Setting Sustainability Priorities

3Identify Stakeholders

Interest in sustainability comes from many directions. Identifying which stakeholder groups are important to your business success as well as those that are most active related to sustainability assures a 360-degree view of the issue. As you progress in communicating your sustainability commitments, it is important to demonstrate that stakeholder perspectives have been considered, and to acknowledge their concerns even if their particular issue does not end up as priority for your organization, or you choose not to take immediate action on their issue. Demonstrating that you have considered and evaluated a variety of stakeholder perspectives as part of your process builds trust with a wide-range of stakeholders and creates a policy that is more easily articulated and defended.

Potential stakeholders


  • Employees
  • Functional areas


  • Customers, including consumers, retailers, foodservice, distributors and others you supply
  • Community stakeholders, such as local leaders in government, business, religious or charitable organizations as well as interested citizens.
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as consumer, animal welfare, environmental and worker safety groups, among others.
  • Supply chain representatives, including groups such as farmers/growers, packaging suppliers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, and others.
  • Labor representatives
  • Potential employees
  • Investors
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