Stakeholder Engagement

Due to the nature of its business, HUGO BOSS is engaged with various stakeholders across the entire value chain. Facing the expectations of its main stakeholders, identifying different requirements and discussing challenges and possible solutions – all these aspects are seen by HUGO BOSS AG as a business necessity and an opportunity to create added value for both society and the Company. 

As part of this process, HUGO BOSS conducts analyses of its most relevant stakeholder groups, categorizes and prioritizes them. The analyses are used as guidance for future activities. Main stakeholder groups include employees, customers, business partners, shareholders and investors, non-government organizations, representatives from business, academia and government, and from the community (see Stakeholder Map). Further information can be found in the Stakeholder Engagement Commitment (see Downloads).

In developing and implementing the sustainability strategy, HUGO BOSS relies on the dialog and collaboration with its stakeholders. For example, in 2017 the Company comprehensively updated its materiality analysis. Among other things, the analysis consisted of an anonymous online survey with internal and external stakeholders and a validation of the results during the international Stakeholder Dialog.

The Group maintains a direct exchange with its stakeholders throughout the year. HUGO BOSS fosters dialog with existing partners, such as with research institutes and cross-sector initiatives, as well as cooperation with non-government organizations and animal welfare and species conservation organizations. Furthermore, HUGO BOSS is in regular exchange with customers, human rights and consumer protection associations and the media. Whenever the activities and projects of the Company influence social or environmental aspects, HUGO BOSS seeks to engage in an open and constructive dialog with the parties involved. Participation in multi-stakeholder initiatives is continuously expanded.

Since 2016, HUGO BOSS is hosting the international “Bad Urach Dialog” on an annual basis. During two days, the participants including representatives of various non-governmental organizations, union representatives, supply chain experts, researchers and partners met with members of the HUGO BOSS management team and openly discussed important issues regarding sustainability. At the first two Dialogs, HUGO BOSS received many new ideas, as well as acknowledgment for what has already been achieved. This Stakeholder Dialog format is organized on a regular basis. 

HUGO BOSS stands for an open and constructive dialog culture – in particular with its employees. An ongoing exchange between employees and the Managing Board is actively encouraged at HUGO BOSS through different formats. Employee representatives are involved in the analysis and discussion of strategically important issues relevant for the Company in the future. More over, the internal series of events “Thinking Beyond – Acting to the Point” was introduced in 2017. It replaces the Sustainability Days that have been held annually since 2015. Throughout the year, the newly introduced series provides the opportunity for employees to gain a deeper understanding of different sustainability topics at HUGO BOSS. In different formats, internal and external experts, as well as suppliers of HUGO BOSS presented their sustainability activities and opened the discussion for employees. Aim of the event series is to raise awareness and create inspiration for more sustainable behavior among employees.

Contributing to the community and generating specific value added is an integral component of its corporate philosophy at HUGO BOSS. In this context, HUGO BOSS has been supporting the "Communia” Bürgerstiftung für bezahbaren Wohnraum in Metzingen" (Communia community foundation for affordable housing in Metzingen) in 2017. “Communia” was founded in 2016 and pursues the goal to establish the creation of affordable housing in Metzingen as a community task in urban society. In this way, HUGO BOSS contributes to the development of the local community at its headquarters.

HUGO BOSS has traditionally enjoyed an open and trusting collaboration with strategic suppliers. For several years now, the Company has organized regular HUGO BOSS Supplier Days to which strategic suppliers are invited. The aim of the Supplier Days is to inform the partners about relevant objectives and measures of HUGO BOSS, to jointly promote developments in the supply chain and to strengthen the partnership through exchange. In addition, external speakers share their expertise on relevant current topics such as digitisation in order to encourage participants to a further own development. At the HUGO BOSS Supplier Day 2017, for example, the focus was on digital transformation and the joint development process towards a more transparent supply chain. Presentations on these topics were given and discussed by HUGO BOSS, the participating suppliers and external speakers. Furthermore, the minimum requirements for a so-called governance model were defined in a joint workshop. This model provides a framework for suppliers regarding their own responsibility for sustainability aspects in the supply chain and provides a basis for increased transparency. By 2020, all strategic suppliers of HUGO BOSS must have implemented such a governance model for their supply chain. We also organized our first Supplier Day at our site in Ticino (Switzerland) at the beginning of 2018. According to the slogan "Innovate the way WE collaborate", the participating partners were comprehensively informed about HUGO BOSS corporate goals, sustainability and innovation. External speakers also provided insights into digital development opportunities in manufacturing aiming to inspire the participating suppliers to implement new technologies and trends. 

In addition, since 2005 the annual “Operational Excellence Day” takes place at the Group’s production site in Izmir. These so-called OPEX Days offer a platform for an open exchange between companies from different industries. Under the slogan “SMART WORLD, SMARTER BUSINESS, On the Way to Industry 4.0“, approximately 300 people from different stakeholder groups met at HUGO BOSS to discuss innovation and sustainability issues in 2016.

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