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Stakeholder engagement is a continuous and integral part of our everyday business practices. Our Sustainability Report is one tool we use to engage with our stakeholders. This year we conducted certain stakeholder engagements specifically as part of the preparation for our 2014 Sustainability Report:

  • We received feedback on our 2013 Sustainability Report through our website and used this to ensure key issues were covered in the 2014 Report
  • In May 2014, we conducted a workshop in Geneva with members of our Stakeholder Panel representing employees, customers, investors, socially responsible investors, suppliers, NGOs and academics to discuss our materiality process, our approach to reporting, the development of our carbon neutral strategy, wider discussion on talent retention and women in leadership, and the development of our global community engagement strategy
  • A session at the Euroforum (European Works Council) workshop in October 2014 focused on responding to a set of questions prepared by Council members. The questions centred on three broad themes: business strategy, leadership and principles; people management; and improving systems and processes
  • We conducted one-to-one interviews with around 40 senior management to seek their input on key topics to discuss in the 2014 Report. The interviews also provided insight into the most important sustainability issues for management which fed into our materiality review process
  • We shared our sustainability reporting approach with different audiences during the year, including post-graduate students on an executive management course at the University of Geneva and delegates attending the Lundquist annual reporting conference

We would like to thank our stakeholders for their helpful feedback in 2014, in particular our Stakeholder Panel members, who generously gave their time to help us make our reporting more responsive to stakeholder needs.

In the following section we have listed the type and frequency of engagement by stakeholder group, key issues raised in 2014 and our responses.


This webpage includes information on “G4” General Standard Disclosures G4-25, G4-26 and G4-27. See Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for further details on the alignment of the Sustainability Report to “G4”.

The content of this webpage has been verified and assured.

  • Senior Management

    Means of Engagement Examples in 2014 Frequency
    Face-to-face meetings Meetings of the Sustainability Steering Committee Biannual
    Reports of the Group Vice President Corporate Sustainability to the CEO Periodic
    One-to-one interviews with senior management in preparation for the 2014 sustainability report Annual

    Key issues raised in 2014

    Issue: during 2014, several topics were discussed with senior management. In addition to new services linked to sustainability, particular attention was paid to the evolution of our sustainability vision, which a number of senior managers provided input on; issues relating to ensuring integrity in everything we do; promoting diversity and equal opportunities in the network; embedding safety and health; and harnessing innovation linked to new technologies and services such as carbon capture and storage.

    Our response: the topics were fed into our materiality matrix as part of our 2014 materiality review. In addition, we have presented a series of leadership perspectives in our 2014 Sustainability Review. These introduce management opinion on many of the topics discussed in the senior management interviews, including the opportunities and challenges linked to: reinforcing integrity at every opportunity; the development of services linked to carbon capture and storage; promoting gender diversity in multinational corporations; embedding a universal safety culture; driving energy efficiency through our services and our operations; and pursuing a circular economy as a catalyst for product design and innovation.


  • Employees

    Means of Engagement Examples in 2014 Frequency
    Survey CATALYST engagement survey Annual
    Sustainability e-learning Ongoing
    Face-to-face meetings The sustainability team conducted more than 100 meetings with employees and subcontractors in 2014 Ongoing
    Internal workshops Seven sustainability workshops were conducted in local affiliates Periodic
    Teamsites 56 local sustainability teamsites are used by affiliates to communicate progress and share best practice Ongoing
    HR engagement – includes internal workshops, face-to-face meetings and e-learning SHINE onboarding program (for new employees) Ongoing
    Performance reviews Annual
    Learning and development programs Ongoing
    Annual Integrity Training workshops and e-learning Annual
    Internal campaigns Rules for Life Ongoing
    Safety Day Annual
    Spot the Orange Dot Ongoing
    Corporate Communications Lower Carbon Day Ongoing
    SGS Intranet
    SGS Inside newsletter and local affiliate newsletters Ongoing
    Social media Ongoing
    Formal consultation Euroforum (Employee Works Council) Periodic
    Staff Committee (SGS China and Hong Kong) Periodic

    Key issues raised in 2014

    CATALYST survey

    Issue: as in 2013, employees would like a better understanding of the direction of the company and its long-term vision, beyond simply financial performance. For a topline summary of responses to the 2014 CATALYST survey, see our 2014 Sustainability Review.

