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Stakeholder engagement

Our stakeholders have a fundamental impact on our sustainability performance

Our business operations affect many groups and organisations across the globe. In turn, these stakeholders have a fundamental impact on Eaton's sustainability performance. We identify these groups based on each group's impact and influence on our business practices. 

Our processes for engaging with stakeholder groups and identifying and responding to their concerns vary. One way we identify and summarise stakeholder concerns is through the materiality assessment. The outcome of this assessment helps us define our strategy, goals, metrics and reporting on the issues that are most important to Eaton and our stakeholders. 

Our key stakeholders are:

  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Investors/shareholders
  • Suppliers
  • Local communities
  • Governments

 

Customer engagement: To understand market needs and drive business value

Our customers help us to understand and explore innovation opportunities. Through our direct and frequent engagement, we develop and launch products that solve our customers' critical power management challenges.

We engage with our customers through two innovative methods: our Customer Advisory Board and our Customer Relationship Reviews. Through our Customer Advisory Board, we solicit unfiltered feedback about how we can continuously improve our performance. Customer feedback through this channel helps us identify our successes and areas of opportunity. We incorporate this feedback directly into our action plans and reporting efforts.

The Customer Relationship Reviews (CRR) are a face-to-face interview process conducted with decision-makers and influencers from key strategic customers. We conduct more than 1,000 CRR interviews each year. We often interview more than one contact at each account to gain a well-rounded view of the customer's perceptions of our company.

Results are delivered to key leaders within each business and follow-up action plans are developed and monitored.

Employee engagement: To foster a collaborative atmosphere of sustainability and excellence at every level of our operations

Our primary method for measuring employee engagement is our biennial employee survey. The survey provides a structured way to evaluate employee engagement and to solicit ideas for how we can keep improving our workplaces. We have held what is considered a favourable employee engagement score, according to external normative data, since 2008.

In addition to the survey, it is common for managers to conduct informal meetings with employees on an intermittent basis. While managers regularly meet with their direct reports, they also conduct skip-level meetings with the employees who report to their direct reports, which is a common practice for informal feedback.

 A common Eaton-wide action planning and follow-up process is utilised to produce direct and measurable improvements. This process extends all the way to the direct reports of the CEO, who each provide a summary of their action plans after the survey.

Round-table meetings occur when a plant manager or other executive calls a meeting with a small number of employees during site visits. During these meetings, employees can ask questions and provide feedback. This practice commonly occurs when an executive travels to visit a site.

All employees receive information through our internal intranet system called JOE (named after our founder, Joseph Oriel Eaton). Employees without computer access can access JOE at kiosks at their specific job site.

Investor and shareholder engagement: To identify and address potential risks to our long-term financial viability

Eaton pursues ongoing engagement with our shareholders through:

  • Annual shareholders meetings
  • Annual and quarterly reporting that is made available to shareholders
  • Analyst conferences and reports
  • The Investor Relations page on Eaton.com where shareholders can submit questions or retrieve financial information from Eaton archives
  • Meetings between investors, senior leadership and investor relations

Our Investor Relations team hosts our quarterly earnings calls and communicates with our investors. Through these communications, we describe our financial position and the value of our company to current and potential shareholders.

Since 2006, we have reported our GHG emissions to CDP, an international non-profit environmental reporting organisation. The annual CDP Climate Change survey provides critical information to our investor and potential investor audience. Learn more about our CDP survey responses.

Supplier engagement: To proactively manage our sustainability performance throughout the value chain

Our supply chain activities are an important element of our sustainability performance. We work actively with our suppliers to ensure that they meet Eaton's expectations to operate responsibly. 

We further engage directly with suppliers on select focus areas such as:

  • Financial stability and operational efficiency
  • Environmental responsibility including greenhouse gas emissions management via CDP
  • Social responsibility, such as conflict minerals
  • Supply chain meetings

Our managers and buyers supplement these strategic approaches with direct, daily interactions.

Learn about our supply chain practices.

 

Community engagement: To enhance the quality of life for our employees and those impacted by our operations

We care deeply about the communities in which we live and work. We invest our time and money in programmes that make a difference in the lives of others. Robust, healthy communities are a vital component of global sustainability.

To deliver value on a local level, we identify the specific needs of individual communities. In each of our facilities around the world, local managers and employees work together to determine the programmes their facility will support, through philanthropy or volunteerism. This allows our efforts to have the most impact, as programmes are selected by members of the community.

Supporting local communities is ingrained in our history. Our founder, Joseph O. Eaton, partnered with other community leaders to establish the entity that eventually became the United Way. Through our various community contributions, we exemplify deep, personal commitments to the communities where we live and work. Joseph's legacy lives on through our work and our enhanced communities around the world.

Learn more about our local community involvement.

 

Government engagement: To develop and support products, programmes and policies that benefit our global society

Governments represent three different relationships for our company. Governments are our customers, our partners in enhancing global sustainability, and our regulators. We value and respect our relationships with all government bodies.

Governments represent an important customer segment for our company. We implement environmentally beneficial power management projects for local and national governments worldwide.

These projects include, among others:

  • Hybrid powertrains that boost fuel economy and reduce emissions in commercial and government vehicles
  • Electrical power control systems for the efficient use of power in office buildings
  • Hydraulic aircraft systems that reduce weight and save fuel
  • Automotive superchargers for enhanced fuel economy
  • Electrical and hydraulic products for solar power and wind turbine systems

Throughout our work, we respect the role of governments as our regulators. We have extensive policies to ensure compliance with the special laws, rules and regulations related to government contracts. The policies extend to our relationships with government personnel. We do not make contributions on behalf of our company to political candidates or parties, even where lawful.

Learn more about our commitment to ethics and compliance.

Learn more about our Ethics Guide and associated policies.