Section 172 statement, cross reference to Governance and Sustainability reports, proposed demerger example

Travis Perkins plc – Annual report – 31 December 2019

Industry: distribution

Section 172 statement
Engaging with stakeholders
The success of our business is dependent on the support of all of our stakeholders. Building positive relationships with stakeholders that share our values is important to us, and working together towards shared goals assists us in delivering long-term sustainable success.

Our Group comprises a number of business units, all of which have extensive engagement with their own unique stakeholders as well as other businesses in the Group. The governance framework delegates authority for local decision-making at business unit level up to defined levels of cost and impact which allows the individual businesses to take account of the needs of their own stakeholders in their decision- making.

The leadership teams of each business make decisions with a long-term view in mind and with the highest standards of conduct in line with Group policies. In order to fulfil their duties, the Directors of each business and the Group itself take care to have regard to the likely consequences on all stakeholders of the decisions and actions which they take. Where possible, decisions are carefully discussed with affected groups and are therefore fully understood and supported when taken.

Reports are regularly made to the Group Board by the business units about the strategy, performance and key decisions taken which provides the Board with assurance that proper consideration is given to stakeholder interests in decision-making.

At Group level, the Board is well informed about the views of stakeholders through the regular reporting on stakeholder views and it uses this information to assess the impact of decisions on each stakeholder group as part of its own decision-making process. Details of the Group’s key stakeholders and how we engage with them are set out below.

As owners of our Group we rely on the support of shareholders and their opinions are important to us. We have an open dialogue with our shareholders through one-to-one meetings, group meetings, webcasts and the Annual General Meeting. Discussions with shareholders cover a wide range of topics including financial performance, strategy, outlook, governance and ethical practices. Shareholder feedback along with details of movements in our shareholder base are regularly reported to and discussed by the Board and their views are considered as part of decision-making.

Our people are key to our success and we want them to be successful individually and as a team. There are many ways we engage with and listen to our people including colleague surveys, forums, listening groups, face-to-face briefings, internal communities, newsletters and through our anonymous colleague concern line. Key areas of focus include health and well-being, development opportunities, pay and benefits. Regular reports about what is important to our colleagues are made to the Board ensuring consideration is given to colleague needs. The newly formed “Colleague Voice Panel” will help in this regard.

Our ambition is to deliver best-in-class service to trade customers. We build strong lasting relationships with our trade customers and spend considerable time with them to understand their needs and views and listen to how we can improve our offer and service for them. We use this knowledge to inform our decision-making, for example to tailor our proposition to suit customer demands, with fixed range/fixed price models for small trade customers, and more flexible access to a wider product range with volume-related discounting in the Merchant businesses.

We build strong relationships with our suppliers to develop mutually beneficial and lasting partnerships. Engagement with suppliers is primarily through a series of interactions and formal reviews and we also host regular conferences to bring suppliers and customers together to discuss shared goals and build relationships. Key areas of focus include innovation, product development, health and safety and sustainability. The Board recognises that relationships with suppliers are important to the Group’s long-term success and is briefed on supplier feedback and issues on a regular basis.

We engage with the communities in which we operate to build trust and understand the local issues that are important to them. Key areas of focus include how we can support local causes and issues, create opportunities to recruit and develop local people and help to look after the environment. We partner with local charities and organisations at a site level to raise awareness and funds. The key issues and themes across local communities are reported back to the Board. The impact of decisions on the environment both locally and nationally is considered with such considerations as the use of and disposal of plastic and how this might be minimised.

Government and regulators
We engage with the government and regulators through a range of industry consultations, forums, meetings and conferences to communicate our views to policy makers relevant to our business. Key areas of focus are compliance with laws and regulations, health and safety and product safety. The Board is updated on legal and regulatory developments and takes these into account when considering future actions.

Further information on the ways in which the Board engages with stakeholders is set out in the Governance Report on pages 75 to 79 including the ways in which it plans to strengthen the employee voice at Board level and further information on environmental considerations can be found in the Sustainability Report on pages 52 to 66.

Decision-making in practice
One of the major decisions made by the Group this year was to demerge the Wickes business. In making this decision the Board considered the interests of and the impact on all stakeholders. To provide insight into the approach taken by the Board, a summary of stakeholder views and conclusions is set out below.