sustainability framework.

Our sustainability framework forms the heart of our value proposition and reflects our activities from the perspective of all our stakeholders. It was established in 2011 with our Executive Board and Supervisory Board closely involved, and validated in 2015 through multi-stakeholder research. 

In the first half of 2015 we had a materiality analysis conducted to validate our sustainability framework, involving over 7,800 stakeholders. The stakeholder groups included clients, candidates, employees, suppliers, authorities, investors, the financial sector, trade unions, civil society and sector organizations. Based on a ranking of these stakeholders (their power to influence, the urgency of issues they deemed important, and the legitimacy of their interests) and an extensive analysis of all data generated during the process, we identified 27 key material issues in the social, economic and environmental domains. These issues are captured in a materiality matrix. The matrix has been adopted by the Executive Board.

The x-axis of the matrix outlines issues we have identified internally as having the strongest impact on our business in terms of cost reduction, revenue growth and gross margin protection. Issues identified as having the highest overall relevance to stakeholders are ranked on the y-axis. The materiality matrix was compiled of overall results for each stakeholder group globally and therefore does not reflect regional or cultural differences identified during the research.