Materiality Matrix

 
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The Art of Non-Financial Reporting “Less is More”

The magnitude of different non-financial reporting frameworks increasingly pressures sustainability departments in staying away from the reporting trap and focusing on improving their positive impact. Companies must frequently cope with limited bandwidth in terms of attention and resources. Instead of the all-too-common machine gun approach of spraying efforts large and thin, it is important to select a limited number of high-impact sustainability efforts. Effective implementation requires precision in the definition of sustainability targets and dedicated efforts in execution.
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StratESGy Unplugged

Analysts are better able to assess fundamental risk and reflect it in stock prices when corporate disclosures are specific and avoid vague, abstract language. However, according to SASB’s State of Disclosure Report, companies used vague and non-specific language more than 50% of the time across ESG topics. Sustainability leaders such as DSM, Unilever and Barry Callebaut demonstrate that a focused materiality approach that is strongly allied to the company’s Enterprise Risk Management and aligned with its business strategy leads to better results, both for society and for shareholders. With only an approximated 30% of companies actually combining their materiality assessment with their Enterprise Risk Mapping, “StratESGy”, i.e. the alignment of business strategy with ESG factors, is still in its infancy.
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Tuning in on Materialities That Matter

Spraying sustainability efforts large and thin puts organizations at the risk of not tackling relevant material issues. Successful sustainability strategies require focus and direction. Defining your focus relies on the identification of relevant material issues for your organization through a materiality analysis. The Materiality Map and its accompanying workshop provides new insights on the current and future importance of sustainability issues.
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ESG Essentials: Focused and Lean Reporting

Spurred by regulation and industry standards, more companies than ever are reporting on core ESG topics by publishing integrated or separate corporate sustainability reports. Simultaneously, roughly one third of global assets under management are managed under an ESG strategy. While investors are becoming stronger advocates for ESG disclosure, companies are struggling to strike the balance between efforts and results. Focused and lean reporting combined with efficient responding to relevant external ESG rating requests can help to resolve this dilemma.
Deepening your Focus for Better Sustainability Reporting

Deepening your Focus for Better Sustainability Reporting

With the new year well on its way, company reports are under construction to inform stakeholders about their 2018 performance and to provide them with an outlook on the upcoming years. Although reports can seem like straightforward tools to inform investors about the impacts of a company over the past reporting period, companies can get stuck in the reporting trap. The reporting trap causes companies to lose focus on the long-term, leaving limited time to make a real impact and turn strategy into action.
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Conducting a Materiality Scan

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.

5 Steps for Integrating ESG Risks into ERM

5 Steps for Integrating ESG Risks into ERM

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report in 2018, four of the top five risks were environmental or societal, including extreme weather events, water crises, natural disasters, and failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Growing interest from investors seeking to understand how organizations are identifying and responding to ESG-related risks is pressuring companies to fully integrate them in their Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). To support organizations in this challenge, COSO and the WBCSD released the final version of the “Guidance for Applying ERM to Environmental, Social and Governance related Risks”. The guidance presents a pragmatic 5-step process to identify and manage ESG risks today while maintaining resilience to adapt and respond to the megatrends of tomorrow.
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Mature Materiality Management for Long-Term Shareholder Value

Over the last few years, the link between financial interest and companies’ effective management of ESG issues and risks has rapidly become more and more evident. We see an increasing number of cases where corporate loans are issued by financers such as ING, BBVA, and DBS Bank whereby interest rates are linked to sustainability performance as indicated by third-party ratings such as Sustainalytics or inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. These examples make the business case for an effective management of the right ESG issues extremely straightforward.
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Checking Your ESG Blind Spots under the ‘Duty of Care’

We can no longer deny it: no matter the industry, each company faces a wide range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks found both within the business operations and throughout the value chain that need to be identified, monitored and managed. Although the benefits of good ESG risk management seem obvious, there are still companies claiming that some of the most important ESG risks such as human rights or climate change do not concern them. What European lawmakers have shown in 2018 through the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive and the French “Duty of Care” law is that ESG risks affect all companies, albeit to a varying degree. In all cases, it is necessary for them to broaden the scope of ESG risks to avoid potential blind spots, and to be transparent towards stakeholders on the risks that are most prevalent.
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Dow Jones Sustainability Index Readiness Assessment

The summer months are an ideal time to reflect upon a busy start of the year and start planning ahead for 2019. When in full reporting mode, you may run out of time and come across issues in your Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) process that you are not able to deal with at that very moment. For those eager to plan ahead and looking to maximally benefit from your participation, we've developed a comprehensive Readiness Assessment for (future) participants of the DJSI.
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