Dialogue with Sustainability Experts
Exchanges with internationally recognized sustainability experts play a special role in Henkel’s dialogue with its stakeholders. For the 2004 and 2005 Sustainability Reports, we asked experts from Brazil, China, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, and the USA to describe the challenges and priorities they see in their countries and regions. In 2007, we continued the regional dialogue with expert Dr. Allen White of the Tellus Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. At our sustainability press conference in Düsseldorf in March 2007, Dr. White and Brad Caspar, President and Chie. Executive Officer of our subsidiary The Dial Corporation, discussed current developments in the USA in the field of sustainability. In 2008, we invited John Elkington, founder and Chief Entrepreneur of the SustainAbility Agency, London, UK, to a workshop at our headquarters in Düsseldorf. In the context of his presentation, John Elkington described to Henkel sustainability experts the current challenges associated with the topic of sustainability. The panel also discussed risk and opportunities associated with intensified marketing communication of sustainability activities on brand and product level. In 2009, top managers from Henkel in Vienna, Austria, participated in a number of talks with scientists and economic experts. These discussions centered on the topic of establishing trust and security in economically difficult times.
We chose the experts on the basis of their knowledge of the challenges their countries face and their experience in corporate sustainability management. In the meantime, the experts in Italy and Mexico have continued their dialogue with the local Henkel managers. Through the exchange we are able to compare our corporate views of the global challenges with those of the experts. At the same time, the experts are able to gain greater insight into our activities and ideas. Overall, the expert dialogue helps us to adjust our alignment to sustainable development and social responsibility to reflect external expectations in the different regions, and to find the right answers – especially when it comes to developing appropriate solutions at the local level.
Results of Expert Dialogue
Collectively, the experts’ contributions present a balanced picture of the key issues in emerging economies and industrialized countries. It is clear that, while many of the challenges of sustainable development are similar everywhere, priorities and perspectives differ widely from region to region. Emerging economies, in particular, expect multinationals to contribute to the development of their countries. In industrialized countries, in contrast, maintaining competitiveness is increasingly becoming a key challenge. The table presents the results of our dialogue with the experts in condensed form and gives concrete examples of the varied expectations.
Based on the results of the dialogue, we have developed our Sustainability Reporting still further. The new reporting structure directly reflects the key areas identified in the dialogue and indicates the Company’s responses to the different regional and global challenges. This approach is intended to emphasize how seriously we take our corporate responsibilities and contribute to sustainable development.
|Key Areas||Expectations in Industrialized Countries||Expectations in Emerging Economies|
|Values and Management||
|Products and Marketing||
|Resource Efficiency and Climate Protection||
The above table presents a summary of the results of the expert dialogue and offers specific examples of the regionally differing expectations. The detailed version of the expert statements are provided below:
"Companies have operational responsibilities and citizenship opportunities.” more
“Changing behavior and developing knowledge” more
“Thinking ‘one world’ and servicing the same home” more
“Predict the future by creating it” more
“Trust takes years to build, but only a mistake or two to lose.” more
“Successful companies can exist only in successful and sustainable societies.” more
Henrique B. Cavalcanti | President of FUNATURA, former Minister of Environment and the Amazon, Chairman of the 3rd. Session, UN Commission on Sustainable Development
“Being a good citizen and an active participant in society.” more
“Recognizing and utilizing social challenges as a motor for sustainable product innovations.” more
“Accepting national challenges as a way to gaining public confidence.“ more