Stakeholder management and materiality analysis

At a glance

  • The Schaeffler Group maintains regular communication with its stakeholders through a variety of formats
  • In 2023, the company conducted a materiality analysis with reference to the requirements of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)

Stakeholders and memberships

To establish a shared understanding of sustainability, the Schaeffler Group is involved in a variety of initiatives and associations that promote standardized measures and processes for effective sustainability management.

This includes, for example, the development of a consistent standard for measurement and monetary assessment of the environmental and social impacts of companies as part of the Schaeffler Group’s membership in the Value Balancing Alliance.

In addition to customers, employees, suppliers, investors, and analysts, the most important stakeholders also include non-governmental organizations (NGOs), education and science, associations, as well as politics and authorities. Stakeholders are not only incorporated into the process of defining material topics but also encouraged to exchange ideas. Formats such as customer workshops, industry dialog, and professional exchange with universities were used in the reporting year.

The Schaeffler Group has been a member of the UN Global Compact since 2020 and is committed to its ten principles of corporate sustainability. By joining the newly founded UN Global Compact Netzwerk Deutschland e. V., the Schaeffler Group reinforced its commitment in 2023.

Additional focus is placed on exchange in multi-stakeholder formats such as automotive industry dialog through the National Action Plan (NAP) for the economy and human rights. Working with industry representatives, trade unions, NGOs, and other stakeholders, the Schaeffler Group is regularly involved in industry dialog initiatives, for example, the development of indicators for measuring the effectiveness of human rights due diligence measures and analyzing certifications for critical raw materials in the context of human rights due diligence requirements in the supply chain. 

Material stakeholders and selected dialog formats

StakeholdersDialog formats
CustomersWorkshops and bilateral talks, industry initiatives and multi-stakeholder formats, trade fairs, answering customer requests
EmployeesGeneral information events, employee development meetings, different training formats, employee surveys, idea management, internal communication formats (e.g., Schaeffler Connect)
Suppliers and 
service providers
Exchange at the Schaeffler stakeholder dialog, automotive industry dialog, supplier meetings, and other communication formats (including supplier calls, supplier landing page)
and banks
Conferences, bilateral talks, roadshows, answering requests, quarterly publications, annual general meeting
NGOsExchange at stakeholder dialogs, multi-stakeholder formats, answering inquiries
Education and scienceConceptual and operational collaboration 
with universities, mentoring programs for students, collaborative research projects, implementation of joint and funded projects
Industry associationsParticipation in working groups, development of positions
Politics and 
Bilateral talks, organization of information events, participation in forums and events

Results of the materiality analysis

Part of NFRThe Schaeffler Group conducted a materiality analysis in the 2023 reporting year. The requirements of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS 1) were used as guidance for the assessment methods, with both inside-out and outside-in perspectives analyzed. 

For the inside-out perspective, the company’s actual and potential positive and negative effects (impact materiality) on people and the environment were examined. For the outside-in perspective, the financial materiality analysis for 2023 assessed the sustainability risks associated with the company’s financial situation.

The presented approach ensured at a minimum the inclusion of the aspects defined as material in Article 315c (1) in conjunction with 289c (3) of the German Commercial Code.

In preparation for the assessment workshops, potentially relevant sustainability topics were identified in phase 1 – for example, on the basis of the materiality topics previously identified for the Schaeffler Group, topics from the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), customer requirements, as well as ESG ratings and rankings. In phase 2, the impacts of the Schaeffler Group and its activities on these topics were identified and evaluated in workshops with relevant experts based on the ESRS criteria: scale, scope, remediability, and likelihood.

Experts from relevant departments such as sustainability strategy, compliance, human resources, supplier management, environment, occupational health and safety, and energy management were selected to participate in these workshops.
In the third step, the results were discussed with representatives of the three divisions – Automotive Technologies, Industrial, and Automotive Aftermarket – as well as with representatives of the four Schaeffler regions to ensure that regional and division-specific topics are taken into account. The results were also shared and discussed with selected external stakeholders such as customers, scientists, and investors.

The Schaeffler Group’s Executive Board then confirmed the results of the materiality analysis. The topics identified in the last materiality analysis in 2022 can be allocated to the new material topics in 2023. Unlike in the 2022 materiality analysis, the topic of customer satisfaction is not considered material according to the new assessment logic, which is with reference to the ESRS requirements. Nonetheless, the satisfaction of its customers is extremely important to the Schaeffler Group. Customer surveys are conducted annually to analyze customer interests, which are then taken into account when making strategic decisions. 

A comprehensive materiality analysis in accordance with the CSRD will be completed for the Schaeffler Group’s 2024 sustainability reporting.Part of NFR

Results of the materiality analysis

Ratings and rankings


achieved in the CDP climate rating in the reporting year

Part of NFRThe Schaeffler Group further improved its sustainability ratings and rankings in the reporting year through a consistent implementation of the sustainability strategy.

The company secured a CDP climate rating of “A” (prior year: “A”) in the reporting year, among other things, due to the implementation of the sustainability strategy through the Climate Action Plan. The SBTi validation of the Schaeffler Group’s Climate Neutrality targets in 2022 also had a positive effect. 

The company also achieved a CDP water rating of “A-” (prior  year: “A”). Potential for optimization was identified, for example, in the topic of water risk management. 

With 79 out of 100 points, the Schaeffler Group once again achieved Platinum status in the EcoVadis rating (prior  year: Platinum status with 76 points), thus positioning the company in the top 1 % of the peer group (Manufacture of parts and accessories for motor vehicles) for the third year in a row. Improvements were made particularly in the area of environment. 

Due to its continuous commitment, the Schaeffler Group increased its score in the S&P Global ESG rating 2023 to 55 (prior year: 54). Significant improvements were made particularly in the areas of Innovation Management, Product Quality & Recall Management, and Talent Attraction & Retention. 

With a score of 10.4 (prior  year: 9.4) in the Morningstar Sustainalytics ESG risk rating, the Schaeffler Group was allocated to the “low risk” category. While the company did not perform as well as it did the prior year in the categories “Lobbying & Political Expenses”, “Board Independence”, and “Carbon Intensity”, it did improve in the areas of “Eco-Design” and “Renewable Energy Programmes”.Part of NFR

The Schaeffler Group’s rating results

RatingRating scaleCurrent ratingPrior rating
“A” to “D-”, 
whereby “A” is the best grade and “D-” the worst.
“A” to “D-”, 
whereby “A” is the best grade and “D-” the worst.
0 to 100 points, 
whereby 0 is the worst value and 100 the best.
79/100 points and Platinum status76/100 points and Platinum status
0 to 100 points, 
whereby 0 is the worst value and 100 the best.
55/100 points 1)54/100 points
Five risk categories:
negligible (0–10), low (10–20), medium (20–30), high (30–40), severe (40+)
“low risk”-core framework 3)
“negligible risk”-core framework
  1. The number of points refers to the score in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2023, published on 02/16/2024.
  2. Copyright ©2024 Morningstar Sustainalytics. All rights reserved. More information is available at: Sustainalytics.
  3. This rating refers to the score in the Morningstar Sustainalytics ESG Risk Assessment of November 2023.

1 The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) are to be applied as of the 2024 business year.

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