An interview with Louise Stonier, Pets at Home -  How being ethically compliant can help businesses protect against reputational damage

An interview with Louise Stonier, Pets at Home -  How being ethically compliant can help businesses protect against reputational damage

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Businesses constantly face new commercial and legal challenges. There is an enormous advantage in being well-prepared. Louise Stonier, Legal Director and Company Secretary at Pets at Home Group Plc, talks to us about how policies and procedures and an ethically compliant culture can help businesses protect against one of the biggest risks – damage to reputation.

 

Tell us about your experience of threats to your business’ reputation …

Earlier this year, we discovered that the business was going to be covered negatively in the media. I knew that we had a really strong position and could defend ourselves in a much more effective way than we had done in similar incidents. We had dealt with previous threats in a particular way and had learnt a lot from those experiences. Those lessons definitely helped us to be better prepared for dealing with future risks. In this case, our good position was primarily due to all the rigorous policies and procedures we have in place.

In terms of lessons learnt from previous incidents, are there policies and procedures that you didn’t have in place then that you do now?

Once anything like this happens you have to sit down and look at why it happened, what were the areas that were brought up and what lessons can be taken from that. There are always things you can do better.

After one incident, we set up a separate committee to review what had happened and look at the measures that we needed to put in place. We also put it on the Internal Audit’s agenda as something to be scrutinised on an annual basis.

We report back to the Board on the Legal and Commercial policies and procedures and we’re constantly reviewing them. It is really important to keep it in everybody’s minds.

Looking back at previous experiences, what do you wish you’d

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