Thoughts and ideas from AIPHORIA Consulting
Offering Solutions on How to Conduct a Materiality Analysis for Sustainability
October 3, 2019 at 12:00 AM
by AIPHORIA Consulting

Sustainability is one of the most important buzzwords in business planning and marketing. Many businesses have found that a commitment to sustainable practices has saved money and also boosted their corporate image.

For a variety of reasons, sustainability makes sense.

In our experience, a materiality analysis serves as the best way to guide a company on how best to pursue policies that promote sustainability.

What Is a Materiality Analysis?

A materiality analysis helps a business or organization to determine material issues and then lists them in order of priority. This is achieved by reaching out to stakeholders both inside and outside of the organization.

The analysis creates a report that the organization can then use to form a gameplan of sustainability.

How to Conduct a Successful Materiality Analysis

To create a successful materiality analysis for sustainability, we recommend that you follow these steps.

Identify Stakeholders

Select a range of stakeholders that can provide the type of feedback necessary to create a full and effective report.

First, the stakeholders must have some relevance to the purpose of the report. That said, you will want a diversity of points of view. That includes inviting stakeholders from different internal departments, from other companies, government agencies, and non-profits.

Diversity also means including individuals from various backgrounds, ideals, and points of view.

Resist the temptation to stack the group with people who will agree with company leadership.

Conduct Outreach Research

Once you compose the list, reach out to each invitee. Engage them to discuss exactly what information they need to provide. Guidance will ensure that they provide helpful ideas to help to promote sustainability.

Identify Priorities

Cookie cutter approaches will not suffice. Different types of companies in various economic sectors will have to have their own approach to sustainability. You should provide specific guidance to stakeholders as to what to contribute.

A materiality analysis should include information on three important areas, economic, social, and environmental.

Within each category, make sure to alert your stakeholders what you need from them.

Design the Assessment and Analysis Survey

Assessments should take the form of highly structured workshops as opposed to informal discussions. An outside consultant can provide templates and directions on how to run the sessions. They can also be engaged to design and run the sessions themselves.

We advise that specifically crafted surveys can bring better results than meetings. They allow respondents to process their thoughts and research their answers. The downside lies in the fact that some will not respond if not actually present.

Analyze and Act

Whether you put together a workshop or design a survey, the results should help to indicate which directions that you company or organization should turn.

If your company lacks in house experience on how to translate stakeholder sustainability suggestions into a plan of action, you may want to consider bringing in an outside sustainability consultant. A firm with experience in the field can help take raw information and create a plan.

They can also assist in assembling a plan to build a more sustainable operation for your business or organization.

If your company wants to learn more about the value of materiality analysis for sustainability, reach out today. Our staff can answer any questions on the topic, as well as fill you in on how our firm can help. We can also set up an appointment to discuss how our firm can assist with creating a materiality assessment in any or all steps of the process.

Our business is helping yours to become more sustainable, which in turns helps us all to live in a less polluted world.