Stakeholder engagement and materiality

We engage with our stakeholders in different ways, on different levels and on different topics to better understand their interests and the way our activities affect their decision making process. This helps us understand which topics are most material, or are of greatest significance, to stakeholders so that we can prioritise these in our Materiality matrix. Our main stakeholder groups are summarised below and we then outline our materiality process. A more detailed overview of the stakeholder engagement process is included in the chapter 'Non-financial statements'.


It is vital that we generate sustainable cash flow, enabling us to achieve profitable growth across our operations and create value for our investors and the company. We hold many discussions and feedback sessions with shareholders and investors, including at roadshows and conferences, as well as strategy updates, the publication of our financial results, and during workshops. Discussions cover a variety of topics related to our business drivers and financial performance, including how we create value, our strategy, our investment proposition, and our short- and long-term outlook.


We identify two types of customers who make use of our logistic services. The first are business customers, ranging from one-person companies to multinational organisations, and the second are consumers. We engage with each on different types of topics. Business customers expect seamless, high quality, sustainable services that are delivered where and when promised. Consumers expect PostNL's services to be accessible, reliable, affordable, flexible and they increasingly expect to be in control. Within both types of customers we also distinguish senders and receivers. In our discussions with customers, we take the sending or receiving perspective into consideration. Our ambition is to be our customers' favourite deliverer.

Our people

PostNL is a large employer and a people company. Our people and those who work for us through partners play an essential role in providing our logistic services. We discuss a broad range of topics with our employees, from the moment they start working for us through to the moment they retire or leave the company. This includes training and development opportunities, improvements to our processes and systems, gathering feedback on the work environment, and discussions on how we can improve as an employer.

We also collaborate closely with trade unions and the works council to discuss working conditions. We want to provide everyone with a safe working environment, where people feel at home, respected and enjoy a culture that stimulates innovation, diversity, new ways of working and opportunities. And we hold discussion sessions with our delivery partners, where we elicit their ideas and opinions about our collaboration together and what we can do to strengthen our partnership.

Government bodies

PostNL operates in a regulated environment. This is why it is essential we engage with local and national governments, regulators and the general political arena about policy and regulatory developments. This includes topics such as the future of the Dutch postal market, labour relations, city logistics. Internationally, we engage on customs requirements and taxation with government bodies of the various countries.

Opinion leaders and society

Local communities are important as we are visible in every street in the Netherlands, impacting the perception of the general public by our behaviour and activities. Media, academic institutions and research institutions publish views on the company and the market in which we operate. NGOs look at PostNL for different perspectives, such as Human Rights and environmental impact. We engage with these various stakeholders on a number of topics, including business activities, market trends, environmental issues and social issues.

Business partners

Suppliers and other business partners form an important stakeholder group, helping us as we work to execute our strategy. This includes delivery partners, employment agencies, suppliers of IT services, goods, vehicles, and retail shops, as well as other organisations from which we purchase services. Relevant topics of discussion with business partners include business ethics, responsible procurement practises and privacy.


PostNL considers all discussion topics with stakeholders relevant. For the Annual Report we focus our disclosures on those topics deemed most material. To identify what is most material, we first carry out a materiality analysis to prioritise the topics we have identified, and then rank them based on two dimensions.

  • Dimension one is what is most important to our stakeholders, influencing their assessments and decisions. This is the vertical axis on the Materiality matrix.

  • Dimension two is the significance of the societal impact of PostNL with the topic. This is the horizontal axis on the Materiality matrix.

All topics in the Materiality matrix lead to direct or indirect financial impact. We categorised all topics in five domains based on the primary impact domain. The domains relate to different sections in the Business Report and Governance section of this report. The categorisation in the five domains are presented in the Materiality matrix below.

Materiality matrix

Topics ranked in the upper right-hand section of the Materiality matrix represent the key material topics for the company. These eight topics best reflect where PostNL creates long-term value.

All other topics in the matrix remain important and often contribute to the value created with our key material topics. In order to positively contribute to the material topics of our stakeholders, while optimising our impact on society, we use the key material topics as input for our value creation model. A more detailed description of our stakeholder engagement and materiality analysis is included in the paragraph Reporting criteria in the chapter 'Non-financial statements'.

For the Annual Report we focus our disclosures on those topics deemed most material.