Stakeholder communication and dialogue
Porsche’s business activities have an impact on the interests of many people across the world. The company is particularly concerned with conducting and consistently building on a process of proactive exchange with its stakeholders. For Porsche, an open and transparent exchange of information and opinions lays the foundation for mutual understanding and social acceptance. With its holistic approach to stakeholder management, Porsche aims to systematically ascertain the expectations of individual stakeholders and use this feedback for critical reflection on strategic planning processes. This procedure is divided into internal and external dialogue depending on the target group in question.
Stakeholder survey and materiality
Since 2013, Porsche has conducted a survey every two years to gather the views and expectations of its stakeholders on the subject of sustainability and future challenges. In autumn 2019, various stakeholders were invited to evaluate Porsche’s sustainability activities for the third time as part of an anonymous and international online survey. A total of 1,459 people from Europe and China completed the survey, with around 79 per cent of responses coming from European markets and approximately 21 per cent from China. Alongside customers, business partners, analysts/investors, politicians and representatives of public authorities, media outlets, and representatives from NGOs and academia, this survey was the first to feature Porsche employees on a wider scale. Owing to the large number of employee responses, the internal and external stakeholders were assessed using a 50:50 weighting. Furthermore, the responses from external stakeholder groups were weighted equally.
In coordination with internal and external experts, relevant sustainability aspects within the three action areas of Innovative Mobility, Reliable Partner and Go to Zero were identified prior to the online survey, and 18 key topics were put to a vote.
As well as completing a topic evaluation, the Porsche stakeholders demonstrated in their answers to the additional questions that they perceived climate and environmental impacts, changing mobility needs and the scarcity of energy and resources to be the greatest challenges facing the company both now and in the near future. These views are also reflected in the degree of relevance attributed to the topic by the stakeholders. The surveyed stakeholders also confirmed the view that there is no conflict in principle between sustainability and the manufacture of premium sports cars, with 81 per cent of respondents confirming that they do not see these aims as generally contradictory.
During individual expert interviews, members of the Sustainability Council also had the chance to provide detailed feedback on sustainability at Porsche, as well as on the potential opportunities and risks. They presented specific recommendations for action to further shape Porsche’s engagement. Key areas of discussion included new mobility options, Alternative drive systems and vehicle emissions, and stakeholder dialogue. During the reporting year, the members of the Sustainability Council discussed their ideas on these issues with the Porsche Executive Board, using these talks as the basis for determining appropriate measures. Cooperation with the Council is to be stepped up even further in the future.
The next Porsche stakeholder survey is scheduled for 2021 and will be expanded to cover additional markets.
A workshop for members of the Sustainability Expert Group and representatives of the relevant departments at Porsche was held during the autumn of 2019. In the course of a multistage process, this workshop evaluated the impact of Porsche’s business activities on the environment, employees and society in terms of the 18 defined topics. The importance of this topic to the business activity of a sports car manufacturer was also assessed during the workshop. During the reporting year, Porsche pooled the results in a materiality matrix, identified the most important issues and illustrated how these were linked. The resulting findings will be used for the ongoing development of the company’s sustainability strategy. In this report, Porsche refers to all topics resulting from the company values, the Strategy 2025 Plus, the risks and opportunities for the company, and its corporate goals.
The materiality matrix links the results of the stakeholder survey with the views of the Sustainability Expert Group expressed during the workshop. It establishes a correlation between the direct impact that the business activities have on the environment, employees and society (x-axis) and their relevance for stakeholders (y-axis). As a third dimension to this analysis, Porsche rated the relevance of the 18 key topics to the company’s business and illustrated the results of the assessment in differently sized, circular ideograms. The degree of business relevance of the individual topics is shown by means of four levels: none, low, medium and high.