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Memory Social Responsibility 2005-2006 EROSKI FOUNDATION

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        • 1.4.1 Stakeholder communications and expectations

The challenges of a different kind of company

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1.4 Eroski's challenges

Pagination within this Memory's chapter

1.4.1 Stakeholder communications and expectations

Our relationship with stakeholders has changed in line with the development of the organisations themselves and the environment in which we work. This change is seen in the expectations of us held by society, the local community, suppliers, our team, investors, governments and customers.

Main mechanisms of communication
Employees
  • Publications: Nexo, Sede, Aduna, Prisma (Intranet), minutes, noticeboards, evaluation interviews, improvements, welcome manual.
  • Corporate activities.
  • Voluntary work.
  • Audits (Code of Ethics and SA8000).
  • Solidarity Vote.
  • Employee climate survey
Investors and managers
  • Website
  • Corporate Report
  • Press conference
  • Corporate Governance Report
Customers
  • EROSKI Healthy Ideas: magazine, studies, forums, stands, mailings, campaigns and the Observatory.
  • Corporate Report
  • Focus group
  • Customer Service (in-store, helpline and website)
  • Solidarity Vote
  • Consumer Arbitration System
Consumers
  • Corporate activities
  • Consumer groups
  • Eroski Consumer
  • Informative websites: EROSKI FOUNDATION, Consumer.es and Consumaseguridad.es
  • Consumer Barometer and the Frescómetro
  • Solidarity Vote
  • Meetings of partners/friends of the FOUNDATION
Third sector
  • Universities: cooperation agreements, scholarships.
  • NGOs: annual call for grants, sponsorship, seminars, stands
  • Experts' Committee
Suppliers and joint ventures
  • Cooperation agreements
  • Audits
  • Permanent and occasional forums
Governments
  • Agreements and pacts
  • Sponsorship and cooperation
Employee climate
2004 2005 2006
Points (out of 5) 3,34 * 3,35

* Biennial survey.

Our workers

Via his or her right to speak and vote at delegate committees, meetings and assemblies, the worker/owner enjoys direct participation in the company's decision-making process.

Worker participation is achieved, fundamentally, through three mechanisms: the company's activities, the labour climate survey and, finally, permanent and temporary suggestion gathering tools.

Via his or her right to speak and vote at delegate committees, meetings and assemblies, the worker/owner enjoys direct participation in the company's decision-making process. There are more than a dozen bottom-up and top-down channels whose mission it is to guarantee members' (both workers and consumers) right to information. These are periodic written and oral channels with a specific indicator: complaints dealt with, a figure which must stand at 100%.

Information flows on both a company-wide scale, finalising in the Assembly and the Board of Governors, as well as on an executive level, with the role that must be played by management in transmitting required information. Logically, certain executive information is reserved for senior management only (strategies, company growth, future transactions, etc.).

Eroski's commitment to creating stable, quality jobs is measured throughout the organisation by means of satisfaction surveys. Every two years, these scrutinise matters such as remuneration and recognition, the workplace environment, environmental policy and integration in the company. In 2006, 16,878 questionnaires were submitted, implying a participation of 66.37%.

Workers' opinions are also gathered through audits and initiatives such as the vote for solidarity.

Investors and advisors

The opinions of the investor community are channelled through our permanent relationship with it.

The inclusion of the customer hotline on the products themselves and its more widespread promotion has led to an increase in the number of complaints handled.

Customers

The use of mechanisms that allow it to detect the concerns and needs of its customer base lies at the heart of improving any business. Our market research and complaint and suggestion handling procedures allow us to deliver the right solutions.

Customer Service
2005 2006
No. of customers dealt with 81.472 94.246
No. of complaints and claims 14.486 18.293

One important step forward has been to convert our customer help (in-store, by telephone and via our web site) into an integrated service that automatically transfers queries to the relevant person, thus providing an immediate response. The existence of an internal forum that brings together different players in the organisation allows us to better understand and deal with the comments we receive.

The inclusion of the customer help hotline on the products themselves and its greater promotion magazines has led to an increase in the number of complaints handled.

