Collaborating for A Better Circle: stakeholder engagement
We are committed to building a better world — A Better Circle — and we can’t do it alone. Eastman seeks collaboration and insight from stakeholders along our entire value chain to help us develop innovative solutions and drive positive change.
We take a holistic, cross-functional approach to stakeholder engagement. As a publicly traded, global company, Eastman engages with and represents a broad range of stakeholders, from employees, communities, customers, suppliers and investors to consumers, influencers, nongovernmental organizations, regulatory agencies and academia. We proactively engage them at the corporate, regional and local levels, and we consider all requests, using a methodical approach to each engagement.
Stakeholders are evaluated by many factors, including connection to our industry, willingness to engage, subject expertise and more. Stakeholder engagement varies in type and frequency by stakeholder group, some of which are listed on this page.
Our internal communications and training teams educate employees on our sustainability efforts and corporate strategy. Through our employee resource groups, collaborative intranet spaces, special events and surveys, we gain insight from our diverse workforce and share management’s approach.
As we fill our innovation pipeline, we take care in understanding the needs and expectations of the value chain to provide solutions that are sustainably advantaged. We actively engage in working sessions with customers to understand their vision and challenges and ideate solutions to help them achieve their goals.
We regularly engage with community advisory panels in communities in which we operate to connect on and address topics of shared interest.
Sustainability issues are increasingly important to investors. We regularly engage with the investment community through our annual stockholder meeting and report, quarterly financial results, public webcast and calls, SEC filings and other public releases, and targeted ESG road shows and in-person investor events.
Our government affairs team interacts directly with legislators regarding issues that concern our stakeholders or that could potentially affect our ability to achieve our corporate commitments. This engagement has highlighted the need for broader industry efforts in recycling, improving feedstocks of plastic waste and more.
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
Philanthropic partners and other NGOs share knowledge that helps inform our sustainability efforts. This includes everything from educational organizations creating the next generation of female scientists (who could one day work for Eastman) to trade groups where we collaborate with our peers.
We are committed to sustainable procurement practices and are institutionalizing a systemic approach to engage with suppliers to assess their level of commitment to sustainability and help drive improvements where needed.
We proactively communicate across media channels to reach our target audiences and ensure transparency. Eastman regularly monitors traditional and social media across the globe to track and identify issues that are key to our sustainability strategy and the general population’s sentiment towards them. We utilize these insights as signposts to inform our corporate strategy and proactively disseminate information in leadership meetings and through weekly emails.
Mapping a Better circle: Sustainability materiality assessment
Eastman is data-driven in our identification and monitoring of material risk . We have updated our materiality matrix in 2022 based on the importance our diverse set of external and internal stakeholders place on identified sustainability issues.
We identify and prioritize these sustainability issues using Datamaran, the only software in the world that enables a data-driven and dynamic process for ESG risk identification and monitoring. With Datamaran’s patented technology, we harness innovation to gain a continuous, evidence-based review of ESG-related risks within our regulatory, competitive, and operating contexts. Eastman uses Datamaran to aggregate and analyze public communications and disclosures from our top stakeholders including customers, industries and peers, investors, media, policy makers, regulators and suppliers. Datamaran also sends surveys to a targeted list of Eastman employees and the leaders of our Community Advisory Panels (CAPs).
We use the sustainability materiality assessment to identify areas of focus and refine our commitments. All 33 factors in this listening tool are important. This matrix reflects relative importance. Prioritization and effective management of these issues and opportunities are integrated into our strategy, business models, risk management and governance to drive continued progress. The results are considered in determination of the information included in our public disclosures, including this sustainability report, and ultimately drive the development of our A Better Circle framework.