The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Home / case studies / Case study: How BorsodChem promotes employee development

Case study: How BorsodChem promotes employee development

BorsodChem is one of the leading plastic raw material and inorganic chemical producers in Europe, supplying high-quality MDI, TDI, PVC and chloralkali products to downstream industries, particularly the construction, automotive, furniture and clothing industries. BorsodChem places a great focus on the development of its employees, believing that a well-trained professional and managerial staff is one of the prerequisites for safe, long-term, effective and successful operations.

This case study is based on the 2018 Sustainability Report by BorsodChem published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

Layout 1Abstract

Recruiting and retaining a motivated, committed and highly skilled workforce is a top priority for BorsodChem.  Tweet This! Accordingly, based on the results of satisfaction surveys among the participants of training courses, feedback from the annual employee satisfaction survey and the evolution of operational needs, BorsodChem continuously expands its internal and external training offerings. In order to promote employee development BorsodChem took action to:

  • develop new employees
  • promote leadership skills
  • develop internal professional and on-the-job training
  • evaluate employees’ performance

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report BorsodChem identified a range of material issues, such as economic performance, energy, emissions, occupational health and safety, local communities, effluents and waste. Among these, promoting employee development stands out as a key material issue for BorsodChem.

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 reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

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 BorsodChem engages with:

To identify and prioritise material topics BorsodChem engaged with its stakeholders through the following channels:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Employees ·      Intranet, information displays

·      Negotiations with representative bodies

·      Roundtable discussions with executives, HR Let’s Chat programmes on site

·      Employee forums, CEO Coffee-time Meeting

Owners ·      Business reports

·      Non-financial reports

Suppliers ·      Daily business relationship

·      Supplier audits



·      Customer forum

·      Customer satisfaction survey

·      Sustainability Stakeholder forum

Regulatory bodies



·      Open day

·      Forum

·      Authority requests and checks

·      Permitting

Local communities ·      Residential forum

·      HSE week

·      Green tour

·      Open day

·      Support and attendance for various events



·      Occasional requests

·      Press releases

Educational institutions


·      Professional consultations

·      Cooperation agreements (e.g. dual training)

·      Running/ cooperating with external university departments

·      Organising plant visits

Students, potential future employees


·      Dual training

·      Career guidance days

·      Vocational training

·      Scholarships

What actions were taken by BorsodChem to promote employee development?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report BorsodChem reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee development:

  • Developing new employees
  • BorsodChem puts great focus on the development of its new employees from their first day at the company and, in 2016, introduced a one-day-long training programme for all new entrants, which aims to give a comprehensive view of the company’s activities and policies. After entering, BorsodChem’s new employees receive a designated mentor to help them fit into the professional and social culture of the company. Decisions about the training of employees are made, on the one hand, by the departments themselves, with the training budget allocated to them, but, on the other hand, BorsodChem also operates target group-specific development programmes, organised and operated at company level.
  • Promoting leadership skills
  • BorsodChem pays special attention to the development of its talented employees and managers and, in 2016, launched its Leadership Academy training series. In 2017, BorsodChem also launched a skill development programme for its foremen, in which HR experts are actively involved with the goal of continuous knowledge sharing about leadership skills. In 2018, BorsodChem launched its Career Programme, which is a one-and-a-half-year programme of mentoring, development and team building for leadership education. The success of these programmes is reflected in the fact that, based on BorsodChem’s satisfaction questionnaire, the satisfaction with its managers has improved.
  • Developing internal professional and on-the-job training
  • BorsodChem’s unique technologies made it necessary in the past years to progressively develop its own curricula and training staff besides offering external courses. In these years, while the number of external training hours decreased, BorsodChem focused on the development of internal professional and on-the-job training. As a result, in 2018, BorsodChem’s employees completed a total of 88,734 hours of training (31 hours/person), excluding the hours of on-the-job training.
  • Evaluating employees’ performance
  • In addition to providing employees with opportunities for participation in professional training and competence development trainings, BorsodChem places great emphasis on its performance evaluation system. The essence of BorsodChem’s training philosophy is to develop all of its employees with tailor-made training plans based on their performance, adjusted to their personal development plan. BorsodChem’s goal is to help its employees maximise their development potential through regular performance evaluation feedback and its training system, based on continuous development. Accordingly, all employees are subject to the performance management system, whereby they receive feedback from their performance manager on an annual basis. Performance managers are responsible for defining the performance goals of their employees in general, assessing their performance, carrying out feedback discussions, and defining development directions. BorsodChem’s employees may also consult the Performance Management Committee with their comments and complaints on performance evaluation, for investigation and remediation.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee

2) Disclosure 404-3 Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews


Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee corresponds to:

Disclosure 404-3 Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews corresponds to:


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.

FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP



1) This case study is based on published information by BorsodChem, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we 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 original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


Note to BorsodChem: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.