The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How Athens International Airport is promoting customer and public safety

As Greece’s busiest airport, facing continuous increases in passenger traffic, safety is the top material issue for Athens International Airport (AIA). As a result, AIA takes both preventive and corrective measures regarding safety  Tweet This!, emergency planning and preparedness, developing and maintaining a safe and resilient airport operating environment.

This case study is based on the 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report by AIA published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate that CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly is achieved by identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment and stakeholders and by measuring, managing and changing.

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Customer and public safety is unquestionably the top priority for AIA as Greece’s busiest airport, facing constant increases in both domestic and international passengers. After measuring and setting targets, AIA took action to improve safety management through a number of initiatives such as a Safety Action Plan launched in the 2nd quarter of 2014, deliver crisis management training and, also, promote airport security and fire safety, as well as customer and public health, safety and hygiene – in 2014, 149 health and safety inspections were carried out at the Airport premises –, in addition to practicing emergency exercises.

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report AIA identified a range of material issues, such as operational readiness & resilience, economic performance, socio-economic impact, noise, local communities, market presence. Among these, customer and public safety stands out as the top material issue for both the airport and its several and diverse stakeholders (passengers, airlines, employees, suppliers, state authorities, shareholders and the local community).

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups AIA engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Employees ·         Labour relations

·         Employee Surveys

Users & Handlers



·         Bilateral Meetings

·         User Committees

·         Customer Surveys



·         Bilateral Meetings

·         Joint Business Activities

·         Customer Surveys

State Authorities



·         HCAA / Ministry

·         Committees

·         Crisis Management

·         Regulatory Audits

Local Community ·         Meetings with representatives

·         Joint Activities

Int’l Aviation Community ·         ACI Committees

·         Routes Conferences

Greater Society


·         Publications

·         Business networking

·         Social contribution



·         Bilateral Meetings

·         Contract Terms

Passengers ·         Passenger Surveys

·         Passenger Comment Management

·         I-mind

Shareholders ·         Board Meetings

·         Governance Structure

Airlines ·         Bilateral Meetings

·         User Committees

·         Customer Surveys

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

AIA is committed to engaging stakeholders in a balanced and respectful way, comprehending their needs and expectations and integrating this input in its strategy development and deployment. The company has established mechanisms for capturing stakeholder feedback (joint committees, regular workshops, customer surveys and complaint management, telephone line for local community etc.), evaluating and responding to the feedback through management actions.

AIA’s operational success is founded on stakeholder cooperation. Cooperation with customers and business partners is facilitated by a structure of engagement practices (committees, exercises, workshops, joint activities etc.) further to the day-to-day interfaces. On a local community level, the constant dialogue with authorities and representatives helps in the identification of the material sustainability issues and the prioritization of challenges and opportunities, by means of a perspective of mutual trust and understanding. In 2014, 255 meetings were held with representatives from local authorities, associations, schools and individuals. On a wider society level, AIA engages passengers and other consumers using various feedback mechanisms, aiming at the compilation of evaluation data used for planning improvement actions. As AIA highly values passenger perception, it carries out a daily monitor survey called Passenger Survey, addressing 40,000 passengers on an annual basis who evaluate airport performance and express their expectations and needs. For more in-depth analysis, AIA also conducts a Quality Monitor Survey that monitors performance trends and passengers’ drivers, whose findings remain a main passenger satisfaction measurement tool for AIA and its business partners. AIA also operates a passenger comment management service through “Your Opinion Counts” brochures, available both at the premises and electronically through its corporate website. In 2014 there were 3,543 comments from 1,776 passengers.

What actions were taken by AIA to promote customer and public safety?

In its 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report AIA set the following targets for promoting customer and public safety, based on the company’s approach to materiality – on taking action on what matters, where it matters:

  • Taking safety management initiatives

In December 2014 the new edition of the Aviation Safety Management System Manual (ASMSM), as part of the Aerodrome Operations Manual (Volume I), was approved by HCAA, which is in line with the new version of ICAO’s Doc. 9859, Safety Management Manual and Annex 19, Safety Management. Also, in the 2nd quarter of 2014 a Safety Action Plan was launched (following approval by the Safety Review Committee), setting a series of actions for widening the SMS (Safety Management System) scope while achieving a more “in-depth” implementation of its core elements.

