Focusing on Materialities That Matter
After introducing the importance of adopting a clear statement of purpose, and the role sustainability can play in identifying the various facets of a firm’s contribution to society, we proceed in this chapter to develop a better understanding of the tools available to focus the sustainability efforts on elements that contribute the most, that is, impactful materialities. Once the statement of purpose has been established, companies and individuals frequently must cope with limited bandwidth in terms of attention and resources. Hence, the importance of selecting a limited number of high-impact 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. Therefore, in the first sections of this chapter, materiality is first precisely defined, then the importance of gaining alignment between enterprise risk, company strategy and materiality is highlighted. Finally, some practical do-it-yourself (DIY) tools for materiality analysis and the development of a company materiality matrix are introduced and explained in detail.
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