Delta is a worldwide leader in the aviation industry, providing scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo throughout the United States and around the globe. Since 1928, Delta people have worked diligently to build Delta’s record for acting with honesty, integrity and professionalism. Cultivating and enhancing this legacy is, for Delta, a top priority.
This case study is based on the 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report by Delta 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.
Though a company-wide compliance programme and mechanisms for raising ethics concerns, Delta seeks to foster a culture of trust, dignity and integrity among its over 80,000 employees. Tweet This! In order to promote ethical conduct among employees Delta took action to:
- implement a compliance programme
- encourage employees to raise ethics concerns
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With this case study you will see:
- Which are the most important impacts (material issues) Delta has identified;
- How Delta proceeded with stakeholder engagement, and
- What actions were taken by Delta to promote ethical conduct among employees
What are the material issues the company has identified?
In its 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report Delta identified a range of material issues, such as environmental compliance, carbon emissions/climate change, customer safety and security, community support and engagement, supply chain management. Among these, promoting ethical conduct among employees stands out as a key material issue for Delta.
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:
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 Delta engages with:
|Stakeholder Group||Method of engagement|
|Investors||· Annual shareholder meetings
· Annual report, quarterly earnings and proxy statement
· External recognition, ratings and rankings
· Investor Day
|Customers||· Customer Satisfaction Survey
· Social media
|Employees||· Employee Satisfaction Survey
· Employee Involvement Group (EIG)
· TechOps EIG
· Reservations Liaison for Information Networking and Communication (ResLINC)
· Airport Customer Service and Cargo Frontline Involvement Team (FIT)
· Velvet-360 Tour
· Town Hall Programme
· Delta Board Council
|· Supplier ESG Assessment
· Supplier Diversity (MBE, WBE and SBE) engagement
|Governments||· Collaborative partnerships with governments and NGOs around the world|
|Nongovernmental organisations||· Industry associations
· External recognition, ratings and rankings
|Communities||· Delta Air Lines Foundation
· Social media
How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues
To identify and prioritise material topics Delta engaged with its stakeholders through a questionnaire focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, that was distributed to stakeholder groups.
In its 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report Delta reports that it took the following actions for promoting ethical conduct among employees:
- Implementing a compliance programme
- Three key documents describe and reinforce the fundamental values and basic behaviours required of all Delta employees, and what employees can expect of Delta in return. These documents are the centrepiece of Delta’s company-wide compliance programme, and are supported by the Board of Directors and senior officers. They are:
- Rules of the Road, the foundation of Delta’s core values and principles, which define clear unifying behaviours that are Delta’s cultural foundation and outline expectations for modelling leadership at every level of the company.
- The Way We Fly helps Delta put its culture into practice by outlining the basic expectations of trust, dignity, respect, common sense and good judgment.
- The Code of Ethics and Business Conduct provides the people of Delta, its subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide with a summary of standards for business conduct so that everyone understands the basic rules that apply. The Code also describes some of the resources available that help Delta maintain its standards.
- Encouraging employees to raise ethics concerns
- Every Delta employee is encouraged and expected to raise concerns if he or she becomes aware of practices or work environments that do not meet Delta’s expectations, particularly for issues like safety, harassment and discrimination. Delta encourages employees to speak to their immediate leaders about questions or concerns, but they can also report concerns through the following channels:
- Divisional and corporate leadership
- Human Resources professionals
- The Equal Opportunity department
- Delta’s Safety, Ethics & Compliance HelpLine: The Delta Safety, Ethics & Compliance HelpLine was established to make it easier to report conduct that may be unethical, illegal, a violation of professional standards or contradictory to Delta’s Code of Ethics and Business Conduct – such as concerns regarding safety, labour practices, harassment or discrimination. The HelpLine is available to employees, customers, vendors and others in a business relationship with Delta, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls to the Safety, Ethics & Compliance HelpLine can be made anonymously, and procedures ensure that confidentiality will be maintained to an extent consistent with Delta’s obligations under law. The Delta Safety, Ethics & Compliance HelpLine can be accessed via the web or via toll-free global telephone numbers.
- Additionally, Delta provides anti-bribery and anti-corruption training to all Delta personnel and agents who may interact with foreign officials on Delta matters. Training available to employees is provided in-person, to supplement mandatory online training.
Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?
The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 205-2 Communication and training about anti-corruption policies and procedures
Disclosure 205-2 Communication and training about anti-corruption policies and procedures corresponds to:
- Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
- Business theme: Anti-corruption
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1) This case study is based on published information by Delta, 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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