In order to carry out our mission, strategy and activities well, we want to know the interests of our stakeholders and include these as much as possible in our decision-making. Shifts in our stakeholders’ interests can also have an impact on our strategy and activities. We are therefore constantly in dialogue with many different stakeholders.
We identify our stakeholders by the extent to which our activities affect them, and the extent to which they can have an influence on our organisation or operations. Our stakeholders include our customers, our partners in participations, our shareholder, employees, the local community, policy-makers, public authorities, regulatory authorities, investors, contractors, suppliers, the media, interest groups and social advocacy organisations. In our stakeholder table (see Annex), we provide more details about our most important stakeholders and their interests, as well as relevant points of discussion and the outcomes of these discussions.
We exchange most information through personal contact with our stakeholders. This approach is taken at all levels within the company, and by all departments. Our Executive Board is also closely involved in this process, and has frequent contact with different stakeholders during the year, varying from the shareholder and political representatives to advocacy organisations and customers. In addition, we communicate through channels such as our website, social media and newsletters.
In 2018, in addition to contact on our regular activities, we also actively talked about and worked towards the Climate Agreement with a broad group of stakeholders. We participated in a number of Climate Tables and, for example, worked with environmental organisations, knowledge institutes, local authorities and businesses to set up the Hydrogen Coalition, aimed at getting the hydrogen economy off to a flying start. In the chains for green gas, heat grids and CCS, we are likewise actively working with various stakeholders to develop concrete plans that contribute to achieving the climate goals.
Since the energy transition is a topic that is important to a broad segment of the public, we also share our knowledge, experience and vision on various stages at events and conferences. This often gives rise to interesting discussions with stakeholders. For instance, in 2018, CEO Han Fennema presented a session together with TenneT at the Springtij sustainability forum on Terschelling, and Executive Board member Ulco Vermeulen spoke at the international Wind meets Gas symposium.
We are represented in various partnerships and consultative bodies. One of these is the interest group for the gas sector, Koninklijke Vereniging van Gasfabrikanten Nederland (KVGN), chaired by Han Fennema.
When reporting on results in our annual report, we believe it is important to take our stakeholders’ opinions into account. This view informed the materiality analysis as well (see Our key themes).