5 Tips to Mastering a Materiality Assessment
The end result is a visually appealing matrix and a list of topics to include in your next sustainability report.
Simple as that, right?
By Design, There Are a Lot of Moving Pieces to a Materiality Assessment.
Having delved into this process from all angles with a range of companies, I can tell you that if approached the right way, an assessment has the potential to change your ESG game. The key is to know what you are getting in to, and to keep in mind 5 things every materiality maestro should know when the band starts playing:
1. Go Beyond Reporting
2. The Survey is a Stepping Stone
3. Embrace the Outliers
4. Don't Get Hung Up on Terminology
Has your in-house counsel sent a nervous e-mail about the ramifications for deeming any particular topic a “material” issue? You wouldn’t be the first. The term carries certain connotations, especially as eager audiences await pending ESG regulations from the SEC. The first thing to note here is that it is perfectly acceptable, and common, to call the exercise a “materiality” assessment – just make sure you include a note explaining what you mean by materiality when you publish. The second thing to note? If it’s still a problem, don’t call it a materiality assessment! Whether you call it an “issue prioritization exercise” or a “tally of topics,” doesn’t matter. As long as you are doing the assessment the right way and disclosing the results, stakeholders will get it. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
5. Sell the Results
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