Moving forward with Materiality

/ 2015 SAW THE ERIKS GROUP’S FIRST-EVER ATTEMPT TO UNDERTAKE A MATERIALITY ASSESSMENT, TO DEFINE THE RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES FACING OUR BUSINESS. THIS YEAR WE HAVE BUILT ON WHAT WE LEARNT, TO PROVIDE EVEN MORE USEFUL INSIGHTS TO INFORM OUR SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY.

Sustainability is an end in itself, but it must also add value to our organization. So our sustainability strategy has to be clearly aligned with our overall business strategy. The Materiality Assessment helps to ensure that we identify, understand and prioritize the issues we face, so that we can deliver value. The Assessment also informs our internal data collection – so that we look at the right things, collect the right data, and take the right actions. And along the way, it helps to defi ne the content of this Annual Sustainability Report.

Materiality Assessment

FROM SUPPLIER TO EMPLOYEE TO CUSTOMER

The Materiality Assessment covers our complete direct value chain across our entire global operation, because sustainability does too. Only by running our business responsibly can we:

  • maintain our licence to operate
  • stay relevant for customers so they want to do business with us
  • stay relevant for employees so they want
  • to work for us
  • secure our brand
  • reputation

Our ambition is also to take action on responsibilities outside our direct value chain. For instance, child and forced labor is not an issue within our business, but we need to work with our suppliers to ensure it is also not an issue within their own supply chains.

HOW WE’VE DEVELOPED

The lessons we learned from our first Materiality Assessment, and the changes in the business since then, showed us that we needed to change our approach and change our targets, so that we can focus on the things that matter most. To help us do this, we worked with SHV and Makro (our sister company) to create a Best Practice process for the Assessment, which was subsequently reviewed by KPMG’s Sustainability Consultants to ensure its robustness.

The new process – which will in future be used by all SHV companies – has used the information and value we gained from stakeholders in 2015, together with new 2016 input from additional internal and external stakeholders (including employees, customers, NGO's and expert sector analysis). Input was gained via surveys where we asked participants about the topics and risks as well as opportunities they felt were most important. Employing common language with our sister companies, we used sector analysis, global standards, peer review and media search to define a longlist of almost 30 topics. The survey outcomes then helped us to reduce this list to the topics shown below, which we have clustered according to how we will approach the topics.

 Material
Topic
ERIKS Sustainability PillarERIKS 2020 Sustainability Goal
material-topics-health.pngHealth and Safety and Process SafetyStrengthen SocietyGoal 1
material-topics-employee.pngEmployee Development and Employee Attraction and RetentionStrengthen SocietyGoal 2
material-topics-business.pngLabor Conditions, Bribery and Corruption, Child and Forced Labor and Business IntegrityStrengthen Society and Influence ChangeGoals 3 and 4
material-topics-procurement.pngSustainable Procurement Practices and Product SafetyInfluence ChangeGoal 4
material-topics-products.pngSustainable Products and ServicesInfluence ChangeGoal 5
material-topics-climate.pngClimate Change and EnergyInfluence Change and Drive EfficiencyGoal 4, 5 and 6

 

The results of the survey were discussed with all Board Members individually, then presented and approved at a Management Board meeting. This meeting also approved the revised list of goals, which has been reduced from 20 in 2015 to 6, all of which are closely linked to our business strategy.

SIMPLIFIED FOR SUCCESS

The reviewed and revised Materiality Assessment has provided us with an approach that is:

  • simpler
  • more closely aligned to our stakeholders’ requirements
  • linked to our business strategy
  • more able to drive our success.

The new-style Materiality Assessment will be carried out in full every two years, but will be reviewed annually to ensure it remains relevant. Meanwhile our Sustainability Strategy – running until 2020 – remains a long-term commitment.

Analysis

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