Original perspective



The Viscofan Group’s leading position is based on the unique value of its know-how and the commitment of everyone who works for it. At the end of December 2015, the Group employed a growing multicultural team of 4.342 qualified, competitive people receiving constant training who, despite cultural differences, all shared the same base values and ethical principles.

In 2015, the Group continued to increase the average number of staff it employed, chiefly as a consequence of expansion into new geographical areas and the recruitment of reinforcements to improve the levels of service provided to strengthen its leading global position. As a result, the average number of employees in continuing operations grew by 3.5% vs. 2014 to 4.233 personas, due to the increase in human capital in Spain, Brazil and Mexico, associated to the production capacity.

The high percentage of Group employees with open-ended contracts is still notable, 95.5% of its employees working with such contracts in 2015. The figure stood at 94% in 2014.

In 2015, the average age of the Group’s employees approached 39, having declined over recent years. 5% of its personnel were aged from 18 to 24, 31% from 25 to 34, and 25% from 35 to 44, 24% from 45 to 54, and 15% over 55.

Viscofan’s code of conduct strictly prohibits all forms of child labour and, consequently, the Group does not recruit anybody under the age of 17 and requires its suppliers to follow suit.

As global compaq signants, Viscofan Group protects freedom of association of workers. In 2015 around 78% of Viscofan employees are under a collective agreement.


The results achieved by the Be MORE Strategic Plan are a consequence of the work performed by a constantly developing team engaged in a continuous process of improvement.

The personnel increase has been accompanied by an average income rise per employee, which has risen by around 15% since 2011 and by 3.6% in 2015 compared to 2014.

The improvement in competitiveness recorded by staff is also reflected in terms of costs, the Group improving its labour costs/sales ratio by 1.0 percentage point from 2011 to 2015, reaching 21.4% in 2015. Such improvements in productivity are especially significant considering the uncertain, volatile environment in terms of raw material and energy costs.

The importance of this stakeholder is observed in the matrix of resources generated and resources distributed. The employees received expenses distributed in 2015 worth €147.0MM, 14.0% more than 2014.


Viscofan consists of a group of people widely spread out in all the countries in which the company has a strategic presence: Spain, Germany, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Russia, Serbia, Thailand and Uruguay, creating a complex multicultural environment. This represents both a challenge and an opportunity for international development for those working in the Group, which carries out many knowledge transfer projects between its different production facilities and holds specific global training seminars. The international nature of the Group is evidenced by the fact that people of 14 different nationalities currently work for it.

The geographical breakdown of the average workforce in 2015 was as follows:

International mobility is a constant in the Group, as demonstrated by the average of 12 people who took part in international projects as short-term expatriates in 2015 and the 29 who worked as long-term expatriates; the wide variety of countries, both of origin and destination, involved is a consequence of the Group’s internationalisation strategy and initiatives to boost international mobility and transfer its best practices to all its subsidiaries, through benchmarking.

In 2014 and 2015, employees are being transferred from our benchmark plastic casing facility in the Czech Republic to the new plastic casing facility in San Luís Potosí, Mexico. The aim is to supply the construction and implementation of this new project with value and knowledge. In addition, in order to ensure the successful launch of the new plastic casing factory in Mexico, the team tracking technology of this kind has also been reinforced. The new plant means that Viscofan will continue to foment job creation and generate value in the San Luis Potosí region in Mexico, where the Group already has a cellulose extrusion plant.

In order to provide its employees with the best possible healthcare coverage on their travels, during 2015 improvements were made to the information available for frequent or occasional travellers in the Group, including “Risk Reports” for countries where we are present, either with production centres or commercial subsidiaries. The reports highlight the key risks for the country in question, as well as recommendations (regarding crime, conflicts, etc.). Likewise, they include emergency contact telephone numbers and references to the closest medical centres to our facilities.


The Viscofan Group, through the Human Resources departments in its different subsidiaries, encourages the development of people by means of different initiatives through which to manage knowledge and make the most of its employees’ capacities in order to achieve the Group’s objectives. Training is one of the Group’s fundamental objectives as far as people management is concerned. Training is provided on a continuous basis to bolster personal and professional development. With this development objective in mind, the Human Resources teams managed more than 87 thousand hours of training. The Group devoted close to €2MM to this human capital training drive, €0.7MM was specific training on safety and health, and €1.3MM to specific training to develop their skills and professional career.

The Group also works more with the chief universities in the countries in which it operates in order to attract and develop talent. The Group managed 37 work placement and intern processes, involving more than 41,000 hours of practical experience, compared with 40,000 in 2014.

