We must consider and take necessary action to meet the needs and expectations of our stakeholders. By understanding the sustainability issues that are of greatest concern to them, we can make sure that we focus on the issues that will be most important to the future of our Business, and our long-term sustainable growth, through the management of our sustainability programme.
To achieve this, we maintain a culture of open communication with our internal and external stakeholders, regularly holding face to face meetings, hosting webinars and training sessions, attending events and seeking feedback. Throughout the year, we engaged in direct communication with the following stakeholder groups:
Further information on our approach to stakeholder engagement can be found in the Sustainability Report.
We ensure our policies are consistent with the spirit and intent of ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at work, where applicable to business. Our Group Policy on Trade Union Membership states that Croda International Plc recognises that all its employees have the right to freedom of association. The Company will not interfere in the legitimate activities of Trades Unions at Croda sites.
The Company recognises that every employee has the right to join or remain a member of a Trade Union if they wish to do so. Equally the Company recognises that every employee has the right not to join or to leave a Trade Union if they wish to do so. The Company will not seek to persuade any employee, potential or otherwise, to join or leave any Trade Union or other workers’ association.
Collective bargaining agreements are managed individually at each manufacturing site between the site and the corresponding unions. As such, the Company does not hold a central record of how many employees are covered by such agreements.
Key stakeholder engagement areas are:
regular engagement with our employees on performance, policies and issues relating to meeting personal and business needs
Further information on who we have engaged with throughout the year can be found in the Sustainability Report.
In 2014, we conducted an external stakeholder survey with our employees, customers, suppliers and local communities, which focused on the issues addressed our sustainability programme and a supplementary internal survey took place in 2015. The outcome of the survey was used to determine the relevance and robustness of our Material Areas and informed our updated Materiality Matrix. Please see GRI General Disclosure 102-44 for more information.
Additional stakeholder engagement activities this year included:
Further information on our engagement activities throughout the year can be found on page 30 of the 2017 Sustainability Report.
Our Materiality was established in 2011 and then revised in 2012 following our first external sustainability survey. In 2014, we conducted another external stakeholder survey with our employees, customers, suppliers and local communities to determine the relevance and robustness of our Material Areas and inform our Priority Matrix. We supplemented these findings with another internal survey in 2015.
Some key highlights for our surveys include:
The surveys allow us to gain a greater understanding of our customers’ sustainability priorities, and the results confirmed that our approaches and focus areas are largely aligned. However, the survey did highlight some key areas for development, which have been actioned accordingly.
This demonstrates that by asking and listening to our stakeholders, we can ensure that we are focusing on the topics of most interest and importance to them.