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Managing accountability

We are increasingly focusing on a select group of key issues where our impacts are most apparent and our responsibility to act is the greatest.

Primary responsibility for managing these key issues and broader social, environmental and economic performance rests with the individual business managers. To support them, we formalised a specialist corporate accountability function some seven years ago. This is integrated into the company’s governance structure, set out later in this report and detailed in the corporate accountability report (CAR).

The process starts at board-level, where the corporate accountability and risk assurance committee (CARAC) – chaired by the senior non-executive director, Lord Fellowes – assists the board in the discharge of its duties relating to corporate accountability in the light of identified risks and opportunities. The committee also provides independent and objective oversight, and reviews accountability information presented by management.

The committee is supported by the group corporate accountability department which reports to the director of corporate affairs, who is a member of the executive committee and so provides the management link to operational decision-making. A new corporate accountability steering group of senior executives from business units is being formed in the current year to increase representation and participation from across the group in the work of the corporate accountability department.

Each SABMiller operation is regularly assessed on how it is giving practical effect to the business principles we espouse. Every three months a range of their economic, environmental and social impacts are reported and presented for consideration by the board. At the yearend, a thorough review is conducted, with sign-off provided by local managing directors. In addition each managing director and finance director provides an annual ‘letter of internal representation’ certifying their operation’s compliance with SABMiller systems of control.

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