Corporate governance

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Corporate governance

We are committed to high standards of corporate governance in our business, and apply the principles and supporting principles of the UK Corporate Governance Code. This emphasises the need for well-balanced, effective boards, strong overseeing of risk management, alignment of remuneration policies with shareholder interests, and sound shareholder relations. Further information is available in the Annual Report, which provides the Corporate governance statement and the Remuneration Report.

The board and committees

The Board currently comprises two Executive Directors, the Chairman and seven Non-Executive Directors. There is a clear division of responsibilities between the Chairman and the Chief Executive. All the Non-Executive Directors are considered to be independent. They bring wide and varied commercial experience to Board deliberations.

The Chairman is responsible for leadership of the Board, setting its agenda and monitoring its effectiveness.

The Chief Executive is responsible for executing the strategy once agreed by the Board.

The Remuneration, Nomination and Audit committees have written terms of reference that define their authorities, duties and membership. These Committees are made up exclusively of the Non-Executive Directors. Mike Coupe is not a member of the Nomination Committee, although he is invited to attend meetings.

Internal controls and risk management

The Board has overall responsibility for the system of internal controls, including risk management.

The system of internal controls is designed to manage rather than eliminate the risk of failure to achieve the Company's business objectives and can only provide reasonable and not absolute assurance against material misstatement or loss. It comprises all controls including financial, operational and compliance controls and risk management.

The process used to assess the effectiveness of the internal control systems are ongoing, enabling a cumulative assessment to be made.

The system of internal control and risk management is embedded into the operations of the Company, and the actions taken to mitigate any weaknesses are carefully monitored.

Corporate responsibility

Sainsbury's has a strong record in its commitment to Corporate Responsibility, which is an everyday part of how we do business. Sainsbury's company values underpin its goal to provide healthy, safe, fresh and tasty food at fair prices. This has full support from the very top of the organisation, whereby members of our Operating Board hold accountability for each of our five values and their steering groups became accountable for their own targets within our new strategy.

Investor relations

The Company is committed to maintaining good communications with investors. Normal shareholder contact is the responsibility of the Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and the Head of Investor Relations. The Chairman is generally available to shareholders and institutional investors. Buyside and sellside analysts are invited to briefings by the Company immediately after the announcement of the Company's interim and full-year results. They are also invited to participate in conference calls following the announcement of Trading Updates. The content of these presentations, conference calls and webcasts are available in the presentations section so as to be available to all investors. Shareholders have the opportunity to meet and question the Board at the Annual General Meeting.