At the end of 2014, the organisation actively pursued dialogue with its stakeholders. In consultation with MVOplossingen, stakeholder categories have been determined in order to facilitate stakeholder dialogue. It has been agreed to invite stakeholders who have actively sought contact with the company in previous years to help shape CSR policy.
Stakeholders who have been thoroughly involved in the dialogue are:
- Employees, including a member of the Works Council and two managers from the Matratzen Concord formula in Germany.
- Customers who have been carefully selected for their thorough knowledge of CSR.
- Shareholders: two substantial holdings, each represented by two employees delegated to participate in the dialogue, one of whom being a specialist in CSR.
- Members of the retail sector, including a CSR manager of a partner retailer and the secretary of the Dutch Retail Council.
- Suppliers, including a manufacturer from Belgium.
- Non-governmental organisations (NGOs): specialists from the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO) and Eumedion.
The dialogue took place by surveying stakeholders beforehand on what priorities they believed Beter Bed Holding should set. Then, in three sessions lasting around three hours each with no more than five to a group, stakeholders elaborated their vision for CSR at Beter Bed Holding and discussed the results of the survey. The Chief Financial Officer and an employee from Group Controlling represented the company in the dialogue in order to listen to the stakeholders' views and provide insights by answering their questions. Stakeholders had the opportunity to revisit the CSR priorities at Beter Bed Holding named in the survey during the dialogue session. The process was overseen by the consultancy firm MVOplossingen, a specialist on CSR communication in annual reports.
During the dialogue, the following topics and issues were raised and discussed:
- Selection of topics: the extensive list of GRI G4 topics was discussed, whereby stakeholders suggested which topics were important to them and why. The company then decided to combine certain topics (see section on Materiality).
- Style of reporting: it has been discussed what stakeholders thought of the tone of voice used in reporting and to what extent the content is in line with the company's image.
- Reporting strategy: the company is looking to publish a concise and easy-to-read annual report. That is why Beter Bed Holding reports briefly and succinctly on CSR in its annual report, and goes into detail in the CSR Report. The company believes this meets the need for information of all its stakeholders.
The three most important conclusions of the stakeholder dialogue are:
- The pragmatic approach has formed a sound basis for CSR within the organisation. Now it is vital to embed this topic even deeper into the organisation.
- Beter Bed Holding has its own business affairs in order and should now give more priority to responsibility in the chain.
- The reporting structure of a compact annual report with a more detailed CSR report (including GRI Index) is valued.
The priorities that came out of the stakeholder dialogue can be found in the Materiality section.
Stakeholders may contact the company by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The right person within the company will contact the stakeholder according to the topic or question. It is also possible to reach the company at www.beterbedholding.com by filling in the contact form. Finally, the company may also be in direct contact with shareholders and NGOs as part of Investor Relations. This is primarily done through the Management Board. The company did not initiate any new dialogue sessions in 2015, given the recent dialogue (at the end of 2014), of which the findings are currently being elaborated, and the fact that there were no significant developments in the nature of the organisation in 2015. There has therefore been no cause to review material topics, as stated in the Materiality section.