Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report 2015 Sears Holdings Corporation

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Stakeholder Engagement

It is important to our business that we engage our many unique and diverse stakeholder groups in order to drive profitable sales and sustain long-term growth. As the future of retail continues to change, so does the manner in which we communicate with our stakeholders. Throughout this report, we discuss the importance of our many stakeholder groups and the results of some of our dialogue. 

Our organization has identified the following stakeholder groups and the means with which we engage them:


Customers & Members
Our customers and members consist of the millions of people who shop and engage with our products and services at various touch points, including in-store, online, on the phone and through our membership platform at ShopYourWay.com. We foster a dialogue with them through daily in-store interactions, social media, online feedback surveys, online chat, Sears and Kmart MyCommunity blogs and our corporate blog, "SHC Speaks."


Associates

Our dedicated associates consist of those who work in our stores, distribution centers, call centers and corporate offices,
 and includes our home services technicians. With approximately 196,000 associates, we work continuously to improve the ways in which we communicate so that every voice is heard. The Sears Holdings census survey is distributed to our associates on a biennial basis, with a “Pulse Check” survey sent out on the off years. Additionally, our associates have access to an Ethics Hotline, a Sustainability and Green Leadership Hotline and email addresses, and our GameOn platform, which allows associates to exchange feedback and give peers focused recognition. Our most widely used method of associate engagement is our internal social media platform, Pebble, which associates use daily to share stories, ask questions and stay connected.

Investors
All current and prospective stockholders are given the opportunity to engage with the organization through our investor relations website and our proxy statement, which outlines the process for communicating with the Board and for submitting proposals. Additionally, we communicate financial results quarterly and at our annual shareholders meeting. In 2014, we introduced an electronic proxy statement to better meet the needs of our stakeholders and reduce environmental impact.


Suppliers & Vendors
Sears Holdings has a robust and complex supply chain.  We communicate with our many suppliers and vendors through a variety of channels including our Vendor Code of Conduct, Social Compliance, Global Sourcing and Quality Assurance work, as well as various vendor summits and educational sessions.


Communities
The many communities in which we operate across the U.S. are key stakeholders in our businesses. We maintain strategic national partnerships with organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and March of Dimes, and impactful programs like Heroes at Home that provide support to military service members, veterans and their families through joint efforts with various nonprofit organizations such as Rebuilding Together. Additionally, our associates stay connected to their communities through our Serve Your Way volunteering and donations platform.

Materiality
In order to continually improve our sustainability strategy, we undertook a sustainability materiality exercise to identify, assess and prioritize key environmental, social and governance issues that are important to our internal and external stakeholders. We gathered feedback and input through the following channels:

  • Identified key issues through external research and direct input from subject matter experts across the business organization
  • Gathered feedback from: Sears Holdings associates, over a dozen executives leading various functions throughout the business, and external stakeholders at over a dozen organizations including suppliers, NGOs and business partners
  • Reviewed literature on material corporate responsibility issues for the retail sector, including documentation developed by the Global Reporting Initiative and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
Through this exercise, several key focus areas emerged that will guide our reporting and sustainability strategy, including:

  • Enterprise profitability
  • Environmental health, safety and compliance
  • Human rights and environmental sustainability in the supply chain
  • Energy-efficient product offerings
  • Materials management, conservation and recycling
  • Transparency and reporting
  • Energy and climate change
  • Workplace diversity and inclusion