- ROOCE (Return On Operating Capital Employed) of 20 percent
- Sales of CHF 1.4 billion
- Code of Conduct
- Business Ethics Policy (BEP)
- Antitrust Policy
- Provisions on accepting and giving gifts and invitations
- Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure respect of human rights in the value chain
- Vendor Self-Assessment (VSA)
- Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA)
- Regular internal inspections (e.g. in the Accounting and Purchasing areas) to reduce the risks of corruption and bribery
- Internal training courses to prevent anti-competitive conduct
- SpeakUp hotline
- Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audits (SMETA) were conducted at these sites: Vetropack Nemšová s.r.o., Nemšová (SK), Vetropack Moravia Glass, Kyjov (CZ), Vetropack Austria GmbH, Pöchlarn and Kremsmünster (AT), VPA
- Improved procedures for collaboration with the subsidiaries on compliance
- Ongoing development of local Data Protection Coordinators
Cash flow and profitability, sustainable growth and market position, sustainable return on capital
Vetropack's strategy aims to achieve long-term development of the company, taking account of its stakeholders' concerns. This approach is in line with the expectations of our majority shareholders. Since a significant part of Vetropack's growth is financed from our own balance sheet, we accord high priority to improving cash flow and profitability. This ensures financing for the company's continuous development. Long-term supply and purchase agreements help us to achieve a good degree of certainty in our financial planning so that investments can be targeted to our objectives.
Sustainable growth is our overriding goal. We view this as a Group-wide responsibility. We manage our business in compliance with ecological principles by setting targets for a sustainable Return On Operating Capital Employed (ROOCE) to promote long-term growth. In doing so, we take account of the interests of our stakeholder groups, and of the social, economic and environmental impacts of our business activities.
We have defined the following medium-term targets for the key financial indicators that we regard as central:
Growth generates the resources needed for investments that will secure our successful market position. We focus our investments on improving production capacity and increasing efficiency.
Progress and events in the reporting year
Investment during the crisis
The long-term average for Vetropack's annual investments amounts to about ten percent of sales. Crisis-related events influenced Vetropack's investment behaviour during the last three years. In the first year of the pandemic, and especially at the outset, we invested somewhat cautiously on account of the major uncertainties. Then in 2021, investments reached the record level of CHF 119.2 million. This was based on our conviction that companies which show strength and continue to pursue their strategy in such situations will be able to gain an innovative lead and generate market edge from them. In line with this thinking, above-average investments were also planned for 2022. Total investments in 2022 ultimately amounted to CHF 194.6 million – another record figure.
The largest investments during the reporting year were made in Italy. Vetropack accords the highest priority to the greenfield project in Boffalora which, at over CHF 400 million, is the largest investment ever made in the company's history. Next to Austria, Italy is Vetropack's largest market: this is why Italy is of central importance, and why it plays a dominant role in our strategy. The high-quality specialities to be produced in our new plant will open up access to new markets for us. Commissioning of the plant is planned in the second quarter of 2023. Start-up is now scheduled slightly later than the originally planned date, due to delays in construction material supply chains. Additional costs must also be expected because of the extended project duration and dramatic increases in prices of raw materials and energy. Nevertheless, we are convinced that we can recoup this additional financial burden in the medium term thanks to the new plant. It will incorporate a highly efficient, cutting-edge production facility that will open up additional opportunities for growth in the Italian market as well as in neighbouring countries.
Slovakia was another focus of our investment activities in 2022. We invested substantial resources in the reconstruction of the recycling line at our existing plant in Nemšová. The reconstruction aimed not only to increase capacity for separating out valuable white glass, but also to maximise the yield of used white glass. To achieve these goals, we invested in an additional sorting unit to clean the white glass and separate out any remaining glass-ceramic and leaded glass. The plant has now increased its processing capacity by 50 percent, thus saving about 4,100 metric tons of raw material and reducing procurement costs by a corresponding amount.
