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Case study: How Semperit promotes employee development

Employing around 6,800 people and operating 14 production facilities globally, Semperit is a leading provider of quality products made of natural and synthetic rubber. Every year, Semperit recruits up to 1,500 new employees, constantly investing in their further development, the promotion of talents, but also in attractive additional benefits.  Tweet This!

This case study is based on the 2018 Sustainability Report by Semperit 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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Employees are the decisive factor when it comes to securing the long-term success of a company and, for Semperit, the focus is on the optimisation of recruiting processes and the retention of existing employees, not least through a broad range of further education and development opportunities. In order to promote employee development Semperit took action to:

  • implement a global training system
  • launch a Talent Academy
  • apply a mentoring system
  • promote know-how transfer

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report Semperit identified a range of material issues, such as occupational safety and health protection, energy, sustainability in the supply chain, raw materials, innovation. Among these, promoting employee development stands out as a key material issue for Semperit.

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 Semperit engages with: 

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Shareholders, capital market






·      Individual and group interviews

·      Conferences

·      Information events

·      Road shows

·      Telephone meetings

·      Annual General Meeting

·      Annual press conference



·      Employee dialogues and surveys

·      Internal media

·      Townhall meetings

·      Staff meetings

·      Mentoring programmes

·      Group conference

·      Management calls

·      Employee events




·      Customer meetings

·      Customer surveys

·      Social media

·      Fairs

·      Media

Suppliers, business partners


·      Dialogue

·      Events

·      Trainings

·      Speeches

·      Supplier surveys

·      Audits

Civil society, NGOs


·      Dialogue

·      One-to-one meetings

·      Specialist events

·      Answers to inquiries

·      Media

Local stakeholders


·      Personal conversations

·      Factory tours

·      Neighbourhood meetings

·      Press conferences

Political decision makers ·      Events

·      Submissions

Science, research


·      Round tables

·      R&D cooperation

·      Speeches

·      Discussions



·      Press meetings

·      Releases and conferences

·      Fairs

·      Interviews

·      Individual interviews

·      Phone calls

·      Informal exchange

Networks, associations


·      Participation of Management Board members, managers or technical experts in initiatives, forums and events

·      Memberships in initiatives

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Semperit engaged with its stakeholders through a qualitative survey of 52 stakeholders across all stakeholder groups and also performed a quantitative assessment of key sustainability topics, that included the assessment of 18 external and 22 internal stakeholders.

What actions were taken by Semperit to promote employee development?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report Semperit reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee development:

  • Implementing a global training system
  • As early as 2014, the global human resources IT system “SuccessFactors” was implemented by Semperit, which served primarily for processing the most important employee and position data. Over the years, the system was gradually developed and, in 2017, expanded by a learning management system and a career platform. The online training offer is constantly growing and now includes language training, compliance courses and, since 2018, a sustainability module. Every new employee is assigned a customised training programme as part of the onboarding process and the annual employee appraisals’ content and objectives are also documented on the IT platform.
  • Launching a Talent Academy
  • Future experts and managers receive special promotion within the scope of Semperit’s Talent Academy. Based on a potential analysis, three specific module units follow and, in 2018, over 30 young employees from Europe, Asia and North America were nominated to qualify for the next Talent Academy starting in early 2019, within a development centre.
  • Applying a mentoring system
  • Another part of Semperit’s human resource policy is the mentoring system for certain employee groups or the training of young specialists. Additionally, Semperit’s cooperation with technical schools, universities and universities of applied sciences was continued in the reporting year, with numerous diploma theses, dissertations and internships completed. The international exchange within the Group will also be intensified through an expatriate programme – in 2017, 17 expatriates were on duty, while 14 were on duty in 2018.
  • Promoting know-how transfer
  • In addition to employee training and further education, the exchange of knowledge and experience within the Semperit Group is strongly encouraged. Regular international meetings, the so-called Segment Days, and Group Conferences, which take place annually, contribute to a high degree of know-how transfer and ensure an exchange between all levels.

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

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs

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

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Business theme: Employee training and education


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.

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