Materiality and stakeholder engagement Building enduring partnerships with stakeholders

ABB’s ongoing dialogue with people, businesses and wider society is central to achieving progress in sustainability

Stakeholder engagement

At ABB, we build long-lasting, value-creating partnerships with our stakeholders, who include our customers, suppliers, business partners, employees and the communities in which we operate.

We make use of a periodic survey to gauge customer satisfaction and help our company improve its operations. We also compile, evaluate, track and analyze all customer complaints using a single, global system that enables us to resolve problems efficiently.

Our Supplier Sustainability Development Program seeks to ensure that ABB’s suppliers meet environmental, health and safety, labor and human rights standards and requirements. The program assesses and reviews suppliers’ sustainability performance, initiates improvements and provides suppliers with training that builds their capacity to ensure that issues are recognized and addressed.

To connect with ABB’s investors, we have held regular roadshows over the past four years. In 2017, events were organized in Paris and Zurich. We also engage in individual meetings with fund managers and analysts.

We contribute to the social and economic progress of the communities in which ABB is present, and engage with representatives of civil society, unions and the media on an ongoing basis. Additionally, we have maintained longstanding relationships with several NGOs, United Nations agencies and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.


From 2010 to 2011, we conducted a major survey of our stakeholders to fundamentally reassess a range of material issues. Among the 600 respondents were senior ABB executives, employees from ABB businesses in different countries, customers and external stakeholders with specialized knowledge in key sustainability areas such as climate change, the environment and human rights.

Move the mouse over the image to see the definitions of each material issue.

2017 materiality matrix
2017 Materiality matrix (graphic)

In 2015, ABB created a sustainability report review panel comprised of key external stakeholders to study our approach to sustainable development. The panel also reviewed the company’s most material issues. Our current materiality matrix incorporates their feedback and recommendations, which have enhanced our sustainability reporting. In 2017, the panel provided further constructive inputs on our nine sustainability objectives. Their assessment and ABB’s response to the panel’s recommendations are available online.