Recruitment, Promotion and Social networks


In a growing Group, Viscofan’s staff selection and recruitment policy is key to holding onto its leading position. In this regard, the development and acknowledgement of those already working in the Viscofan Group is being encouraged by announcing vacancies open throughout the Group on its internal channels of information, such as the Group intranet.

In 2015, the strategy to attract talent was strengthened through international selection, recruitment, internal mobility and expatriation management tools. In this second year of operation of the “job site”, available in the Group’s website, over 2,100 cvs were registered and summed up to the 8,000 candidates of the data base, revealing the interest shown in joining the Viscofan Group.

During 2015, internal offers were published using this site, offering current employees the chance to develop their own professional careers or to change their duties. Furthermore, over 20 external vacancies were offered, which included management positions to qualified technician positions.

On the path towards the objective of improving our strategy to harness talent, more proactive initiatives have also been launched to highlight the visibility of the Group on social networks and increase the number of followers of our business profile on LinkedIn, which currently stands at 3,000. Together with the hiring of “LinkedIn Recruiter” tool, in order to anticipate business needs, identifying and contacting the best talent worldwide, while covering future positions. This project was set out in 2015 and is driving the creation of a group of candidates and the real and effective coverage of open vacancies.

The industrial nature of the Group means that it requires both a lot of operators and a significant number of specialised employees. Working as it does in an increasingly demanding, global industry in terms of requirements which call for greater knowledge and specialisation, the Group hopes to meet the challenge posed by investing in people’s know-how and the continuous training efforts aimed at those already on the payroll.

In this regard, the Group continues increasing trained personnel. In 2015, the number of employees with Master’s degrees (294 people) grew by 16% and the number of university graduates (552 people) rose by more than 11% on the previous year, meaning that the figure increased for the fourth year running. The number of PhD holders (32 people), posted and increase of 18% compared with the 27 PhD in the Group in 2014. This feature of the team which makes up Viscofan clearly sets it apart from its competitors and is key to achieving excellence in production and maintaining the levels of innovation which the business requires.

The breakdown of employees by categories was as follows at the end of 2015:

In addition to providing employees with more and better channels of information, the Human Resources department, as part of a dynamic global Group, has implemented and will continue to implement a range of measures and applications to enhance staff and talent management. The most important of these are:

  • People net 8 project: During 2015, the global implementation of the SaaS mode tool (Software as a Service) was completed, initially implementing the Personnel Administration module. This move will allow us to monitor the main Human Resource management processes more strategically. More specifically, it opens the way towards further improvements in personnel management and group organisational structures, and strengthens the strategic process of talent management by creating succession and professional development plans. During 2016, we will keep on working on the implementation and development of an integrated talent management system for the company, this information will be complemented and integrated within the tool described above.
  • Viscofan Opinion Survey 2015. Among the main tools used by Human Resources, particularly noteworthy is the second study of employees’ opinions regarding the company, undertaken in 2015. The study objective was to internally assess the planning, organisation and undertaking of work in Viscofan, through employee opinions. 60% of the staff base participated, an 8% increase on the previous year, and the opinion regarding the 11 study dimensions brought back a 62% positive and very positive rate of responses. As a result, the study has provided interesting data about the company’s strong points, such as its degree of commitment with company employees (75% of positive responses), and the organisation of work (71%). Moreover, areas of improvement have been identified where more work is required.


Viscofan places a number of information resources at the disposal of its employees in order to keep them up to date with general Group news and information specific to certain areas:

1) Employee channel: It establishes direct communication with Viscofan employees, providing them with information of great utility, including career opportunities within the Group. During 2015, a new section entitled “Travel information” was included, covering general information for all travellers within the Group and the already mentioned “Risk Summary” for each country.

2) Group news and announcement portal: The Group uses this portal to publish its latest appointments, organisational changes, strategic projects, product launches, financial results, competitions, etc.

3) “Vis a Vis”, a magazine for Group employees. Viscofan publishes an internal biannual magazine in the main languages spoken in the Group (Spanish, English, Chinese, Czech, Serbian, German and Portuguese). In the magazine, workers can find a range of contents, including a letter from the CEO explaining the progress made by the Group, interviews with employees, articles on meetings, employee seminars, reports on corporate teams, etc.

4) Opinion Survey: A study on the work environment at Viscofan, in Spain and in the other Group subsidiaries. Via this study, the direct opinion of employees is obtained regarding different issues, from work organisation to the contents of the position and the company image.

5) Meetings and presentations: Throughout the year numerous departmental meetings take place, including corporate presentations by Management to the rest of the employees.


The Viscofan Group is committed to respect for and the defence of human rights as described in international standards such as the International Bill of Human Rights or the United Nations Global Compact, to which the Company subscribed in December 2015.

