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Dialogue

In order to keep abreast of new developments, to share experiences and to come up with new ideas about how to implement our socio-economic function, we conduct round table discussions with our stakeholders. These also took place in 2012: we exchanged views with stakeholders such as representatives of surrounding municipalities, companies and research institutes as well as employees of Schiphol. The stakeholder dialogues revolve around the five socio-economic themes to which Schiphol aims to contribute.

All parties concerned recognise the importance of close cooperation between Schiphol and civil society organisations, administrators, residents and businesses. Our stakeholders focus on the interests of the region: taking into account the interests of one's neighbours increases the chance of creating support. Possibilities include local and regional energy generation and cooperation with data centres and cold stores in the area. Regional cooperation and involving chain partners results in wide support for smart, useful projects. Many participants in the dialogue regard Schiphol as an international leader in many areas. Schiphol can only uphold this position by also developing a long-term vision with respect to the socio-economic themes and by continuing to innovate, which, in some cases, involves taking risks.

Schiphol Airport has been mentioned as a showcase location for sustainable initiatives on more than one occasion. Knowledge institutes, regional administrators and local residents attach importance to Schiphol's 'laboratory function'. This also applies to young employees of Schiphol Group. They believe that further benefits can be obtained from communication of Schiphol's ambitions in the area of Corporate Responsibility. More emphasis could also be placed on the fact that Schiphol generates economic activity and employment and connects the Netherlands to the rest of the world. Schiphol could stimulate this through the employees themselves, all of whom can act as 'ambassadors', but also through external media.

Schiphol's own YouTube channel and the Schiphol webpages (such as schiphol.nl/cr and schiphol.nl/sustainability) already provide a lot of information, but Schiphol should communicate the message more proudly to the general public according to these young employees. They propose that more attention is paid to initiatives in the area of sustainability and technological innovation. They see the exhibition of science museum NEMO in the terminal during the summer as a good example of how this could be achieved.

Together with its partners, Schiphol assumes its responsibility with respect to sustainable employment and sustainable labour relations in the chain. Efforts to this end include the signing of the ‘Code of Responsible Market Conduct’ for the cleaning and window cleaning sectors. This code was established after the strikes in the cleaning sector in 2010, when workers protested against the high work pressure, declining budgets, short-term contracts and lack of appreciation. The code has been signed by almost seven hundred companies, clients, organisations and unions. It is encouraging that other sectors, such as the catering and security sectors, have displayed an interest in the code and are considering initiating something similar.

In the dialogue with stakeholders with respect to sustainable employment, the pensionable age was one of the topics that has been discussed. Working to the age of 67, and perhaps even longer in the future, is progressively becoming standard practice. Consequently, vitality and mobility are becoming increasingly important. One of the ideas that emerged was to allow employees at the airport to make a switch between the different companies. This is an entirely new approach: from job security at one company to employment security in the sector. This idea is perfectly in line with the results of the round table discussions: do not regard Schiphol as an isolated company or location, but involve the surrounding region as much as possible.