A.P. Moller-Maersk Group (CPH: MAERSK-B) released its 2015 Sustainability Report today, and two disclosures immediately popped out:
- Facilitation payments declined by 34% in 2015 from 2014. The company alluded to anti-corruption trainings, audits and site visits, and improved documentation as factors for success. Note that not many companies openly acknowledge facilitation payments, so reporting on progress in reducing it is laudable. Maersk plans to launch an e-learning program on anti-corruption and continue its site visits and audits.
- Maersk conducted a comprehensive review of its 1000 companies in 2015 to prepare for new regulations on tax reporting. The company acknowledged that it has had “recurring engagements” with tax authorities due its 11 “global tax centers”. It is preparing to comply with EU regulations and OECD requirements, including a non-public country-by-country reporting that will be in effect in 2016.
It is always refreshing to see a company taking sensitive issues head on, instead of hiding behind typical social responsibility topics that only make them look good but barely make a dent on their business.