Stakeholder feedback, criticism and even praise help companies understand their social and environmental impacts and sustainability risks, and spur creative thinking about solutions to sustainability challenges. When stakeholder input informs business strategy and decision-making, companies enhance their social license to operate and improve their overall corporate performance.
Leaders overall specifically identify how they are incorporating stakeholder input into corporate strategy and business decision-making.
- Citigroup discloses stakeholder feedback gathered in a formal review of its sustainability report and provides a response to key questions being raised – among those, the company’s actions to implement the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and how it is addressing conflict minerals in its supply chain.
- The Walt Disney Company leveraged the Ceres stakeholder engagement model to review its sustainability strategy and first enterprise-wide environmental and social performance targets. The company’s sustainability report includes a summary of feedback the company gathered as well as its responses, including recommendations for developing a comprehensive climate change strategy, measuring and demonstrating returns on investment (ROI) for sustainability efforts, and broadening engagement with suppliers on social and environmental issues.
- To help establish its sustainability priorities, Ford Motor Company engages with a wide range of stakeholders who formally review its materiality matrix, a graphic representation of the relative importance of various sustainability issues to the company. The interactive matrix describes how each issue is defined and allows the reader to explore how issues may have changed in importance from year to year. The process Ford used to develop the matrix is disclosed in detail and includes reference to reports, including The Ceres Roadmap, that have shaped the company’s thinking about sustainability issues.
- Software and Services company, Symantec, discloses its process for undergoing a materiality assessment and provides details for how the company considers stakeholder feedback. The company discloses issues being considered and its priorities—such as climate change, information security and talent management—in its materiality matrix.