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Case study: How Campbell promotes employee development

Campbell is a multi-national food company headquartered in Camden, N.J., with annual sales of approximately $8.69 billion, making a range of high-quality soups and simple meals, beverages and snacks. Helping employees grow their skills and chart their career paths at Campbell, creating real talent with the right capabilities to ignite its growth, is a top priority for Campbell.  Tweet This!

This case study is based on the 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report by Campbell 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.

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Campbell seeks to make sure that its employees have an inclusive and supportive workplace environment that includes a variety of benefits and is focused on their professional development, training and education, with several new programmes designed for employees at varying levels of the company. In order to promote employee development Campbell

took action to:

  • implement the perform to WIN programme
  • launch the manage to WIN programme
  • apply the include to WIN programme

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report Campbell identified a range of material issues, such as food safety and quality, business ethics, responsible labelling and marketing, risk and crisis management, product innovation. Among these, promoting employee development stands out as a key material issue for Campbell.

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 Campbell engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Advocacy Groups/Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)



·      Organisational Memberships

·      Direct Engagement

·      Strategic Issue Partnerships

·      Professional Conferences

·      Roundtable Events

·      Social Media

·      Website and Corporate Responsibility Report





·      Direct, On-the-Ground Relationships

·      Corporate & Employee Giving

·      Networking Events

·      Surveys

·      Signature Partnerships

·      Regional Priority Plans

·      Employee Volunteerism




·      Dedicated 24-Hour Toll-Free Hotline

·      Consumer Insights

·      Branded Websites

·      Campbell’s Kitchen Website

·      Campbell’s Nutrition Website

·      What’s in My Food Website

·      Social Media

·      Brand PR





·      Dedicated Customer Teams

·      Customer Meetings and Presentations

·      Customer Surveys

·      Customer Letters and Responses to Inquiries

·      Sales Materials

·      Industry Trade Groups (such as FMI)




·      Quarterly Employee Forums

·      Town Hall Meetings

·      Leadership Teams

·      Focus Groups

·      Employee Resource Groups

·      Workplace by Facebook Site

·      Email Communications

·      Surveys

·      Digital Signage

·      Anonymous Hotline




·      Meetings with Institutional and Socially Responsible Investors

·      Direct Engagement on Specific Topics of Interest

·      Ratings/Rankings & Indices

·      Quarterly Earnings Releases

·      Annual Report

·      Annual Shareholder Meetings

·      Investor Calls and Forums

·      Conferences

·      Non-Deal Roadshows (NDRs)

Regulators & Policymakers


·      Campbell Political Action Committee

·      In-Person Meetings and Plant Tours

·      Direct Engagement on Issues Important to Campbell

·      Advocacy

·      Significant Monitoring and Communication of Regulatory Activities

·      Industry Trade Associations




·      Collaborative Partnerships

·      Responsible Sourcing Supplier Code

·      Sourcing Events

·      Strategic Relationship Management Programme

·      Face-to-Face Meetings

·      Supplier Diversity Programme

·      Surveys

·      Assessments & Audits

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Campbell surveyed internal and external stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, retail customers, NGOs, and trade associations. Campbell also posted the survey on Twitter for consumer feedback, which it received.

What actions were taken by Campbell to promote employee development?

In its 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report Campbell reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee development:

  • Implementing the perform to WIN programme
  • Campbell’s perform to WIN programme uses an objective and key result (OKR) model through which employees set clear objectives aligned to Campbell’s strategic priorities for the year. It is designed to drive greater focus and alignment, improve Campbell’s operating discipline, and increase accountability. In 2019, 98 percent of salaried employees logged their FY2020 OKRs in Campbell’s tracking system. In addition, three times per year, employees and managers meet for a check-in to help them see where they are succeeding and where they have room to improve, and at the end of the year, employees are recognised and rewarded for performance. Campbell also launched an e-learning module, titled “Home Truths,” which provided guidance on how to navigate these manager check-ins, and more than 900 employees registered.
  • Launching the manage to WIN programme
  • Recognising that managers need support to continually build their capabilities, Campbell launched the manage to WIN programme, providing development opportunities for managers. The programme includes a two-day in-person summit combined with virtual learning on performance coaching, delegation, inclusion and other topics, and provides a forum for managers across Campbell to come together as a learning community and strengthen their capabilities together.
  • Applying the include to WIN programme
  • Campbell’s include to WIN programme is a subset of its overall inclusion and diversity programmes. It comprises online inclusion training that is available to all salaried employees, and is mandatory for all managers. In FY2020, Campbell also planned to launch two new trainings, “The In Crowd” and “Micro-messages.”

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

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs

Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs 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.

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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 Campbell, 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:


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