Materiality Analysis – what really matters
Which aspects of sustainability are truly relevant for your business? We can you help you to answer this question by means of a materiality analysis compliant with the most important standards, taking into account both internal and external perspectives and participation.
Our services at a glance
Internal perspective: multi-level preparation of relevant sustainability aspects, participatory sustainability assessment, initial evaluation, and internal prioritisation
External perspective: selective survey or regular consultation of relevant stakeholders on material sustainability aspects, assessment and prioritisation
Materiality matrix: compilation, assessment, prioritisation, communicative preparation
What’s behind it
Which sustainability aspects are relevant for your business or organisation? More and more standards are requiring a materiality analysis to determine this. What are the significant economic, environmental and social impacts of your business? What significantly influences the decisions and assessments of stakeholders? These are the topics that a sustainability report should address according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
The German Sustainability Code (DNK) requires an examination of the positive and negative impacts of business activities on the individual DNK criteria. Conversely, it is important to ascertain those sustainability aspects that have a particular impact on business activities. Finally, according to the CSR-RUG, such risks having a negative impact on aspects of sustainability or business performance are considered material and subject to specific reporting requirements.
The internal perspective
In the internal perspective, we offer a multi-level approach. First, we compile information on the various sustainability aspects; we then reflect on the positive and negative impacts of the organisation on these (inside-out) as well as the impact of the sustainability aspects on the organisation’s business model (outside-in), in each case taking into account opportunities and risks. A participatory sustainability assessment of the status quo has also proven successful: stakeholders prioritise the sustainability aspects based on predefined criteria, such as the extent of an impact or the company’s levers and options for action.
The external perspective
The external perspective is contributed by stakeholder engagement: stakeholders are asked about the material sustainability aspects and their weighting; alternatively a longer-term exchange approach may be appropriate.
What is material?
We then summarise the results of both perspectives, for example in a materiality matrix. This shows how the material aspects with respect to sustainability can be derived from the prioritisations of the internal and external stakeholders. Such a commitment by management conveys credibility, and a renewed effort to encourage the participation of employees demonstrates appreciation for their know-how and a willingness to take their concerns seriously.