Stakeholder Engagement

To execute the most effective and efficient sustainability initiatives and to contribute to the sustainable development of our industry and those we touch, we routinely collaborate with stakeholders -- sharing information, hearing concerns and welcoming ideas about our sustainability efforts.

Customers

Engagement Type

Sales relationships, customer service surveys, online communications, strategic meetings.

Examples

We regularly survey our customers to understand issues of importance to them, including the importance of sustainability. Our listening program was established to gain an understanding of the most effective ways to respond to their needs and concerns. We also have recently begun to develop a process by which we can better identify sustainability attributes at the product level.

Investors

Engagement Type

Financial reports, annual shareholder meetings, press releases, SRI investment advisor meetings, investor relations website

Examples

2014 Annual Report

Associates

Engagement Type

Sysco Speaks, an annual company-wide associate survey; associate training; intranet sites; newsletters

Examples

85% of our associates participated in the third annual Sysco Speaks survey. They gave the company an overall engagement score of 67%, reflecting satisfaction in our inclusive approach to improving business performance. See Our Associates.

Our online learning platform, Sysco Interactive University (SIU), provides associates with professional development opportunities and contributes to a culture of continuous learning. See Our Associates for more information.

AlertLine, our global, 24-hour, toll-free hotline, allows associates to report ethical concerns.

All Sysco associates are trained on the company's ethics policy and participate in refresher courses on the Code of Conduct each year. See Ethics and Governance.

Regulators

Engagement Type

Industry association activities, direct outreach

Examples

To help accomplish business, legislative and regulatory goals, we maintain membership and regular activity in our industry trade association, the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA).

Complying with regulatory agencies also is an important part of our business. We interact regularly with organizations such as the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that our business practices meet their requirements.

Suppliers

Engagement Type

Supplier surveys, in-person meetings, Supplier Sustainability Award

Examples

We work with small and midsized specialty producers through our local food initiatives. Our FreshPoint locations have implemented technology that enables the tracking of local purchases from farm to customer, and our Broadline companies have various local food programs.

Our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program works with participating farmers to protect environmentally sensitive growing areas, soils and water sources by encouraging responsible use of fertilizers and pesticides and the use of cover crops, crop rotation and natural pest-control methods.

Red Gold, Inc., a supplier of premium-quality canned tomatoes and tomato-based products, won our 2014 Supplier Sustainability Award.

See Sourcing Our Food Sustainably and Responsibly.

Nongovernmental organizations

Engagement Type

Corporate communications, in-person meetings

Examples

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is advising us as we work toward sourcing our top 10 Sysco Brand wild-caught seafood species from sustainable fisheries. See Sourcing Our Food Sustainably and Responsibly.

Our relationship with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is improving efficiencies in global food safety management systems. See Safe and Healthy Products.

We celebrated the 12th year of our partnership with Share Our Strength, a leading national nonprofit organization devoted to ending childhood hunger. See Philanthropy and Volunteering.

Peers

Engagement Type

Industry events, benchmarking, best practices

Examples

Collaborating with the Produce Marketing Association, we have offered 18 Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) workshops since 2011, reaching more than 900 small farmers. See Sourcing our Food Sustainably and Responsibly.

We work with a variety of industry organizations, including the Coalition for Sustainable Animal Agriculture (CSAA) and the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply, to share scientific research and best practices in animal welfare. See Sourcing our Food Sustainably and Responsibly.

We influence business, legislation and regulation through our industry trade association, the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA). See Government Relations and Public Policy.

Sysco's Animal Welfare Council, comprised of Sysco Quality Assurance and Merchandising personnel and invited experts in animal welfare, provides feedback to our management team on the design, development and implementation of our animal welfare and handling programs, also advising on emerging issues.