The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How Edelmann Group promotes employee well-being

With 20 sites in 9 different countries, Edelmann Group is an international family business operating in the packaging sector, delivering solutions with sustainable value to customers in healthcare, beauty care and consumer brands markets. Edelmann Group believes that supporting its employees’ health pays off in their well-being, performance and overall satisfaction  Tweet This!, and chooses to commit to a health management that goes beyond convenient care.

This case study is based on the 2019 Sustainability Report by Edelmann Group 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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Taking actions and implementing initiatives – from health check-ups to health surveys – to ensure the well-being of its employees, is a top priority for Edelmann Group. In order to promote employee well-being Edelmann Group took action to:

  • carry out employee health check-ups
  • conduct health surveys
  • promote sports and exercise

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report Edelmann Group identified a range of material issues, such as economic value, customer engagement, raw materials, product quality, supplier engagement, legal compliance. Among these, promoting employee well-being stands out as a key material issue for Edelmann Group.

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 Edelmann Group engages with:

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

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Employees & Management



·      Regular internal meetings

·      Regular career development discussions

·      Trainings

·      Company events

·      Annual leadership conference

Family business owners ·      Regular visits and meetings


·      Topic-specific workshops

·      Individual product consultations

·      Joint product developments

·      Follow-up meetings

·      Frequent both-way visits to discuss current issues

Suppliers ·      Managing daily work

·      Regular meetings

·      Workshops

·      Company visits

·      Supplier Fair

·      Joint projects dedicated to new developments and potential improvements

What actions were taken by Edelmann Group to promote employee well-being?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report Edelmann Group reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee well-being:

  • Carrying out employee health check-ups
  • To ensure the well-being of Edelmann Group’s employees, regular health checks and examinations are carried out by an external medical officer. Although there are country-specific differences, the common practice is that for employees under the age of 45, a health check is done every 4 years and for employees older than 45 years, a health check is operated every 3 years. Before new employees start to work at Edelmann Group, they also undergo examination by the doctor to ensure a healthy start and implement any supportive and/or preventive measures in relation to their eyesight, hearing, posture or any special working conditions required.
  • Conducting health surveys
  • Edelmann Group implemented health-related initiatives during the reporting year based on the health survey completed in 2018. Following the suggestions of Edelmann Group’s employees, as of January 2019, 3 yoga courses held during lunch break in Heidenheim took place. Each course lasts three months on average, and the total participants for 2019 were 44. This opportunity is not only a motivation for the employees to care for their bodies, but also an improvement to their overall mental and physical health. Additionally, to address a common concern of back pain, a special back training in cooperation with an instructor from the local sports club (Heidenheimer Sport-Bund) was implemented and started in January 2019.
  • Promoting sports and exercise
  • In 2019, an Edelmann team registered to run a half marathon. To prepare for this event, employees were part of a special training for long trail running (Lauf gehts!). By sharing the joy of running, a great team spirit is experienced, and additional health benefits are achieved. Ten employees in total took the opportunity to participate. In Heidenheim, every year a skiing trip is also organised internally. A fun outdoor atmosphere facilitates team building and combines health benefits with fostering a motivational team spirit. Thereby the work atmosphere is expected to improve for future joint work. In Poland, the Edelmann run team was established for a variety of marathons. For example, six employees participated in the Independence Run in 2019.

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

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 403-3 Occupational health services

2) Disclosure 403-6 Promotion of worker health


Disclosure 403-3 Occupational health services corresponds to:

 Disclosure 403-6 Promotion of worker health 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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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 Edelmann Group, 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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