The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How INA Group promotes employees’ career development

INA Group is a medium-sized European oil company with a leading role in Croatian oil business and a strong position in the region, comprised of several companies completely or partially owned by INA. In order to ensure sustainability in human capital, INA Group assesses the performance, competencies and potential of each employee and creates individual development plans, as input for further development.

This case study is based on the 2019 Annual Report by INA 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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At INA Group, all employees receive regular feedback on their performance and development at least once a year.  Tweet This! Internal and external development programmes are shaped to increase the overall level of competencies within the Group in the areas of technical, professional or general business knowledge and skills. They combine various development methods such as self-learning, classroom workshop, online learning, on-the-job training and professional practice, each presenting an integrated platform known as the “blended learning approach”. In order to promote employees’ career development INA Group took action to:

  • implement the Technical Career Ladder programme
  • develop leadership competencies
  • operate the INA Academy

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Annual Report INA Group identified a range of material issues, such as occupational health and safety, energy efficiency and climate change, research and development of future responsible products and services, waste management. Among these, promoting employees’ career development stands out as a key material issue for INA 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 INA Group engages with:

Stakeholder Group
Interest groups and professional associations
Business partners, contractors, suppliers
Non-profit organisations
Government organisations, regulatory bodies
Local communities
Academic community

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics INA Group carried out an online survey among 45 representatives of various external stakeholder groups and also organised a consultation titled “An open discussion on sustainability of INA Group” with 23 representatives of external stakeholders. The representatives of various stakeholder groups that participated in and contributed to the survey and the consultation included business partners and suppliers, customers, representatives of regulatory bodies, state administration bodies and local communities, and representatives of the academic community, non-profit organisations and the media.

What actions were taken by
INA Group to promote employees’ career development?

In its 2019 Annual Report INA Group reports that it took the following actions for promoting employees’ career development:

  • Implementing the Technical Career Ladder programme
  • In 2019, INA Group’s Technical Career Ladder programme was redesigned under the name Technical Competence and Career Development programme (TCCD) to ensure that its main focus was the development and reception of technical knowledge for all programme participants. Knowledge and other technical competencies are assessed for every petrol-technical professional (PTP) and in accordance with that, individual development plans (IDPs) for every PTP are created. Assessments give insight into knowledge gaps of every PTP and they can see which competencies they should improve. This provides the PTPs, their managers and the company with valuable insight into which areas need to be developed in order to maintain sustainable business processes. As of 2016, both Exploration and Production and Refining and Marketing professionals are included in the programme, with new experts added every year due to scope expansion. In 2018, an expansion was made with the inclusion of non-technical employees from functional divisions such as HR and IT and, in 2019, the expansion continued with Procurement and Finance, with further expansion expected in 2020. In 2019, 635 workers were included in the TCCD (Exploration and Production – 260, Refining and Marketing – 220, HR – 40, Procurement – 60, IT – 55).
  • Developing leadership competencies
  • In order to enable and ensure the development of all employees, INA Group provides a large selection of development opportunities for all. By participating in MBA programmes from Cotrugli or selected programmes from SEED Business School (Part-time MBA, Business Leadership Programme, Foundation of Management Programme), employees are developing their leadership competencies. In addition, there is the LEAD talent programme for future leaders, Intensity programme, First time manager, etc. which aim to strengthen four leadership competencies (thought, result, people and personal), and prepare leaders for current and future challenges. As a result of investment in leadership competencies, employee opinion on leadership and top management increased by 10% in the 2019 employee engagement survey. Through different development programmes and initiatives, as well as internal and external workshops based on individual development needs, which are available to all employees, INA Group ensures development and boosts employees to make them effective and efficient in their everyday challenges. For a long time, INA Group has been implementing various methods to evaluate the development potential of its employees and management, to know in a professional and objective manner the potential of all its employees for it to be used by a company for the best possible outcome for both the employees and the companies. Developmental assessment centres have been used extensively for this purpose, resulting in nearly 500 employees participating in such programmes in 2019. The greatest benefit for the employees included in assessment centres is that they receive expert feedback on their strengths and improvement areas, which is then used to create development activities.
  • Operating the INA Academy
  • Internal knowledge sharing is one of the most effective sustainability tools when it comes to human capital. Accordingly, INA Group has established the INA Academy and, in 2019, included new trainings to keep track of employees’ needs and a new training category was introduced – the Wellbeing. With one of the strategic goals of increasing employee wellbeing in mind, trainings that supported employee mental health care and personal finance were created. Some of these trainings were created with external trainers, which was the first time that external trainers participated in INA Academy. Also, in 2019, a new digital platform for knowledge examination, e-INA Academy, was introduced.

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

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee

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

3) Disclosure 404-3 Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews


Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee corresponds to:

Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs corresponds to:

Disclosure 404-3 Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews corresponds to:


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

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  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
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1) This case study is based on published information by INA 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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