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Stakeholders and materiality


Schiphol Group believes it is its job to sustain and further develop Mainport Schiphol's position and that of the regional airports. This is the subject of regular consultations with our stakeholders.
In dialogue

Schiphol Group has a great many stakeholders who represent a wide range of interests. We regularly engage in dialogue with our stakeholders at various levels and on a wide range of different topics. Several stakeholders also visit the airport. We share information with our stakeholders about daily operations and laws and regulations as well as current issues, such as large-scale investments and renovation projects. Schiphol Group's Management Board is involved in these contacts. Regular contact and dialogue enable us to stay abreast of stakeholder opinions and concerns. We, in turn, inform our stakeholders of what is happening at Schiphol Group.

Our stakeholders have indicated that they obtain most of the information relating to our strategy and objectives when speaking to us directly. In addition we use other communication channels (including social media, websites and newsletters) to inform them, depending on the topic and target audience. Our annual report attracts comments in particular from shareholders, financiers, policymakers and the regulatory authorities. The annual report provides an account of current projects, important developments and results, information which is also useful for other stakeholders as well as current and prospective employees and suppliers.

Discussion topics

Schiphol Group has emphatically reached out to its stakeholders – not only our supply chain partners but also to businesses in other sectors. It is our intention to involve influential businesses in a number of issues; their specific knowledge and insights will enable us to keep a sharp eye on developments. Moreover we wish to demonstrate that Schiphol Group is more than a financially focused enterprise, feels engaged with the local community and fulfils an important socio-economic role.

We are facing various challenges and dilemmas relating, for instance, to selectivity (growth versus the quality of the Mainport network), employment (shifts in employment arising from automation, such as automated baggage handling in the baggage basements and the implementation of central security non-Schengen), accessibility (regional public transport in the context of international rail links), customers (expansion of operating capacity in relation to airport charges), health (emissions in relation to health and the environment). We prefer to address these challenges in close collaboration with our stakeholders. Schiphol Group acts on issues and recommendations arising from these discussions where possible.

Materiality

In 2013 we launched an initiative to find out whether the topics we report on in our annual report are also of material significance to our stakeholders. We drew up a materiality analysis based on information obtained through dialogues and interviews. In 2014 we subsequently assessed the material aspects with the relevant departments and colleagues who maintain direct contact with our stakeholders. For the purpose of this assessment we also made use of media analyses and our own analyses of trends, developments and risks. We additionally looked at the aspects reported on by Aéroports de Paris, Heathrow Airport and Frankfurt Airport. The results are summarised in a materiality matrix schematically showing which aspects are of significance to our stakeholders and to us. The matrix, which has been validated by the Management Board, confirms that we have have established the correct priorities in our business strategy.

Examples of stakeholder dialogues

During two meetings, hosted by our CEO and attended by management board members representing a broad cross-section of the business community, the participants shared views on the strategic challenges facing Schiphol Group. It emerged that several companies felt that the business community should strengthen the relationship with the ministry of Economic Affairs. Various attendees expressed concern about the infrastructure in the Netherlands, pointing out that more infrastructural investments should be made to bolster the country's competitive position. We also noted that the companies wish to be kept abreast of Schiphol's hub strategy and the future role that Lelystad Airport is to play in this regard. For more information, see significance for the region.

The parties involved in the Alders Platform and Schiphol discuss the current status of covenants and the new system of environmental standards. The parties also share their opinion on the implementation of noise mitigation measures and runway usage. One discussion topic was the use of four runways during peak periods. At the end of January, the Alders Platform and CROS changed into the newly formed Schiphol Local Community Council (Omgevingsraad Schiphol). For more information, see significance for the region and noise.

The plan concerning Noise and the Local Community, indicating Schiphol's intention to strengthen community engagement, was discussed with the neighbouring municipalities. In 2014, to mark the occasion of Ad Rutten's retirement as COO, we organised a symposium on our relationship with the local community. Theo Weterings, mayor of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, Kees van Ojik, the local residents' representative, Hans Alders and Ad Rutten candidly exchanged views on the impact of the airport on the surrounding residential areas. Evening sessions concerning the development of Lelystad Airport were organised in the environs of Lelystad under the auspices of the Lelystad Alders Platform. For more information, see significance for the region and noise.

