To enable two-way communication with these groups, both on a regular basis and on specific matters, we use works council meetings and customer days at trade fairs, cooperate with associations and committees, arrange steel works tours and analysts' conferences, and much more besides. Surveys on customer and employee satisfaction also help generate new ideas, as well as identify potential for improvement, and allow opportunities to be seized at an early stage.
The political framework plays a key role in the success of companies in international competition. There is, however, considerable competitive distortion these days due to the lack of or failure to apply standards in copyright law, environmental and social policies, and in relation to subsidies. We therefore endeavor to promote an internationally level playing field, with fair conditions for German industry. To this end, we consistently pursue political dialog, maintain contact with the relevant institutions, and communicate openly with decision makers across the political hierarchy.
Associations and initiatives spanning all sectors are an important interface in fostering cooperation between policymakers, the business community and society. For this reason we are involved in numerous cooperations at both national and international level. Our aim is to develop standards for the sector together with other companies and in collaboration with associations rather than to simply measure ourselves against the yardstick of these standards. Some of the important platforms include initiatives launched by the steel industry, the Sustainability Alliance of Lower Saxony, Germany's ddn (Demography Network), and INQA (New Quality of Work Initiative).