Stakeholder engagement is critical to ST’s success. In the interconnected world we operate in today, it is essential that we open and maintain dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders to understand their expectations and concerns. We firmly believe that by knowing our stakeholders better, we are able to anticipate potential issues, and also understand how to achieve the right balance between various stakeholder needs and expectations. This is also the opportunity for us to explain our activity, constraints and achievements.
In 2010 we conducted a materiality exercise informed by our stakeholders’ expectations, in order to update our Sustainability Strategy. For more information on how we approached this exercise, please read the Sustainability Strategy page.
External Stakeholder survey
In 2012, we conducted our first formal stakeholder survey. Close to 170 stakeholders with links to ST’s departments were invited, including amongst others, customers, employees, suppliers, investors, SRI analysts, governmental representatives and NGOs. Approximately one third responded.
The objective of this survey was to obtain concrete feedback from stakeholders, which we can consider for future versions of ST’s Sustainability Strategy and Report. We also used the survey to identify a number of participants who would be willing to provide more detailed feedback.
|Feedback on Sustainability Strategy||Feedback on the Sustainability report|
ST Employee Engagement Survey
On a yearly basis, ST employees have the opportunity to share their thoughts, opinions and suggestions on items such as their day-to-day work, their direct manager or learning and development, through the company's engagement survey.
For more information, please read ST 2011 Sustainability report (pages 14-15).
Stakeholder engagement at company level
ST has developed a range of business processes and procedures that set out the rules and guidelines for engagement with stakeholders such as suppliers, employee representatives, customers, local authorities and academic institutions who are very important to the company as a whole.
To a large degree, stakeholder engagement is already integrated into our core business e.g. through partnerships with academic institutions and R&D laboratories for innovation. Our future challenge is to somehow capture this regular and sometimes informal dialogue for reporting purposes.
We also seek ad hoc advice and feedback from stakeholders with specialist knowledge when we are developing new sustainability programs or policies. For example, when we designed our new Human Resources/Social Policy in 2012 we sought input, among others, from F&C Asset Management who provided feedback on our policy and suggestions for how to improve it.
Specific focus on stakeholder engagement in the Supply Chain
ST has been a member of the EICC since 2005, participating in the collective efforts of the industry to work with stakeholders to find solutions to some of our biggest sustainability challenges, such as Conflict Minerals. ST plays an active role in the EICC, with an elected ST representative on the Board and involvement in several working groups dedicated to stakeholder engagement, validated audit process, working hours, etc.
In 2010 ST signed the Charter of “Ten Commitments for Responsible Purchasing”, an initiative launched by the “French Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment” and large French companies who are committed to improving their supplier relationships, especially those with small and medium-sized companies (VSE-SMEs).
The Charter, amongst other requirements, calls for large companies to appoint an internal Mediator in charge of facilitating the problem resolution between ST and its suppliers, when both parties, i.e. suppliers and purchasing department, have already attempted to resolve the situation through normal discussion, without any success.
For more information, please read Responsible Purchasing Charter@ST.
Stakeholder engagement at local level
The stakeholders we engage with vary from site to site or department to department depending on the type of activity undertaken. Therefore ST provides general guidelines, in line with our code of conduct, the 'Principles for Sustainable Excellence' and 'Sustainability Strategy’, in the form of a framework designed to help sites and departments identify their most significant stakeholders and the most appropriate method of engaging with them.
Using a robust network of Sustainable Excellence coordinators from across the company, the Corporate Sustainable Development Group is able to gather feedback, collect good practice and create specific guidelines on stakeholder engagement.