About this report

Reporting scope

This report covers the CSR KPI for all subsidiaries of the Bekaert Group. The scope has not been changed since the first report. (G4-22, G4-23)

Reporting period

This report covers the activities between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015, unless stated differently and if relevant for the report. Bekaert reports annually on its sustainability performance. (G4-28) Bekaert published its first Sustainability report, conducted according to the C-level of the GRI G3 guidelines, in 2011 (data 2010). The second report was published in 2012 (data 2011). Initially we intended to start reporting biennially from 2012 onwards (2011-2012). However, due to significant structural changes in 2012 it was impossible to report comparable data. Therefore, Bekaert has chosen to continue to report annually. (G4-22, G4-30)

Process for defining reporting content

The content of this report has been defined considering the most significant indicators of our activity, the impact of and commitment to the company's interest groups, the effort in sustainability and the level of detail established by model G4 of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines.
We haven taken into account the present and future contribution of the activities in the improvement or the deterioration of social, environmental and economic conditions.

We have included the activities between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015, and we do so under the principles of transparency, objectivity and veracity. 

This report covers the activities carried out by Bekaert worldwide, and has no limitations of scope or coverage.

For Bekaert, its stakeholders are all physical, legal or collective persons that are influenced directly or indirectly by the activities of the company. Identified stakeholders that Bekaert expects to consult the report: shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and partners. 

Our interest groups are the Bekaert employees, suppliers, customers, shareholders, partners, local governments and the communities in which we are active. (G4-18)

Reporting principle

Bekaert’s Sustainability Report 2015 was conducted according to the GRI G4 Guidelines of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework, in accordance “core option”. Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a non-profit organization that promotes economic sustainability. Bekaert’s responsible performance in 2015 has been recognized by its inclusion in the Ethibel Excellence Index (ESI) Europe - a reference benchmark for top performers in terms of corporate social responsibility based on Vigeo’s research - as well as in Kempen SRI. 

In 2015, Bekaert was awarded a silver recognition level from EcoVadis, an independent sustainability rating agency whose methodology is built on international CSR standards. This good result places Bekaert among the top 30% of performers evaluated by EcoVadis.

Bekaert has numerous corporate memberships at an organizational level, including (G4-16):
  • Agoria
  • Belgian Indonesian Chamber of Commerce vzw 
  • Chambre de commerce Belgo-Luxembourgoise pour la Russie et le Belarus asbl - Belgisch-Luxemburgse kamer van Koophandel voor Rusland en Wit-Rusland v.z.w
  • The Conference Board
  • VKW West-Vlaanderen
  • Vlaams-Chinese Kamer van Koophandel (VCKK)
  • VOKA - Vlaams netwerk van ondernemingen

Materiality assessment (G4-19, G4-20, G4-21)

To determine whether an aspect is material, a combination of internal and external factors has been used. In the matrix below, the materiality of aspects have been ranked according to the following criteria:

  1. Influence on stakeholder decisions:
    1. Frequency of reporting requests by individual aspect
    2. Rigor/stringency of stakeholder criteria by aspect
  2. Importance to Bekaert business:
    1. Efforts spent to improve performance and/or reporting scope
    2. Frequency and weight attached to the aspect in Bekaert reporting and communication
In the matrix below, the shadow area visualizes the material aspects included in this report.

Materiality Matrix 2016
Material aspects (per category):
Category Economic:

1: Economic performance of the company
2: Promotion of social & economic development in the community
3: Upstream sustainable supply chain

Category Environmental:
4: Energy & emissions
5: Water
6: Effluents & waste
7: CO2 from transport

Category Social:
8: Health & safety
9: Learning & development
10: Child, forced & compulsory labor
11: Freedom of association/collective bargaining
12: Anti-corruption (ethics)
13: Diversity & equal opportunity
14: Product & service responsibility
15: Human rights
16: Performance assessments

General disclosure on management approach (G4-DMA)

Sustainability 2020
Bekaert is developing a Sustainability 2020 program to determine priorities for the longer run. This program is GRI based and will include ambitions and objectives throughout the organization.

Board of Directors (G4-34)
The main tasks of the Board of Directors are to determine the company’s general policy, approve the strategy and supervise the activities. The Board of Directors is the company’s supreme decision-making body in all matters, other than those in respect of which decision-making powers are reserved to the General Meeting of Shareholders by law or the articles of association. 
The Board of Directors has established three advisory Committees; Audit and Finance Committee, Nomination and Remuneration Committee, and Strategic Committee.

Bekaert Group Executive (G4-34)
The Bekaert Group Executive assumes the operational responsibility for the company’s activities and acts under the supervision of the Board of Directors. 

Enterprise Risk Management
Bekaert’s ERM responsibilities include among others, the following potential risks: 
  • overall pressure on profitability (e.g. general overcapacity in a weak economic environment);
  • political/economic/social instability in emerging countries (e.g. Venezuela, Russia); 
  • globalizing competition; 
  • asset and profit concentration (e.g. in one city); 
  • intellectual property risk (overall and permanent risk); 
  • non-compliance risk with local regulations and with the Bekaert standards; 
  • wire rod price volatility and source dependency; 
  • evolution of environmental regulations; 
  • creditworthiness of customers; and 
  • the risk of failure of the banking system in specific countries.

Correspondence (G4-7, G4-31)

NV Bekaert SA - Katelijn Bohez, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations Manager
President Kennedypark 18 BE-8500 Kortrijk, Belgium - E-mail: katelijn.bohez@bekaert.com 
T:  + 32 56 23 05 11 - Information on Bekaert and on its 2015 economic performance is available in the 2015 Annual Report (G4-17).