New challenges which the business has to face today are connected with the dialogue expected by the society which use the privilege of commenting on operations of different companies using Facebook or YouTube. The two-way communication allows for learning the expectations of stakeholder on the one hand, and present the actions which the company undertakes for the benefit of the society, on the other.
The Eurobarometer shows that stakeholders are interested in socially responsible actions which are carried out by the business. In the U.S., as much as 87% of the society expects such information; in the UE and in Poland this indicator is 73%.
From October to November 2015 Raben Group ran a project of dialogue sessions carried out according to AA1000SES Standard. Stakeholders from three locations have been invited to participate: from Gądki, Straszyn and Grodzisk Mazowiecki. They included service providers for Raben Group, employees, representative of local communities and authorities. The aim of the project Common Road is to get to know the needs and expectations of representatives of the local community, service providers and neighbours, as well as to:
- inform interested groups of stakeholders about the objectives and directions of company development,
establish an information exchange system within the consultation programme and inform interested target groups about the possibility of active involvement in the decision-making process to a certain extent,
gather opinions of interested social groups - requirements, expectations, needs, ideas about the company, its presence in the local community, possibilities of cooperation, etc.,
Awareness of positive and negative impact on the environment plays the key role
in building transparent and ethical behaviours in business. Taking a decision to start a dialogue with stakeholders was an important step on the road to responsible and transparent management of relations with neighbours. Referring to the established Standard AA1000 allowed for defining priorities and abiding by the important rules of accountability. What is more, the engagement of key persons in the organization highlighted the importance of the project and was visible in improving it - says Łukasz Smolarek, Managing Director of White Leaf, co-organizer of the project.
During the dialogue sessions we have talked with over one hundred stakeholders who shared their observations of Raben Group as a neighbour. We have noted many needs of local communities. We have heard quite a few interesting ides for cooperation. I am sure that the dialogue will let us run our business in a more sustainable manner and will contribute to operational improvements inside the company – comments Marta Szymborska, PR and CSR Manager in Raben Group.