CSR reporting at Flughafen München GmbH

Communication and Social Responsibility

Seminar Paper, 2014

18 Pages, Grade: 2,0


Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 CSR Reports and Airports

3 The Company

4 CSR Reporting at Munich Airport
4.1 FMG Reporting Practices
4.2 CSR Reporting Excellence
4.3 Perspectives 2012 - A Review

5 Volunteer Contribution of FMG

6 Summary

7 Appendix
7.1 List of Abbreviations
7.2 References
7.3 Figures

1 Introduction

"Living Ideas - Connecting Lives"

"We promote cooperative development with the region, assume responsibility for our employees, and create added value for our customers."

(Flughafen München GmbH [FMG], 2013a, p. 2)

This is the brand-new motto of the fresh corporate identity program of Flughafen München 3 GmbH (FMG) introduced in January 2014. At the first glance it appears as a nice sounding slogan but there is more behind. It stands as a symbol of the entire Corporate Social Respon- sibility (CSR) strategy at Munich International Airport (MUC).

It is CSR which has gained increasing importance in the global corporate environment mainly driven by changing expectations of the society towards the economy. And it is FMG which became a pioneer in CSR commitment and reporting of airports very early. By the end of 2015, MUC intends to be the most sustainable airport of the world. Especially in regard of reporting on CSR the airport operator is already second to none and has ambitious plans in order to satisfy their multi-dimensional stakeholder interfaces in the future.

This research paper is going to describe key elements of CSR reporting of airports and FMG in particular. The overall structure of this paper uses the annual "PerspeĐtiǀes ϮϬϭϮ" report of FMG and additional company and airport industry related publications.

After briefly introducing FMG as a company I will assess the CSR reporting practices of the airport operator in detail. An overview of the CSR reporting quality of FMG is given. Additionally, essential information are identified which shall be included in a publication in order to provide successful CSR reporting. In a second step I will now go into more detail by chronologically assessing the most current CSR report of FMG by highlighting and discussing specific topics. Furthermore I will describe the efforts of FMG to increase the social involvement of own employees by encouraging their interest in voluntary projects. Based on the findings, a conclusion emphasizing the importance of CSR in regard of public perception of FMG as a future-oriented airport operator is given.

2 CSR Reports and Airports

Against the background of global trends, CSR reports of European companies are gaining increased public perception. Transparency has evolved as a key element of corporate trans- action in our information-driven society today. Reports regarding corporate responsibility and the sustainability of business activities, however, are not just an important issue for the corporation itself. The transparent flow of information is of significant interest in order to build up credibility and trust towards various stakeholders involved in the corporate envi- 4 ronment (Münstermann, 2007, p. 173). Business partners, labor unions, investors, employ- ees, community members, governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGO) are just a prominent selection which stands exemplary for stakeholders.

Since airports are in a shift towards strictly organized and profit orientated business entities, they are subject to increased public interest like almost every other player in the aviation industry. Above all, the tool of CSR reporting allows airports to build up trust from resident community by implementing strategies that add value to the company (Schaltegger & Wag- ner, 2006, p. 12). In most of the cases airports are using CSR reports to enlighten measures on how to reduce environmental impacts and abilities to enhance the community life in which airports operate (Goebel & Derks-Wood, 2010, p. 10). By now, airports are well- advised in doing so. Based on a wider range of airport activities and the ongoing emergence of ͚airport Đities͛, one must say that this development is leading to the question of social ac- countability of airport performance (Skouloudis, Evangelinos, & Moraitis, 2012, p. 16). To say it in a more provocative way, in my opinion, airport operators simply try to prevent the com- pany from public resentment and to forestall to the growing concerns with environmental and social impacts of aviation.

In general, airport CSR communication channels may vary from an independent disclosure concerning the sustainability of an airport to an integrated report connected to other organi- zational reportings, such as annual financial statements (GRI, 2011a, p. 51). Both varieties have their advantages. Separate CSR reports tend to extensively discuss policies and initia- tives regarding airport sustainability. Additionally broad quantitative data is provided in order to measure specific impacts and their tendencies. Nowadays separate CSR reporting is quite ĐoŵŵoŶ for ǁorld͛s ŵajor airport ĐoŵpaŶies. The idea behind integrated reports is to con- nect corporate sustainability with financial matters in one publication. The right combination of financial, environmental and social impacts of an organization allows stakeholders to com- pare risks with company performance. It additionally helps to make underlying busisnees model behind sustainability visible and gives public an impression of the complexity of sus- tainable practices (Skouloudis et al., 2012, p. 16; Goebel & Derks-Wood, 2010, p. 11).

However, some issues arise from the fact that no international industry norms exist which are suitable to guide airports in the reporting process. The International Organization of Standardization released admittedly its CSR reporting guidelines (ISO26000) in November 2010 but in most cases airports orientate themselves towards the core references of the 5 Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) (Goebel & Derks-Wood, 2010, p. 13). For years the GRI is a broadly recognized concept for reporting on economic - environmental performance and has a determining influence on sector specific reporting guidance for airlines and airports (Confino, 2013). Furthermore the GRI is an official collaborating center of the United Nations Environment Program which is known for globally applicable sustainability reporting guide- lines. In the case of Germany, the German Airports Association (ADV) has produced its own, mainly environmental, guidelines that are additionally used by certain airports in Switzerland and Germany (Graham, 2005, p. 105).

