To gauge the effectiveness of its focus on agricultural sustainability, Monsanto conducted a survey of 60 key stakeholders during the third and fourth quarters of 2011.
Although the company has made a strong commitment to engage with various stakeholders and stakeholder groups through ongoing conversations, dialogues and numerous collaborative efforts over the past several years, the survey marked the first time the company sought to obtain more broad-based feedback on its sustainability practices from a cross-section of stakeholders around the world.
The sessions were unique in that the dialogue with key stakeholders was not about specific projects or issues of interest to both the company and the stakeholder, but was designed as an effective “listening” opportunity to learn more about how stakeholders perceived and viewed Monsanto overall. The process involved engaging with stakeholders in different parts of the world who are aware of and value the company’s focus on the development and advancement of agricultural technology as a vital element of sustainable agriculture during the next several decades, as well as those stakeholders in the same geographic areas who aren’t necessarily strong proponents of the company’s strategy or products.
Stakeholders provided valuable insights about where they feel Monsanto is achieving success along its sustainability pathway, as well as where the company may look to make improvements.
Findings of the survey were formally presented in November 2011 to Monsanto’s senior level executives and to its entire global leadership team (the “MAC,” or Management Advisory Council), which consists of more than 115 senior executives who are responsible for the company’s operations in all parts of the world.
In addition to identifying areas where stakeholders believe Monsanto appears to be achieving success, specific recommendations were made with respect to where the company needs to make refinements or adjustments in its strategic focus, operations, efforts to engage with various stakeholder groups, and efforts toward transparency and disclosure.
Monsanto recognizes the value of comprehensive stakeholder engagement in its focus on sustainability. The company plans to continue to engage with specific stakeholders on various issues and opportunities related to sustainability through collaborative efforts, roundtables, individual meetings, and ongoing dialogues.
This article is excerpted from Monsanto’s 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report. To see the full report, please visit Monsanto.com.