  • Delivering crisis management training

In 2014, within the framework of the HCAA Basic Ground Handling Regulation, training for the Airport Emergency Plan (AEP) was delivered to Emirates Airline and Aegean Airlines/Olympic Air personnel as well as the Ground Handling companies. TRIAGE support familiarization was offered to Baggage Handling System (BHS) volunteers by the Airport Services of Emergency Medical Care (ASEMC) paramedics for the set-up of triage tent and the deployment of the medical equipment. A workshop titled “Platforms for Radiological Emergency Preparedness and Post-Accident Response in Europe” was organized by the National Center for Scientific Research ‘Demokritos’ and, also, AIA employees were offered training on CMC information management and Emergency Management Supervisors on the removal of disabled aircraft.

  • Promoting airport security and fire safety

The Airport Security Programme (ASP) provides the framework for implementing security processes at the airport operations (such as passenger and hand-baggage screening, hold baggage screening, access control, security controls at critical areas, issuance of entrance permits for non-public airport areas) and is aligned with the National Civil Aviation Security Regulation (NCASR), the best practices recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO-Annex 17), the European Civil Aviation Council (ECAC-Annex 30) and the EU Regulation (185/2010). The Airport Security System’s reliability and effectiveness is frequently audited by the relevant security department of HCAA. Specifically, during 2014 two (2) security inspections were successfully carried out, involving AIA’s security staff and systems, whilst three (3) security inspections were conducted in the sector of the Airport’s Known Suppliers’ operation and in the processes followed by AIA for their nomination in the same period. The Extra Schengen passenger and hand luggage centralized security system became operational in December, bringing about passengers, stakeholders and airport staff satisfaction and favourable comments as a result of a remarkable improvement for airport operations and passenger experience. AIA’s fire prevention regulations adhere to the Airport Development Agreement (ADA) provisions, as well as to Greek and EU legal requirements on transport, construction and fire prevention. In addition, specific procedures apply for all airport infrastructure including buildings, systems, equipment and operational flows (e.g. technical works). Compliance is achieved through intensive training and purpose-specific exercises and verified internally by fire system audits and externally by the Airport Hellenic Fire Corps (AHFC). In 2014, fourteen (14) training sessions were conducted and two (2) evacuation drills were successfully carried out.

  • Promoting customer and public health, safety and hygiene

In 2014, 149 health and safety inspections took place at the Airport premises and the subsequent recommendations for corrective actions were communicated to relevant departments and monitored for implementation. Moreover, regular inspections in technical and public areas guarantee that both AIA’s and contractors’ personnel comply with corporate health and safety rules. AIA’s target is to achieve zero incidents for either employees or the travelling public and most of its efforts and available resources are directed towards this objective. As AIA is responsible for the health and safety performance of third parties operating at its premises, in order to ensure that health and safety regulations are properly implemented AIA incorporates pertinent clauses in all its contracts with third parties. During 2014, 201 health and safety plans and 14 Safety Management Systems of third parties were reviewed and 20 audits took place in companies engaged in security, maintenance, ground handling, cargo and retail services at the Airport.

  • Practicing safety exercises

A number of safety exercises took place throughout 2014, including the Airport Services Operation Center (ASOC) evacuation exercise in April, the crisis and media communications table-top exercise in cooperation with HCAA, Airport Hellenic Police, Airport Hellenic Fire Corps, Airport Services of Emergency Medical Care, Airline Operators Committee, Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board and Aegean Airlines in June and, in compliance with relevant ICAO requirements, a Full Scale Emergency Exercise in November.

Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?

The GRI indicators/Standards addressed in this case are:

1) G4-PR1: Percentage of significant product and service categories for which health and safety impacts are assessed for improvement – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 416-1 Assessment of the health and safety impacts of product and service categories

2) G4-PR2: Total number of incidents of non-compliance with regulations and voluntary codes concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services during their life cycle, by type of outcomes – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 416-2 Incidents of non-compliance concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services



1) This case study was compiled using published information by AIA which is located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses but made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original please revert to the following link: (June 2015)




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