A number of stakeholders influence our business on a daily basis. We continuously interact with stakeholders in different ways to enhance relations, build trust, and gain insights critical to our business.
Our priority is to address our stakeholder groups’ key areas of interest through our business and sustainability strategy. Key stakeholders are those that have a high level of influence and direct interaction with our company daily: customers, employees, suppliers, stockholders and the community.
These stakeholders are crucial to enabling us to establish and achieve our overall targets and sustainability objectives. If we succeed, our success will be mutually beneficial.
The concept of materiality—identifying the sustainability issues that matter most—guides the development of our sustainability strategy and the contents of our sustainability communications.
We undertook a materiality analysis in 2015 that started with an internal workshop of participants from key functional areas evaluating the aspects of our value chain covered by the UNGC and GRI reporting frameworks as well as those emphasized in customer surveys. Participants also considered competitors, legal requirements and best practices benchmarks.
The assessment found that our most important stakeholders (based on influence and interactions) were customers, employees, suppliers, stockholders and the community. The assessment prioritized material aspects based on their impact levels and how they affect stakeholders’ views and decisions.
Our key aspects were grouped into four focus areas: business ethics, product responsibility, environmental responsibility and social responsibility.
In 2016, we built on the materiality assessment by expanding our stakeholder engagement and soliciting feedback on key issues. Questions included whether one focus area should be emphasized over another, if other sustainability aspects should be included, and how we can contribute to the most important sustainability aspects with other stakeholders.
Feedback from our stakeholder dialogue gave us valuable information on how to further strengthen our sustainability efforts but did not indicate any need to update our key focus areas or material aspects. Our CEO and members of our management team validated the materiality analysis findings and the outcome of the 2016 stakeholder dialogue. This methodology is compliant with the fourth-generation GRI guidelines, with materiality analysis applied to define the scope of sustainability reporting.
Our commitment to sustainability starts at the highest level of our company. Our management team sets the corporate sustainability strategy and establishes our sustainability goals. Responsibility for implementing the sustainability strategy resides within our dedicated Corporate Quality and Sustainability team together with respective business units and departments. Dedicated personnel throughout the company are trained to manage, monitor and report on sustainability issues.
In 2016, we strengthened our sustainability initiatives by engaging employees and inviting them to identify and recommend ways to make continuous improvements to our initiatives. Ongoing programs and projects were further highlighted to increase employee knowledge and awareness of the work we are doing. This includes activities in areas such as product design, product packaging and transportation. We expect to start seeing the result of these efforts in 2017.
Sustainability Goals 2017
We are building on our 2016 accomplishments and continuing to make progress in each of our four focus areas:
- Promoting business ethics and anti-corruption through continued implementation of the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics in our value chain
- Reducing the environmental footprint of our products
- Reducing the environmental footprint from our operations
- Improving working conditions within Infinera to be an attractive employer and drive initiatives that benefit local communities and causes