ABB’s purpose is to enable a more sustainable and resource-efficient future with our technology leadership in electrification and automation. Based on a meaningful dialogue and close cooperation with key stakeholder groups, we consistently work to shape and sharpen ABB’s positions and policies to reflect the full range of our stakeholders’ perspectives. This ongoing dialogue has reliably enabled us to identify the topics that are most material for both ABB and our stakeholders.
We maintain regular contact with our various stakeholder groups, including customers, employees and suppliers. We engage in a transparent dialogue with the capital markets to enable participants to make informed investment decisions on a timely basis. And we interact regularly with governments and civil-society organizations, as well as communities and external partners.
Our approach to business is customer-centric. We meet frequently with customers to discuss ABB’s offerings and how we can address their needs, including the need to become more sustainable, achieve greater efficiency and reduce GHG emissions. Our experts share advice and build relationships of trust.
How we engage:
- Customer fairs
- Customer service
- Key account manager relationships
- Customer requests
- Sustainability partnerships
In 2021, ABB launched the Energy Efficiency Movement, an initiative that invites companies and organizations to make firm commitments to improving the energy efficiency of their operations.
ABB founded the movement because we believe that the benefits of greater energy efficiency go well beyond the fight against climate change. In our experience, energy efficiency not only contributes to environmental conservation and cleaner air and water but also serves as a platform for improving public health, enabling energy independence, and boosting stronger economic growth and development.
The Energy Efficiency Movement welcomes the participation of any organization that is committed to improving energy efficiency. Those interested in participating find that joining the movement is simple and straightforward: they and then act on it. The movement has grown rapidly since its launch, with 125 organizations already committed by the end of 2022.
Energy Efficiency Movement participants are encouraged to collaborate and establish partnerships within the movement for a more energy-efficient world, with the understanding that to make the world more energy efficient, all stakeholders should work together, leveraging their collective creativity and determination.
We also encourage participants to share their energy-efficiency-related best practices and solutions through their own communications channels, using the #energyefficiencymovement hashtag and the movement’s symbol.
Investors and the broader financial community provide the capital and liquidity that enable us to run our business. We use a variety of communication channels and discussion platforms to explain our strategy and keep the investment community up to date on our financial and sustainability performance and outlook.
How we engage:
- Group reporting
- Press releases
- Investor Relations website
- Quarterly analyst and investor webcasts
- Investor roadshows and conferences
- One-on-one meetings
- Annual General Meetings
- Capital Markets Days
We rely on trusting and stable relationships with our suppliers to support our business. As partners, we work together to create shared value, drive continuous innovation and improve sustainability across the entire value chain.
How we engage:
- Town hall events for suppliers
- Procurement management
- Providing training and engaging in special projects on sustainability performance
- On-site evaluations
- Monitoring through our Sustainable Supply Base Management (SSBM) program
Our people make ABB successful. They bring new ideas to life, develop innovative solutions and deliver them with excellence to our customers. To ensure that we are an attractive employer, we listen to our people and engage in an open dialogue to identify and resolve potential issues. We want to continue to create a purpose-driven culture in which everyone can realize their potential.
How we engage:
- Annual performance reviews
- Annual employee engagement survey
- Learning and development opportunities
- Global network of employee resource groups (ERGs) promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace
- Collective bargaining associations
- Dialogue with the ABB Employees Council Europe, the representative body of all ABB employees in Europe
- Sustainability Changemaker Award, which is open to all employees and recognizes and rewards innovations that drive sustainable progress across our value chain
In 2022, ABB Motion created the Greener in Motion program to engage colleagues in pushing harder for sustainable alternatives, both inside and outside our organization. The program foresees a four hour face-to-face workshop, leveraging , which has successfully enabled climate education worldwide since 2018.
The workshop begins with a “collaborative, serious game” in which participants use cards to create an image that summarizes the causes and consequences of climate change, based on the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This helps participants develop a better understanding of why sustainability is such an urgent issue.
