The business activities of Porsche touch on the lives and interests of many people around the world. The company engages in a proactive dialogue with its stakeholders and continuously expands this dialogue. The dialogue is centered on an open, transparent exchange of information and opinions. This is the foundation for mutual trust and acceptance.
With its holistic approach to stakeholder management, Porsche aims to systematically ascertain the expectations of individual stakeholders. The company then reviews the feedback and factors the findings into strategic planning processes. Porsche can identify key social trends by identifying the interests and perspectives of various stakeholders. They can then be incorporated into its commercial decision-making. In turn, the stakeholders learn more about how much flexibility Porsche has to react to current changes, as well as the related requirements and general circumstances.
Identifying and involving stakeholders is immensely important to Porsche when it comes to fulfilling its responsibility as a company. A stakeholder is any individual or group with an interest in a decision or activity of Porsche, and thus a direct or indirect influence over the actions of Porsche – or anyone who is influenced by the actions of the company. Porsche’s most important stakeholders are determined on the basis of internal analyses as part of the regular stakeholder survey. Porsche has identified the following key players: residents and communities, customers and business partners, investors and analysts, media, employees, policymakers and associations, non-governmental and charitable organizations, scientific community and experts, and competitors.
Selected stakeholder management tools
An exchange that is both strategic and beneficial for all sides must be based on trust. This serves as the foundations of any long-term relationship between Porsche and its dialogue partners. Trusting exchange with our stakeholders must be geared towards the long term and be nurtured on an ongoing basis. Porsche believes it is important for people to talk to one another, not about one another. The company aims to understand different positions by adopting different perspectives, jointly overcome challenges, and foster long-term partnerships. Porsche does this by using different media and dialogue formats, as well as various internal and external communication channels.
Porsche establishes and maintains personal contact in order to maintain a continuous dialogue with its stakeholders. For instance, this entails events like the Neighborhood Dialogues at the company’s sites. Since 2016, these have given, among others, local residents the opportunity to regularly engage with experts from Porsche and raise specific issues.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the legal requirements meant that the dialogue formats planned for the reporting year could not take place as normal. Instead, Porsche increasingly drew on virtual exchange with the key figures and groups in order to obtain direct feedback and input. If necessary, stakeholders can contact the department responsible for sustainability directly using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Memberships and networks
Porsche promotes economic, environmental, and social topics through its involvement in networks, sustainability initiatives, and working groups. This too is part of Porsche’s stakeholder dialogue.
In 2022, Porsche AG joined the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest and most important sustainable and responsible corporate governance initiative.
Dialogue with politics
When Porsche makes business decisions, the consequences of its actions for society and the environment have to be assessed and incorporated into the internal processes. Porsche operates in a complex and heavily regulated field. It is important to engage in transparent and proactive dialogue with representatives from governments, parliaments, authorities, associations, institutions, and representatives of civil society through political lobbying.
The employees of the Politics and Society department who are responsible for political lobbying work in and with associations at times. They are in regular contact with numerous nongovernmental organizations (NGO) as well as civil society, political, and business representatives. In doing so, they set out the positions of Porsche in social and political discourse, as well as decision-making processes. This takes place in compliance with binding Group-wide guidelines, as well as in coordination with the Volkswagen Group. Its policy is based on the principles of integrity, compliance, transparency, and traceability. Competition and antitrust legislation, as well as other legal provisions, are always taken into account too. Porsche is registered in the Lobby Register for the purposes of lobbying the German Bundestag and the German government.
Porsche does not maintain any representative offices of its own. Therefore, political lobbying is handled by the Volkswagen Group’s representative offices in Berlin and Brussels. The following list features a selection of associations and groups of which Porsche is a member:
- Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V. (VDA)
- Verband der Metall- und Elektroindustrie Baden-Württemberg e.V. (Südwestmetall)
- Industrie- und Handelskammer (IHK) Region Stuttgart
- Industrie- und Handelskammer (IHK) zu Leipzig
- American Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V. (AmCham Germany)
- United Nations Global Compact
- Bundesdeutscher Arbeitskreis für Umweltbewusstes Management e.V. (B.A.U.M.)
- Deutsches Netzwerk Wirtschaftsethik e.V. (DNWE)
- Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Stiftung Institut für Weltwirtschaft Kiel e.V.
- Landesverband der Baden-Württembergischen Industrie e.V. (LVI)
- Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI)
- Value Balancing Alliance e.V.
