Stakeholder engagement and materiality
Stakeholder Engagement Approach
Good stakeholder engagement is critical.
We use the input from our stakeholders to create, validate and improve our sustainability strategy.
Our process to understand key stakeholder issues and identify our priorities follows 8 steps, which we conduct as part of the reporting process:
- Manage and review key stakeholders
- Conduct online and offline interviews of key stakeholders
- Research trends affecting our business
- Review third-party research to understand global mega trends
- Conduct an Internal Risk Assessment (by the MCI Finance Team)
- Assess all identified issues and prioritise critical issues for focus within our strategy (by the Sustainability Team)
- Review, discuss, give feedback and approval (by Executive Management)
- Present findings to key stakeholders for review
Our management team identifies our primary stakeholders as those who have a significant interest in the actions and views of the company, and whose actions and opinions are, in turn, of significant importance to us. We validate our identified stakeholder groups through comparison with our industry peers.
Our stakeholders are clients, talents, suppliers, the meetings industry, shareholders, the community, media, NGOs, governments and regulators.
Summary of Stakeholder Feedback:
Analysing Stakeholder Issues
Our stakeholder engagement process focuses on five key stakeholder groups (clients, talents, suppliers, the meetings industry and the community) that we carry out through various formal and informal methods.
- Online Sustainability Survey of 351 talents
- Online Sustainability survey of 55 key suppliers and partners
- Online Talent Satisfaction Survey 1,420 talents (63% of all MCI talents)
- Evaluations between talents and their managers during their annual appraisal
- Online Sustainability Survey of 20 key corporate and institutional clients
- Face-to-face interaction with clients, suppliers and meetings industry partners
- Face-to-face project meetings
Their input provides critical feedback that is used to help develop our sustainability strategy and this report. After the results of the survey are produced they are shared with the respective stakeholders, and further input solicited. We engage with our Media and Government stakeholders on an adhoc basis throughout the year. Our shareholders are addressed through the management team and the advisory board.
We define issues that are material to MCI as those that:
- Have or may have a significant impact on the company’s finances or operations.
- Have or may have a significant impact on the environment or society, now or in the future.
- Can substantially influence the assessments, decisions and actions of our stakeholders and shareholders.
Impacts of Our Business
With the size and global scale of MCI, there are significant indirect and direct impacts of our business.
- Our 2019 revenue and direct financial impact were almost €442 Million.
- Not only do the events we organise generate revenue for MCI and tax for the governments where we operate, but they also provide a return on investment for our clients while generating indirect income for local businesses. This income helps to create jobs, drive tourism and even accelerate innovation and economic development.
- Taking its wider indirect and induced impacts into account, the travel and tourism sector contributes each year an estimated €7.9 trillion to the global economy and supports over 330 million jobs. This is equal to 10.34% of the world’s GDP, and approximately 1 in 10 of all jobs. 2019 was another year of strong growth (+3,5%) for the global Travel & Tourism sector reinforcing its role as a driver of economic growth and job creation. (Figures published by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC))
- In 2019 we organised over 7,00 live experiences and communication activities across 75 countries, convening 1.6 million participants. Events are highly resource-intensive and can have both positive and negative environmental consequences for the host city and population.
- Our direct environmental impacts are the energy used to power our offices, data traffic and storage, the carbon emissions from this usage and travel.
- Indirectly, if we include our client events in our total footprint, our impacts are Carbon Emissions, transportation, waste, water and energy consumption, food and beverage and materials usage (communication and materials to build brand displays and stands).
- Events bring people together and by their very nature have an impact on our talents, our suppliers, attendees and the communities where we operate. Our social aspects include labour practices, human rights, occupational health and safety, training and education, community citizenship and investment, communication and legacy.
- We believe that by engaging and supporting local communities and international sustainability causes we can leave a positive legacy through education, workshops and collaborations. Looking deeper into local economies, employing local talent, choosing local suppliers and adding a community element in support of local needs will also have a positive impact.
- Since 2010 MCI talents have raised over €14,6 million for community projects. More info
- In 2019, MCI had an indirect contribution of over €5,7 million in pro-bono event management and through the fundraising programmes we organise for our clients.
Operational Risk Assessment
Every year our finance team department conducts a thorough financial risk analysis of MCI. Their goal is to identify and classify our risks.
Our management team reviews these risks and develops strategies to mitigate them. For example, in 2017, we conducted a gap analysis on our data management processes in order to prepare and be compliant for the new General Data Protection Regulation to take place in May 2018. We successfully launched our GDPR awareness campaign mid May 2018. Read more below.
