Archive Monthly Archives: March 2017

Office changes

I have rearranged the office – symbolic of moving to the next stage of The Directors’ Academy and preparation for webinars from my desk.

Kraft Heinz Strengthens Corporate Social Responsibility Commitments

Business Wire


The Kraft Heinz Company (KHC) has announced an expanded commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) through sustainability targets that protect the planet and benefit people and society at large.

The new CSR goals support the Company’s vision “To Be the Best Food Company, Growing a Better World” and initially focus on three areas in which Kraft Heinz believes it can make the greatest impact: global hunger and malnutrition, supply chain sustainability and the environment.

While the commitments announced Tuesday offer a snapshot of the Company’s CSR approach, Kraft Heinz said it will publish its broader strategy later this year in tandem with its first CSR report.

“As one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, we hold ourselves to a high standard for driving social and environmental change,” said Bernardo Hees, Chief Executive Officer at Kraft Heinz. “Our global CSR initiatives focus on improving our planet, its people and the communities where we live and work, and are critical components to our continued growth strategy.”

1. Global Hunger and Malnutrition

To make a sustainable difference in the fight to eliminate global hunger and malnutrition, Kraft Heinz will donate 1 billion nutritious meals to people in need by 2021, working in collaboration with several nonprofit organizations, including its signature philanthropic partner, Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), and other national partners like Feeding America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Red Cross.

“Together, we believe it’s possible to end global hunger in our lifetime,” added Hees.

Central to this goal is The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation’s signature program, the Kraft Heinz Micronutrient Campaign (KHMC). Launched in 2001, the KHMC supports children’s health and development by manufacturing and donating micronutrient powders – developed by Kraft Heinz food science and nutrition experts – that provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization that delivers food and aid to the world’s most vulnerable populations, became the KHMC’s exclusive micronutrient distribution partner in 2013. Since then, Kraft Heinz has provided micronutrient powders to fortify more than 167 million hunger relief meals delivered to countries in need across the globe.

“We are profoundly grateful for our partnership with Kraft Heinz and are inspired by the company’s commitment to provide 1 billion meals to people in need, which is a reflection of their dedication to nourishing lives,” said Rod Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of Rise Against Hunger. “We commend their efforts to empower communities around the globe to end hunger.”

2. Supply Chain Sustainability

Kraft Heinz is committed to creating a more sustainable supply chain by establishing responsible farm-to-market ingredient and material-sourcing policies and practices.

  • Kraft Heinz recognizes that poorly managed palm oil cultivation can have adverse environmental and social impacts such as deforestation, loss of biodiversity, forced and child labor and human trafficking. Therefore, the Company’s new policy states it will procure palm oil products in an ethical, transparent and sustainable manner, and will only purchase palm oil and derivatives 100 percent certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.Kraft Heinz is also actively working with its global suppliers to achieve palm oil traceability, prohibit the use of child and forced labor and protect existing forests and habitats.
  • Kraft Heinz is committed to the humane treatment of animals and prioritizes continuous improvement in animal welfare. The Company’s new policy is guided by the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, a set of core principles for animals under human care. This includes freedom from: hunger and thirst; discomfort due to the environment; pain, injury and disease; fear and distress; along with the freedom to express most normal behaviors. In support of these Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, Kraft Heinz also requires its suppliers to have a zero tolerance policy for willful acts of animal abuse and neglect.The policy also reinforces and introduces several supplier guidelines for humane sourcing, including commitments to use eggs only from hens living in cage-free and/or enriched environments and the transition away from traditional gestation stall housing for pregnant sows by 2025.

3. Environment

Kraft Heinz will decrease its environmental footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water and waste in its operations by 15 percent globally by 2020 (versus a 2015 baseline). Efforts are currently underway to maximize efficient energy and water consumption and reduce or divert waste at each of the 86 company-owned manufacturing plants.

“Integrating sustainability across our entire business is a top priority,” said Michael Mullen, Senior Vice President of Corporate and Government Affairs at Kraft Heinz. “We developed these goals based on input from consumers, customers, investors and employees, among others, and we look forward to a continued dialogue with all stakeholders about how we see our values coming to life in our business and our brands.”

