Conducting a Materiality Scan

Chapter 4: Download the Materiality Map here
Conducting a Materiality Scan
Publ. date 7 Dec 2018

Companies and individuals frequently must cope with limited bandwidth in terms of attention and resources. Hence, it is important to select a limited number of high-impact sustainability efforts, instead of the all-too-common machine gun approach of spraying efforts large and thin. Effective implementation requires sniper precision in the definition of sustainability targets and dedicated efforts in execution. A materiality analysis provides guidance for focus, and the Materiality Map makes it possible to develop this in a quick-and-dirty fashion.

Applying the Materiality Map: Workshop instructions
Time required: 2 hours

The Materiality Map is applied with a group of three to eight participants. As preparation, the competitors of the organization are to be identified and researched on their sustainability programs and their associated targets.

  1. To start the workshop, begin by identifying the scope of the organization considered.
  2. Next, do a plenary brainstorm to determine what stakeholders are relevant and solicit examples from the audience of sustainability initiatives within the scope of the organization or similar organizations that seemingly have a positive business impact.
  3. Share the prepared analysis of the main competitors and discuss the implications and list the most relevant sustainability issues.
  4. Plot the sustainability issues on the map considering the relative business impact and relative importance to stakeholders.
  5. Once completed, take the seven most important material issues and score the organizations’ performance, from hands-on experience, as well as from that of the main competitors and plot it on the competitor value map.
  6. Wrap up the workshop by concluding in a plenary format.

Recommended additional reading
Access the full case: Miguel Torres: Ensuring the Family Legacies

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