Consumers

As a consumer association, under Spain's General Consumers' and Users' Defence Act 1984, the Eroski cooperative has as its mission the defence of consumers' rights and interests. We are thus registered with Arbitration Tribunals, both in our role as an association and in that of a company.

The main means for complying with this particular mission is the company's activities themselves, by means of the participation of our consumer members. This is reinforced by the peculiarity of having a consumer as Chairperson. The means for accessing information and participating in the management of the company are similar to those for workers detailed above.

Additionally, the figure of Fundación Eroski Member-Friend was created to provide consumers with representation in those areas where consumer members do not exist. The Fundación Eroski member-friend encounters allow us to detect early in the game signals that will guide purchasing decisions in the short and medium term.

Consumer participation
2005 2006
No. of participants in Friends of the EROSKI FOUNDATION meetings 250 220
No. of participants in consumer groups * 17.858

* The Consumer Groups were started in 2006

One innovation worth highlighting is the start-up in May of the First Consumer Participation Focuser. These were created as a response to the need to integrate and involve consumers based on a greater closeness and understanding of their day-to-day interests in matters on which they may have an influence and, therefore, an opinion. 17,000 people were surveyed at the stands and the dissemination of the conclusions and responses took place over the course of a number of events, involving a total of 2,500 hours dealing with the public.

May 2006 saw the start-up of the first Consumer Participation Forums. 17,000 people were surveyed at stands.

With regard to our informational work, in 2005 we were awarded the prize for the best online report on biodiversity in Consumer.es. (by Fundación Biodiversidad), the best dieticians of the year for the contributors to the magazine Consumer and the acknowledgement of the SND (the Society for News Design) for the informational graphics of Consumer.es.

The Tertiary Sector

The news this year is our approach to work on designing the contents of this report. As detailed in the “Preparation Principles” section, we have benefited from the collaboration of a committee of independent experts chaired by Transparency International in Spain and made up of representatives from WWF/Adena, the World Bank Institute, the Fundación Economistas sin Fronteras and the Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo. This makes Eroski the first consumer and distribution group in Spain to carry out this kind of initiative.

The main concerns voiced focused around the information we provide consumers on our products, policies to incentivise sales of ecological and fair trade products and incidents of failing to meet commitments.

Governments

New in this period with regard to our participation in public policies is the signature of a voluntary agreement with Spain's Environment Ministry on the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases from our logistics and transportation activities.

Initiatives we adhere to

Since 2002, we have subscribed to the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact with regard to respect for human rights, the dignity of labour, environmental protection and the fight against corruption.

Expectations
Channel Main concerns Response from EROSKI
Experts' Committee Environmental incidents Delay in opening a rented establishment because of a request to double-check the water piping. The town council guaranteed this would be done for the planned opening date.
Product incidents The Customer Service department deals with complaints and claims, which are transferred from the shops to our central departments and involve the Quality Control Department.
We are registered with Arbitration Councils in both of our roles, as an association and as a company.
Product characteristics and consumer information Our safety controls guarantee the origin and flavour of EROSKI Natur products, as well as the absence of transgenic substances and the environmental features of our own brand (e.g.: FSC in EROSKI Garden). With regard to fair trade and socially responsible practices, our marketing conditions are set by our supplier (Intermón-Oxfam).
All this information is conveyed to consumers on the product label, and occasionally reinforced with leaflets and informative campaigns.
Climate change The environmental improvement of our logistics activities obviously focuses on taking measures to mitigate climate change.
Corruption This is regarded as a serious infraction and our Internal Conduct Regulations require the dismissal of any employee involved.
Accessibility We have improved the accessibility of our car parks, sales outlets and the corporate headquarters through initiatives controlled by SA8000 auditing and pre-auditing in line with DALCO criteria.
Human Rights Our ethical management system, in line with SA8000, includes measures for protecting human rights both in our own processes and in our supply chain.
Urban pressure and biodiversity We comply with current legislation in our own developments.

Pagination within this Memory's chapter

1.4.2 Awards and recognition » [Page 1/3]

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