Engaging with Stakeholders

Two main topics dominated the discussions we held on sustainability issues with stakeholders in 2020: COVID-19 and climate change. Below is an overview by stakeholder group of our engagement on these issues during the year. In addition, our Board of Directors engages directly with stakeholder groups; details can be found on pages 60 to 63 in Stakeholder engagement.

Investors – Climate change was the leading sustainability issue raised by investors in 2020. We held constructive discussions on our climate strategy, recycling and investment in emerging technologies. Our progress in building female leadership and protecting biodiversity were also raised. RHI Magnesita gained a B for its CDP climate submission in 2020 and is rated AA by MSCI, Silver by EcoVadis and Prime (C+) by ISS ESG rankings.

Customers – Climate action and COVID-19 – both in terms of safety and business continuity – were the sustainability issues raised the most in 2020. Since our customers are high-emitting industries in hard-to-abate sectors, we work together to reduce emissions in their operations and value chain. This has included piloting our new low-carbon bricks and mobile recycling solutions, as well as rolling out technologies to reduce energy use and emissions in production. As part of the new Inno Challenge, our innovation accelerator programme, we will explore how to further support customers’ climate strategies (see further detail on page 70). In addition, our safety integration project is developing shared commitments and processes.

Employees – COVID-19 and our business restructuring were the topics on which we engaged most with employees in 2020. We ramped up internal communications to ensure employees understood COVID-19 safety protocols as well as how and why we are accelerating our strategy to transform our business. As we streamlined operations, we worked with unions, works councils and other employee representatives to develop the most equitable solutions for affected employees. Our global survey provided valuable feedback from employees and yielded a 79% engagement score, exceeding both the global benchmark and the benchmark for manufacturing.

Suppliers and contractors – COVID-19, climate and safety were the three sustainability issues on which we engaged most in 2020. We continue to work with suppliers to better understand emissions in our supply chain so as to drive them down. On safety, we have extended coverage to contractors on our sites and continue our safety integration project.

Communities – COVID-19 was the main focus of engagement and support in 2020. Since our sites lie in relatively remote locations, we engage directly with local communities. The COVID-19 relief we provided ranged from medical supplies and equipment to hospitals to emergency food and cash donations to relief efforts. We are now exploring how to support longer-term rebuilding efforts. In Brazil, for example, we have set up schemes to train people in technical fields, while also creating an incomegenerating project for female entrepreneurs.
Multilateral partnerships are another way we work to address the biggest sustainability challenges. To advance carbon capture and usage technologies, for example, we also work with universities, research institutions and industry partnerships like the European Cement Research Academy.