Next, the workshop guides participants through ABB’s position on sustainability and what we are doing internally and externally to tackle the issue. Participants are provided with a clear understanding of ABB ́s 2030 sustainability strategy and the details of its four main pillars. The third and last part of the Greener in Motion workshop helps deepen participants’ awareness of how they can contribute to sustainability in their roles at ABB. Attendees brainstorm about the risks and opportunities associated with their potential capacity to help protect the climate.
Although primarily envisaged for salespeople, the Greener in Motion workshop can be easily adapted for other business areas, functions and customers. Making full use of the flexibility provided to them by ABB’s decentralized operating model, ABB Motion’s local organizations have begun revising the workshop contents to meet their local sustainability needs, and functions such as Procurement, IS and Communications are planning to leverage the workshop to raise awareness and develop their future sustainability actions. Since the program’s launch in 13 countries since September 2022, 22 facilitators have been trained to facilitate the workshop, and 850 ABB colleagues joined the workshops. In 2023, the program will be open to all ABB countries, and we plan to run additional sessions in each region to train new Greener in Motion facilitators.
Governments and civil society
We engage with governments and civil-society organizations around the world on a wide variety of policies and regulations. We share information with policymakers on how our products and technologies contribute to a low-carbon society, and we seek to advance the global dialogue on climate change and sustainability. For example, we advocate for greater investment in electrical distribution grids as a necessary step to decarbonizing the energy system, transport, industrial operations and the built environment.
How we engage:
- Meetings with regulators to understand their priorities
- Engagement with government agencies and other stakeholders to demonstrate the value of our products
- Participation in international initiatives to address global issues such as climate change
We care about the local communities in which we operate and want to have a positive impact on our surroundings. Our community engagement includes consultations and discussions with representatives of local community organizations. This engagement may intensify during the course of certain business activities, such as planning the construction of a new site, and may also involve contributing to community projects and charities via donations and volunteering.
How we engage:
- Strategic corporate partnerships
- Donations and volunteering
- Direct dialogue with community representatives
With our technological expertise and capabilities in electrification and automation, we collaborate with many different institutions, companies and NGOs. Through these partnerships, we seek to drive the transformation of society and industry and to enable a more sustainable and resource-efficient future.
How we engage:
- Technology and innovation partnerships with other companies
- Technology partnerships with relevant start-ups
- Collaborations with research and educational institutions
- UN Global Compact
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development
- International Committee of the Red Cross
Over the past year, we interacted regularly with our stakeholders, holding sustainability-specific meetings with our investors, customers and suppliers. Beyond business-as-usual discussions, we engage with stakeholders for specific strategic and reporting purposes. We are especially interested in understanding how they perceive value and what matters most to them regarding economic, environmental and social issues. These insights shape our strategic decision-making and how we manage risks and opportunities. They influence the actions we take and how we communicate them to enhance transparency and accountability. This dialogue helps us identify and anticipate emerging trends, shifting customer needs and changing market expectations.
ABB conducted a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process in 2020 to identify material sustainability topics. More than 300 stakeholders were interviewed to understand which sustainability topics mattered most to them. Please refer to the preceding section "Stakeholder engagement" to find a list of selected stakeholders and how we engage with them. Based on our stakeholder engagement process, the following topics were identified as material:
- Business resilience
- Carbon reduction
- Circular economy
- Data privacy
- Diversity & inclusion
- Employee well-being
- Health & safety
- Human rights and labor
- Operations - environment
- Products, solutions & services
- Responsible sourcing
- Socioeconomic impacts
- Stakeholder engagement
This list of material topics served as a basis for developing our 2030 sustainability strategy and related targets. In 2023, we will refresh ABB’s materiality assessment to ensure it accurately reflects the current perspectives of ABB’s internal and external stakeholders. In preparation for this materiality reassessment, we have reviewed our material topics to understand potential gaps and emerging sustainability issues. Based on our engagement with internal and external stakeholders, we will update our list of material topics in line with the requirements of relevant sustainability reporting standards and applicable regulations. Details on these activities will be provided in ABB’s 2023 reporting.