Our Multi-Stakeholder Dialog

An open dialog with our external stakeholders such as suppliers, non-profit organizations (NPOs), other companies, and consumers enables us to review and optimize our work regularly. For example, in 2016 we conducted our first Sustainability-Roundtable in Hamburg. We use Materiality Analysis as a tool to ensure we work in a targeted way and focus on the right sustainability topics.

Stakeholder-Roundtable – Open Dialog on Sustainability

In November 2016 we invited raw materials and packaging suppliers, NPOs, retail partners, and sustainability experts from other multinational and global companies to our first Multi-Stakeholder Dialog in Hamburg. The main topic of the Roundtable was “Responsibility in the Supply Chain”. The goal of this new event format was to openly discuss with each other, learn from each other, and to create opportunities together in order to make our supply chain even more sustainable. Intensive dialog at this event with our partners and sustainability experts from other organizations and companies helped us weigh up alternatives, discuss new options for action, and identify global similarities and differences.

Intensive Exchange on Potential Solutions

The discussion highlighted the complexity of long supply chains, amongst other factors. We learned about the difficulties companies are facing in trying to guarantee sustainability in their upstream supply chains. In addition, the participants discussed how sustainability can be anchored most effectively at all management levels in a company. The expert group also debated other specific questions, such as the interaction between the implementation of sustainability certification systems on the one hand, and on the other the commitment to smallholder farming projects that improve local cultivation conditions – for instance in the cultivation of palm (kernel) oil, cotton and tea. Close collaboration with strategic suppliers, who were selected with regards to their sustainability performance, was identified as a key success factor. In addition, sector-specific and cross-sector cooperation plays an important role in jointly strengthening the sustainable cultivation of raw materials.

Positive Outcome – To Be Continued

For us this first Roundtable was thoroughly worthwhile. By gaining an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing our suppliers, as well as the perspectives of NPOs and other companies, we were able to generate valuable proposals for raising our supply chain sustainability.
In this context, we are also engaged in various multistakeholder initiatives such as AIM-PROGRESS, FONAP, RSPO and Sedex to achieve synergy effects and further develop sustainability aspects all along the global supply chain.

The following graph shows an overview of our stakeholders and how we interact with them:   

Stakeholder Diagram