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Home / GRI Standards / Case study: How CNH Industrial promotes workplace diversity

Case study: How CNH Industrial promotes workplace diversity

With 67 manufacturing plants, 56 research and development (R&D) centres, a workforce of 63,499 employees and a commercial presence in approximately 180 countries, CNH Industrial is a global leader in the capital goods sector with a strong presence in both on-highway and off-highway applications. Offering career opportunities and advancement free from discrimination while encouraging and respecting diversity are among the commitments emphasized in CNH Industrial’s Human Capital Management Guidelines and Human Rights Policy, available on the company’s website and Intranet portal.

This case study is based on the 2019 Sustainability Report by CNH Industrial 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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CNH Industrial rejects all forms of discrimination  Tweet This!, specifically based on race, gender, sexual orientation, personal and social status, health, physical condition, disability, age, nationality, religious or personal beliefs, political opinion or against other protected groups. In order to promote workplace diversity CNH Industrial took action to:
  • promote gender diversity
  • support the employment of people with disabilities
  • promote awareness of unconscious bias

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report CNH Industrial identified a range of material issues, such as circular product life cycle, CO2 and other air emissions, occupational health and safety, employee engagement, water and waste efficiency. Among these, promoting workplace diversity stands out as a key material issue for CNH Industrial.

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 s 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 CNH Industrial engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement


·      Direct engagement in materiality analysis

·      Market research

·      Focus groups

·      Customer satisfaction surveys

·      Above-the-line and below-the-line communication channels

·      Two-way communication through: web, direct

mailing, dealerships, toll-free numbers, etc.

·      Events (e.g. product launches) and participation in exhibitions, trade fairs, and conventions

·      Customer-Driven Product Development (CPD)

·      Compliance Helpline

Dealer and service network



·      Direct engagement in materiality analysis

·      Daily contacts and periodic meetings with the network

·      Two-way communication through the web Dealer Portal and dedicated phone lines

·      Individuals responsible for monitoring the network and ensuring fulfillment of contractual standards

·      Dealer development programmes

·      Programmes to support dealers, including training, definition of standards, financing, and promotional campaigns

·      Compliance Helpline

Employees ·      Direct engagement in materiality analysis

·      Daily dialogue

·      Intranet portal

·      Meetings to communicate expected and actual performance levels and professional development path

·      Compliance Helpline

Professional organisations

and associations

·      Direct engagement in materiality analysis

·      Meetings to share and align with corporate objectives and decisions

Employees’ families


·      Participation in initiatives (e.g., Children’s Christmas, Family Day)

·      Internal publications

Financial community: Traditional and Socially Responsible Investors (SRIs)


·      Direct engagement in materiality analysis

·      General Meeting

·      Price-sensitive disclosures and information

·      Quarterly conference calls

·      Seminars, industry conferences, roadshows, and meetings

·      Daily dialogue (meetings, telephone, emails)

·      Investor Relations section of the Company website

·      EU Annual Report

·      Sustainability Report

Journalists, media, and opinion leaders ·      Direct engagement in materiality analysis

·      Daily dialogue

·      Presentations and press conferences

·      Meetings

·      Brand and Company websites

Local communities: Religious, cultural, and socio-political associations, health systems, schools & universities, and non-governmental & non-profit organisations ·      Direct engagement in materiality analysis

·      Meetings with representatives of associations, organisations or local communities

·      Actions or projects, managed directly or in partnership

·      Cultural exchange programmes

·      Compliance Helpline


Public institutions: Government, local authorities, public agencies, regulatory bodies, international institutions, trade associations, and non-governmental organisations ·      Direct engagement in materiality analysis

·      Periodic ad hoc meetings on corporate objectives and position

·      Participation in working groups, development of joint projects and alliances

·      Collaboration on R&D projects

·      Initiatives to highlight regulatory issues

·      Dialogue with institutions and environmental associations

Scientific and technological research centres and universities ·      Direct engagement in materiality analysis

·      Open-source tools

·      Periodic meetings

Suppliers and commercial partners ·      Direct engagement in materiality analysis

·      Daily relationship through buyers

·      Web Supplier Portal

·      Come to our Plant initiative

·      WCM suppliers

·      Supplier Advisory Council (SAC)

·      Conventions

·      Technology Days

·      Suppliers’ Proposals programme

·      Compliance Helpline

·      Dedicated email addresses

Trade unions and employee representatives ·      Direct engagement in materiality analysis

·      Institutional meetings and other exchanges pursuant to legal or contractual provisions at plant, legal entity, regional or national levels

·      Trilateral meetings (Company, trade unions, and government bodies) on matters of particular importance

·      Ad hoc meetings at plant, legal entity, regional or national level

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics CNH Industrial received feedback from a sample of 1,934 stakeholders among employees, customers, dealers, opinion leaders, public institutions, NGOs, investors, and journalists through an online survey or direct interview.

