A growing number of large and medium-sized companies are confronted with extended reporting obligations on non-financial sustainability topics. The forthcoming European Union regulation will make it mandatory for them to identify "material topics". If implemented correctly, this represents a major strategic opportunity for the companies concerned.

Behind the environmental (E), social (S) and governance (G) challenges of sustainability lies a number of possible material topics. Some issues are relevant to almost every company – for example, greenhouse gas emissions. In general, however, a company’s business model, geographic location and structure always result in a specific profile of issues. Analyzing this profile and prioritizing it according to the company’s strategic priorities is the core of the materiality analysis.

Material topics in non-financial reporting are a cornerstone of the European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). Following the concept of “double materiality”, material environmental impacts of the company are to be named and analyzed in scope and intensity. On the other hand, topics that have a significant external impact on the company’s financial performance are also to be described as material.

Material topics as a milestone on a company’s sustainability journey

Materiality analysis is a challenging process with results that are often not easy to interpret. However, if companies regard the publication of their list of material issues as the preliminary conclusion of their commitment to sustainability, they may be wasting enormous strategic potential in the process. After all, the results of the materiality analysis should also be incorporated into the company’s actions and structures in order to continuously improve sustainability performance.

On June 13th, our ESG experts will demonstrate in a 60-minute webinar how, the intelligent visualization of materiality analysis results can be the prelude to an in-depth strategic examination of a company’s sustainability journey. Using concrete examples, we will demonstrate in this free webinar how companies can leverage the mandatory task of materiality as an opportunity in communication with stakeholders and internal sustainability management.

If you too want to take the next step on your company’s sustainability journey, we invite you to participate in our one-hour webinar on 13th of June. Please click here for registration.

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