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Vopak aims for both transparency and an open dialog with its various stakeholders, including but not limited to customers, suppliers and neighbors. Vopak highly values stakeholder views and input, enabling us to fine tune our sustainability policy including target and measurement formulation. Such a dialog can also provide guidance in making choices with respect to sustainability dilemmas that may occur in our everyday business operations.
In addition to maintaining direct contact with our stakeholders, we undertake various sustainability surveys as well as employee and customer satisfaction surveys. Vopak itself (via our global insurance, global internal audit, terminal health assessments and project post implementation reviews) as well as our customers and various authorities periodically undertake audits at our terminals. The purpose of these audits is to assess the controls in place for internal processes, verify the integrity of our terminals, pre-assess implementation plans and measure our sustainability performance.
We also maintain regular contacts with neighbors, local communities, regional and national authorities as well as with investors. Each year approximately 300 individual meetings during roadshows and conferences take place. In addition, we organize regular communications through webcasts and our website. All such communication moments enable us to be transparent towards all stakeholders.
Just as important are our contacts with a wide variety of non-governmental organizations, sustainability organizations and government representatives in the countries where we operate. Vopak has been included in a number of external benchmarks (e.g. VBDO, the Carbon Disclosure Project and the Transparency Benchmark of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs) during 2014.
Our stakeholder engagement has enabled us to define key stakeholders and their expectations as follows:
- Customers: Increasingly put sustainability high on their agenda. They require Vopak, as an important link in their supply chain, to align its sustainability policy at a minimum with theirs
- Neighbors and local communities: Increasingly require Vopak to engage with them and to address issues like stench and odors
- Authorities: Issue stricter regulations and increase inspections for the industry as a whole.
- Employees: Value a company that cares, helps develop their talents and offers training programs to drive the full potential of every individual
- Shareholders: Increasingly take a long-term appreciative view of companies with a drive for sustainable profitability.