As a globally active company, it is of great importance for Zeppelin’s business success to have an open and constructive dialog with all stakeholders. This helps us to build trusting relationships, deepen partnerships and learn about sustainability-related requirements for our business. Together with stakeholders, we identify sustainability topics relevant to Zeppelin, assess their urgency, and define action areas for ongoing improvements.
|Works Council||Involvement in specific projects such as New Work|
|Employees||Employee surveys, town hall meetings, internal information platform – ZNET, Z IDEA ideas management, CSR newsletter|
|Subsidiaries||Town hall meetings, internal information platform – ZNET, CSR newsletter|
|Strategic Business Units||Steering Committee (CSR/LksG), Sharepoint platform – ZNET, CSR newsletter|
|Supervisory Board||Monthly reporting, three regular Supervisory Board meetings per year|
|Board of Trustees of the Zeppelin Foundation||Quarterly reporting by the Chairman of the Management Board|
|Friedrichshafen Municipal Council as company representative||Annual reporting on the annual financial statements Special reporting on topics relevant to shareholders|
|Customers||Customer visits, customer inquiries, customer surveys, trade fairs, and social media communication|
|Caterpillar||Work with Caterpillar to create customized solutions, participate in training, address product and market requirements|
|Suppliers||Exchange and cooperation with suppliers|
|Government & authorities||Legal cadastral register, communication on specific topics (trade associations, trade supervisory office, and environmental office)|
|Financing partners and investors||Bankers Day, press conference on financial statements, investor conferences, and regular dialog|
|Associations||Active work in associations (see the section Memberships in associations and initiatives)|
|Science||Projects with universities, lectures, seminars, discussion panels, and founder of the Zeppelin University Foundation|
In the summer of 2020, a comprehensive stakeholder survey was conducted on the topic of “Sustainability at Zeppelin”; all Zeppelin’s employees and around 230 external business partners were invited to participate. The results of the survey were presented in detail in the Sustainability Report for 2020 and 2021. A further comprehensive employee survey is planned for 2023, which among other things aims to evaluate the effectiveness of sustainability management at Zeppelin.
Based on the stakeholder surveys and SWOT analyses carried out, the materiality matrix was created for the first time in 2016 and continually updated and revised over the years. The analysis of the key topics took into account both the recommendations of the GRI Standards 2021 and the requirements of the future Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. The topics were developed in two stages. Initially, the CSR managers of the strategic business units evaluated the topics by means of a scoring template. The CSR managers discussed and evaluated these results together with the representatives of the specialist departments in a subsequent workshop.
Three different perspectives were evaluated. Firstly, actual and potential impacts on the economy, the environment and people, including the impact on human rights, were considered in the context of our activities and business relationships. The severity (including the extent, scope and irreversibility) and probability of occurrence were crucial factors in the analysis. The evaluation was based on internal and external audit results, benchmarking, internal mechanisms of complaint procedures, and the expert knowledge of the specialist departments. Secondly, the assessment looked at the financial impact on the company and the relevance for stakeholders. The classification of risk management was used as a basis for the financial evaluation (see Annual Report 2022, p. 94 et seq.). The stakeholder relevance resulted from the aforementioned employee opinion survey of 2020. If a sustainability issue represented a high actual and potential impact or significant financial impact for the company, the issue was classified as material.
Compared with the previous year, diversity and customer health and safety were therefore defined as additional key topics. Energy efficiency was linked to the topic of carbon neutrality on account of prioritization and selection. Waste is now part of the higher-level topic of the circular economy.