Anyone who is actively engaged in society needs to know what relevant groups are thinking. This, in turn, requires regular interaction and exchange of opinions and perspectives.
Hermes is in constant contact with its stakeholders: people and groups that are or could be affected by Hermes' work. Direct discussions, survey, events and workshops make it possible to clarify expectations and demands in advance and even to help in decision-making if needed.
Hermes' key stakeholders include employees, customers, contract partners, suppliers, business associations, competitors, non-governmental organisations, the media, the critical public, the scientific community, policy makers and government agencies, among others. Hermes uses different channels to communicate with them, from surveys to events to workshops and political initiatives, up to and including classic media and public relations work. The goal is, through dialogue with our stakeholder groups, to identify risks and opportunities early on and to combine efforts and take advantage of synergies.
Beyond that, the integration of Hermes in the corporate responsibility activities of the Otto Group in terms of both staff and substance has proven beneficial. In 2014, the Otto Group received the German government's renowned CSR award. At the same time, Hermes is the main provider of purchasing and distribution logistics for the Otto Group. Contacts with stakeholders that are relevant to the concern as a whole are maintained by the parent company in its own database. Furthermore, in 2012, the systematic exchange of views was further professionalised through a web-based stakeholder survey.
The survey questioned 136 stakeholders about sustainability at Hermes. The analysis of the results revealed that particular emphasis was placed on the following themes:
This result was very pleasing for Hermes, as it shows that Hermes' social engagement to date has essentially been the right approach. However, the result both shows the way ahead and represents a challenge for the future.
In addition, in 2010 the company created the Hermes Future Forum, its own platform where the future of corporate responsibility is debated. The event, which takes place every two years, is intended to generate sustainable impulses and to provide managers with perspectives for use in actual corporate practice. In so doing, it hopes to shine light on the global responsibility of corporate actors in increasingly complex social and political contexts.
The renowned speakers at these events reflect a particularly relevant spectrum of international expertise in this subject:
With its three events to date, the exclusive, high-quality Hermes Future Forum has proven to be a top conference for decision-makers – but also an important building block in Hermes’ long-term sustainability efforts.