Category Archives: Materiality Resources

In the most recent session of Sustainable Brands’ “Issues in Focus” series, sustainability practitioners gathered to discuss, debate, and expound on “The New Metrics of Sustainable Business.” Among the conference contributors, Framework’s  Aleksandra Dobkowski-Joy joined with Charlene Wall Warren of BASF to explore the value and applications of materiality analysis in today’s corporate sustainability landscape.

See the presentation slides and conference summary to learn more.

Practitioners’ Perspectives
Sustainability leaders discuss the function and future of materiality analysis

Part three of our materiality blog series

In the previous segment of our materiality blog series, we analyzed GRI reporting criteria to determine whether materiality analysis is truly an integral component of a report based on the GRI G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. We found that while the language in the GRI Guidelines strongly encourages the use of materiality, there is no formal requirement for companies to follow any particular analysis process.

Extending our inquiry, we reached out to sustainability professionals at companies currently using the GRI Guidelines—hoping to better understand the perceived role of materiality analysis within corporations themselves.

A powerful tool

In speaking with best-practice leaders, including representatives from Timberland, EMC, and Intel, we posed the following questions:

Have you conducted a materiality analysis within your company? If so, how?
Do you believe that materiality analysis has… More >

Last year, Framework launched a research initiative to track the use of materiality analysis in public disclosures of companies named as leaders in sustainable business practice.

Using CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens list as our sample set, we dug through sustainability reports and 10-K financial filings to see what role materiality analysis played in corporate sustainability disclosures and strategic planning.

Our original findings, based on the 2010 CR 100 Best Corporate Citizens list, are fully described in a five-part blog series posted to our site in April 2011. In summary, we discovered that despite the perceived strategic advantages of using materiality analysis to align sustainability efforts to stakeholder concerns and business opportunities, only 43 companies on the 100 Best list used this tool. Even fewer—25 companies—explicitly used the findings from their materiality analyses to inform disclosures.

On the other hand, we found that about a quarter of the companies… More >