Work samples

Over the past years, S&C has worked with over 80 companies and organizations on more than 400 projects. Most results are considered confidential.

Below you will find a selected list of examples that have been made anonymous but represent the type of work we do.

1. CR strategy development and organization
  • Situation and challenges

    A leading provider in the process industry decided, relatively late in comparison to its competitors and only due to increasing pressure from its customers, to integrate sustainability and Corporate Responsibility (CR) into its core business. However, for an ambitious concept and resilient implementation, support from the executive level was still missing. In light of these difficult conditions, S&C was mandated by the company’s Board to assist in the development of a CR strategy, i.e. from conceptualizing the project to the implementation of essential measures.

  • Schlange & Co.’s approach

    A carefully coordinated project plan was developed together with corporate development. A project team was established on the client side, which included the heads of major profit centers and cross-departmental functions. A major success factor was the fact that all decision-makers within the company were asked about their expectations, thoughts, and suggestions regarding the approach, prior to begin of the project. A materiality workshop was carried out for every business area in the company. During the workshop, which was held in collaboration with the project team, critical sustainability issues were assessed to determine their relevance, priority, and need for action. All ensuing steps regarding the conceptualization and implementation were also conducted in close cooperation with the client’s project team and subsequently presented to the Board.

  • Results

    A specific CR strategy, supported by concrete and ambitious but realistic objectives, was developed and tailored for every business area, depending on its specific business environment and stakeholder requirements. Above each business area’s CR strategy lies the group’s CR strategy, which was developed in alignment with the corporate strategy. Furthermore, the necessary organizational and operational structures, objectives, performance indicators, and reporting lines. The project also led to a greater recognition of CR at the executive level; thus, gaining priority and status throughout the entire company.
2. Establishing responsible supply chain management
  • Situation and challenges

    In light of serious repeated violations of human rights and health & safety guidelines in the textile industry, a mid-sized producer decided to take stronger and more preventative measures to influence its suppliers. S&C was mandated to develop a suitable management approach.

  • Schlange & Co.’s approach

    S&C, together with the procurement team, developed a method to rate the environmental and social risks with regard to the countries from which goods were purchased. Existing and new suppliers were evaluated and classified into risk classes according to a systematic assessment of their compliance with minimum standards. To gather information from supplier “self-assessments” using an external online database was key. Very clear guidelines for dealing with sustainability criteria in the evaluation of suppliers were defined for the procurement team. Finally, a training program to qualify suppliers was developed and tested in the form of a pilot project.

  • Results

    In both corporate headquarters and national subsidiaries, newly defined processes guided the procurement teams to include sustainability criteria in the evaluation of suppliers and to deal with issues of non-compliance. On that basis, the company felt it was sufficiently prepared to engage in a dialogue with critical stakeholders.
3. Conducting Due Diligence
  • Situation and challenges

    In light of an intended acquisition of a specialty chemicals producer by a leading international chemical company, S&C was charged with the critical assessment of specific sustainability risks.

  • Schlange & Co.’s approach

    By means of a broad literature and media analysis, a comprehensive and current overview of the relevant CR issues in the industry, as well as of critical events in the recent past was created. The company’s CR performance and risk profile was determined through expert interviews with customers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The evaluation of all relevant documents occurred in the data room. The results of the overall analysis were discussed in-depth with managers/ relevant functions of the company being acquired.

  • Results

    The client received a comprehensive evaluation of the target company’s CR performance and a detailed description of the current and inherent risks. Additionally, recommendations for concrete measures aimed at minimizing these risks were discussed.
4. Establishing an effective management of stakeholders
  • Situation and challenges

    A leading provider of high-quality machinery, purchases raw materials and components globally. The company has had to deal with a number of critical issues along the value chain. Despite performing well with regard to sustainability, the company has not openly communicated its strengths and has avoided discussions with critical stakeholders, until now. Given the increasing pressure from important customers to actively establish a structured stakeholder dialogue, S&C was mandated to develop a process and assist in its implementation.

  • Schlange & Co.’s approach

    In analyzing the status of the company’s current stakeholder management, issues to address and external parties with whom to initiate a dialogue were identified. A gap-analysis clarified organizations and issues to be included in a future dialogue. Together with the communications and sustainability departments, we developed a process to deal with relevant stakeholders and issues.

  • Results

    A key deliverable was to define stakeholders to be included in the dialogue i.e. specific names and especially critical issues to be addressed. Additionally, for all the company functions that play an active role in such a dialogue, we established a specific process and identified responsibilities. Stakeholders were successfully approached for the first time and well-attended Round Table events within the company ensued.
5. Conducting a Hotspot analysis
  • Situation and challenges

    A leading company in the Food & Beverage industry intended to differentiate itself in the market by actively communicating its strong sustainability performance to its retailers. S&C was instructed to create a strengths/weaknesses profile for one of its main sources of revenue and identify specific leverage points for further improvement.

