Corporate social responsibility
The Board recognises the importance of social, ethical and environmental matters and it endeavours to take into account the interests of the Group’s stakeholders, including its investors, employees and suppliers when operating the business.
Phytopharm places considerable value on attracting and retaining its employees and seeks to keep them informed on the Group’s business strategy and objectives to assist them in working towards these goals. This is achieved through formal and informal meetings where employees have the opportunity to ask questions as well as receive information.
Employee training and development requirements are assessed as part of the performance appraisal process. Additional training is undertaken as required to provide staff with continuous professional development.
Phytopharm is committed to health and safety and has well-developed health and safety policies and procedures to safeguard all of its employees, partners, contractors and visitors. The Board is aware of its legal and moral obligations for Health and Safety at work and is committed to preventing accidents and minimising occupational ill health.
The Group operates within a strict regulatory environment in the pharmaceutical industry and conducts its clinical development activities in accordance with internationally recognised regulatory and quality standards. A code of business conduct and ethics is in place to promote fair, honest and ethical conduct by all employees in their relationships with stakeholders.
The Group endeavours to appoint employees with appropriate skills, experience and knowledge for the roles they undertake. The Group has a range of polices which are aimed at retaining and incentivising key staff. Employees have clear objectives based on the Group’s business objectives.
Phytopharm recognises that protecting the environment is a primary corporate responsibility and that environmental matters are not just the responsibility of the Board of Directors, but also an area in which each employee, sub-contractor and supplier has a contribution to make.
Phytopharm therefore encourages all employees, partners and contractors to operate in an environmentally responsible manner. Where appropriate these requirements have been incorporated into the Group’s standard operating procedures and the environmental performance of contractors is reviewed as part of the audit process. It is Phytopharm’s policy to undertake reasonable measures to assess the environmental impact of its operations, processes and products. Waste is minimised with paper and packaging recycled and confidential waste is shredded and recycled. Where possible other materials, including glass and plastics are recycled. The Group aims to continuously improve environmental performance and compliance within these areas.
The Board acknowledges that it is responsible for the Group’s system of internal control and reviews its effectiveness at least annually. However, the Board acknowledges that such a system can only provide reasonable and not absolute assurance against material misstatement or loss, as it is designed to manage rather than eliminate the risk of failure to achieve business objectives.
The key procedures that the Board has established are designed to provide effective internal controls within the Group and comply with the Internal Control Guidance for Directors on the Combined Code (Turnbull Guidance 2005) issued by the Financial Reporting Council. There is an ongoing process for identifying, evaluating and managing significant risks faced by the Group and the effectiveness of all the Group’s internal controls in effect are reviewed annually by the Board. The Board confirms that the necessary steps have been taken to rectify any significant failings or weaknesses identified through this process.
The Group has a quality assurance function, however it does not have a formal internal audit function; this arrangement is considered appropriate by the Audit Committee given the size of the Group. The Executive Directors’ active involvement in the activities of the Group allows the Board to continually monitor and assess significant business, operational, financial, compliance and other risks and to review the effectiveness of internal control. The Executive Directors provide regular management reports covering inter alia research and development activities, shareholder relations, financial management and commercial activities.