Stakeholder Engagement

The company discloses how the socially and economically relevant stakeholders are identified and integrated into the sustainability process. It states whether and how an ongoing dialogue takes place with them and how the results are integrated into the sustainability process.

How your company is seen and perceived by stakeholders can have a major influence on its business success. With their respective areas of expertise, stakeholders can help your company develop sustainability goals and solutions to sustainability problems. For example, suppliers can support the development of more sustainable products (see criterion 10). Stakeholders can additionally help you understand how you are perceived externally and react to market and societal developments in good time. This goes hand in hand with a suitably appreciative attitude towards these groups in order to foster such solution-oriented relations. Conversely, if little attention is paid to stakeholder management, stakeholders can also hinder a company in its activities and ongoing development, for example with employees simply doing the bare minimum, various stakeholders criticising your company or your products and services, or with legal action being taken immediately, rather than engaging in solution-oriented dialogue.

What needs to be borne in mind?
The focus here is on dialogue and cooperation. It is obviously important that you provide your company’s stakeholders with information about your contribution to sustainable development. Additionally, this criterion enquires about what form you give regular dialogue and how you use it to incorporate your stakeholders’ points of view and constructive criticism into your corporate processes. Examples of stakeholder engagement include internal newsletters, talks with the employees (see criterion 14), regular customer meetings, regular cooperation with media representatives and annual stakeholder days. Also state who from within the company participates in the dialogue formats and how you incorporate the findings into your company’s sustainability management.
Aspect 1:
State whether the company’s most important stakeholders have been identified and, if so, by what method.

Aspect 2:
Describe who these stakeholders are.

Aspect 3:
Describe what form you give dialogue with the stakeholders and how the results of this dialogue are used to further develop your company’s sustainability management.
Stakeholders are individuals or groups associated with the company who either have a bearing on its business activities or are influenced by its business activities, e.g. business partners, employees, clients and suppliers as well as municipalities, parties, associations, government bodies, non-governmental organisations, etc. (see criterion 2). A distinction is made between internal stakeholders, i.e. groups of people within the company (e.g. employees, executives, union representatives) and external stakeholders, in other words interest groups outside of the company (e.g. local residents, associations, media, competitors).

The sustainability process is the development and implementation of your company’s sustainability strategy.
Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-102-44: Key topics and concerns
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Key topics and concerns that have been raised through stakeholder engagement, including:
i. how the organization has responded to those key topics and concerns, including through its reporting;
ii. the stakeholder groups that raised each of the key topics and concerns.

cosnova GmbH

In order to be able to identify and interview the most important stakeholder groups within the framework of the development of cosnova's Sustainability Strategy, the following approach was implemented: For a comprehensive perspective of our stakeholders, the so-called stakeholder mapping criteria were applied. This means that appropriate representatives from all areas could be taken into account:

  •  Responsibility: obligations of cosnova (legal, financial) 
  •  Influence: influence on cosnova, decision-making authority   
  •  Proximity: frequent interactions, long-term relationships 
  •  Dependency: critical dependency on cosnova 
  •  Representation: representatives of entire stakeholder groups  
  •  Policy and strategic intent: influenced by cosnova's specifications/ values / early warning of emerging issues
This resulted in the following possible stakeholder categories for qualitative interviews:
  • Owners
  • Local authorities at key locations
  • Employee representatives
  • Consumer organizations
  • Business partners
o Distribution partners o Direct suppliers
  • Civil society
o Important NGOs, campaign organizations (with a thematic focus, for example, on health, human rights, water, packaging) o Science o Bloggers o Cosmetics industry  
  • Industry organizations
  • Competitors
In the next step of stakeholder selection, the criteria for selecting concrete interview partners were first defined (qualitatively). These criteria should be used to select contact persons, but they do not all have to be available and can also be combined with each other.  
  • Knowledge of the sustainability challenges and activities in the cosmetics industry
  • Knowledge of cosnova and its business activities
  • Expertise on a specific relevant topic area
  • Understanding and experience with comprehensive sustainability management
In general, a combination of existing and new contacts is desirable for such interviews. Existing contacts have a deeper understanding of the specific situation of cosnova, new contacts can reveal "blind spots" through their external view. The following qualitative approach was determined for the stakeholder interviews:
  • Interviews are conducted in accordance with a guideline, last approximately one to one and a half hours, and are documented according to a uniform template. 
  • Approach:
    • Before the interview:
A topic list was sent to the interviewee prior to the interview and was filled in and returned by the interviewee.
  • During the interview:
Block A: Prioritization of topics and discussion of the list of topics. Discussion of the prioritization with a focus on the most important and challenging topics (problem-centered approach)   Block B: Discussion of the recommendations/expectations for sustainability at cosnova. Targeted discussion regarding what the "next step" should be to further develop cosnova's sustainability performance.
    • At the end of each interview, there will be: 
A prioritized list of topics/ protocol on indications for the further development of cosnova's sustainability commitment The following possible stakeholder categories were defined for the quantitative survey:  
  • Employees
    • Own employees
    • (Employees at the business partners)
  • Consumers
An important part of the continuous dialogue and interaction with our stakeholders is the active participation in various industry initiatives that support sustainable management, such as the environmental and packaging initiative "Recycling Forum". There, 26 industrial partners (retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, brand owners, design agencies, waste disposal companies, government, communications agencies) are working on jointly defined goals relating to packaging recycling and the use of recyclates. A great deal of pioneering work still needs to be done, especially with regard to the use of recycled materials in cosmetic packaging, as approval and REACH conformity are still unclear. This is why we are committed to finding solutions for our market segment in order to sustainably improve the ecological balance of our products. The use of recyclates can save up to 80 percent energy in the extraction of raw materials and up to 60 percent CO2 emissions.

Visit company profile


Do you already know this function? Using the Code database, you can compare answers from different users and read what companies reported on individual criteria and performance indicators.
  More information