Excellent community relations have been a part of TITAN’s tradition since its foundation more than 100 years ago. Indeed, stakeholder engagement has been an informal practice long before it became a trend internationally. In view of the current environmental and social challenges, this tool is of strategic importance - meeting the expectation of TITAN’s stakeholders.
Stakeholder engagement is a licence to operate - from raw materials, to the production and distribution of cement; stakeholders are at the centre of the Company’s effort to make more good and less harm. TITAN has realised the need to more formally, proactively and systematically engage with its stakeholders and seeks to understand the impact of its operations (e.g., environmental impact, health and safety) and the specific concerns of the company’s stakeholders. These may differ from one country to another depending on the particular socio-economic and political conditions that prevail.
TITAN’s approach for stakeholder identification is based on international standards and best practice, aiming both at internal and external stakeholders. The main principles for identification are guided by the U.N. Global Compact definition regarding the “within the sphere of influence” guideline and the AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard. As formally identified in the Company’s Annual CSR Reports, stakeholders are TITAN’s employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, local communities and public authorities. However, key stakeholder groups might be different at local level, depending on the particular social and political conditions of each area.
Different communication means are used to secure open and constructive dialogues with stakeholders, including forum, communication days, conferences, face-to-face meetings and disclosure of performance reports. The outcome of this process is guiding the evolution of TITAN’s corporate social responsibility and sustainability strategy, policies, targets and practices at both local and Group level.
The process that both utilises feedback and maps our priorities is schematically described below:
An extensive analysis conducted over several years, regarding the process of identification of key stakeholders and their concerns, has shown that key stakeholder groups and priorities might be different at local level depending on the specific social and political conditions that prevail from one place of TITAN’s operations to another.
To address this diversity TITAN has set up national CSR Committees that are responsible for assessing and monitoring the outcome of the CSR performance at least once a year at country level, as well as to analyse the feedback from stakeholder dialogue. Through the national CSR Committees we can ensure direct development and implementation of action plans which meet particular local priorities.
However, each year, the Group and the national CSR Committees re-examine priorities of relevant action plans in order to focus on issues that are more material to TITAN’s business and take action where needed.
In the words of TITAN’s CEO, stakeholder dialogue and engagement help us to focus on building trust, engaging in meaningful partnerships, fostering new initiatives in our communities, creating and promoting win-win solutions for business and society at large, as society’s needs and expectations evolve.
Our 1st stakeholder forum was launched in Greece in 2008, where Titan gathered employees, community leaders, investors, press, NGOs, key suppliers and key customers in an open discussion. We publish the minutes on our website including the issues discussed, as well as development of targets and policies based on the outcome of the meeting.
In 2010, from the Stakeholder forum in Greece’s Elefsina, the Titan’s Road Map 2017 was born, with key ESG issues and company targets. TITAN, consecutively, organized two other stakeholder forums: one in FYROM and one in Bulgaria in the same year. In 2011, Serbia and Kosovo set up Local Advisory Panels. This was part of the process conducting stakeholder mapping, interviews and surveys to identify the main expectations and needs for company employees, for communities, suppliers and local municipalities. Concretely, in Kosovo the main topic was community development. In Serbia, it was the use of alternative fuels. In Greece and Egypt, the countries that suffered most from the financial crisis and political uncertainty, the issues of health and safety, employment and human rights were top priorities.
Subsequent company actions include a web-based plant emissions report in FYROM and in Serbia, open plant day for the local communities, contractors’ crew management guidelines, and local CSR performance reports among others.