Ranking of Austrian Online CSR Reports

Results 2020: Benteler - Sustainability Report 2017

For the ranking in each category (Strategic Approach, Open Information and User Orientation) click on the respective link below.

1. STRATEGIC APPROACH2614.311.942.8
a. Were the material aspects identified according to the criteria of the GRI standard?
b. Does the company take responsibility for its impact along the entire value chain?
c. Does the corporate strategy include a management approach to all material topics?
d. Are both harm reduction strategies and maximization of benefits pursued?
e. Have appropriate structures and processes for sustainability management been set up and sufficiently presented in the report?
2. OPEN INFORMATION1016.26.226.9
a. Does the report make clear and complete statements? (Key figures on all material topics, interpretation of development, definition/evaluation of goals)
b. Is the report balanced? (positive / negative developments, solved / unresolved problems, etc.)
c. Are internal and external stakeholders appropriately involved and are the relevant structures and processes disclosed?
3. USER ORIENTATION246.54.017.0
a. Is the report clearly structured according to the material topics?
b. Is the text clear and precise, easy to understand and read?
c. Is the visualization appealing and does it support the understanding of the content?
d. Is the report user-friendly and are online features sufficiently utilized? (Target group specific approach, optional information, links, timeliness, interactivity etc.)
TOTAL RANK & SCORE2437.153.686.2


(provided by students, how the company should improve its report)

Including the materiality matrix and exact impact assessment along clearly labeled axis is strongly suggested, as in the current report provides only the final list of relevant topics and reference that "BENTELER worked with an external sustainability consultancy to draw up a strategic framework“. Including more details on strategic framework would improve transparency and completeness as well as shed more light on materiality.

An overview of goals and measurable targets deviced from relevant material aspects would be highly advisable, as without the overview a reader must spend quite a lot of time and read the whole report to try to find out company’s sustainable goals and understand how Benteler plans to achieve that & how progress is going (as every goal is placed in relevant section of the report and not really highlighted).

Include the management approach and information of how is CSR and sustainability anchored in hierarchy of the company.

They could describe their material analysis more detailed and how they exactly came up with the approach in cooperation with their stakeholders.

I would strongly recommend the company to establish SDGs in the short run and CoPs in the long run. My reasoning for that is that it is hard for the reader to identify the future agenda of Benteler on the first sight. This means that if the reader does not take a deep dive into the report, he/she will not get an impression of future actions Benteler is willing to take. Moreover, it would enhance the level of comparison and therefore establish a better international standard.

In my opinion, the approach of their material topics and the dialogue with their stakeholders are too self-centered and efficiency-driven. They always state that whatever is good for the environment is good for their financials but that’s not the point when it comes to social responsibility.

Their information should be presented in a way more precise way.

They need to demonstrate their aims and results with more balance.

Focus on structure and processes needed for a progress of sustainable goals

It seems to me that they should discuss a lot more with external stakeholders. They already talk to their suppliers and communities around their buildings, but they should include them more into their structures, processes and management systems.

They should involve more tools of visualization.

A more user-friendly layout of the report. More graphics and tables would loosen the report as a whole.

The last step for the company to work on is the user-friendliness by improving the design and the use of visualizations as well as the use of the outlet. The latter is already convenient because Benteler uses an interactive PDF but by working on an online version it could create a better user experience. The use of visualization tools is not sufficient. Benteler could work with more graphics to create a better understanding of all the key figures within the text.

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