Sustainability is not a static state of being and building resilient enterprises is not a check-the-box exercise – it is a series of policies and actions lead by strategic intent, and coupled with continuous engagement.  Boards need to critically evaluate the traditional roles of the ‘data-rich’ management and ‘arms-length’ stakeholder and ask themselves – what am I missing?

What is it?

Conducting Materiality Analysis involves identifying the aspects of the organisation that are:
  • important to stakeholders;
  • have impact on company performance;
  • are within the organisations boundaries, and
  • over which there can be some action taken.

The comprehensive and rigorous nature of materiality analysis, especially if aligned with ongoing enterprise risk management activities, clarifies priorities for resources and attention from the top.  Based on methodologies promoted by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, The AccountAbility 1000SES Standard, CERES Roadmap and other best practice guidance documents, The Walton Group delivers a robust analysis to quantify and measure the impact of specific issues and their relationship to profitability and performance. You are better enabled to align your strategy and resources.

Why is this important to the Board?

Materiality provides the organisation with evidence that links sustainability to commercial strategy, helps identify longer term value drivers and is a route to the convergence of sustainability and the market place.
Boards need to lead the change in corporate culture away from viewing sustainability as a ‘peripheral’ activity toward embracing the reality that sustainability directly and positively impacts revenue and margins.  Long-term value creation involves revenue opportunities, competitive positioning, reputation management, and cost control.  High performance boards understand that best practice is about leveraging sustainability challenges into increased revenues, profitability, and competitive advantage.

What’s in it for you?

Materiality analysis can help the organization to:

  • Identify the issues driving long term business value
  • Align & integrate sustainability and business strategies
  • Anticipate and manage change
  • Assess performance over time
  • Strengthen stakeholder relationships.
  • Integrate new metrics/aspects into existing indicators (can be fully integrated with ISO, GRI, UNGC, CDP and other current reporting obligations).
  • Benchmark metrics within peer groups, sector, other indices or countries – are yours more comprehensive, more efficient and easily translated into company culture, or do they need to be revisited?
  • Enabling new Networks and Strategic Partnerships: Strategic and tactical collaborations within and across sectors and through access to stakeholder networks

How do we do it?

The Walton Group helps you by facilitating the distillation of material issues and assisting your company to:

  • Prioritise issues without ostracizing minority voices;
  • Unearth the wisdom of the sceptic without getting caught in the ‘squeaky wheel’;
  • Avoid turf wars.

Some of our tools and methodologies include:

  • Metrics & indicators (development and pilot testing or augmenting existing)
  • Stakeholder identification, engagement strategy and execution
  • Materiality Matrix
  • Strategy Workshops:  Rethinking your value proposition – do you need to re-conceive the idea of your product?  How are you transitioning to sustainable products and services?  What are the drivers, what are the constraints, what are the costs of action or inaction?
  • Knowledge management