ABN AMRO is in constant communication not only with its clients and workforce, but also with an extensive network of other stakeholders: suppliers, investors, NGOs, academics, scientists and politicians. Their input is key to our efforts to give shape to our sustainability policy. Thanks to them we know what is important and we can realise our ambitions.
We then involve our stakeholders in our sustainability improvements, to make sure that what we do together is current, meaningful and relevant.
Lea Zeemans Stakeholder & Issue Manager, Sustainable Banking
Developing a stakeholder dialogue
We have been talking to our stakeholders for years about our policies, differences and similarities in understanding and our partnerships and shared interests. In 2014 we began giving this shape in formal dialogues, where we talk to multiple stakeholders at the same time about sustainability issues, and where they tell us what they feel is important. These dialogues offer us a means to find out what people are thinking and serve as a basis for optimising our agenda.
A better bank for a better world
This year we have scheduled four round-table sessions to talk to our stakeholders about a variety of themes relating to sustainable banking. The topics for discussion were put forward by those same stakeholders last year:
- How our operations and services impact society and the environment;
- Client satisfaction and how we can continue to ensure our clients’ privacy;
- Our policies for integrity and compliance;
- Respect for human rights.
These stakeholder dialogues yield a wealth of information about how our stakeholders perceive and prioritise current issues. This gives ABN AMRO a vital understanding of trends in society. We have clients in every part of society, and we need to know what people are thinking. Our stakeholders operate in a world that we want – and need – to understand in every detail. Their information tells us much more than we can learn from social media, websites and newspapers. It helps us to decide where we need to focus our efforts and what we can contribute, and indirectly how we can improve our policies. We then involve our stakeholders in our sustainability improvements, to make sure that what we do together is current, meaningful and relevant.
VBDO: a dialogue partner for sustainability
To organise these stakeholder dialogues in our stakeholder engagement process, we have teamed up with the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO), an independent partner whose object is to increase awareness of sustainability on the capital market. VBDO believes that sustainability begins at society’s financial roots: institutional and private investors, drivers of the economy whose considered decisions can lay the groundwork for a greener nation. A sustainable society is more likely to become reality if everyone on the capital market applies a social and ecological conscience in their investments. In the stakeholder engagement process VBDO offers critical input and strategic mediation, as well as keeping the minutes, leading the sessions and chairing the stakeholder dialogue days.
ABN AMRO: making improvements
The first stakeholder dialogue of 2015 (PDF 513 KB) was held last June. The session kicked off with a discussion of how our financial services impact the environment and our society. Various stakeholders offered a range of different perspectives on how ABN AMRO can improve – commercial and retail clients, NGOs, government authorities and sustainability experts. For example, we will now invest more in sustainable initiatives, make our operations climate-neutral and make sure that our policies are clearer and more transparent. We will provide updates on our progress and the results in our reports.
Your input on a sustainable future
We will renew the discussion on 15 September. This time we will be talking about:
- Security in financial transactions;
- The stability of digital services for payment transactions;
- Our clients’ privacy.
If you are an ABN AMRO client and you feel strongly about sustainability, sign up for one of our stakeholder dialogues. Non-clients who would like to add something to the discussion are also welcome to sign up. You can sign up by e-mailing us at email@example.com, explaining why you want to join the dialogue and attaching a CV.
- 15 September: client satisfaction, privacy and the security of our services;
- 26 November: integrity and compliance: responsible tax policies, integrity in conduct, improving compliance results;
- 9 December: Human Rights Conference.
If you have any questions about our sustainability and stakeholder policies, we invite you to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.