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Companies need to listen to the groups they affect

Companies should engage with and take into account the groups affected by their activities. Stakeholder engagement was the topic of two meetings arranged in 2013 by KOMpakt – the Government’s consultative body on matters relating to corporate social responsibility (CSR).

KOMpakt has drawn up a ten-point document on how Norwegian companies should plan and carry out dialogues and other forms of engagement with their stakeholders in connection with their activities abroad.

State Secretary Torgeir Larsen in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked the members of the working group responsible for the document for their thorough and valuable work. In his view, the document would be a useful contribution to the efforts to develop an action plan to follow up the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

According to the document, there are two main reasons why Norwegian companies should have targeted systems for stakeholder engagement:

  • to ensure that the essential interests of legitimate stakeholder groups are taken care of, and thus help to promote fairer and more sustainable development
  • to strengthen the company’s business strategy, and its ability to identify and address important issues and risks relating to its activities

Read the whole document here.

The document has been translated to English, and will be used in the Norwegian authorities’ work on stakeholder engagement in the time ahead, for example in the OECD.

The working group was made up of Siri Damman (Rainforest Foundation Norway), Ivar Oellingrath (Hydro), Stephen Sparkes(Statkraft), and Svein-Erik Figved (WWF), who led the work.

 

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