The business case for Stakeholder Dialogues
The challenges of sustainability are becoming ever more palpable for commercial organizations: the increasing demand for natural resources and increasing effects of climate change along with growing economic disparity and a growing number of sustainability indicators that companies are measured against.
Dealing with this complex array of risks across the value chain demands a new skills set. Visionary companies are responding to these challenges by developing innovative stakeholder engagement strategies and creating strategic channels for cultivating relationships; mitigating risks and identifying new business opportunities.
As interdependencies between markets, communities and people deepen, business organizations face an ever-widening range of environmental, social and governance issues […] Partnerships and collaboration with stakeholders — including governments, civil society, and labour—are essential as the dilemmas, challenges and opportunities both at the global and local levels are sometimes too complex for any one actor to address or solve alone.
— UN Global Compact Business Leaders Summit, 2007
Well-designed Stakeholder Dialogues offer businesses an opportunity to integrate stakeholder engagement into core business strategy. This promotes a culture of proactive relationship-building, which can be leveraged when facing risks and issues involving external stakeholders.
Private sector organizations that systematically plan Stakeholder Dialogues using a robustthat supports their business case have a much higher chance of employing their human and financial resources more effectively and achieving improved results more rapidly.