"In announcing our financial results for 2012, I have taken the opportunity to refer to the many awards that our businesses won during the year, not because of what any one of the awards was for, but because of what they symbolise; that we are developing our business in a truly sustainable way. Whether it is the award for Best Employer in Hungary, the Most Ethical Non-bank Lender in the Czech Republic or Gender Equality and Customer Service awards in Mexico and Poland respectively, this recognition is important to us because it demonstrates that the efforts we are making to live up to our values of being Respectful, Responsible and Straightforward are working."
"For a business to be sustainable, it needs to strike a balance between the need to deliver an acceptable return to shareholders and the requirement to take account of the needs and views of other key stakeholders who do not benefit directly from the business’s profitable growth. For us, these key stakeholder groups include our employees and agents, regulators and politicians and undoubtedly our customers and the communities we serve."
"I launched our Strategy for Growth in the first half of 2012, focussing on four strategic pillars and placing an emphasis on our customers and agents. As two of our most important stakeholder groups, customers and agents are absolutely vital to the success of our business and we intend to concentrate on nurturing long-term and sustainable relationships with them. Our strategy as a whole is predicated on having a positive business reputation, and this is an area where our ethical business culture, responsible lending initiatives and community investment can contribute substantially to our business success."
"We made considerable progress against all five of our sustainability objectives during 2012. These objectives were set at the beginning of 2010 and since then, we have made significant progress in integrating sustainability into the core business; setting an ethical framework for our business; establishing ourselves as a thought leader in responsible lending and financial literacy; introducing more rigorous responsible supply chain management checklists and processes; and reducing our environmental impact."
"Within our sustainability reporting we’ve been awarded an A+ rating against the Global Reporting Index, made our third public disclosure to the Carbon Disclosure Project and again report progress against the United Nations Global Compact."
"We continue to prioritise stakeholder engagement and once again this year we ran local stakeholder roundtables in each of our markets as well as a central roundtable in Brussels to gain the views of key constituents on matters that we believe are important to our business and our stakeholders. Some of the key themes to emerge included the role of debt in society, consumer protection and access to credit. We have also undertaken published thought leadership research with YouGov, designed to engage with our customer base, understand their most pressing issues and how they can be better represented in the political and commercial worlds. We are now using this research and our unique insights in to the lives of our customers to provide them with a stronger voice with key decision-makers who can impact their lives."
"We have made a lot of progress in ensuring that we act and are seen to act in a sustainable manner, but we acknowledge that sustainability is a constantly evolving journey and that we must never become complacent. During 2013, we will continue to place an emphasis on sustainable and responsible business, rolling-out our ethical framework throughout the business, focussing on leveraging the reputational advantages of our community investment program and finalising the achievement of our three year objectives."
Gerard Ryan, Chief Executive Officer