Stakeholders are defined as groups (or individuals) that can reasonably be expected to be significantly affected by a company’s activities, products and services, or whose actions can reasonably be expected to affect the ability of the organization to successfully implement its strategies and achieve its objectives.
Engaging with stakeholders is a critical practice that enables an organization to understand the expectations, concerns and insights of stakeholders, and evaluate and prioritize them in terms of their potential to affect business success or impacts on people and the environment. Building mutual trust with stakeholders through open dialogue, consultation and collaboration enables an organization to effectively advance sustainability priorities, anticipate risk and identify potential business opportunities.
Ribbon aims to address the needs and expectations of stakeholders in a responsible, accountable and transparent manner. We believe that engaging with stakeholders is good for our business and our ability to deliver favorable results for them and for the broader needs of society and the environment in general. Our approach is based on defining our core stakeholder groups and establishing stakeholder engagement strategies that are tailored to the needs of each group relative to their relationship with our business. We aim to engage with stakeholders in a targeted way on a regular basis.
In 2021, we conducted a mapping process to identify stakeholder groups relevant to Ribbon and formulated an approach to engage with them.
Identifying stakeholders and key expectations
In 2021, we analyzed stakeholder groups relevant to Ribbon and created a list of 10 stakeholder clusters, representing the different voices of influence and the different impacts we have as a business on these groups.
The 10 stakeholder clusters are (in alphabetical order):
- Capital Markets: investors and investment analysts, rankers and raters of ESG performance
- Communities: local communities, resident associations, local interest groups
- Customers: all consumer categories and sales channel partners
- Employees: current and potential staff members, their families and retirees, employee representatives
- Financers: banks, insurance agencies and financial service providers
- Industry: peers, business associations and opinion leaders, standard setters
- Influencers: sustainability standard setters, global or national sustainability organizations, corporate responsibility opinion leaders, UN and international institutions, media and social media
- Regulators: national government, local municipalities, licensing authorities
- Society and Planet: Non-Governmental Organizations, nonprofits, humanitarian, human rights and environmental organizations, academia
- Suppliers: sellers, distributors, vendors, contract manufacturers and relevant associations
Categorizing stakeholder ainfluence
We analyzed these stakeholder groups based on three considerations:
- Impact: the degree Ribbon’s business and activities impact their lives
- Influence: the degree to which they influence Ribbon’s business success
- Intensity: the frequency and depth of interaction with each group
Creating a targeted engagement approach
Using the stakeholder influence analysis, we organized stakeholder groups by engagement approach. The three types of engagement we established for this purpose were:
- Collaborate: for stakeholders with very high impact, influence and intensity of interaction. We aspire to engage meaningfully and collaborate closely on a variety of topics.
- Consult: for stakeholders with high impact, high influence and a medium level of interaction. We aspire to listen closely to their needs and expectations before making important decisions in our business and consult with them on a range of issues.
- Communicate: for stakeholders with a medium level of impact, influence and intensity of interaction. We aspire to ensure these stakeholders are always on our radar, so that we can inform them transparently of our progress and performance and engage more deeply on an as needed basis.
Our Stakeholder Engagement Approach
In accordance with the Stakeholder Engagement Approach shown above, we define specific communication channels for engagement with each stakeholder group on a frequency relevant to each group and to the nature of the relevant topics. We report transparently to our stakeholders through our annual Sustainability Report
Version 2: August 2021