Operating Practices

Supply Chain Management
The Group developed a comprehensive internal procurement system. It holds laws and regulations of each country with the utmost regard. International best practices are implemented and fair and unbiased tender processes are conducted. Steps are also taken to ensure that our partners and suppliers do not employ child labour or abuse human rights.

As one of the largest health and beauty retailers in the world with over 12,000 stores, ASW joined the Business Social Compliance Initiative in 2008, a leading business-driven initiative for companies committed to improving working conditions in the global supply chain. In 2015, ASW businesses integrated the latest BSCI Code of Conduct (2014) into their local trading contracts.

Consumer Protection
Protecting our consumers and safe-guarding their privacy are some of our top priorities. In addition to guidelines and handbooks, the Group issues periodic reminders and run workshops for customer- facing employees to continuously remind them of the importance of protecting personal data.  In addition, the retail businesses review and maintain a range of customer communication channels so customer feedback can be taken note of and complaints handled efficiently. Customer complaints are thoroughly investigated and root causes are identified and acted upon.

Anti-Corruption
The Group has established a strong internal control framework and stringent policies to institute a vigorous enforcement regime against corruption and fraud.

In particular, the Board of Directors sets a tone of zero-tolerance on corruption and fraud. This is reflected in our policy on the subject, as well as many of our operational procedures, where emphasis on our values of integrity, fairness, transparency and accountability is evident.

In addition, our Group’s strong stance against corruption and fraud is communicated to all our employees, and requisite provisions are incorporated into our contracts with third party suppliers to ensure that they are fully aware of our position. These measures are further bolstered by independent audits conducted by the Group’s internal audit function.

Furthermore, incidents or suspected incidents of corruption and fraud are immediately investigated by the business units concerned, and will be reported to the Audit Committee and executive management and scrutinised by the Group’s internal audit function as and when appropriate. On top of this, the whistle blower channels that our Group has established allow anonymous reporting of improprieties, of which seven cases of suspected or actual irregularities or misdeeds have been reported to us via this route in 2015. We cooperate fully with any investigation conducted by law enforcement agencies.

Our Group is keenly cognizant of the ever-changing landscape of corruption and fraud, and relentlessly searches for more effective measures to combat them. Trends and transaction analyses are carried out and incidents are dissected to ascertain the cause, course and remedies of the underlying issues, and periodic sessions are held within the Group to share knowledge, skills and experience.

A strong anti-corruption and anti-fraud culture is a vital part of the overall governance framework of the Group. We are committed to mobilise resources to safeguard the assets and interests of our shareholders.