Dialogue 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 use a monitoring and analysis tool to identify our principal stakeholders and their expectations. 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.)
- Committee work and presentations
Digital media are growing in importance compared to conventional communication formats. Professional social networks are opportunities for companies, customers and experts to share information on products and applications and thereby support their business activities. In 2013, WACKER set up its own sites on YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.
WACKER has been participating in the sustainability assessments of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) since 2007. In 2014, WACKER was listed for the first time in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) for the German-speaking region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland and South Tyrol), having achieved a score of 95 B. We thus outperformed our peer group in the MDAX in this respect. After achieving a result of 86 B in 2013, we defined our CO2 reduction target and elaborated our reporting on opportunities and risks and on indirect emissions generated along the supply chain (Scope 3).
WACKER performed well in a 2014 assessment by rating agency oekom research AG with an overall grade of B–. oekom’s rating methodology classifies our company as “Prime.” This means that WACKER securities traded on the market qualify for investment from an ecological and social point of view. oekom customers include financial services providers that have invested volumes exceeding €600 billion based on oekom sustainability research. oekom research has been assessing WACKER since 2008.
In 2014, the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) honored three companies on a national level for outstanding site communications projects. Our Burghausen site took second place with its “Get to Know and Trust WACKER” project. The site operates a systematic communications program that reaches out to neighbors, regional political bodies and non-governmental organizations.
In 2014, we quizzed our stakeholders about WACKER’s sustainability efforts and its reputation. A total of 224 individuals with links to our company filled out online questionnaires or took part in telephone interviews. The survey was conducted in Germany, China and the USA among other countries. It included analysts, customers, suppliers, employees and politicians, as well as representatives from authorities and NGOs. Its outcome showed that WACKER enjoys a very good reputation among the various stakeholder groups. We scored a high figure of 84 points in the reputation stakes – this compares with the average score for industrial companies and service providers of just 51 points. WACKER’s good reputation stems primarily from the high level of trust which is placed in the company. Some 72 percent of stakeholder representatives are genuine ambassadors for WACKER. They trust the company and have confidence in its ability to deliver.
Reputation Drivers for WACKER
5 is the maximum value
The aim of the sustainability survey was to find out how these interest groups viewed our commitment to sustainability and where they saw room for improvement. Evaluation of the online questionnaires revealed that our sustainability efforts are viewed very favorably and reach the same survey level as in 2012.
Opinion of Sustainability Performance
1 = poor to 5 = excellent
1 2014: 224 participants
2 2012: 201 participants
3 2010: 203 participants
Stakeholders ranked WACKER highly to very highly in the following areas: environmental protection, safety of production facilities, promotion of workplace safety and employee health, as well as product and transport safety. They named the following as future challenges: diversity / equal opportunity, sustainable working conditions within the supply chain, biodiversity, creation and retention of jobs, and regional commitment.
A key challenge raised in the 2012 and 2014 stakeholder surveys was sustainable working conditions within the supply chain. We have intensified our work on this topic. In January 2015, we joined the “Together for Sustainability” (TfS) initiative. This initiative is based on established principles such as those subscribed to by the UN’s Global Compact and the Responsible Care® sustainability initiative. Together, the TfS members organize supplier evaluations using questionnaire analyses and audits, whereby the suppliers’ sustainability performance is assessed by independent auditing bodies based on criteria tailored to the chemical industry. Aspects that are assessed range from the environment, health and safety, labor and human rights to ethical company management. The audits include on-site checks, particularly in risk regions.