Over the course of the year we conducted various meetings with the airlines to discuss forecasts, investments and strategic developments. The annual consultation process is the occasion on which we discuss these matters, as well as airport charges, with the airlines. The consultations are not only a formal and legal requirement; we also use this dialogue to coordinate the hub strategy and the timing of investments. We jointly evaluate the consultation process and carry out improvements, examples of which are the introduction of pre-consultations (in which information is provided at an early stage) and issuing a letter of intent regarding airport charges. Read more under financial solidity and operating capacity.

In 2014 during the run-up to the call for tenders for security services, the trade unions and employers' organisations asked that attention be paid to the time spent standing by security staff while at work. This prompted Schiphol to set standards in the tender documentation for the time security staff spend standing at work, which will improve as soon as the new contract is awarded. Technical installations from the 1970s were still being used on Pier C. At the request of KLM, which uses the pier the most, Schiphol put measures in place to adjust the climate control system and the incidence of light on the pier. Read more under safety and supply chain responsibility.

During the Market Consultation Day organised in conjunction with the development of Area A, more than 150 companies from every sector, including airlines, building contractors and knowledge institutes, were able to provide their input on the sustainability and design choices entailed in this major building project. Schiphol also organised a business day to bring small and medium-sized businesses in and around the Lelystad region up to date and give them an opportunity to ask questions. For more information, see operating capacity.

Scope

The subjects in the matrix concern Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Rotterdam The Hague Airport and Eindhoven Airport alike. In view of the intended development of Lelystad Airport, these topics are anticipated to also play a part at that location. Lelystad Airport falls outside the scope of the matrix, at least until it is put into operation for non-Mainport-related commercial passenger traffic.

The content of this annual report has been determined on the basis of material aspects as represented in the materiality matrix, which enables us to explain for readers the impact and relevance of the information included.

Materiality Matrix


In the chain

All aspects included in the matrix are relevant to both our airports and other parties in the chain. This annual report includes information on all material aspects over which Schiphol Group has full control, with the exception of the network of destinations, operating capacity, accessibility, noise and safety. Performance reported in these areas also concerns our chain partners.

Development

Schiphol Group has clustered the following material aspects around five CR themes: significance for the region, accessibility, noise, CO2 emissions, air quality, circular economy and employment practices (see Corporate Governance - organisation of CR). In 2014 we worked on defining targets more closely aligned with the strategic character of these five themes. These targets will also be effected at – and in consultation with – the Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Lelystad airports in 2015. The 2014 annual report further reports on the indicators used over the past five years to describe our performance.

Stakeholders in the spotlight

We asked a number of stakeholders who are also technical experts in the aviation sector to share their opinions on how we have handled material aspects of relevance to them.

Stakeholder

Material aspect

Airlines

Network of destinations, operating capacity, customer appreciation, significance for the region, safety, financial solidity, noise, accessibility, CO2 emissions, supply chain responsibility, air quality, circular economy

Passengers

Network of destinations, operating capacity, customer appreciation, safety, accessibility

Sector partners (Dutch Customs, Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL), ground handlers)

Network of destinations, operating capacity, safety, noise, supply chain responsibility

Business partners (construction companies, security businesses, facility service providers, concessionaires, tenants, other suppliers)

Network of destinations, operating capacity, significance for the region, safety, financial solidity, supply chain responsibility

Financial stakeholders (shareholders, financial backers)

Operating capacity, significance for the region, financial solidity

Employees

Significance for the region, safety, financial solidity, noise, accessibility, CO2 emissions, air quality, employment practices, supply chain responsibility

Local residents

Significance for the region, safety, financial solidity, noise, accessibility, CO2 emissions, air quality, circular economy

Authorities (ministries, provinces, municipalities)

Network of destinations, operating capacity, customer appreciation, significance for the region, safety, financial solidity, noise, accessibility, CO2 emissions, supply chain responsibility, air quality, circular economy, employment practices, water

Network and special interest organisations

Network of destinations, operating capacity, customer appreciation, significance for the region, safety, financial solidity, noise, accessibility, CO2 emissions, supply chain responsibility, air quality, circular economy, employment practices, water

Knowledge institutions

Safety, noise, accessibility CO2 emissions, air quality, circular economy, water

On 30 April 2014 it was announced that Amsterdam Airport Schiphol was the first hub airport worldwide to be awarded Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) 3+. The ACA helps provide insight into airports’ efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. Eindhoven Airport has been accredited at the same level.