What actions were taken by CNH Industrial to promote workplace diversity?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report CNH Industrial reports that it took the following actions for promoting workplace diversity:

  • Promoting gender diversity
  • To promote gender diversity, in Europe, some of CNH Industrial’s most outstanding female employees participated in workshops held in schools, where they shared their experiences with students while encouraging girls to pursue their ambitions free from limiting stereotypes. In addition, support programmes were organised for mothers returning from maternity leave, and several workshops were held on women’s leadership, self-awareness, networking, and personal empowerment. Coaching and mentoring programmes to address women’s growth were developed in Brazil and Italy, while, in India, training was provided to help tackle sexual harassment and to encourage diversity. In North America, CNH Industrial is a Corporate Partnership Council member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), an organisation that empowers women to achieve their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, highlighting the value of diversity. As a corporate member, CNH Industrial attended the SWE’s annual conference and continued to support its mission and objectives by funding programmes, supporting diversity, and creating and promoting opportunities for women in engineering and technology.
  • Supporting the employment of people with disabilities
  • A survey monitoring the employment of people with disabilities is conducted at CNH Industrial every 2 years. The last such survey was carried out in 2018 in 42 countries, covering almost 99% of CNH Industrial’s The survey showed that, in the countries where the law requires companies to employ a minimum percentage of workers with disabilities (15 mapped, accounting for about 69% of CNH Industrial’s global personnel), the latter make up 3.6% of total employees (compared to 3.4% in the 2016 survey). In many other countries (including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Poland, UK, and USA) there is no legislation relating to the employment of persons with disabilities that establishes minimum quotas, although in some cases other forms of protection exist (i.e., related to working hours or workplace environments, specific grants/benefits for companies employing workers with disabilities, etc.). In these countries (27 mapped by the survey), there are objective limitations to reporting the number of these workers, as the information is sensitive and often subject to data protection legislation. As a result, CNH Industrial is only aware of an employee’s personal status if he/she chooses to disclose it. In September 2015, IVECO France agreed with all 5 trade unions represented in CNH Industrial to implement, for an indefinite term, the agreement signed in 2007 (and subsequently renewed in 2012) setting specific rules and measures aimed at the recruitment, training, and development of people with disabilities and at their long-term employment. As of March 2017, CNH Industrial also entered into a 3-year agreement with all the trade unions in France represented in CNH Industrial, which establishes provisions for employees with disabilities very similar to those in the IVECO agreement. In Europe, awareness of intellectual and physical disabilities was also promoted through the many initiatives in place to engage and integrate people with disabilities in the workforce. In Spain, for example, CNH Industrial renewed this commitment by collaborating once again with local NGO Fundación Roncalli Juan XXIII in support of the enclave laboral, resulting in the hiring of workers with physical disabilities at the manufacturing plant in Madrid. CNH Industrial also continued to support the Integracamp project to promote cognitive impairment awareness and build diversity values among employees’ children from an early age. Moreover, as part of its diversity and inclusion projects, CNH Industrial actively participated in a number of job fairs focused on the employment of persons with disabilities. 
  • Promoting awareness of unconscious bias
  • CNH Industrial promoted awareness of unconscious bias, in various ways. In Argentina, for example, conferences open to all were organised, attendance voluntary, with a focus on the value of an inclusive environment within an organisation, recognising diversity bias, and practical tools to instigate change. CNH Industrial aims to make diversity and inclusion a competitive advantage for the company, and to create an environment that encourages creative ideas, excludes bias, and retains talent. Evidence of this commitment is its Diversity Committee in South America specifically supporting diversity and promoting inclusivity, as well as the letter of intention sent by the regional head of HR to external recruitment agencies at the beginning of 2019, inviting them to present diversity candidates (such as women for leadership roles, professionals with special needs, people from immigrant and LGBT+2 communities, black professionals, and mothers).

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

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 405-1 Diversity of governance bodies and employees

Disclosure 405-1 Diversity of governance bodies and employees corresponds to:


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1) This case study is based on published information by CNH Industrial, 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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