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Flying to and for all stakeholders

Cargolux Airlines International S.A., based in Luxembourg, is a leading provider of reliable, high-quality air cargo services, and the Global Cargo Carrier of Choice.

Starting with a handful of CL-44 aircraft in the 1970s, the company developed into Europe’s largest all-cargo airline and 6th worldwide. The airline operates a fleet of efficient, purpose-built Boeing 747-8 and 747-400 freighters. Cargolux was the world’s first operator of both aircraft types and uses its fleet, paired with trucking contractors to move cargo on its worldwide network that covers some 75 destinations with more than 85 offices in over 50 countries. Strong of 50 years of experience, Cargolux is specialized in the handling of sensitive and time-critical shipments  such as live animals, perishables, temperature-sensitive commodities, or outsize freight.

The challenge

Beyond the global sustainability challenges, the aviation industry is subject to increasing scrutiny due to its impact on the environment.  To best mitigate the effect of its operations, in 2017, Cargolux launched a materiality analysis to thoroughly prioritize the most significant economic, environmental, and social impacts the company needs to focus on. Stakeholder engagement  was therefore essential to get an accurate representation of both the reality and expectations.

The strategy

The journey began with in-depth desktop research on market trends using a sector-specific benchmark analysis to develop an exhaustive list of issues to be ranked. To build a solid ranking, Cargolux adopted an inclusive and progressive program of stakeholder engagement structured on the following methodological steps:


  • Internal & external stakeholders mapping: 19 stakeholder groups identified
  • Prioritization of stakeholders: stakeholders groups prioritized according to their level of dependence on, and influence exerted upon Cargolux.
  • Definition of the stakeholder engagement plan: stakeholder groups to be engaged in priority, engagement methods, survey sample criteria, and consultation content.
  • Progressive roll-out of the stakeholder engagement plan:
    • 2017: Key internal departments from corporate and operational areas
    • 2018: Customers & Cargolux’s CSR board
    • 2019: Employees and suppliers

The outcomes

This program resulted in a sharp materiality matrix highlighting 8 priority topics to work on. While we focus our strategy, resources and efforts on these material challenges, we will go further with our stakeholder engagement plan in the coming years and periodically engage new groups as per our continuous improvement approach.

As an airline operating on a global scale, Cargolux is aware of its responsibility in terms of sustainable development. Since the beginning of our journey, we have been able to count on Forethix’s support and advice to develop a solid sustainability roadmap. We have worked hand in hand to structure the pillars of our strategy and we look forward to working together in the future to enhance our skills as regulations and stakeholder expectations evolve.