Intangible Capital (Brand)
In the very broadest sense, a brand is the focus for all the expectations and opinions held by customers, employees and other stakeholders about an organisation and its products and services.
In 2017 Brand Finance ranked Olam 19th out of 100 Singapore companies in its Brand Strength Index, giving an A-rating. Aside from financial performance, other factors contributing to Olam’s brand equity include:
- Emerging market insights, especially in Africa, after 28 years of operating in developing countries
- Unique farmgate presence to support improved practices and gain farmer loyalty
- Leadership in sustainability
- The Olam Way business model
- Our brands, particularly in the Packaged Foods Business and Olam Cocoa.
Intangible Capital – desired outcomes
- Brand equity increases
- Known for being a responsible company
- Reduced cost of capital due to lower risk
- Stakeholders feel comfortable partnering with us
- Employees are proud to work for us.
- Robust systems and processes to minimise risks and reputational threats, summarised in the Olam Code of Conduct
- Extensive direct stakeholder engagement and transparent approach on issues
- Consistent corporate communication that helps stakeholders understand our business and the challenges we face
- Multiple leadership positions on industry platforms and associations including World Cocoa Foundation, RSPO, Sustainable Rice Platform etc
- Emphasis on Anti-Corruption and Bribery policies, as well as whistle-blowing procedures.
Challenges and influencing factors in 2017
- NGO reports on deforestation in smallholder supply chains (see Confectionery and Beverage Ingredients)
- Traditional and social media landscape is less discerning in some countries regarding veracity of statements
- Constantly evolving reporting standards (note: in addition to this report, Olam has also submitted a separate Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) report see olamgroup.com).
Intangible Capital impacts in 2017 include:
- Appointment of CEO Sunny Verghese as Chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
- Multiple Awards:
- SIAS Singapore Corporate Governance Award – Best Company in Consumer Staples
- Top 20 company in Singapore Corporate Governance and Transparency Index (SGTI)
- IR Society UK – Award for ‘Most effective integration of sustainability into corporate communications’ 2017 International category
- Singapore Apex Corporate Responsibility Awards (Global Compact Network Singapore) – Corporate Sustainability Award – Large Organisation
- Ethical Corporation Responsible Business – OFIS Highly Commended Most Sustainable Innovation
- ASEAN Business Awards – Runner Up Inclusive Business
- Corporate & Financial Awards – Bronze for Best Printed Report – International category
- CDP Awards – Best performance across programmes (Hong Kong and South East Asia region)
- APEDA (India) Export Award (bronze)
- Agreement with the NGO Mighty Earth regarding deforestation definitions and allegations
- As per our Code of Conduct and Anti-Bribery and Corruption (ABC) Policy, we reinforced the importance of ABC with employee training commencing in December 2017 reaching 3,500 people and continuing into 2018.