Communication with Stakeholders
Companies must have the consent and support of society. We want to maintain regular and open dialogue with all stakeholders. This is one of our business principles. We believe that dialogue offers us an opportunity to prepare for new challenges promptly, avoid risks and realize our full potential.
WACKER constantly communicates with a number of stakeholder groups throughout the world: employees, customers, suppliers, analysts, investors, journalists, scientists, neighbors and politicians, as well as representatives from NGOs, authorities and associations. We conduct this dialogue in many ways – through the outreach activities of WACKER’s various management levels, sites and departments. The focus is always on face-to-face discussions, i.e. on direct contact. What’s more, we communicate with stakeholders through:
- Surveys (e.g. on workplace safety, sustainability and reputation)
- Publications (annual report, press releases, employee newspaper, etc.)
- Special events (open-house days, supplier days, investor roadshows, management events, etc.)
- Tradeshows, and
- Committee work and presentations
A novel series of events launched in 2016 has seen WACKER taking a new approach to neighborhood communication at its largest site in Burghausen: the WACKER WISSENSFORUM (knowledge forum) is aimed at local residents who want to find out more about current company issues relating to science, technology and environmental protection. Once a quarter, the open information series offers talks on scientific trends, pioneering technologies, and developments with a local political impact. So far, these have covered battery research at WACKER, repair of the Alz canal, the significance of polymer chemistry, and sustainability.
Another new feature is our SustainaTalk® dialogue platform. Employees can access the groupwide intranet to obtain information on practical sustainability topics. The platform offers live events, communication material and case studies focusing on social and ecological aspects, sustainability management, communication, stakeholder dialogue and our IT system for sustainability reporting (SPIRIT).
WACKER has been participating in the sustainability assessments of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) since 2007. In 2016, the company’s performance profile was rated B (on a scale from A to D) in CDP’s annual sustainability ratings.
In response to requests from two key customers, WACKER underwent social audits during the reporting period. In 2016, the Burghausen and Nünchritz sites in Germany and the Adrian site in the USA were inspected. The Zhangjiagang (China), Amtala (India) and Jandira (Brazil) sites had themselves inspected by external auditors in 2015. The auditors asked employees about compliance regarding working hours, collective-bargaining agreements, company agreements and protection standards. Further topics included supplier management, compliance rules, environmental standards and energy supplies at the plants. Certain improvement suggestions were made by the inspectors for the Group’s sites outside Germany. For example, setting up a whistle-blower hotline at the Adrian site, so that employees can report violations anonymously. The Burghausen site was also audited according to the chemical industry’s responsible procurement of goods and services initiative “Together for Sustainability” (TfS), which WACKER has joined. The auditors detected no deviations during the inspections.