    Internal sustainability workshops

    Issue: workshop participants, representing employees from our affiliates engaged in sustainability initiatives, would like more sharing of best practice as well as practical checklists, technical notes and web tools.

    Our response: we have provided participants with access to the relevant people and key materials on topics they are interested in.


  • Customers

    Means of Engagement Examples in 2014 Frequency
    Face-to-face meetings Site visits and business meetings are part of our everyday business Ongoing
    Survey Voice of the Customer satisfaction survey for key international customers at corporate and local levels Annual
    Questionnaires Sustainability questionnaires, as part of the customers’ supply chain management practices Periodic
    Company brochures and newsletters SGS ‘Hot Source’ food industry newsletter; Supply Chain and Sustainability Solutions for the Footwear Industry Periodic
    Trade shows, conferences and seminars SGS Indonesia’s 12th Quality Network Conference; Food Quality Network Forum in the Philippines; Seminar on Juvenile and Childcare Products Regulations Periodic
    White papers and thought leadership White paper on ‘Responsible Sourcing in Newly Emerging Economies’ and ‘Management of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Consumer Products’ Periodic

    Key issues raised in 2014

    Sustainability reporting

    Issues: the importance of reporting on SGS services with sustainability benefits; materials and energy use; climate change and carbon emissions; employee health and safety, diversity and equal opportunities; training and education and the human rights of employees within SGS.

    Our response: these items are reported on in our 2014 Sustainability Report – see Ethical Conduct, Sustainability Services, Energy and Climate Change, Talent Acquisition and Development, Workplace Diversity and Operational Integrity.

    Collaboration opportunities

    Issue: potential opportunities linked to our sustainability services were proposed by customers.

    Our response: we review opportunities on a case-by-case basis.


  • Industry Peers, Trade Bodies and Associations

    Means of Engagement Examples in 2014 Frequency
    Face-to-face meetings and conferences As we serve a wide variety of industries, each business line engages with relevant trade bodies Ongoing
    Corporate website Information on SGS, our aims, business lines and the industries we serve is available on our website Ongoing

    Best practice sharing

    Issue: trade bodies and associations expressed an interest in sharing best practice on our sustainability approach.

    Our response: we share best practice through face-to-face meetings and by providing thought leadership articles and webinars.


  • Suppliers, Business Partners and Consultants

    Means of Engagement Examples in 2014 Frequency
    Questionnaires and Invitations to Suppliers Sustainability screening questionnaire sent to newly acquired businesses; suppliers in North America were invited to participate in our new Supplier Diversity Program Periodic
    Site visits and face-to-face meetings The Supplier Innovation Club was launched and the first meeting took place in Geneva Periodic

    Supplier assessment process

    Issue: responses to the sustainability screening questionnaire for newly acquired companies were reviewed as part of our due diligence process. We will continue to collaborate with suppliers through initiatives such as our Supplier Innovation Club and Supplier Diversity Program and, with the newly appointed Sustainability Manager, Sustainable Supply Chain, we plan further engagement with suppliers from 2015 which will feed into our materiality process.

    Our response: we will continue to engage with suppliers across multiple platforms and initiatives as part of our supplier management approach in 2015.


  • Shareholders

    Means of Engagement Examples in 2014 Frequency
    Face-to-face meetings and responses to information requests A range of briefings and presentations are conducted each year by senior management Regular
    Investor days In 2014, investor days were hosted in China and Hong Kong on October 23 and 24 2014 Annual
    Annual General Meeting The Annual General Meeting took place on March 12 2014 Annual
    Annual Report See Financial Reports Annual
    Half year results presentation See Financial Reports Annual

    Opportunities related to sustainability services

    Issue: at the investor days there were more than 20 presentations and a number of visits to SGS sites and laboratories in three locations. The focus was broadly on three areas: 1) Opportunities from the liberalization of the Chinese domestic market, 2) Key divisions, 3) A focus on innovation, ranging from capability enhancements from key recent acquisitions to various internal initiatives such as innovation teams which are developing ideas linked to the use of drones and the tracking of art works.

    Our response: we will continue to pursue opportunities in services related to sustainability, as part of our role in contributing to a more sustainable society.


