An open, trusting and regular dialogue with advocates and interest groups forms the basis for Haniel's CR strategy as well as for society's acceptance of business decisions. At the same time, the exchange provides vital inspiration for the continued development of sustainability management.

Not only the Holding Company, but also the divisions are involved in a constant dialogue with their stakeholders. The Management Board regularly reports to the Supervisory Board – which is composed in equal part of shareholder representatives and employee representatives – on the state of the Holding Company and the various divisions. The Advisory Board is elected by the Shareholders' Meeting and helps to facilitate communication between the Company's governing bodies and the family. Owners receive timely information in the "Family Call". In addition to one-on-one meetings, the Holding Company has also established the "Investor Call" to offer a similar format for its lenders. Moreover, the corporate website also offers a broad communications platform to address all interest groups. Among other things, the annual press conference to discuss the financial statements is also broadcast via website. Employees can find basic and current information about the Company on an internal communications and work platform. Moreover, the annual employee review, management conferences, dialogue events and employee survey which is regularly conducted by the Holding Company offer opportunities for constant exchange.

Systematic dialogue with stakeholders

The inspiration provided through the various formats gives us constant insight into what stakeholders expect and need from the Holding Company. In addition, we carry out systematic analyses in the form of surveys. In the course of reviewing our Materiality Matrix we sought out structured dialogue with our stakeholders in the beginning of 2019. How satisfied are they with the Holding Company's efforts to enhance sustainability thus far? What do they like in particular and where is there potential for improvement? In addition, we asked participants how they would prioritise relevant topics for the Haniel Holding Company in an online survey.

In advance of the survey, we identified five key stakeholder groups based on our business model as a strategic management holding company.

Systematic dialogue with stakeholders

For the Haniel Holding Company, the divisions play a key role because they are responsible for their own operations and they interact with many other players, such as customers and suppliers, in their respective markets. The survey covered executives from each division as representatives of the investment portfolio. From the employees' perspective, the opinions of selected executive and non-executive staff and prospective Holding Company employees were surveyed. The investor side of our survey covered members of the Haniel family, who have pledged to uphold the same values as the Company. Banks and rating agencies completed the picture as lenders. Standing in for society as a whole, media representatives and local and regional organisations were invited to express their opinions on the Haniel Holding Company.

Stakeholder expectations

More than 80 per cent of those surveyed are satisfied with the Haniel Holding Company's efforts to ensure sustainability. Stakeholders expect us to keep working to develop the divisions' commitment to CR. In addition, they expect us to continue to factor in not only the financial and strategic aspects when acquiring and selling companies but also environmental and social concerns. Stakeholders also consider it vital that we structure our business activities in line with the Haniel Values, which need to be integrated into the divisions' respective codes of conduct. Stakeholders also consider the Holding Company to be very important as an employer: with respect to professional and personal HR development . The results of the most recent stakeholder survey were compiled into a new Materiality Matrix.

This section includes the following GRI indicators: