Measuring sustainability progress

Stakeholder engagement and dialogue

Kuehne+Nagel seeks and maintains strong relationships with all stakeholders. In order to bolster stakeholder communication and identify issues requiring attention, Kuehne+Nagel established a sustainability programme in 2016. Our sustainability programme provides an effective framework to target, analyse and address areas in need of improvement. For more details about our industry partners, please see our 2019 Sustainability Report, page 37 and 2018 Sustainability Report, page 14.


Reporting standards and normative sustainability frameworks
Sustainability Reporting Global ambition Strategic adaptation Target settings Sector Initiatives Ratings Sustainability Index
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) UN Global Compact (UNGC) Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Science Based Targets (SBTs) Clean Cargo Sustainable Transportation (CCST) Sustainalytics Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX)
Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Paris Agreement Capital Transition Assessment (PACTA) Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GGP) Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) Institutional Shareholder Services ESG (ISS ESG) Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) World Business Council For Sustainable Development (WBCSD)     EcoTransIT   S&P Global
  Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)     Global Maritime Forum   EcoVadis
        Euro. Assoc. for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services (CLECAT)    
        Ocean Conservancy    
        Development and Climate Alliance    


Relationship with shareholders  GRI 102–42; GRI 102–43

Kuehne+Nagel aims to provide its shareholders with transparent and consistent written and verbal information about the Group’s operating and financial performance in support of the investment decision making process. Access to the senior management team is integral to this effort and is provided through the quarterly financial reporting process and participation in investor conferences and roadshows. In addition, the management team is receptive and responsive to inbound requests for publicly disclosed information related to the Group and the logistics industry. Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) underpins engagement with shareholders as a venue to vote on matters of mutual interest in accordance with statutory requirements.

The ongoing ambition is continuous improvement of the Group’s ability to support the investment decision making processes of current and potential Kuehne+Nagel shareholders with varying investment goals and time horizons. In doing so, the goal is that market participants are informed and able to arrive at the fairest valuation of Kuehne+Nagel equity at any given time. 

The year 2020 was exceptional in light of the stark macroeconomic decline sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic. The related market anxiety and heightened volatility resulted in a much increased demand for information about the Kuehne+Nagel operating model and strategy for tackling the challenging market environment. The Group responded with a greater allocation of management time and effort to engage with investors and market analysts (see below).


Overview of management engagement with investors in 2019 and 2020


Communication with employees  GRI 102-42

Kuehne+Nagel holds town hall meetings globally on a quarterly basis where Management keep employees up to date on important company information; employees have an opportunity to both ask questions and to give their feedback.

With the Covid-19 situation, we needed to challenge ourselves with new working conditions. Our internal collaboration platform strongly supported the team collaboration. In addition, we decided to implement the “Future of Work” initiative. To check the opinion of our employees, we have decided to distribute the Future of Work Survey to 40,000 employees in Q4 2020. Within two weeks, we had 22,000 individual responses. The results offer a unique view of the employee experience at Kuehne+Nagel, providing leaders with a layered view of the various dimensions that make up working life at KN – spanning individual, team, leader, and company perspectives.

The first visible effects of Future of Work are:

  • The shift of the entire office workforce to home office has not led to any productivity drop but rather the opposite,
  • Overall satisfaction of the workforce has improved significantly. Current survey shows an improvement of NPS from –1.9 to +4.79 on global level,
  • Global unwanted attrition has dropped for the entire year (independent of the pandemic) from 7.3 per cent to 6.6 per cent.

Future of Work survey results were shared with employees on a global level and awareness raised with management. Challenges are identified: inclusivity challenge, and mental health and work-related stress.

The next step is to address the identified subjects together; one month – one topic; using existing KN tools (Care weeklies, Lunch and Learns, Content Clubs).


Communication with customers and suppliers  GRI 102-42

The company has established a communication channel with its suppliers  ensuring common goals defined in the Suppliers' Code of Conduct.

In 2019 the Procurement Department of Kuehne+Nagel has established an annual Innovation Day with selected Key Suppliers of different product and service groups, sponsored by the Executive Vice President of Contract Logistics and Chief Information Officer.

At this one-day workshop, all participants at management board level present their key initiatives, latest projects and visions on the predefined focus topic. This format encourages an active exchange with the aim for each participant to take away ideas for their own company development as well as to draft new collaborative projects; forming the future together.

The Innovation Day 2020 with Net Zero Carbon as a focus topic took place at the Kuehne+Nagel Headquarters in Schindellegi (Switzerland), prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Regarding some of the inspiring ideas that were discussed, Kuehne+Nagel responded by intensifying work on some initiatives which had already been started, such as: LED roadmap, photovoltaic systems and others. More details can be found here.

In addition to these facility-related projects, a new approach on the Material Handling Equipment (MHE) used in the warehouses has been introduced at the Innovation Day. Meanwhile, a Pan-European Project has been started to evaluate the opportunities of refurbished forklift trucks. First results of the initiative, covering Germany, France, Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Luxembourg, are expected by Q4/2021.

Overall, the customers' feedback was very well received with valuable inputs in intense discussions. Based on this, the decision was taken to continue the Innovation Day with customers and suppliers. The Innovation Day 2021 is scheduled in the second half of the year, subject to the pandemic situation.

In 2020 Kuehne+Nagel launched the Environmental Performance survey. This allowed the company to have a better understanding of the Airlines’ environmental programmes and performance, including the level of data accuracy used in the accounting and reporting of carbon emissions. The survey also covered social and governance topics.

Based on the results of the survey, Kuehne+Nagel is now able to recognise and prize the sustainability efforts and achievements of those carriers with the highest environmental standards and performance. 21 strategic air carriers of Kuehne+Nagel responded with a set of comprehensive questions.

Internal and external stakeholders  GRI 102-42

Customer Experience Gathering 2020

2020 was a year of continued customer feedback gathering; based on our culture and discipline of response, review and continuous improvement.

During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic wave, we primarily focused on approaching our customers directly using digital tools, with a strong focus on supporting their business during these difficult times. In parallel, we kept enhancing our myKN platform, the one-stop platform to collaborate with our customers and partners. In a collaborated effort with some of our customers and Kuehne+Nagel teams in different functions, geographies and cultures we identified additional requirements to enhance our customers’ user experience. Using myKN, Kuehne+Nagel's customer platform, it enabled a permanent dialogue with our customers.

Beyond myKN, we have a vast set of initiatives in place, including dedicated customer interviews. We have a strong focus to improve our customer and employee experience hand-in-hand, spanning across all our business and functional units. All our activities around customer and employee experience gathering continue to be aimed at Kuehne+Nagel becoming the best place to work for and the best company to do business with.
Overall we have asked, verbally or in writing, more than 100,000 customers, spanning across more than 80 countries and and taking our customers' local languages into consideration. A lot of customer feedback we received in 2020 has been similar in the past few years – the pain points rank in the same three categories:

  • Customer service
  • Response behaviour
  • Active communication

Our action will be now to analyse the feedback provided by all respondents. Reference is also made to the customer relations and satisfaction mentioned in the materiality matrix in this report that is identified as very important for stakeholders and considered as highly significant for Kuehne+Nagel.