Much of our thought process concerning sustainability issues is informed and influenced by regular interaction with our stakeholders. These stakeholders include our employees, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), customers and farmers, suppliers, government officials, community organizations, academics and investors. Interaction, whether originating from employee surveys, quarterly investor calls, collaborations with research universities, or industry events, generates valuable feedback, ideas and insights. We believe that open, ongoing stakeholder communication is an essential ingredient to developing a sustainability strategy that focuses our efforts on the most critical issues.
Some of our most valuable engagement comes from our regional representatives who have developed a thorough understanding of local needs. We also work through national and international organizations that are aligned with our position as a global industrial manufacturer and contributor to the agricultural food chain. Our participation in organizations such as the Diesel Technology Forum and the European Association of Internal Combustion Engine Manufacturers, among others, contributes to our knowledge and understanding of a wide range of sustainability challenges and opportunities.
Our sustainability strategy was developed and strengthened by the process of conducting a materiality assessment through which AGCO defined issues of relevance to stakeholders and the business. The process began by capturing a broad scope of issues that were relevant to our industry and our company. Those topics were then filtered to produce a short list of material issues.
From a preliminary list of sustainability issues facing AGCO we established a short-list of potentially material issues for inclusion in the materiality matrix. The analysis was based on three elements: business impact, societal concern and level of influence. The matrix format provided a clear picture of the materiality of critical issues and how they related to one another.
As a result of this process some 20 key topics were identified and prioritized. These 20 topics have been categorized into the broad issues that form the basis of AGCO’s sustainability reporting framework. These issues fall within our four focus areas: Operations, Customers, Suppliers and Communities and we have established high-level goals within each. Our ambitions, detailed in the chart below, were selected with an emphasis on identifying discrete areas where we are uniquely positioned to create lasting, positive impacts.