“2023 will be a challenging year because of the still unpredictable macro-economic context, but we are optimistic and confident that the strategy we have in place will help us reach our objectives and support our sustainable development. Also, this year we are looking forward to the publication of the guidance documents and regulatory information on how to apply the new dietary supplements law, which will hopefully be consistently and unitary respected within the industry,” Lucia Costea, co-founder & CEO Secom Healthcare Group, told Sustainability Today.
How would you describe the evolution of SECOM in 2022?
2022 was a challenging year, but we succeded to reach many important milestones at Secom® Healthcare:
- The portfolio of our proprietary brand Good Routine® doubled.
- We extended our presence on the international market, Good Routine® products being available since the beginning of 2022 in Iceland.
- We launched 3 new Secom® stores in București Băneasa Shopping City, București AFI Palace Cotroceni and in Iulius Mall Suceava, our Secom® Retail network counting now 15 stores nationwide.
- We also expanded our Secom® Retail portfolio with new organic and natural products for both adults and children: functional foods, personal and dental care products – making steps forward to transform the Secom® stores into Wellbeing Stores for people who want a healthy lifestyle.
- We voluntarily launched Secom® Healthcare first sustainability report which reinforces our committment to develop in a responsible, sustainable manner on 5 priority directions that address our key impact areas: Ethical Business Performance, Quality for Healthcare, Team Development, Community Involvement, Environmental Efficiency, each of them with specific short, medium, and long-term objectives.
- We strenghtened our team and invested in their professional and personal development. In 2022, Secom® invested over 100 000 euros in training programs, with an average number of 50 training hours/per year /per employee. Moreover, we have offered a flexible benefits budget of over 100 euros/month/employee, adding to the other special benefits: annual performance bonus, medical subscription – also for family members, life and accident insurance, discounts on portfolio products, psychotherapy sessions, financial incentives for colleagues who have contributed to recruiting a colleague to the team, loyalty bonus, etc. Currently, we have a team of 200 people, in Bucharest headquarter but also nationwide, in the main cities of the country.
- We launched Impreuna in Slujba Binelui (Together in the Service of Good), an internal program, thus supporting 10 social projects (including 3 projects for Ukraine refugees), helping over 4000 people through financial support, as well as through volunteering.
What challenges have you faced during 2022?
The challenges we faced in 2022 were generated by the macro-economic context, the price increases of the raw materials and transportation because of the steep petrol price increase – which had a direct impact because our core portfolio is imported and transported from the US.
To continue our sustainable development, we stayed connected and cautious, we had in place contingency plans and worked closely with our suppliers and partners to keep an efficient supply chain management in order to ensure stock continuity. Staying agile and optimizing costs to offer a good price for our consumers were and still are our priorities.
What priorities and business strategy focus do you have in 2023?
Our strategic priorities for 2023 include the expansion of Good Routine® brand on the international markets, the further development of our retail network, continue the digitalization process within the company, implement the projects we committed to in our sustainbility strategy for this year and strengthen our team.
Also, as we stay dedicated to our mission to inform and educate our consumers in order to support them in adopting good routines, we will continue our health & wellbeing podcast Supliment de bine (previously known as Sanatatea in focus – in English Focus on Health -which we started in 2019), the neuroscience educational program Planul Bunelor Rutine and our blogs: The Good Place on good-routine.com and Ghid de Sanatate (Health guide) on secom.ro which feature over 400 articles on healthcare and balanced lifestyle topics that have been written and constantly updated by our Scientific Support & Innovation team, together with doctors and specialists in various fields.
What are your plans regarding sustainability initiatives in 2023?
In 2023 we will implement the projects we committed to in our first sustainability report (pages 112-121).
The most important projects on the 5 priority directions that address our key impact areas are:
- Quality for Healthcare – Conduct at least 1 observational study for a Good Routine® product
- Ethical Business Performance – Develop Code of Business Conduct and communicate it to 100% of new partners
- Team Development – Provide a minimum of 50 hours of training/employee regardless of the position occupied in the company
- Community Involvement – Impact assessment for social projects implemented based on international standards.
- Environmental Efficiency
- Maintain the recovery of waste from packaging materials placed on the market at a rate of 100%, above the legislated limits
- At least 50% of Good Routine bottles launched between 2023-2024 to be made of recycled plastic
- Replace more than 70% of the company’s fleet with hybrid cars by 2023
Which are your expectations for the Romanian market in 2023, anticipated challenges?
2023 will be a challenging year because of the still unpredictable macro-economic context, but we are optimistic and confident that the strategy we have in place will help us reach our objectives and support our sustainable development.
Also, this year we are looking forward to the publication of the guidance documents and regulatory information on how to apply the new dietary supplements law, which will hopefully be consistently and unitary respected within the industry.