The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How Timken builds a diverse and inclusive workplace

With 118 manufacturing facilities, service centres in 35 countries and more than 18,000 associates worldwide, the Timken Company designs a growing portfolio of engineered bearings and power transmission products found inside many applications that move the world forward. Timken aspires to create a work environment that is reflective of its customers and communities around the globe and actively seeks, across its operations, people of different ethnic and geographic backgrounds to build a stronger, more diverse workforce.

This case study is based on the 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report by Timken 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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Timken believes that diverse backgrounds and points of view drive innovation and continuous improvement in its operations  Tweet This!, along with associate engagement and satisfaction. In order to build a diverse and inclusive workplace Timken took action to:

  • develop Associate Resource Groups
  • promote diversity across its global workforce

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report Timken identified a range of material issues, such as financial performance, human rights, emissions, regulatory compliance, training and education, waste. Among these, building a diverse and inclusive workplace stands out as a key material issue for Timken.

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 Timken engages with:

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

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Communities ·      Memberships in and/or support of community organisations

·      Local governments

·      Site visits/tours

Customers ·

·      Satisfaction surveys

·      In-person meetings

·      Plant tours

Suppliers ·

·      Surveys

·      In-person meetings

·      Training

Employees ·      Intranet site

·      Social media

·      Periodic satisfaction and engagement surveys

·      Training and development

·      Employee calls/webcasts

·      Union representatives

·      Town hall meetings

Investors ·      SEC filings

·      Annual shareholders meeting

·      Quarterly earnings communications

·      Conference presentations and roadshow investor meetings

Regulators/ National and regional governments ·      Lobbying


Universities ·      In-person engagement

What actions were taken by Timken to build a diverse and inclusive workplace?

In its 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report Timken reports that it took the following actions for building a diverse and inclusive workplace:

  • Developing Associate Resource Groups
  • To further its goal of inclusiveness, Timken’s associate resource groups (ARGs) around the world help Timken understand and address the challenges facing its diverse workforce and leverage the opportunities that diversity offers. New associates are invited to meet executives and directors at ARG events where, together, they share their personal stories and experiences. Through “Lunch and Learn” meetings, “Day in the Life” presentations and other inclusive events, Timken’s ARGs foster diversity of thought and forge deep connections among associates. Since 2009, Timken’s associates have driven the expansion of regional chapters across its three primary ARGs:
    • Women’s International Network (WIN): Making sure women have opportunities to reach their full potential. With six chapters globally, WIN promotes the advancement of women at Timken, but is also open to all members regardless of gender or gender identity. WIN focuses on leadership topics and provides guidance to managers and supervisors who want to engage women in more strategic roles and responsibilities.
    • Multicultural Association of Professionals (MAP): Promoting multicultural awareness, understanding and integration. MAP provides a forum that helps diverse associates share ideas and work together more effectively. Associates around the globe can view recorded sessions any time, any place.
    • Young Professionals Network (YPN): Helping young talent develop personally and professionally. Emerging leaders within the company can network, participate in professional development opportunities and learn skills to further their careers. YPN is aimed at broadening associates’ skills to help them excel in current and future roles.
  • Promoting diversity across Timken’s global workforce
  • At Timken, diversity and inclusiveness are valued drivers of how Timken serves its customers and wins in the marketplace. Timken believes diversity of thought and an inclusive culture help to support better ideas, a stronger workforce and a more desirable place to work, and accordingly seeks to attract, develop, engage and retain a high performing and diverse workforce. Timken is actively enhancing global diversity through multiple initiatives, such as engaging recruiting firms to focus on diverse talent, utilising diverse job posting sites and working with university programmes that are designed to encourage application by diverse candidates.

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

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 405-1 Diversity of governance bodies and employees

Disclosure 405-1 Diversity of governance bodies and employees 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.

FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

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 Timken, 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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