  • Financial Community and Socially Responsible Investors

    Means of Engagement Examples in 2014 Frequency
    Questionnaires and information requests In 2014 we responded to sustainability questionnaires aimed at supporting socially responsible investment, including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Oekom, EthiFinance, Vigeo, Trucost, Fondation Guilé, and Sustainalytics Periodic
    Annual Report

    See Financial Reports

    Briefings and presentations These include face-to-face briefings by senior management, analyst reports and financial reports on the Investor Relations section of our corporate website Ongoing

    Sustainability reporting

    Issue: some ratings agencies asked for greater reporting on certain issues, particularly governance and risk, and sustainability services.

    Our response: we continue to report on these issues – see Governance on Sustainability IssuesManaging Risks and Opportunities and Sustainability Services.


  • Media

    Means of Engagement Examples in 2014 Frequency
    Social media, briefings and press releases During 2014, we posted 122 sustainability messages via social media (Facebook, GooglePlus, LinkedIn, Slideshare and Twitter) which resulted in more than 1.7 million views. In addition, we published various press releases and other materials on our sustainability performance, our services linked to sustainability, details of changes to legislation and standards, and events hosted by SGS. All these are available through the Press Room and News Center Ongoing

    Supply chain audits

    Issue: no particular sustainability issues relating to our company or our sector were highlighted in the media. The most popular social media posts included messages around Earth Day and the Global Corporate Challenge.

    Our response: we will continue to publish at least weekly sustainability messages through social media channels in addition to releases via our Press Room.


  • Special Interest Groups, NGOS and Academics

    Means of Engagement Examples in 2014 Frequency
    Face-to-face meetings and workshops We have a long-standing relationship with Geneva University. In 2014, we presented to the students on what sustainability means for SGS Annual
    We engaged with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) on Energy Efficiency in Buildings projects and others Periodic
    We spoke at conferences, and conducted several meetings with individual NGOs, on our Energy Efficiency in Buildings projects and philanthropy Periodic
    Questionnaires and information requests In 2014 we responded to sustainability questionnaires aimed at supporting socially responsible investment, including the Carbon Disclosure Project Periodic


    Issue: WBCSD members were interested in learning more about our work on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.

    Our response: in 2015, SGS will take the lead on the WBCSD EEB 2.0 India project to promote energy efficiency in buildings to stakeholders and help unlock opportunities linked to EEB. We will also act as a co-organizer of the EEB 2.0 Benelux project which is taking place in early 2015.


  • Local Communities

    Means of Engagement Examples in 2014 Frequency
    Projects We support more than 150 community projects at both the local and corporate level. In 2014, these included a collaboration with the Learning Farm in Indonesia to help vulnerable youth to develop enterprising skills, and working with AVEC to help children in Cambodia escape from the risk of child trafficking Ongoing
    Survey Our Community Survey gathered feedback on over 90 community projects Annual
    Face-to-face meetings Presentations from prospective global charity partners were held in November and December 2014 Periodic

    Disaster relief

    Issue: in May 2014, SGS employees and their families in the Balkans were affected by severe flooding and landslides. An emergency fund was set up to support victims of the disaster.

    Our response: SGS coordinated a global appeal to channel donations from employees, with the amount raised being matched at corporate level.


  • Authorities, Governments and Regulators

    Means of Engagement Examples in 2014 Frequency
    Face-to-face meetings and workshops In October 2014, we hosted a compliance seminar for regulators on revisions to the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) in the United Kingdom Periodic
    Written communication Brochures such as “Layer4 Insight” on regulatory enforcement in telecoms sector Periodic

    Unregulated telecommunications

    Issue: unregulated telecommunications can incur financial loss, present risk to inward investment and, ultimately, obstruct socio-economic initiatives.

    Our response: we offer Layer4, a fully managed, end-to-end service to provide visibility on call behavior, enabling regulatory authorities to govern telecommunications services.


  • Unions and Works Councils

    Means of Engagement Examples in 2014 Frequency
    Face-to-face meetings and briefings and conference calls Euroforum (European Works Council) in Croatia (October 2014) Periodic
    Staff Committee in China (April 2014) Periodic

    Material issues for sustainability reporting

    Issue: a session at the Euroforum (European Works Council) workshop in October 2014 focused on updates from the CEO and senior management on the business strategy, sustainability, HR and operational integrity. Twenty questions to management were prepared by Euroforum members on behalf of their constituents. These broadly centered on three topics: Business vision and the strategic plan; employee engagement, consultation and learning and development; and improvements to internal systems and processes.

    Our response: the management has prepared formal responses to the questions which will be shared with Euroforum members.