Stakeholder Dialog and External Recognition
For the business success of the Schaeffler Group, it is highly important to have open and constructive dialog with its central stakeholders and to build relationships based on trust. That also paves the way for external recognition of the company’s sustainability performance.
To define topics that are particularly relevant to the Schaeffler Group’s sustainability work, it engages in close exchanges with its most important stakeholders. The expectations of the different stakeholders are not always readily reconcilable. The main thing is to identify common ground, agree on cooperations, or reach compromises that result in win-win situations. An institutional dialog can make a valuable contribution to this process. The Schaeffler Group aspires to include the interests of all stakeholder groups in the process and to implement measures that address their demands. In the time frame covered by this report, representatives of the Schaeffler Group participated in many external events with a thematic focus on sustainability.
Schaeffler Stakeholder Groups
Dialog formats: Worldwide employee survey, employee development talks, knowledge management, ideas management, internal media
Dialog formats: Customer surveys, industry initiatives, fairs, bilateral talks, answering customer requests
Dialog formats: Supplier surveys, industry initiatives, supplier days, bilateral talks, training sessions
Dialog formats: Answering requests
Dialog formats: Bilateral talks, information events for policy makers, participating in forums and events
Dialog formats: Media, neighborhood talks, press conferences, site visits
Dialog formats: Participation in a variety of initiatives, forums, and events, memberships in initiatives
Dialog formats: Bilateral talks
Dialog formats: Conferences, media, bilateral talks, roadshows
Dialog formats: Partnerships and cooperations, lectures
Dialog formats: Press conferences, press trips, press releases, information events on products, trade fairs, test drives
Taking a Look at Sustainable Investment
In addition to rising customer expectations about sustainable management, these growing expectations are also reflected in the investment and financial industry. This can be seen, for example, in the “Principles for Responsible Investment” (PRI), a financial initiative of the United Nations, which was created with the aim of developing principles for the responsible management of securities. Investors who have joined the initiative manage a volume of investments totaling more than USD 60 trillion. Schaeffler is watching this trend carefully with the intention of giving the topic of “Responsible Investment” even more weight in the future in value-driven corporate management.
Investors who are oriented toward sustainability in part follow the ratings of specialized SRI analysts. Various formats are used to keep SRI analysts and investors up to date about Schaeffler’s responsible management. One of these is annual sustainability reporting. In the future, special investor roadshows will also be introduced.
Expanding Opportunities for Dialog
Schaeffler intends to further expand existing dialog formats and, in the future, hold regular stakeholder events on the topic of sustainability. These events will look at specific sustainability-relevant topics from various perspectives and assess their urgency. Increased involvement in external stakeholder events will also help lay the groundwork for sector-wide solutions to social challenges, such as the development of a sustainable supply chain.
Since January 2018, the Schaeffler Group has been a member of the network of companies “econsense,” which works to support the practical implementation of corporate sustainability. Founded in June 2000 on the initiative of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the network sees itself as a dialog partner and expert forum for exchange between politics, science, the media, and society. Schaeffler will gain valuable insight for its own corporate management from its membership in the network.
The company also exchanges opinions and information regularly with political decision-makers and holds memberships in various organizations, such as industrial associations and other interest groups. Overview of the Schaeffler Group’s memberships in associations and organizations available online.
Successful Sustainability Ratings
Since 2015, the Schaeffler Group has been registered in the collaborative platform for sustainability ratings in the global supply chain “EcoVadis.” With a total rating of 50 points, Schaeffler was among the best 27% overall in the car supplier industry in 2017. Overall, the performance was most improved in the category of environment, in which 70 of 100 points were earned. In 2017, Schaeffler belonged to the top 11% of automotive suppliers in this category. Schaeffler was awarded a “Silver Recognition Level” for its successful sustainability management.
EcoVadis’s goal is to rate the quality of a company’s management systems for sustainability according to its guidelines, implementation measures, and results. The rating is concentrated on 21 questions divided into four topic areas of environment, work practices and human rights, fair business practices, and sustainable procurement. The questions and criteria are based on international CSR standards, such as the Global Compact Principles, the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation, the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the norm ISO 26000, and the CERES Principles. In assessing its own sustainability performance, Schaeffler additionally refers to external sustainability ratings and rankings such as that of the CDP.
Award-Winning Sustainability Reporting
The Schaeffler Group was recognized for its Sustainability Report 2016 with the “Econ Award” in bronze in the category “Sustainability Report/CSR Reports.” The Sustainability Report won points with the expert jury above all because of its content-rich, understandable documentation of the company’s integrated Sustainability Strategy. According to the jury, the publication’s design was striking in its smart, well-structured treatment of informative content that made it possible to gain insight into the operations of the company.
An Attractive Employer
In 2017, Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG was awarded 88.9 out of 100 possible points in the category automotive supplier in the Study “Germany’s Best Training Companies” by DEUTSCHLAND TEST and FOCUS-MONEY. Moreover, a survey on the “most attractive employers of German students in 2017” voted the Schaeffler Group into the list of the top 100. And in the “trendence Graduate Barometer 2017,” Schaeffler took 29th place in the category “engineering,” placing it among the 30 most attractive employers in Germany. The Schaeffler Group sees these honors as a confirmation of its successful support for new workers and trainees, and of its social and economic contribution to training skilled employees.