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Climate change, recycling or human rights? Which sustainability topics are of key importance to customers and business partners?

For the CCC Group, responsibility and cooperation are key to operating sustainably. How does the Group set itself goals in this area? By listening to customers, employees and partners. It is the third time the Group has looked into which ESG topics are vital to them. The most important ones were the sources of raw materials and materials used in production (95% of the answers) and human and employee rights (80% of the answers). The results also indicate we are increasingly paying attention to how organisations conduct marketing communication activities.

Consumers, employees, suppliers, partners, investors and representatives of financial institutions, the government and the media participated in the survey. The results of the study help to identify key areas and risks related to ESG: environmental (E), social (S) and governance (G). Among other things, they provide a basis for the CCC Group to update its Sustainable Development Strategy and revise its ongoing efforts.

‘It is the third time in the last five years we have reviewed the key issues and proposals regarding our sustainability efforts. We can see how the understanding of sustainability has changed: social topics prevailed a few years ago, whereas today product and supply chain issues have come to the fore. We want to know what products are made of and whether the materials are recyclable. We expect this to be reflected in the appropriate product labelling but also in the knowledge displayed by store staff and in the broad marketing communication efforts,’ said Daria Sulgostowska, Head of Sustainability at the CCC Group.

Focus on environmental and social development

Among the environmental issues cited as important by respondents, including customers and employees, the sources of raw materials used in production topped the list (95%). For the CCC Group’s partners, trade organisations and investors, reusability of materials was key. They also cited the drive towards a circular economy (68%), with a special focus put on searching for alternative raw materials and extending the product life cycle.

Social issues also ranked high, led by human and employee rights (80% of the answers), and were of particular relevance to investors and trade organisations. Developing a supportive work environment, including adherence to diversity principles, proved a priority (63%), with gender and pay equality, promotion opportunities and jobs for people with disabilities cited as key.

Responsible marketing and raising customer awareness

This year’s survey showed new ESG topics are important to respondents, one of them being responsible marketing communication, which was strongly emphasised by partners, trade organisations and government authorities. The key activities to be continued in the future included active and transparent communication with customers on ESG topics, sharing information about raw materials and materials used and promoting recycling. The CCC Group is active in these areas, running campaigns promoting its sustainable GoForNature collection and the Sprandi Green Series line, and rolling out its Give Your Shoes a Second Life project, which encourages people to drop off pre-owned shoes in special containers at CCC stores for recycling in an eco-friendly way.

‘Managing an organisation in line with ESG principles is a major commitment, requiring us to engage in transparent communication and active dialogue with customers, employees, investors, business partners, decision-makers and the media. We want to know their views and needs and to understand their motivations. This enables us to better deliver on our goals and successfully address the needs of all these stakeholder groups, while engaging them in particular areas of our activities’, added Daria Sulgostowska.

Read more about the CCC Group’s sustainability strategy: https://corporate.ccc.eu/strategia-csr.

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