For PALFINGER it is important to consider the impacts of its own activities along the entire value chain. The involvement of stakeholders is essential. A new stakeholder survey conducted in 2017 revealed which sustainability topics should receive a stronger focus in the future.
PALFINGER defines its stakeholders as those legal entities or individuals who are in any way affected by its corporate activities and/or whose decision have an impact on us. Individual interests and claims are addressed as well balanced as possible. The most relevant internal and external stakeholders include the Palfinger family, employees, suppliers, customers, investors and the society.
Stakeholder survey 2017
In regular intervals (2-3 years), the PALFINGER Sustainability Team conducts a stakeholder survey – the first one was already in 2005. The purpose of the survey is to review and update the essential economic, social, ecological and ethical aspects. The many changes occurring in the company and its environment in recent years prompted us to carry out another survey. This is the only way to ensure that the focus is on the right topics.
The multi-stage process started in the spring of 2017. In the beginning, the sustainability topics were defined on the basis of various frameworks – the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Sustainability and Diversity Improvement Act (German: Nachhaltigkeits- und Diversitätsverbesserungsgesetz) were used as a basis. After the review with specialists, 38 topics were finally determined for evaluation. The quantitative survey was conducted among 625 international representatives of the most important stakeholder groups.
The following aspects assessed in this context were:
- significance of topics,
- long-term impacts of topics,
- previous engagement of the four sustainability areas,
- importance of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The response rate was 29 per cent and tripled compared to the previous survey by a higher population. This allowed us to determine the main sustainability topics even more precisely.
Materiality analysis 2017
The results of the stakeholder survey confirmed the previous material topics. These reflect in the four sustainability areas of PALFINGER: responsible employer, eco-efficiency in production, sustainable products and fair business. Therefore, it was not necessary to adjust internal and external key figures to control the individual topics. There was a change in the order of the main topics, whereby the relevance of these top issues generally rated higher. Because of the expansion of sustainability topics, the number of top issues has also increased from 12 to 13.
The top 13 sustainability topics are summarized in a materiality matrix with axis X for the “long-term impact” and axis Y for the “significance for stakeholders”:
PALFINGER’s previous commitment to the four sustainability areas was received well by our stakeholders. Particular emphasis is placed on the commitment to ‘sustainable products’ and ‘fair business’. However, there was a difference in perception between the internal and external evaluation. A future goal is to reduce these deviations.
The result of the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ evaluation will be published in a separate article. Look forward to a blog series in which PALFINGER’s contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is described in detail.
Integrated Annual Report 2017
Are you even more interested in PALFINGER’s sustainability? Then have a look at our new Integrated Annual Report 2017!