Based on Advantech’s daily operations and our substantial topic selection mechanism, the Advantech ESG Office invites employees from different departments to identify key stakeholders. Based on the five major principles of the AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard—dependency, responsibility, tension, influence, and diverse perspectives—we identify priority communication issues and respond to topics that are of key concern. We preliminarily identify seven types of key stakeholders: employees, clients and cooperating partners, suppliers, shareholders/investment organizations, the media, guilds and associations, and communities and nonprofit organizations.
In addition to maintaining interaction with stakeholders during daily operations, we also utilize various channels to engage with them, such as via our CSR mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone calls, meetings, satisfaction surveys, onsite visits, and participating in guilds and associations. We report the result of stakeholders engagement to the Board of Directors every year.
We identify sustainability topics related to our operations through our Stakeholder Degree of Concern Survey, and the degree of their impact and influence is then assessed by upper management. This allows us to conduct a materiality analysis from two dimensions. The Sustainability Committee then reviews the criticalness of each topic identified in the analysis. The results are used as a reference for information disclosure, sustainability strategy development, and special project planning.
In 2020, we conducted our first survey of our overseas branches. It was the first time we studied materiality topics and their degree of influence and impact on our operations by surveying the opinions of upper management.
A total of 339 valid questionnaires were returned (282 from the stakeholder survey and 57 from the upper management survey). Because the number of valid questionnaires varied between the different stakeholder groups, we calculated the mean within each group for each questionnaire item. This was done to prevent the results from being biased by the number of individuals in each stakeholder group, effectively giving each stakeholder group the same weight.
In the original analysis, items exceeding 4.00 on the degree of impact on operations and the degree of stakeholder concerns are considered the original results of our materiality topics. The preliminary analysis results were handed to the ESG Office, who evaluated the company’s core development strategies and coordinated with the Committee to advise on any necessary adjustments. The major adjustments of topics and their justifications are explained as follows:
1. Add climate change strategies and energy management
Climate change is an international topic with wide public concern. As an industry leader, we are expected to respond to concerns on climate change, and so we must carefully assess the opportunities and risks that it has brought about. Because demonstration and promoting energy-saving in buildings and operations are key themes in our ESG, we have merged our climate change strategies and energy management and included it in our materiality analysis.
2. Add eco design and product responsibility
Innovation is one of Advantech’s key strengths and has always been a driver of the company’s progress. Eco design has now been incorporated into our innovation process. In 2021, we plan to promote green innovation at our headquarters and as such have included it in our materiality analysis for disclosure and management.
3. Add community care
We hope to be more systematic in providing art sponsorships based on the level of employee interest. We also plan to run special education projects for children and adolescents.
4. Add IoT education
IoT education is one of Advantech’s 2025 visions and a critical direction in our ESG strategy.
5. Remove economic performanc
Advantech is a listed company. Complete financial and economic performance data are disclosed in the company’s annual report.
The descriptions of other topics have been modified slightly based on our ESG development strategies.Below figure shows the 10 materiality topics in the 2020 report that were reviewed and adjusted by the Advantech ESG & Corporate Sustainability Committee.