now and in the long term. Quite simply, it forms a major part of our mission to be the best performing supplier in the segments where we operate, consistently delighting customers with high quality, innovative products and services.
We take a transparent, holistic approach to sustainability, recognising the issues that matter most to our stakeholders and exploring our impacts in their totality. Exercising good governance over these issues allows us to manage risk effectively and differentiates us in the marketplace as a responsible, low-risk partner.
Indeed, collaboration is central to building momentum on our sustainability journey. We are proud to partner with all our key stakeholders – our customers, employees, shareholders and communities – on this journey. In particular, we strive to understand and respond to our customers’ precise needs, empower our people, deliver strong financial growth for our shareholders, and give back to our local communities.
In 2015-16, our new owners, Goldman Sachs and Koch Equity Developments, showed considerable support for our business and sustainability vision, helping us to accelerate our journey and grow as a company. In addition to forming Flint Group Africa, a joint venture with Continental Inks (South Africa), we have made five major acquisitions, most notably acquiring Xeikon, a leading digital solutions provider to the packaging and commercial printing markets, in December 2015. This propelled us further into the digital solutions market, laying the foundation of a new division – Flint Group Digital Printing Solutions – and strengthening the sophisticated, diverse portfolio of products and services we offer across our global markets.
Among the groundbreaking digital technology offered by Xeikon, the company has launched its Fusion technology to combine full colour production printing with digital embellishment, achieving near fully automated, unattended label and packaging production. Elsewhere, we have pioneered award-winning flexographic printing plate technology (the nyloflex® FTF Digital plate) for packaging printers and expanded our Global Colour Centre to deliver an innovative, centralised, digital colour management service for brands and international printers.
As we have grown, we have maintained a strong focus on building and consolidating our sustainability culture, and taken some important steps to measure and reduce our environmental footprint.
While I am encouraged by our progress, we recognise that we are still in the early stages of our journey and have much to do to become a truly sustainable business.
I believe that collaboration will be central to building momentum. In addition to fostering a consistent approach across all our businesses, we are increasingly partnering with our suppliers to improve the sustainability performance of our raw materials supply chain and uphold rigorous human rights and environmental standards.
As ever, making progress on our sustainability journey would not be possible without the hard work, creativity and dedication of our 7,900 employees. In 2015-16, we continued to empower our people to give of their best, developing diverse, multicultural teams to meet the needs of our customers. We stayed ahead of evolving regulations on chemicals, packaging and labelling, and implemented a new health and safety strategy, raising the profile of high impact, low frequency incidents across our organisation.
Importantly, we have also taken further steps to strengthen our global integrity and compliance culture, including by training all our employees on our enhanced Code of Conduct and creating a series of robust new policies.
Looking ahead to 2017 and beyond, we will maintain our strong market focus, developing clear strategies for each segment and striving to exceed our customers’ expectations, while creating value for all our stakeholders by developing sustainable and responsible business practices.
Finally, I would like to thank our customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers and communities for their continued support and partnership. We remain humble in the face of the challenges ahead, and committed to driving positive change for our business and stakeholders, as we continue on our journey.
I welcome your feedback on our progress and remain open to your questions and ideas.
CEO Flint Group
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