Instruments of Stakeholder Management
Interaction with our stakeholders
Different communication tools for different stakeholder groups
Our stakeholders include numerous groups, such as employees, customers, shareholders, local residents and local authorities, suppliers, local, regional, national and European politicians and regulators, media and NGOs. These groups are extremely diverse and have different needs, interests and questions. Therefore, different stakeholder groups are addressed by different departments or organizational units within Wienerberger, and our communication instruments vary accordingly: In addition to personal meetings, we communicate and provide information through regular newsletters and information brochures, Internet-based information platforms and information events.
We adjust our contacts with neighbors, local politicians and associations to local traditions – sometimes opting for strictly formalized stakeholder committees as a framework for structured exchanges, sometimes choosing a more informal setting. Regardless of the specific mode of contact, the most important point for Wienerberger is to present itself as a company that is open and transparent in its relations with stakeholders and takes their concerns seriously.
Communication with our employees
Our employees are kept informed of corporate targets and strategies as well as current developments and measures in a timely and comprehensive fashion, the aim being to provide a motivating working environment and stimulate personal initiative. To this end, we use various internal media, such as the regular letter from the CEO, our iComm Intranet platform, local employee magazines and internal departmental newsletters, such as Engineering or Marketing. Via our innovation platform “ideas & more”, our employees can contribute their own ideas which, if implemented, will be rewarded. For further internal communication measures and measures taken to actively involve our employees, please refer to the chapter on “Employees”.
Communication with final customers, distributers, developers, designers and contractors
Our customers – final customers as well as building material dealers, developers, designers and contractors – are all interested in high-quality, durable and affordable products for buildings that ensure a safe, healthy and comfortable environment. In order to even better understand our customers’ concerns and to adapt our products to their needs, engaging in continuous dialogue with them is very important for us. We also inform our customers about the technical, ecological and economic properties of our products through information brochures, through our presence at trade fairs and training events, and via the Internet. Training programs and advice provided by our service centers enable our customers to make the most of our products and system solutions.
Communication with shareholders, analysts and banks
Capital market participants – shareholders, analysts and banks – are interested primarily in a sustainable performance of the company. Comprehensive and transparent reporting as well as timely communication and a regular exchange of information with the Managing Board are of crucial importance for them. These requirements are met through our annual and quarterly reports, presentations, and press releases on current developments. Roadshows, participation in investor conferences, personal talks, and the annual Capital Markets Day are instruments well suited to ensure a continuous and active dialogue with all capital market participants.
Communication with suppliers
Suppliers are particularly interested in fair business relations. Wienerberger’s interest lies in the long-term and sustainable supply of the required natural resources, materials and products in accordance with the principles of sustainability. Within the framework of our business relations, we make sure that our suppliers comply with our ecological and social standards, which we clearly communicate to them. Pipelife, for instance, has laid down these standards in the “Pipelife Code of Conduct” to be signed by suppliers upon conclusion of a contract.
Communication with the media
The media expect targeted and timely information on strategic and current issues. We, for our part, expect to be given fair media coverage. With a view to satisfactory cooperation, we try to keep the media informed through press releases and press conferences, answer journalists’ questions as quickly as possible, and allow enough time for a meaningful exchange of ideas in personal interviews.
Communication with policy-makers
Policy-makers determine the legal framework and thereby exert a major influence on the entrepreneurial environment for Wienerberger. To a growing extent, we have been publicly advocating the provision of affordable and social housing in Europe. Moreover, we are trying to convince policy-makers of the need for state aid to renovation measures and the construction of (water) supply and disposal networks in Western and Eastern Europe. Wienerberger therefore participates in the work of various international organizations (see below). The members of the Managing Board regularly meet with high-ranking politicians and representatives of the public administration.
Communication with neighbors, communities, local authorities and NGOs
Local residents, local authorities and NGOs are also among our important stakeholders. Every production site is a neighbor, a local employer and a taxpayer. Good and trusting relationships not only with neighbors, but also with local government authorities, associations and citizen initiatives are essential for a stable production environment. With this in mind, Wienerberger wants to be a good neighbor because we regard ourselves as a valuable member of each community in which we operate.