The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How Evonik protects and promotes employee health

As a global leader in specialty chemicals, operating in over 100 countries, protecting the health and employability of its more than 36,000 employees, preventing workplace accidents and incidents and creating a solid safety culture across the Group through a range of policies, procedures and programs, is a top priority for Evonik.

This case study is based on the 2016 Sustainability Report by Evonik 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/ 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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Abstract

Protecting and promoting the health, safety and employability of employees has priority over sales and profits at Evonik, as a matter of central importance to the company and its stakeholders. In order to protect and promote employee health Evonik took action to:

  • provide emergency medical management
  • provide preventive healthcare
  • implement health management programs
  • apply an Occupational Health Performance Index

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016 Sustainability Report Evonik identified a range of material issues, such as compliance, customer satisfaction, product stewardship, innovations/technologies. Among these, protecting and promoting employee health stands out as a key material issue for Evonik.

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 Evonik engages with:   

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement (in 2016)
Customers

 

·         Trade shows, talks with customer, reports

·         Stakeholder dialogue “Healthy nutrition for a sustainable world”

Employees ·         Employee surveys

·         Intranet, employee magazine

·         “Roundtable” discussions and networks

·         Social media platforms

·         Workshops on specific issues, e. g., human rights

Suppliers ·         Supplier workshops, e. g., “Sustainability Day”

·         TfS event in Mumbai

Shareholders

 

·         Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

·         Roadshows/conferences

Creditors

 

·         Talks with rating agencies

·         Talks with lenders

Legislators ·         Involvement in the work of associations

·         Dialogue partner in the opinion-forming process

·         Stakeholder dialogue: “Healthy nutrition for a sustainable world”

·         Brainstorming workshop in Brussels on “sustainable food”

Authorities ·         Talks with authorities

·         Brainstorming workshop in Brussels on “sustainable food”

Local residents ·         Open days

·         Invitations to tours and discussions

·         Environmental and neighborhood hotlines

·         Survey on acceptance, Wesseling site

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritize material topics Evonik surveyed approximately 500 representatives of stakeholder groups, including customers, suppliers, local residents around the company’s sites, analysts, investors and representatives of universities, research institutes, professional associations, political parties, non-governmental organizations and the media. Evonik employees also participated in the survey, through the intranet.

What actions were taken by Evonik to protect and promote employee health?

In its 2016 Sustainability Report Evonik reports that it took the following actions for protecting and promoting employee health:

  • Providing emergency medical management
  • At Evonik’s sites specific processes are followed for accidents where employees have come into contact with chemicals and need special medical treatment. In addition, Evonik’s emergency medical management includes pandemic plans and regular training exercises. A wide-ranging preventive program for employees on business trips and foreign assignments is also implemented, including a global emergency management system for medical problems and risks to personal safety.
  • Providing preventive healthcare
  • [tweetthis]Evonik takes appropriate preventive measures to avoid work-related illnesses and health problems.[/tweetthis] When an increased risk for specific employees is identified, technical and organizational measures take priority over the use of personal protective equipment. Additionally, at preventive medical check-ups, employees are advised on individual health risks and, where required, suitable precautions.
  • Implementing health management programs
  • To promote employees’ health, Evonik supports long-term programs on exercise, diet, stress and work-life balance, substance abuse and avoiding infections, intended to encourage employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Fit-for-life seminars are also available to employees, concentrating on a healthy lifestyle and on maintaining long-term well-being and employability. In addition, campaigns focusing on different topics every year take place, along with general medical check-ups.
  • Applying an Occupational Health Performance Index
  • Evonik’s Occupational Health Performance Index, regarding occupational medicine, health promotion and emergency medical management, enables the company to measure progress in occupational health requirements and targets and achieve continuous improvement.

Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?

The GRI indicators/Standards addressed in this case are:

1) G4-LA5: Percentage of total workforce represented in formal joint management–worker health and safety committees that help monitor and advise on occupational health and safety programsthe updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 403-1 Workers representation in formal joint management–worker health and safety committees

2) G4-LA6: Type of injury and rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and total number of work-related fatalities, by region and by gender – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 403-2 Types of injury and rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and number of work-related fatalities

3) G4-LA7: Workers with high incidence or high risk of diseases related to their occupation – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 403-3 Workers with high incidence or high risk of diseases related to their occupation

4) G4-LA8: Health and safety topics covered in formal agreements with trade unions – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 403-4 Health and safety topics covered in formal agreements with trade unions

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Evonik, 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:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Evonik: 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.

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