SolarWorld in dialog
Broadly defined, stakeholders include all people or groups who have an interest in the progress or result of a process or project. For SolarWorld AG, sustainable management means incorporating the needs of all groups of stakeholders.
The SolarWorld Group strives not only to maintain, but to enhance its ongoing contact with stakeholders. Consequently, SolarWorld analyzes the needs of the different stakeholders at different levels based on data collected inhouse and through external surveys.
The graphic below provides an overview of our stakeholder mapping. Reporting at SolarWorld follows the AA1000 standard. Defined by the non-profit member organization "Institute of Social and Ethical AccountAbility", this process standard is designed to ensure that stakeholders are involved in sustainable corporate management.
Employees, customers, suppliers
The needs of all stakeholder groups are already incorporated and analyzed in varying degrees of depth. SolarWorld carries out an internal analysis for all stakeholder groups, based on information within the company and from external studies. Employees have the possibility to approach the Management Board with information and suggestions, either through their managers or, at German sites, through the works council. In 2015, the first global employee survey was carried out with a high response. The issues detected should be tackled with corresponding measures. In the mid-term, dialog will include other stakeholder groups, too. We interview our customers annually and maintain an intensive dialog with our Partner Advisory Board. Furthermore we conduct regular certified partner seminars to present new products. Systematic customer survey is carried out among our wholesalers and installers. So far, end customers have only been interviewed on an ad-hoc basis since such survey requires a lot of time and effort. Procurement has stepped up communication with suppliers in recent years, e.g. via annual supplier days. The fifth supplier day was carried out in March 2016 in Hillsboro. We interview our suppliers once a year on occasion of the supplier rating.
We maintain close links with the communities at our SolarWorld sites and discuss specific concerns. For instance, we are present on regional career fairs or we organize own campaign days.
In projects from our Solar2World program, we donate solar power modules to NGOs that use these modules for projects in developing countries. The NGOs apply to us and establish contact to the project partners on site. In the projects, we then work with regional contact persons in order to find solutions that create the greatest possible benefit for the people on site, and that can be implemented and continued by local partners. In 2015, 113 kWp were delivered to Solar2World projects.
Professional associations, advocacy organizations, academic institutions
Thanks to our membership in associations and interest groups as well as our cooperative initiatives with scientific institutions, we maintain a regular dialog on social policy issues with stakeholders. We exchange ideas on topics like life cycle, recycling and sustainability with the EPIA Sustainability Group and the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC). Moreover, we are in dialog with the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), also locall in Oregon and California, especially on political topics and trade issues.
For the compilation of the sustainability report, we request feedback from our stakeholders on an annual basis. We conducted a large-scale, direct online survey for the first time to assess material aspects and topics. The results of this survey are included in the materiality analysis and are outlined in the sustainability report. Furthermore, we disclose our Communication on Progress along the ten principles of the UN Global Compact in our sustainability report, which is available to all stakeholders. Stakeholder initiatives can even influence the implementation of these principles, for example, via networks built by/with stakeholders or standards requested by stakeholders. We also disclose environmental information in the CDP. The CDP is aimed at sustainability-oriented investors.