Porsche is working to promote a Europe that is harmonious, sustainable, and internationally competitive. The European Single Market, cross-border trade, the free movement of workers, and the sharing of knowledge are important prerequisites for Porsche to be competitive. Porsche welcomes the European Green Deal as a key framework for future action and supports the Paris Agreement including the 1.5-degree target. Porsche supports free, sustainable, fair, and rules-based international trading relationships.
As a matter of course, Porsche remains impartial in its dealings with political parties and interest groups. Porsche does not donate to political parties. During the reporting year, it incurred no expenditure related to supporting party events, advertising in publications affiliated with parties, or external lobbying agencies or services.
Porsche logs its internal and external stakeholders’ questions, suggestions, and concerns and advises its subsidiaries on how to communicate with stakeholders. The complaints management function in the Politics and Society department and in the Environment and Construction Management department at Porsche’s site in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen serves as the central contact point regarding complaints and suggestions for improvements. This enables Porsche to respond more quickly, if necessary. The contact information is accessible and visible to the public. Complaints are received, addressed internally, answered, and documented via the email address email@example.com and by phone.
Since 2013, Porsche has asked its stakeholders about their views and expectations on sustainability and future challenges. This exchange and the materiality analysis process based on it previously took place every two years. They serve as the cornerstones of reporting on and the reviewing and further development of Porsche’s sustainability strategy. In keeping with the schedule, no stakeholder survey took place in 2022.
Before conducting the anonymous international online survey in 2021, Porsche had modified the selection of sustainability aspects after consulting internal and external experts, taking into account recent changes and incorporating relevant topics from the Sustainability Strategy 2030. The survey featured 23 key topics. In total, 1,440 people responded, with around 84% of responses coming from European markets and approximately 14% from China. 2% of the responses came from other international markets, but were allocated to Europe due to their low numbers. Alongside customers, business partners, analysts and investors, politicians, and representatives of public authorities, media outlets, and representatives from NGOs and academia, Porsche surveyed a large number of employees. Owing to the abundance of employee responses, the opinions of the internal and external stakeholders were assessed using a 50:50 weighting. Porsche weighted the responses from individual external stakeholder groups equally. The methodology and weightings are comparable to those of the previous survey conducted in 2019.
The members of the Porsche Sustainability Council also commented on the sustainability topics relevant to the company in personal expert interviews. They discussed their input with the Executive Board in 2022. Overall, they praised the incorporation of their feedback into the corporate strategy and the Executive Board’s active sustainability practices. At the same time, they called for greater attention to be paid to diversity and the socially ethical transformation of Porsche.
The currently valid materiality analysis of Porsche was conducted in 2021. In this analysis, Porsche evaluated and prioritized 23 sustainability topics in a multistage process. Customers, business partners, analysts and investors, politicians, and representatives of public authorities, media outlets, NGOs, and academia took part in the anonymous international online survey, as did Porsche’s own employees. Internal and external assessments were factored into the results in equal measure. Additionally, expert interviews were held with the members of the Porsche Sustainability Council in person.
Internally, management representatives from all the relevant departments and representatives of the corporate strategy of Porsche took part in materiality workshops. The participants indicated how strongly they believed each sustainability topic affects business development, the corporate strategy, and the business result. They also evaluated the impacts of Porsche’s business activities on the economy, the environment, and society. Porsche combined the results with the external stakeholder evaluations to create a materiality matrix.
This materiality matrix sets the relevance for stakeholders against the relevance for Porsche. Different sizes of circle represent high, medium, and low impacts on the economy, the environment, and society. They are also color coded to symbolize the environment (red), society (gray), and governance (light gray).
The materiality matrix exemplifies the most important topics for Porsche and its stakeholders, as well as their impacts on the economy, the environment, and social. The topics with the highest prioritization are in the top right. Some aspects differ from the 2019 materiality matrix in terms of their classification. For example, the topic of “Innovations” was included in the evaluation for the first time in 2021. It was deemed a core topic both by the external stakeholders and by the company’s representatives.
Both parties also rated the relevance of “Long-term customer relations and satisfaction” more highly in 2021 than in 2019. The same went for “Consumption of resources and sustainable raw materials in vehicles” and “Digitalization, data protection, and corporate digital responsibility”, which was featured in the survey for the first time. For the external stakeholders, the topic of “Compliance and integrity” was of exceptional importance.
The results of the materiality analysis were confirmed by the Environment and Sustainability Steering Group and Committee, and by the Executive Board. The next materiality analysis is scheduled for 2023.
The findings of the materiality matrix make an important contribution to the further development of the Sustainability Strategy 2030.