For sure media selection for CSR reports should not limit the reporting scope. Companies which are used to advanced reporting and experience, have a variety of reporting platforms are available. Besides traditional paper reports, especially electronic or web-based reporting has proved to be useful media. Best results are reached by using a combination of paper and web-based reports. To make information available through more than one platform can help airports to get the message out about their CSR activities. The increased use of several chan- nels can also be understood as an indication that many airports attach great importance to their reporting on CSR work (Goebel & Derks-Wood 2010, p. 12; GRI, 2011a, p. 51).

3 The Company

FMG is a limited liability company domiciled and registered in Munich, Germany. Together with its subsidiaries, the group operates (MUC), the second most important commercial airport in Germany, behind Frankfurt Airport. Founded in 1949, the Company has been coowned by the Free State of Bavaria (51 percent), the Federal Republic of Germany (26 percent), and the City of Munich (23 percent) since 1973 (FMG, 2013a, p. 30).

In the reporting year 2012 the company announced a total of 28.4 million passengers at MUC, generating € 1.2 billion of revenue and a profit of € 95 million (FMG, 2013a, p. 118 ff.). Moreover, FMG stands for business excellence since the popular ͚World͛s Best Airport ‘aŶking͛ conducted by Skytrax voted MUC as the 6th best airport worldwide, 2nd best airport in Europe and best airport in Germany (Miller 2014).

Besides the handling of ground services, FMG is also involved in the airport real-estate and retailing business. Furthermore the group͛s consulting services are offered to several other international airports. Together with subsidiaries of FMG and its affiliated companies the 6 airport operator employs nearly 7,500 people by the end of 2012. With this, FMG is the se- cond-biggest employer on campus besides the airline Deutsche Lufthansa. The great im- portance of MUC for the regional labor market is undeniable since the local community has reported one of the lowest rates of unemployment in Germany. In 2012, the unemployment level averaged around 2.2 percent, which nearly corresponds to full employment (FMG, 2013a, p. 80). All these key data are retrieved from the FMG Annual Report 2012 which is going to be introduced in detail in the following chapter.

4 CSR Reporting at Munich Airport

CSR reporting at MUC can be characterized as a diversified and successful development pro- cess. Within this chapter I will introduce the CSR reporting practices of FMG revealing essen- tial information which should be included in an annual CSR publication in order to provide successful reporting. Additionally I will state words on the CSR reporting excellence of FMG by introducing the level system framework of the GRI and an interesting scientific survey. In a second step I will now go in more detail by assessing the latest CSR report of FMG.

4.1 FMG Reporting Practices

Publications approaching CSR and sustainability were systematically introduced by FMG in the year 2008 at first. The airport started with a plain additional report addressing a rather small audience. Today, the reporting practice of the airport group extends from an annual company report, newly Đalled ͚PerspeĐtiǀes͛, to diverse multilingual information on the cor- porate website and additional company publications. In times before 2010, FMG used to publish independent reports regarding financial and sustainability affairs. Starting in the year of 2011, the company decided to entitle CSR as an integral part of the management review to highlight the tight interlocking relationship between business activities and their social responsibilities as well as the environmental emphasis (FMG, 2011, p. 2). With this the Mu- nich airport company entered a new path in reporting compared to the major German com- petitor Fraport who proǀides a separate reportiŶg strategLJ ;͚FairplaLJ-‘eport͛Ϳ siŶĐe LJear oŶe. In contrast to other airports, FMG however provides one of the most extensive disclosures regarding CSR compared to international standards (Skouloudis et al., 2012, p. 17). 7

Based on the general framework established by the GRI, an increasing number of airports have developed sophisticated reporting systems as mentioned in the second chapter. The FMG fully complies with international CSR reporting principles set by GRI as well. The reason is oďǀious. IŶ their latest puďliĐatioŶ Đalled ͚Sustainability Reporting Guidelines & Airport Operators “eĐtor “uppleŵeŶt͚ the GRI describes an exceptional range of economic, envi- ronmental social, and other influencing factors relevant to reporting airports and its multi- dimensional stakeholders. By providing such a common baseline for understanding, in my opinion these standards do facilitate accountability and transparency in an unparalleled manner.

In order to judge the comprehensiveness of a CSR report I have compiled four main criteria based on a variety of (interdisciplinary) sources (Skouloudis et al., 2012, p. 17 f.; Heeres, Kruijd, Montgomery, & Simmons 2011, p. 7; GRI, 2011a, p. 26 f.; Goebel & Derks-Wood, 2010, p. 13). In my opinion, the following information are essential to be included for corporate reporting in a credible and measurable manner:

A clear definition of corporate CSR policies, standards and guidelines in connection with overall goals, strategy and visions of the airport How the airport company translates its CSR policies into actions, including any relevant data, systems or procedures used An individual assessment on what the airport has achieved as a result of its CSR initia- tives during the reporting year, including future expectations to these initiatives.


Excerpt out of 18 pages


CSR reporting at Flughafen München GmbH
Communication and Social Responsibility
University of Applied Sciences Wildau  (Wildau Institute of Technology)
Aviation Management 2012
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
842 KB
CSR, MUC, Munich Airport, Flughafen München, Corporate Social Responsibility, Communication, Report, CSR Report, Reporting Excellence, Voluneteer, Unternehmensverantwortung
Quote paper
Diplom-Kaufmann Sebastian Wagner (Author), 2014, CSR reporting at Flughafen München GmbH, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/272856


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