Advertisement

Focusing on Materialities That Matter

  • Benoit Leleux
  • Jan van der Kaaij
Chapter

Abstract

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.

References

  1. 1.
    World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2017) Sustainability and enterprise risk management: The first step towards integration. Retrieved from https://www.wbcsd.org/Projects/Non-financial-Measurement-and-Valuation/Resources/Sustainability-and-enterprise-risk-management-The-first-step-towards-integration
  2. 2.
    Khan, M. Serafeim, G., Yoon, A. (2015) Corporate sustainability: First evidence on materiality. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    TSC Industries, Inc v. Northway, Inc., 426 U.S. 438, 449 (1976) Accessed March 6, 2018.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Global Reporting Initiative and RobecoSAM (2016) Defining what matters: Do companies and investors agree on what is material? Retrieved from https://www.globalreporting.org/resourcelibrary/GRI-DefiningMateriality2016.pdf
  5. 5.
    Lustig, R., Schmidt L.A., Brindis, C.D. (2012) Public Health: The toxic truth about sugar. Nature, Vol. 482, pp. 27–29.  https://doi.org/10.1038/482027aCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Reid, D. (2018, March 27) Nestlé launches a new chocolate bar using sugar-reduction technology. CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/27/nestle-chocolate-bar-uses-science-technology-to-restructure-sugar.html
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
    Denning, S. (2014, March 7) Why Tim Cook doesn’t care about “the bloody ROI.” Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2014/03/07/why-tim-cook-doesnt-care-about-the-bloody-roi/#5d16067855f2
  9. 9.
    World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2014) Journey to materiality, A guide to achieve corporate goals by applying materiality to environmental, social and governance issues. Retrieved from http://wbcsdservers.org/wbcsdpublications/cd_files/datas/capacity_building/flt/pdf/WBCSD_FLP_2014_Journey%20to%20materiality.pdf
  10. 10.
    Carle, E. (2010) The Mixed-up Chameleon. New York, NY: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    WILL BROWN BECOME THE NEW GREEN? SUSTAINABLE GOLF IN THE OLD AND NEW WORLD (IMD-7-1579). Copyright © 2018 by IMD—International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland (www.imd.org). No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of IMD.
  12. 12.
    International Integrated Reporting Council (2013) Materiality background paper for SpiltIRSpigt. Retrieved from https://integratedreporting.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/IR-Background-Paper-Materiality.pdf
  13. 13.
    Stamsnijder, P. (2016) Stakeholder Management. Amsterdam: Boom UitgeversGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mendelow, A.L. (1981) Environmental scanning: The impact of the stakeholder concept. ICIS 1981 Proceedings. Paper 20.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mitchell, R.K., Agle, B.R., Wood, D.J. (1997) Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. Briarcliff Manor, NY: Academy of Management ReviewGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    This case is an abridged version of MIGUEL TORRES: ENSURING THE FAMILY LEGACIES (IMD-3-2162) Copyright © 2018 by IMD—International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland (www.imd.org). No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of IMD.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benoit Leleux
    • 1
  • Jan van der Kaaij
    • 2
  1. 1.International Institute for Management DevelopmentLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Finch & BeakBredaThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations