- Hitachi includes the participation of stakeholders in decision-making processes for CSR activities. Engagement with stakeholders started in 2007, initially to know what kind of key issues are related to Hitachi (the start of our materiality process). Then we held our first stakeholder dialogue from 2009 worldwide to identify social and environmental issues which are important for stakeholders but at the same time salient to our basin.
- Hitachi has identified the material issues globally by conducting assessments from the perspectives of stakeholder materiality and the impact on management. They are 1) Products that create a sustainable society (sustainable business), 2) Protecting the Environment, 3) Public Policy Initiatives, 4) Respect for Human Rights, 5)Supply Chain Management, and 6) Diversity Management. These key issues are reported on in the Hitachi Sustainability Report. Within these themes, each stakeholder dialogue addresses different and concrete societal challenges relevant to the business environment and business portfolio in each of Hitachi’s geographical regions.
- Gain understanding on the thoughts and approach of opinion leaders on the societal and environmental issues which affect Hitachi’s mid-long term management
- Gain stakeholders’ opinions and feedback for our vision, strategy and technologies
- Increase our credibility and visibility by demonstrating how we address key social/environmental issues (particularly through our technologies)
- Gain recognition as being an open and transparent company
- Stakeholder dialogues are organised by the CSR leadership of each regional headquarter (Americas, China, Asia, India and Europe) with strong support from the CSR Division based in Hitachi’s headquarters in Japan and close collaboration with business groups. The outcome is shared with top management after the dialogue, and reported externally through sustainability report. In Europe, we also provide a follow up report after 6 months to all participants in order to update them with our actions taken as a result of the dialogue.
- Key issues can differ from one stakeholder group to another and from region to region.
- How to balance requirements from stakeholders and at the same time identify our key issues.
- The productivity of the discussion depends on participant’s knowledge and understanding of the purpose of the meeting, this need to be communicated clearly and kept on track by the moderator.
- Ensure participants understand that Hitachi organises such events in order to ‘listen’ to stakeholders, not to answer to all questions as at a shareholder meeting.
- Acting on recommendations and ongoing follow-up with key participants of the stakeholder dialogue is the real success of the dialogue. (The dialogue is not a standalone event.)
- Follow up meetings are sometimes organised separately on specific issues between relevant business groups and individual participants.
- Better recognition by policy makers of Hitachi’s involvement with a particular theme.
- Better understanding by management and business groups on the social and environmental issues which Hitachi is deeply connected to.