Recent posts on CR

As more companies put together stakeholder panels to provide ongoing input into sustainability strategic planning and reporting, the question arises: should stakeholders be paid to play?

Many of these panels are composed of well-known experts—in SRI, in supply chain, environmental issues, etc. These individuals have spent years in the field developing their knowledge base… which is precisely the reason their feedback can be a valuable reality check for companies (for example, see: Symantec’s Stakeholder Advisory Council or GE’s Expert Advisory Panel.)

So it seems apparent that there needs to be a way to appropriately compensate “stakeholders” for time and effort in providing counsel and advice. At the same time, companies need to protect against the perception of co-option or bias that a paid relationship might engender.

There are a variety of approaches currently in play: payment for travel and lodging,… More >

In part four of our series, we consider the importance of stakeholder input into the materiality analysis process.

Stakeholders—customers, employees, investors, communities, and suppliers, among others—play a pivotal role in influencing business decision making. They can exert both direct and indirect influence over a company’s success by, for example:

Restricting or providing access to financial, intellectual, or natural capital
Enhancing or damaging reputation
Facilitating or rescinding a company’s “license to operate”
Highlighting emerging opportunities or providing early warning signals on emerging risks
Diverting management attention from core activities
Impacting day-to-day operations through, for example, strikes, protests, or other campaigns

It is therefore vitally important to understand and balance stakeholders’ sometimes competing concerns within the context of a materiality analysis. Stakeholder input can be collected directly through, for example, customer and employee surveys, focus groups, interactions with regulators, and engagement with nongovernmental organizations and community members. Alternatively, companies may use… More >