For more information on Kraft Heinz efforts to fight hunger and malnutrition, visit:

For more information on sustainable business practices at Kraft Heinz or to view the new animal welfare or palm oil policies, visit:


The Kraft Heinz Company (KHC) is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, with eight $1 billion+ brands. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, ClassicoJell-OKool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Weight WatchersSmart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit

Post graduate course in corporate governance and compliance announced

HKBU School of Business Launches Master’s Programme in Corporate Governance and Compliance

HONG KONG, March 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/

HKBU School of Business has announced the launch of the MSc in Corporate Governance and Compliance (Programme) in response to the pressing industry demand for qualified talent in the field of corporate governance, corporate secretaryship, risk management, and compliance. The first intake of 40 will be admitted in September 2017.

This new Programme, fully accredited by The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS) and The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in the United Kingdom (ICSA), prepares directors (including independent non-executive directors), company secretaries, and professionals in related fields to strengthen sustainability and accountability of their organisations. Graduates will be well-quipped to assume leadership roles, from management to the boardroom, from businesses to non-profits.

Strategically integrating business and legal disciplines, students will obtain a degree at master’s level in one and a half years on a part-time basis, and be eligible to apply for full exemption from the qualifying examinations of HKICS and ICSA. Graduates who go on to become members of HKICS are qualified for appointment as company secretaries of listed companies under the Listing Rules of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Membership of HKICS is one of the three professional qualifications recognised by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong as necessary for fulfilling this position.

“Businesses face ongoing challenges in terms of corporate governance and sustainability,” said Professor Ed Snape, Dean of HKBU School of Business. “We are responding to calls from the business sector for qualified professionals in this area. At the same time, the new Programme is benchmarked against the best international standards and provides international recognitions. Our graduates will help businesses and other organisations achieve the highest ethical and regulatory standards — and this is at the heart of our School’s mission.”

HKICS President, Ivan Tam, said, “We are delighted to have this collaborative Programme with HKBU School of Business for nurturing future governance professionals. We look forward to having the graduates of this Programme becoming qualified Chartered Secretaries who will help promote and implement good governance policies and practices in their organisations for long term sustainability and accountability purposes.”

The Director of the Programme Dr. Davy Wu pointed out that the Programme is designed for those who are interested in corporate governance of commercial enterprises or non-profit organisations. “Increasingly companies and organisations need people who have an exceptional understanding of both business and legal issues to be able to address complex corporate governance challenges such as securities regulation, risk management, and regulatory compliance.”

For further details about the Programme, please visit


Thinking into the present with social media

My last year at school coincided with an Olympics and one of the maths masters was chosen to represent England at hockey.

Having at that stage achieved three maths ‘A’ levels, I was asked to stand in for him.

I remember teaching two forms in particular. One was a fifth form for those who were unlikely to progress to A levels and certainly not to university. They tended to be less well behaved.

We got on really well. They tried various tricks on me but I entered into the spirit and they responded positively.

Another form was the top stream of the fourth year. Younger and more intelligent.

At this stage the school was introducing what was called ‘the new maths’ which, if I remember correctly, included such things as ‘sets’.

These young boys were not inspired by this. “Why” they asked, “do we need to learn this? Our parents did not.” I was amazed at this reactionary approach by these bright young things. I didn’t expect 14 year olds to justify learning on the basis of what had been good enough for their parents.

These pupils will in many cases now be captains of industry, business leaders or senior public servants at the top of their careers. Such arguments do not hold anymore.

Even things that were done ten years ago can now be out of date and if we are to succeed we need to embrace whole new concepts.

One of these is social media marketing. What a gift to entrepreneurs and sole traders. The Internet has allowed us to behave as international corporations and Brefi Group has succeeded here. But we started ten years ago and have the benefit of a grounding in information technology.

Now, with social media, the cards are even more in favour of individuals. without any need for computing skills.

I am currently committed to the launch of The Directors’Academy and have been taken back in time to my school maths teaching experience, where I have once again had to argue for the benefits of a new approach to learning and its delivery.