'It is a testament to the vision of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol that it has achieved certification at the highest level of Airport Carbon Accreditation: neutrality. Although there are 17 other carbon neutral airports out there, Schiphol – welcoming 55 million passengers a year – can rightfully claim to be the busiest carbon neutral airport in the world. Its work in this regard is ongoing at every level of the airport’s operations – from its impressive intermodality, its low-emission airside vehicles, its ongoing implementation in A-CDM, its fleet of Tesla zero-emission taxis and much more. I congratulate Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on another excellent year and look forward to sharing in the forthcoming celebrations of its centenary in 2016.'

Olivier Jankovec
Director General, Airports Council International Europe

At Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) we of course have a specific responsibility for safety, but in my view the Schiphol Safety Platform is the leading forum for jointly addressing safety at and around the airport. That is why I take part in this platform in my capacity as CEO.

The Schiphol Safety Platform is an excellent demonstration of the awareness that aviation safety is a joint responsibility. All parties convene on a regular basis to witness and experience this joint responsibility and, more importantly, to formulate joint policy for the airport (ground and landside), which serves to strengthen cooperation between the aviation companies. While each company's internal safety is good, there are still safety gains to be made in terms of cooperation and consistency within the aviation value chain. A good example of the gains achieved through this collaboration is the reduction in the number of runway incursions at the airport, especially in the light of this airport's complexity.

Aviation parties' processes are tied in various visible and invisible ways, but are also interwoven and perpetually dependent on each other. As such, whenever there is a change, everyone needs to ascertain the consequences both for themselves and for others. In recent years it has become clear just how dependent LVNL is on Schiphol's infrastructure, which makes effective collaboration a must.

You need to ensure a good cost-benefit analysis that takes account of all parties involved. Quite often, we see that the parties who make an investment are not the ones to profit from it. In a normal competitive business setting, such investments would not be made. But as far as we are concerned, such individual business interests are less important than our shared responsibility. Accordingly, LVNL and Schiphol are rising to the challenge to do this even more effectively in the future, thus further enhancing integral safety.

Paul Riemens
CEO Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL)

In today's globalising society, good international connectivity is crucial for metropolitan regions. It minimises travel costs for consumers and creates an attractive climate for businesses. Regions with excellent connectivity are more innovative and more productive: ‘Connectivity is key to competitiveness’.

Schiphol provides the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region with excellent connectivity to the main economic centres of Europe and beyond. Its strong, internationally oriented local market, good landside accessibility, high peak-hour capacity, short transfer times, high service levels and competitive visit costs are all trump cards that the airport can play in the battle for passengers and airlines.

Schiphol's connectivity is even far greater than what you would expect on the basis of the local market alone. A key reason for this is the hub operation of KLM and its partners, which combines local and transfer transport on a single flight. That is not to say that competing hub airlines, low-cost carriers and other airlines are not important to international connectivity – on the contrary. However, it is the hub carrier that delivers the connectivity advantage.

Looking to the future, this is also one of our most critical vulnerabilities. European hub airlines are all under pressure from having to compete with low-cost carriers on the European market. At the same time, we are up against a new generation of hub airlines from the Gulf Region and Turkey that are profiting from the global economy's shift towards Asia and from low cost levels. Though this competition is good for consumers, it also threatens to eat away at connectivity.

Guillaume Burghouwt
Head of Aviation cluster, SEO Economic Research

All aviation partners stand to gain from good partnerships and openness. It is only by working together that we as a sector can respond effectively to the intense global competition between not only airlines, but also airports. Airlines operate under tight margins and we have to respond fast to market supply and demand.

We see an airport not as an end but as a means. That is why we look critically at the rationale for airport infrastructure expansions and the associated investments and financial effects on airport charges.

In the past few years, this has occasionally brought Schiphol and the airlines head-to-head. We have kept each other focused. Responding to the repeated appeals from BARIN to take account of the position of the airlines as users of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has helped to improve cooperation.

The Schiphol consultation process has now evolved into a dialogue centred on transparency. The airport is demonstrating that it is taking the necessary steps to boost efficiency, control costs and improve the management of its assets. These efforts, together with favourable interest rate trends and passenger volumes that yet again exceeded estimates, have led to a reduction in airport charges by almost 7% as from April 2015. This is a constructive result that is genuinely helping to reduce cost levels for airlines, thereby contributing to the competitive strength of the airlines and airport alike. It proves that well-founded investments in a leading airport can and must go hand in hand with highly competitive charges. In the coming years, we have to continue making strides in this direction – after all, we can never take Schiphol's position for granted.

Frank Allard
Chairman, Board of Airline Representatives in the Netherlands (BARIN)