  • Schlange & Co.’s approach

    Every step/phase along the entire value chain was analyzed and assessed in detail for the selected product. This included a broad yet detailed analysis of renowned and especially current scientific literature, as well as a survey including relevant stakeholders. Together with the decision makers in the company, we discussed the results of the analysis, which included the relevance and priority of the identified issues. Additionally, the need for action, necessary to further optimize the product, was derived from these discussions.

  • Results

    The results of this so-called Hotspot analysis were presented to the client at various levels i.e. from the most detailed level to an aggregated Executive Summary. In addition, measures that were agreed upon with process owners, and intended for a significant improvement of the product, were quickly implemented and marketed. 
6. Establishing a meaningful performance indicator system
  • Situation and challenges

    A chemical company decided to purchase sustainability software. The objective was to manage sustainability issues as well as to efficiently collect relevant data and information for report development. As a necessary prerequisite to the introduction of the new software, S&C was instructed to review and adapt the currently used performance indicators and reporting system. 

  • Schlange & Co.’s approach

    Together with the client’s project team, we ensured that all performance indicators and reporting lines used by the CR/EHS, Controlling, and HR-management divisions are relevant and clearly and thoroughly defined. Missing indicators were added and others that were no longer relevant were eliminated.

  • Results

    The client obtained a reporting system that was adapted to the current standards (e.g. GRI G4), included all the relevant performance indicators, and was compatible with the internal system. The process of collecting performance indicators, as well as their validation, was resilient and described efficiently. 
7. Developing an employee Code of Conduct
  • Situation and challenges

    An international retail company decided to establish a Code of Conduct for all of its employees, due to reoccurring problems in the industry with regard to corruption, re-labeling etc. S&C was entrusted with the development of the Code as well as with conceptualizing and implementing a training program.

  • Schlange & Co.’s approach

    Together with the client’s project team, which includes representatives from HR, Compliance, and the workers’ council, we agreed on objectives, tools, communication, approaches, and legal prerequisites. The Code of Conduct was strongly aligned with country-, function-, and process-specific requirements. Additionally, a Hotline for anonymous callers who wish to report violations was established and a training program was designed. After several rounds of adjustment and input from an external legal team, the Code of Conduct was finalized and approved by the Board.

  • Results

    The client received a Code of Conduct that was ready for implementation and legally resilient, with its content covering current issues. Employees were provided with all necessary information, including legal requirements and internal guidelines, through trainings based on practical cases.
8. Developing Merck’s Corporate Responsibility Report 2014
  • Situation

    Merck’s goal was to publish its seventh CR Report in 2015 according to GRI G4 standards for the first time. Additionally, they chose to strive for the highest application level, which is “comprehensive”. The company’s product profile – Merck develops innovative products within its three business sectors: Healthcare, Life Science, and Performance Materials –, its size, its internationality, and thus, the accompanying number of CR issues determined the scope of the project. Schlange & Co. (S&C) was mandated to advise and assist Merck for the fourth time in developing its CR Report; and despite increased requirements, publish the report within the given deadline.

  • Schlange & Co.'s approach

    Through experience gathered while working on Merck’s previous three reports (as well as from working on dozens of others), S&C developed a project plan, which was continually updated as needed. A fundamental element of the project was the materiality analysis. This analysis defined the concept of the report’s content, the data and information to be collected, and the number and scope of the texts. The materiality analysis included an online survey of relevant internal and external stakeholders. The results were then discussed with Merck’s CR responsible persons during a materiality workshop.


    The survey aimed to address all the relevant CR issues and acquire responses to all the questions asked. Due to Merck’s international nature, the survey was conducted in German and English. Subsequently, S&C evaluated the information and drafted texts for the report.

    Due to the heightened GRI G4 requirements, it was necessary to continually assess to what extent Merck fulfilled the new standards. Our partner in Vienna, Austria, nexxar, was responsible for the graphic design and programming of the report. One feature that we especially like: the interactive chart tool.

    S&C was responsible for:
    - The materiality analysis including the stakeholder survey
    - The concept of the report’s content
    - Providing applicable templates (German/English) for data and information collection
    - Development of texts
    - Continuous GRI G4 support
    - Quality control (of texts, performance indicators, online implementation)
    - Project management

  • Results

    Merck’s seventh CR Report was published online (Link to Report) just in time for Merck’s annual general meeting on April 17th, 2015. Not only was Merck able to report according to the new GRI G4 standards for the first time, but it was also able to achieve the highest application level: “comprehensive”. Additionally, the report includes a progress report for the UN Global Compact and meets the German Sustainability Code’s requirements. Furthermore, the results of the materiality analysis will be used for the strategic and operational management of the company’s CR issues.

CR Reports
To see some of our additional work samples, such as the CR reports (print/online) that S&C assisted in developing, please read

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