All this new technology takes is time. Cost is minimal. Any one can be a leader. If you want to make an impact, whether it be global or local, just start writing, recording and videoing.

Boards of Directors: Insularity is Bad for Business, Bad for Nonprofits, and Bad for Our World

How can companies envision and maximize opportunities to grow value by expanding into Africa, Asia, and beyond, where there will be an unprecedented surge in the growth of the middle class? How can nonprofits fully imagine and achieve their greater potential, strategically and financially, during these particularly challenging times? And how do we as individuals develop a better understanding about people who vote differently than we do (or don’t vote at all) so that we can move our country forward? Our insularity, as companies, nonprofits, and citizens limits what’s possible.

Read the whole article here.

A New Model For Corporate Social Responsibility

New research by Professor Peter Williamson of Cambridge’s Judge Business School shows that how much CSR you need and what its focus actually is, depends of where you are in the world and, crucially, your market.

“The message is the CSR activity is very much based on the context of where it is delivered and those it is aimed at helping and impressing”, says Williamson.

Directors’ Executive Forum 2017

SquareLink Botswana and Brefi Group UK are collaborating to launch a Directors’ Executive Forum in Gabarone, Botswana on Wednesday 26th April.

Concept Note:


“CEOs! Guiding Your Board Toward Better Governance”


In today’s highly competitive and dynamic global environment, directors must be able to create value and drive long term growth, achieve high levels of transparency and accountability, and endure unprecedented scrutiny from investors.

Square Link and The Directors’ Academy invite senior business leaders to join the inaugural ‘Directors Executive Forum’ to be held at Phakalane Golf Estate on 26th April 2017.

This high level forum is open by invitation only to a select group of business leaders, including:

  • Chairmen
  • Chief Executives/Managing Directors
  • Senior Independent Directors
  • Company/Board Secretaries

The Directors Executive Forum will be chaired by Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, former Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth and Director of Square Link, presenting Richard Winfield, The UK Independent Authority on Director Development, who will facilitate the forum. Richard Winfield is a systems thinker, thought leader and published author, having made significant contributions in the worlds of public transport planning, executive coaching and director development. He is the founder of international consultancy Brefi Group and creator of The Directors’ Academy, which provides distance-learning resources for directors and boards.

For Chairmen and Senior Board Members it is important to be able to keep up to date with new trends and requirements. The Directors’ Executive Forum provides a private environment in which to share and compare experiences, and draw on the wisdom of other leaders in the region.

As befits the experience and seniority of the participants, the Executive Forum will be highly interactive, with frank discussions to explore issues in depth. Open and constructive contributions will be encouraged by the adoption of ‘The Chatham House Rule’.

Attendance and participation will provide opportunities for high level networking among a select group of colleagues from the region.

The Directors Executive Forum 2017 will take place at Phakalane Golf Estate between 08.00 and 16.00 on Wednesday 26th April 2017.


Join us for this and other events throughout the week; a week of focus, dialogue, briefings and commitment to governance and best practice for Senior Board Directors.

For more details contact: or call Tsholo Mokgoabone on +267 311 2211.

A limited number of corporate in-house briefings also available, please call for more details.

Corporate Social Responsibility shouldn’t be the tail that shakes the dog

Unilever And The Failure Of Corporate Social Responsibility

An interesting article in Forbes that describes how CEOs can get their priorities wrong and the cost to their business.

Features Starbucks and Trump, and a tale of woe at Unilever.

Back in the game

After eighteen months in my cave creating the CPD for Directors programme and The Directors’ Academy, I’m back in the game.

Gathering information, ideas and trends on your behalf.

Monday I attended ‘Managing Silos’, sponsored by Harvard Business Review, and on Thursday it is ‘Alternative Sources of Finance’ organised by the Turnaround Management Association.

Directors Academy launched

The Directors’ Academy is now live and has been launched to directors on the Brefi Group database.

Now YOU can find out for yourself – and benefit from free and subscription resources.

Our first signature product is the CPD for Directors programme. Subscribe to the monthly deliveries – or purchase just the Directors’ Induction Pack for now.

Find out about Self study resources for Director Development.