Business in the Community Ireland has published a report on the findings of a year-long collaborative working group on stakeholder engagement. Carried out in conjunction with some of the biggest corporations and organisations in Ireland, including Bord Gáis Networks, Bord na Móna, Chambers Ireland, the County and City Managers Association, Eirgrid, ESB Networks, the Irish Planning Institute and Shell E&P and chaired by former KPMG Managing Partner, Terence O’Rourke, the group’s report is the first to share and document Irish company experiences and practical advice on stakeholder engagement for the benefit of other companies and development agencies.
The report findings specifically relate to the development of stakeholder engagement practices and will be of interest to any organisation engaging with stakeholders in Ireland, from CEOs to engagement practitioners and planners and advisors. Business in the Community Ireland, having identified a lack of a structured forum for member companies in Ireland to collaborate and share their experiences of stakeholder engagement, in particular as part of major infrastructural development projects, convened the working group in October of 2012.
The findings reveal that group members share common practices and considerations in relation to developing constructive stakeholder engagement including on-going engagement, leadership, communications methods and approaches, company presence and brand, creating an issues register and community benefit. The report further establishes six commitments that the group have committed to going forward in relation to stakeholder engagement including encouraging active involvement of stakeholders, evaluating and improving engagement with stakeholders on an on-going basis, ensuring stakeholders have the opportunity to have their say and explaining at the outset what elements of the project can be influenced and in what way.
The purpose of the report, that is specific to a set of development companies in the Irish context, is to supplement established and international stakeholder engagement tools and benchmarks with the experiences of the group with the aim of developing the best approach to engagement.
Commenting on the report findings Tina Roche, CEO Business in the Community Ireland stated:
“Business in the Community Ireland’s interest in this topic arises because good stakeholder engagement is central to corporate responsibility and sustainability. It is the key mechanism by which an organisation engages with its stakeholders and adjusts its operations and outputs for mutual sustainability. We hope that the compilation of this experience will prompt further discussion and lead other companies to similar evolving approaches in achieving a win –win for all involved in the process.”
Please click here to download the full report.