Continuous information exchange

Social acceptance and understanding of entrepreneurial actions are an essential prerequisite for developing viable solutions for a sustainable future. Dialoguing with social groups is therefore an important element of Henkel's sustainability strategy. We continuously seek and maintain a dialogue with all relevant stakeholders, including customers, consumers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, local communities, government authorities, associations and NGOs, as well as politicians and academia.

This dialogue shows us which aspects of sustainable development are of particular interest to individual stakeholder groups. The earlier and the more intensively we engage with the views of our stakeholders regarding future social challenges, the better and the more quickly we will be able to take these into account in our planning and our actions. This open exchange also offers a basis for mutual understanding and an opportunity to attain social acceptance of our entrepreneurial decisions. At the same time, it is a source of new ideas for the company and allows us to identify potential risks at an early stage.

The stakeholder dialogue thus makes an important contribution to our innovation management and risk management and forms the basis for the further development of our sustainability strategy and reporting.

Identification of key issues

Society and business enterprises alike are facing many different global challenges. In order to filter out which topics are relevant to our business activities, we analyze the sustainability challenges using a variety of tools and processes and assess their significance for the company (see chart below). In doing so, we dialogue continuously with sustainability-focused institutions, international rating agencies and analysts, and academia. We also consider the assessment criteria of various financial and sustainability-oriented indices and the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Identification of key topics for our sustainability management and reporting

Graph Identification of key topics for our sustainability management and reporting

As a result of this continuous process, we have defined six focal areas for driving sustainable development worldwide through our products and our business activities. A concurrent goal is that of aligning our company to meet emerging sustainability demands and adjusting our business policies to reflect them as early as possible.

Last updated: March 8, 2012