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Case study: How the BMW Group promotes occupational health and safety

The BMW Group strives to become the most successful and sustainable premium provider of individual mobility around the globe, integrating sustainability across the company’s value chain and operations. Accordingly, safeguarding the health and safety of its approximately 125,000 employees, is a top priority.

This case study is based on the 2016 Sustainable Value Report by the BMW 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/ 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

Active in more than 150 countries, the BMW Group strives to protect the health and safety of its employees through a holistic approach  Tweet This! that encompasses a range of programmes, initiatives and activities. In order to promote occupational health and safety the BMW Group took action to:

  • protect employees’ health through the BMW Group Health Initiative
  • promote the long-term health of employees through the Health Management 2020 programme
  • implement health and safety management systems

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016 Sustainable Value Report the BMW Group identified a range of material issues, such as fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions of vehicles, environmental and social standards in the supply chain / sustainable sourcing, product safety, human rights, prevention of corruption. Among these, promoting occupational health and safety stands out as a key material issue for the BMW 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 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 the BMW Group engages with:   

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Capital market

 

·         E-mobility continues to require the support of policymakers, but new business models can also promote market acceptance
Suppliers ·         Dialogue in industry initiatives

·         Joint events

·         Training courses

·         Lectures

·         Supplier Risk Assessment

·         Learning from Suppliers forum

Networks and associations

 

·         Participation of Board members and technical experts in a number of initiatives, forums and events

·         Membership of initiatives

Policymakers

 

·         Workshops on key topics

·         Regular “Green Tables” with parliamentarians in Germany

Research

 

·         Round tables

·         Visits from universities

·         Lectures

·         Discussions

·         “BMW Group Dialogue” with students

Media ·         Dialogue in the form of public relations trips and press releases, informational events on new products, test drives, trade fairs
Business partners ·         Dialogue with sales organisations and the association of German BMW dealerships

·         Business conferences

·         Dialogue via the central coordinating units of importers

Local stakeholders ·         One-on-one dialogue

·         Plant visits

·         Neighbourhood dialogue

·         Press events

Civil society and NGOs ·         Face-to-face meetings/dialogue

·         Responding to enquiries

Employees ·         Dialogue with employees and managers

·         Employee survey

·         Idea management

·         Internal media

Customers ·         Customer survey

·         Social media

·         Trade fairs

·         Media

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritize material topics the BMW Group carried out a survey among internal experts and, also, telephone interviews with 13 representative stakeholders. Interviewees included customers, suppliers, investors, authorities, NGOs and scientists from different regions of the world.

What actions were taken by the BMW Group to promote occupational health and safety?

In its 2016 Sustainable Value Report the BMW Group reports that it took the following actions for promoting occupational health and safety:

  • Protecting employees’ health through the BMW Group Health Initiative
  • The BMW Group Health Initiative is intended to increase awareness of the importance of health through general medical check-ups, targeted physiotherapy, nutritional advice, relaxation exercises, dialogue-based events. An extensive prevention and rehabilitation programme is also offered, which includes fitness courses and other sports activities, nutrition seminars and work safety, ergonomics and stress management courses.
  • Promoting the long-term health of employees through the Health Management 2020 programme
  • The Health Management 2020 programme follows a four-step cycle:
    • building knowledge around health through training courses, information talks, seminars
    • identifying health issues through a questionnaire and a thorough medical check-up
    • developing needs-based measures, individually and at a departmental level
    • a repeat check-up to assess improvements in health thanks to the programme
  • Every participant receives a personal health report. Since the programme was introduced in 2014, more than 47,000 BMW Group employees have taken part.
  • Implementing health and safety management systems
  • Currently, 28 of the BMW Group’s 31 production locations have occupational health and safety management systems. These systems are certified according to the OHRIS (Occupational Health and Risk Management System) or OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series). Additionally, at almost all BMW Group locations both employers and employees participate in active occupational health and safety committees, to improve workplace health and safety.

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 programs the 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 the BMW 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:

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 the BMW Group: 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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