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The transportation industry is highly regulated all over the world, so we’re in regular dialog with the public sector at many levels. UPS is constantly investing in advanced technology of many kinds, from alternative fuels to IT. We also work with universities, advanced technology companies, and innovative suppliers, so we’re plugged into universities and the hightech sector. UPS employees also donated 1.8 million volunteer hours in 2012, learning first-hand about their communities’ needs.
Behind the scenes, UPS has a long-standing philosophy of “constructive dissatisfaction.” We’re always looking for ways to do a good thing even better. This has taught us that good ideas can come from anywhere – even people who may be critical of us. That’s one of the many reasons we are regularly in dialog with a wide range of stakeholders including employees, customers, investors, community leaders, universities, and public officials.
We also regularly invite outside stakeholders to present their perspectives in our Corporate Sustainability Report. This year, they include Cisco Systems (see Customer Statement, Cisco System), Earthwatch Institute (see Stakeholder Statement, Earthwatch Institute), the American Red Cross (see Stakeholder Statement, The American Red Cross), and Henry Schein (see Customer Statement, Henry Schein).
While we have formal channels for engaging with all these stakeholders, we value and take advantage of many informal channels as well. For example, we:
- Support and collaborate with leading global sustainability organizations regarding resource issues, policy and innovation opportunities, and transparent reporting on sustainability performance (see UPS Collaborates with World Leaders in Sustainability);
- Participate annually in dozens of assessments, surveys, and inquiries by non-government organizations and research firms as a way to learn about how we compare to our competitors and other sustainability leaders (see Recognition for Responsibility);
- Actively seek and gather feedback from our employees through the us of internal surveys, focus groups, and confidential hotlines (see Materiality and Stakeholder Engagement);
- Engage respectfully in open dialog with our labor unions to answer their concerns (see Materiality and Stakeholder Engagement);
- Solicit insights from non-profits, academics, and community leaders on a variety of emerging issues or concerns;
- Review performance scorecards, reporting standards, and other benchmarking tools, such as awards submissions, to identify areas where we can improve;
- Respond directly to inquiries and comments from groups concerned about our business practices;
- Conduct proactive surveys with customers;
- Catalogue, review, and address customer comments about service issues or concerns about UPS’s actions;
- Hold benchmarking sessions with other companies to determine best practices that can be implemented at UPS;
- Require managers to respond to critical comments that emerge from employees, both personally and collectively;
- Communicate transparently, consistently, and frequently with shareowners; and
- Audit media coverage of our company and our industry, including online commentary, to identify emerging issues or trends regarding UPS’s operational impact, customer service levels, and other aspects of our business.
In summary, we appreciate feedback on our own operations and seek to share our expertise with others.