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:
- Local authorities at key locations
- Employee representatives
- Consumer organizations
- Business partners
o Distribution partners o Direct suppliers
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
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.
A topic list was sent to the interviewee prior to the interview and was filled in and returned by the interviewee.
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:
- Own employees
- (Employees at the business partners)
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.
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