We are also continuing to invest in the digitalisation of our production and processes, because ongoing development of information technology (IT) combined with the digitalisation of business processes are essential elements of the Vetropack Group's Strategy 2030.
Market position in 2022 – the crisis year
Although production capacity in our Ukraine plant was lost due to the war, Vetropack achieved sales growth of over 10 percent in the reporting year as compared to the prior year. Profits decreased to CHF 40.7 million. At best, this development allows conclusions to be drawn about the short-term impact of the Ukraine war and the energy crisis on our 2022 business result. However, the strategically critical factors for us are the medium-term effects on the company's growth and market position.
While rising energy costs are affecting the entire industry, the Ukraine war is impacting us more severely than any other glass manufacturer. The closure and long-term unavailability of our plant in Gostomel near Kyiv due to the war have not only led to lost sales and a significant value adjustment; these developments also had the potential to jeopardise our sustainable growth target and our market position. For example, we lost sales because products normally coming from Ukraine could not be manufactured at another site outside Ukraine (or could only be manufactured there with major delays), and also because our customers in Ukraine were forced to cease or massively scale down their operations. Thanks to good planning, we were partially able to compensate for these sales losses with the result that we shall be able to maintain our market position in the medium term. It would be technically possible for us to resume partial operation of two of the three furnaces in the Ukraine plant in 2023. However, this requires clear de-escalation of the warlike acts as well as stable supplies of operating materials and energy for the plant. As things stand today, these conditions have not yet been met.
Energy problem is affecting the entire industry
Market positions are not merely an outcome of individual corporate strategies nowadays; to some extent, they also reflect how individual companies are impacted by various influencing factors. During the year under review, the entire glass production industry had to struggle with the problem of rising prices, caused largely by soaring and volatile energy prices.
This presented a crisis management task – and to accomplish it, we set up a Pricing Task Force in the reporting year. It comprises several departments: Finances, Group Sales, Local Sales, Supply Chain Management, and Legal. The Task Force focused on all the aspects relevant to pricing policy, with the goal of keeping Vetropack on course for sustainable growth.
Although our entire industry is impacted by rising costs, we also believe that there is potential in the approach we take to this challenge in relation to our customers. This is why we felt that it was important to be transparent when passing the price increase on to our customers.
Developing potential in Chișinău
One key element in the future development of our market position is the plant in the Republic of Moldova. Its acquisition was already completed at the end of 2020, followed by gradual integration into the Vetropack Group and our processes. In 2021, we renovated and expanded the capacity of one of the two furnaces at the Chișinău site, each of which has three production lines.
Vetropack Chișinău manufactures an extensive product portfolio of glass packaging for the beverage and food industry. Its products include glass bottles of various shapes that perform many different functions, as well as wide-neck jars. They are sold not only to the growing domestic market but also to over 20 export markets. About 60 percent of local production is exported to regional markets, with the vast majority going to Romania. From Chișinău, we were also able to compensate for some of the shortfall in Ukraine within a short period, thus protecting our market position and earnings.
Joint development with key customers
A company's market position is essentially the result of its relationships with its customers. This knowledge prompted Vetropack to launch its Strategic Account Programme in 2021. The programme comprises data analysis, teams with special responsibilities, and premium services for selected major customers of particular importance for Vetropack's market position. Five key customers were enrolled in our Strategic Account Programme during the year under review; next year, we plan to expand the concept and serve 20 major customers in this way.
GRI 201: Economic Performance 2016
201-1 Direct economic value generated and distributed
Key figures 2022
1 000 metric tons
Exports (in unit terms)
* operating cash flow before change of net working capital
Sales by markets 2022
(total 5.26 billion units)
One of our fundamental principles is ethical and legally compliant conduct which prohibits practices such as bribery, corruption and discrimination, amongst others. This is essential in order to secure the trust of customers, suppliers and authorities. Vetropack regards it as axiomatic to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and industry standards, and to respond immediately if any deviations are identified.