The Group’s Code of conduct states that, as part of their work, Viscofan employees must contribute towards respect for and the protection of human rights, and avoid any conduct which they detect within the scope of their work which contravenes them.

More particularly, Viscofan Group employees, in all their geographical and cultural plurality, must refrain from any type of conduct involving discrimination on grounds of race, sex, nationality, language, religion, ideology or any other individual, social or personal characteristic (disability, economic position, trade union membership, etc.) and promote work in decent conditions, avoiding all types of exploitation, with special protection to avoid child labour.

The Viscofan Group has defined basic common guidelines for human resources which include the institution of decent working conditions, equality in all areas and access to the job market for people with disabilities. In this regard, employee´s minimun remuneration in each geography is established in response to the wage reality and legal framework of each country where Viscofan operates.

Within the field of equality and the protection of workers’ rights, 78% of the company’s employees are covered by general collective employment conditions regulating their working lives which better the minimum requirements set in relevant labour legislation. During 2015, negotiations took place regarding the collective agreements for Cáseda and Urdiain (Spain).

Equality and Labour Conciliation Policies

With the aim of putting forward improvements in this issue, during 2015 a second diagnosis of the situation was undertaken, which led to this current II Equality Plan 2016-2019. The aim, as with the I Plan, was to highlight the Company’s strong points, propose improvements and establish targets to be met in the issues of equality and labour conciliation.

Via the CGI (Company Gender Equality) procedure, the study has been focused on four major areas: leadership, policy and strategy; people; process management; and the relationship with the working environment, by which each has a specific action plan up to 2019.

Some of the improvements in the issue of equality identified in the 2nddiagnosis (2015) were:

  • Increased hiring of women for technical positions (+8%)
  • Increased indefinite contract for women (+16%)
  • Better access for men to conciliation policies (reduced working schedule to look after children, extended leave, unpaid leave to look after family members, etc.).

During 2015 a member of Viscofan S.A. (Mary Carmen Peña, financial manager in Spain) has been awarded as the best woman manager in Navarre by the women managers assotiation in Navarra (AMEDNA, Asociación de Mujeres Empresarias y Directivas de Navarra).


The Group’s corporate safety in the workplace policies are overseen by its EHS department in close collaboration with its corporate and local Human Resources departments, and measures are continually adopted and investments made in order to improve the working conditions of the group’s employees. The Viscofan Group strives to define consistent, reliable indicators with which to measure and compare performance in the different countries in which it operates in order to spread best practices regarding health and safety to all its production plants.

Viscofan is convinced that all accidents are avoidable and so, in addition to working to make its facilities safer, the group also strives to make all its employees aware of the fact that their attitude to safety is fundamental. The Viscofan Group continues to work hard to standardise its procedures and communicate company policy in this field through specific courses and information made available to workers in their work areas.

In order to carry out these initiatives, the Board of Directors has passed a Group EHS policy containing the following guidelines related to the safety in the workplace:

  • Provide all workers with a safe, healthy workplace.
  • Identify and comply with applicable legislation and regulations regarding the Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) wherever the Group operates, as well as other commitments voluntarily undertaken by Viscofan in order to improve in these fields
  • Ensure that senior management, employees and all the personnel working for the organisation or on its behalf are aware of this policy and trained in accordance with their responsibilities in order to comply with it.
  • Define indicators to measure the development of the Group’s performance in these areas.
  • Promote the creation of a continuous improvement culture for EHS, defining objectives and applying corporate standards.
  • Develop partnerships with stakeholders to facilitate open, objective dialogue and help everyone assume joint responsibility in these areas.

The health and safety of those who work for the group is a priority for Viscofan and in 2015 it strengthened this commitment by linking hours lost as a result of accident or sick leave in with the variable remuneration received by its senior management. It is worth noting that the percentage of hours lost through accidents or illnesses in the workplace was 0.5%.

Training in the prevention of accidents and the importance of safe habits is one of the cornerstones on which the protection of the health of our workers is based. In 2015, almost 26,000 hours were devoted to safety and prevention training, an improvement of more than 8% in 2014. This training covered everything from basic preventive measures to be taken in the workplace and the importance of heart-healthy habits as part of day-to-day life. In this respect, during 2015 no deaths occurred as a result of accidents in the workplace.

Protecting our assets is also crucial when it comes to ensuring the safety of those who work for Viscofan and the sustainability of its business. Investments worth more than €700,000 were made in 2015 to improve fire safety at our facilities.

The reduction of the risk of fire at our plants was also defined as an objective to be linked in with the variable remuneration of the Group’s senior management.

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