Risk Assessment Process
Our risk assessment process reviews over 90 risks that are divided into 8 areas:
- Business Development
- Governance / structure
- Human Resources (HR)
- Information Technology (IT)
- Laws and Regulations / Compliance
- Reporting control
Key risks identified in 2019:
Lack of data protection (privacy security)
Shift in market needs leaving us with wrong positioning
Loss of reputation or brand value
Risk currency management on offices legal entities
Loss of key personnel / Failure to retain employees
Not taking advantage of MCI unified network
Reinforcement of legislation and regulation (especially in the US)
Inadequate and inefficient contracts with suppliers
Inappropriate merger acquisition process
Discrepancy in delivery execution among offices (quality standards procedures)
Market social instability (political risks, terrorism)
Lack of customer data centralization sharing
Global Mega Trends
Today’s global business environment is more complex, uncertain, volatile and dynamic than ever. Sustainability is one of the key challenges facing the global economy. We see several trends that will impact our clients, our business and our industry over the next decades.
As the impacts of climate change become increasingly real and public concern heightens, we will likely see an escalation of citizen protests, increased employee advocacy and disruption of fossil fuel supply chains by climate activists.
We should see a rapid acceleration in the advancement and application of low-carbon technologies. Asset managers will increasingly move to divest from carbon-intensive coal companies in their actively managed portfolios, in an attempt to reduce exposure to risk.
Driven by societal and regulatory pressures, consumer goods companies are increasingly piloting and adopting circular strategies. More companies are expected to innovate, collaborate and demonstrate the opportunities of a net-zero emissions circular economy.
With several national bans and regulations due to come into effect in 2020 and an increased emphasis on producer responsibility, particularly in Europe, companies will come under increased pressure to put into action robust plans to achieve their plastic commitments and invest the necessary resources into implementing those plans.
Concern about the environment is increasing worldwide and consumers — most notably millennials and Gen Z — are feeling anxious about the state of the planet.
We will continue to see a growing number of companies respond to these preferences by providing products and services that enable consumers to live more sustainable.
Technological and Digital Innovation
Rapid advancements in Internet, mobile, AI, data management and other technologies hold enormous potential to offer solutions to some of the most complex social and environmental problems.
But with new technologies come new challenges. There is a deepening inequality with the spread of technology across the world and also between citizens and corporations. Impactful technology also poses significant challenges: from cybersecurity and privacy, to rising inequality and job automation. Questions about bias in technologies driven by algorithms and artificial intelligence and how to make them accountable will only increase in urgency and importance.
Demographic and social changes will see governments and business finding huge opportunities as well as facing enormous challenges, as the largest generation in history, millennials, drive the economy. Millennials and those that come after them, will be more educated and come with different expectations regarding opportunity, mobility, relationships and ownership.
Unaddressed mental health, poor stress management, and lack of flexibility in work schedules are impacting both the wellbeing of workers and companies’ bottom lines.
A growing number of companies will look into ways to go beyond basic healthcare services and benefits, trialing new approaches to wellness and work/life balance that help employees thrive in the workplace. The efforts to define and measure human capital will also accelerate.
The divergence between people’s individual lifeworlds will increase by 2030. Gender roles will no longer be accepted as being predetermined, and will increasingly be defined by individuals themselves. New forms of individuality will be established based on complex identity formation processes and modified body images. Patterns of consumption, which are motivated by multiple factors such as the increasing demand for personalised products, a deeper integration of customers in product development processes, increasing sensitisation to sustainable consumption and a transition from ownership to sharing platforms in certain product categories, will also become increasingly differentiated.
Changing Work Environments
Whether its organisational forms, work equipment, operational profiles or competency requirements – a fundamental change is recognisably taking place in the work environment at all levels. Work is being organised on a more flexible basis, both spatially and chronologically, and companies are attempting to dissolve traditional silos in favour of more open structures. Workers will be expected to accept more personal responsibility and self-organisation. In addition, they will be required to work continuously on the ongoing development of their personal skills profiles. At the same time, workforces will become more diversified, which will present new challenges for both managers and staff.
Globalisation itself has produced unequal returns. Rising inequality is challenging trust in traditional global economic institutions and agreements. More frequent trade wars and rising protectionism will drive uncertainty and instability. How will individuals, corporations and governments renegotiate their expectations of one another in an era of amplified individuals and rapidly changing economies?
Throughout the world, companies and economies are experiencing increasingly volatile development dynamics. Several factors are contributing to this development. On the one hand, global mutual dependencies have increased at the same pace as the flows of international capital and goods have burgeoned in the wake of globalisation. The risk of contagion in times of crises has also increased and local events can have global consequences. In addition, the incidence rate of crises of an international character is also growing, which deprives national economies of the ability ever to achieve full recovery. Increasing global inequalities further complicate the situation. Increasingly, a reliable monetary, economic and fiscal policy is becoming a thing of the past. Industry structures are changing under the influence of disruptive innovations. Speculative investment activities are also destabilising the global economic system.