About this report

In dialogue with our stakeholders

Given the important role played by the chemicals, plastics and life sciences industry in society, essenscia attaches great importance to constructive dialogue with stakeholders such as NGOs and public authorities. Consultation with all interested parties is therefore an essential aspect of its work. In its daily activities, essenscia is in regular contact with its stakeholders, including through the many essenscia events in which stakeholders are actively involved. The federation’s participation in regional, national and European advisory and consultative bodies is a further indication of the importance it attaches to dialogue.

essenscia’s main stakeholders

From the very first edition of the sustainability report in 2009, stakeholders have been actively in its creation. In the preparatory phase, essenscia organises meetings to gather their advice and input, and it asks for their feedback after publication. essenscia is grateful for their valuable input, which it takes into account as much as it can.

Listening to stakeholders’ advice
2009 Materiality analysis to select the indicators
2011 Adding stakeholders quotes
2013 Developing visions
2015 Adding indicators on resource efficiency and innovation
2017 Updating materiality analysis leading to additional indicators

Updating the materiality analysis

During the preparation of this report, stakeholders advised essenscia to explain its choice of indicators more clearly. They also suggested revising the materiality analysis carried out in 2009 to reflect changes since then, with agreement on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the new set of standards developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to replace earlier guidelines. essenscia took this advice on board and updated the materiality analysis. The details of this exercise can be found in the section on ‘selecting the indicators’.

essenscia in dialogue with the stakeholders

The view of the CRS expert

The chemicals, plastics and life sciences sector is an important economic pillar of the Belgian economy and chemistry is omnipresent in our daily lives. But what are the contributions and impacts of this sector on the environment and on society? In a survey carried out last Spring 2017 on 963 Belgian citizens, half of them declared to be quite uninformed: for 47,6% of respondents, the sector is not transparent enough. Informing Belgians about the sector’s sustainability activities should be one of the top priority, because the more informed the public, the more positive its perceptions about the sector.

The chemicals, plastics and life sciences sector is an important economic pillar of the Belgian economy and chemistry is omnipresent in our daily lives. But what are the contributions and impacts of this sector on the environment and on society? In a survey carried out last Spring 2017 on 963 Belgian citizens, half of them declared to be quite uninformed: for 47,6% of respondents, the sector is not transparent enough. Informing Belgians about the sector’s sustainability activities should be one of the top priority, because the more informed the public, the more positive its perceptions about the sector.

In this sectoral report, the public can discover in just a few clicks numerous actions taken by the sector to progress in the direction of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). From security and safety at work to resource efficiency, water use and industrial waste, this report aggregates data at the sectoral level. The illustrations via the companies’ achievements renders the report accessible to any stakeholder independently of his/her level of scientific expertise. Moreover, essenscia gathered, analyzed and disclosed information in a way that they can be subject to close examination by experts. Finally, this report sets ambitions for the future that engage the sector in the transition to a sustainable society.

This report can definitely contribute to progress the dialogue with stakeholders and develop awareness and support from a larger audience, if used in combination with other communication channels. But let’s hope that this report will also be used to help drive the sector further towards sustainability.

Valérie Swaen
Full professor CSR, Université catholique de Louvain

Credit picture : Jan Locus

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