Compliance with legal regulations and international standards – in respect of human rights, for example – is fundamental in order to secure the trust of international key customers in the beverage and food industry, and is therefore a prerequisite for Vetropack's long-term success. We also regard ourselves as both able and obliged to set an example of ethical and fair conduct so that we can exert a positive influence on our own industrial sector.
In order to embed an awareness of fair business practices in our corporate culture, we rely on binding policies as well as regular training and awareness-raising measures as appropriate to the various levels and topics.
Code of Conduct
The basis is the Code of Conduct, applicable to all employees of the Vetropack Group, which enshrines the values of integrity, reliability, transparency, responsibility, safety and security, and leadership both in terms of quality and anticipation of changes. Employees in key positions receive more extensive guidelines on interacting with competitors and on implementing the anti-corruption policies. Moreover, decision-makers receive in-depth briefings on corporate ethics, including discussions on the topics of combating corruption, bribery and discrimination.
Environmental, social and human rights concerns
Vetropack is aware of the responsibility it bears for the upstream stages of the value chain, so our Supplier Code of Conduct defines the core principles of sustainable procurement. These contractual conditions are agreed with every new supplier, and also with a growing number of existing suppliers. Acceptance of the Supplier Code of Conduct is mandatory; it usually has to be signed unless a supplier can prove that its own code of conduct – which must be at least equivalent to our own – is already in place. Moreover, the contract explicitly incorporates clauses regarding environmental protection, working conditions and compliance with human rights if relevant goods or services are involved. Rather than merely relying on agreements, we also conduct regular on-site audits of environmental and social risks at our suppliers' premises. In addition, we regularly assess whether suppliers are adhering to the Supplier Code.
We also review our supply chain in respect of risks involving conflict minerals: our aims here are to minimise these risks and ensure compliance with the applicable regulations relating to conflict minerals.
Data privacy and data security
In respect of data privacy and data security, we comply with the principles of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and we implement the necessary updates on a continuous basis in accordance with legislation. We have responded to the global increase in cyber attacks by continuously introducing technical measures to improve information security, including more secure solutions for suppliers. For example, we have remodelled our network architecture and established new solutions for external connections and our external security rating. These and other measures are leading to a significant improvement in our security rating.
We have a whistleblowing system in place that can be used to report any suspicions of anti-competitive behaviour. The local Compliance Coordinator, the management, the Compliance and Legal Department (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the CEO of the Vetropack Group can also be informed in case of such breaches. We urge all employees to report suspected cases, while bearing proportionality in mind. At Vetropack, awareness of conduct in compliance with regulations is deeply entrenched throughout the company.
Guidelines, policies, supervisory and control instruments
Progress and events in the reporting year
GRI 2: General Disclosures 2021
2-16 Communication of critical concerns
Via the SpeakUp hotline
2-26 Mechanisms for seeking advice and raising concerns
Via the SpeakUp hotline
2-27 Compliance with laws and regulations
During the reporting period, there were no breaches of the law that could have led to significant fines or non-monetary sanctions.
GRI 205: Anti-corruption 2016
205-2 Communication and training about anti-corruption policies and procedures
Employees and suppliers are briefed regularly on our anti-corruption policies. These measures and procedures are primarily based on the Vetropack Group’s Business Ethics Policy (BEP).
GRI 206: Anti-competitive Behavior 2016
206-1 Legal actions for anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust, and monopoly practices
There were no legal actions on account of anti-competitive behaviour, anti-trust or monopoly practices in 2022.
GRI 408: Child Labor 2016
408-1 Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of child labor
Vetropack is not aware of any operations or suppliers at risk for incidents of child labour.
GRI 409: Forced or Compulsory Labor 2016
409-1 Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labor
Vetropack is not aware of any operations or suppliers at risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labour.