Companies will regularly engage in robust dialogue with stakeholders across the whole value chain, and will integrate stakeholder feedback into strategic planning and operational decision-making.
Materiality Assessment Process
Companies will regularly conduct a formal materiality assessment process to determine the most relevant sustainability issues for the business. Companies will engage both internal and external stakeholders in the materiality assessment process and consider stakeholder concerns in the setting of priorities.
Substantive Stakeholder Dialogue
Companies will systematically identify a diverse group of stakeholders and regularly engage with them in a manner that is formalized, ongoing, in-depth, timely and involves all appropriate parts of the business. Companies will disclose how they are incorporating stakeholder input into corporate strategy and business decision-making.
Companies will disclose and engage with investors on material sustainability information regarding strategy, risks, performance and commitments. Companies will communicate information on sustainability risks and opportunities for the business during annual meetings, analyst calls and other investor communications.
Senior Executives will participate in stakeholder engagement processes to inform strategy, risk management and enterprise-wide decision-making.
Companies will collaborate within and across sectors and civil society to innovate, scale and open source sustainability solutions.
Stakeholder engagement is a critical process that helps companies understand their key environmental and social impacts, identify risks and develop innovative solutions to sustainability challenges. It also provides an important mechanism for companies to collaborate with peers, civil society, and others to develop and scale shared solutions.
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 companies are not only attentive to the sustainability perspectives of a broad range of stakeholders, but also integrate that guidance into input informs business strategy and decision-making, companies they enhance their social license to operate and improve their overall corporate performance.
Increasingly, companies are formalizing engagement efforts, expanding the range of stakeholder groups they meet with, and stepping up efforts to integrate stakeholder input into strategic planning and operations. And investors, for their part, are beginning to recognize companies that routinely and proactively engage stakeholders on relevant sustainability issues are better positioned to mitigate risk and drive innovation.
Members of the Ceres Company Network regularly engage with key stakeholders to help identify key risks, set goals and targets and find smart business solutions to today’s biggest sustainability challenges.