Recent posts on Timberland

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 >

In part four of our series, we consider the importance of stakeholder input into the materiality analysis process.

Stakeholders—customers, employees, investors, communities, and suppliers, among others—play a pivotal role in influencing business decision making. They can exert both direct and indirect influence over a company’s success by, for example:

Restricting or providing access to financial, intellectual, or natural capital
Enhancing or damaging reputation
Facilitating or rescinding a company’s “license to operate”
Highlighting emerging opportunities or providing early warning signals on emerging risks
Diverting management attention from core activities
Impacting day-to-day operations through, for example, strikes, protests, or other campaigns

It is therefore vitally important to understand and balance stakeholders’ sometimes competing concerns within the context of a materiality analysis. Stakeholder input can be collected directly through, for example, customer and employee surveys, focus groups, interactions with regulators, and engagement with nongovernmental organizations and community members. Alternatively, companies may use… More >