Bel’s Sharing Smiles CSR programme is advanced but could have been stretched further in 2014
Every time you have a mini Babybel cheese or spread Boursin on a cracker, feel good knowing that Bel Group (Bel) has a robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, Sharing Smiles. A 150-year-old French company, Bel is primarily family owned and has 30 brands of cheese sold in 130 countries. Five core brands are international: The Laughing Cow, Kiri, Leerdammer, Boursin and Mini Babybel. Bel reports in two places: its annual report (French law for annual reporting drives non-financial performance management) and the Sharing Smiles CSR report.
The 2014 CSR report demonstrates that the company is committed to CSR. Bel has many policies and initiatives and is strong on ethics, human rights and quality. The company also has a strong understanding of its environmental footprint but the report does not have any targets, a surprising omission given the company history of CSR. Bel has promised that its next report will be performance-based. That said, the 2014 report is informative and easy to read, and the design brings life to the CSR programme.
Reflecting the Sharing Smiles theme and branding, the report is fun, light in text and heavy on visuals. To make its business model and CSR policies and initiatives clear,...