By conducting an annual materiality analysis, we can ascertain the social, economic and environmental issues that matter most to our stakeholders – and thus to our long-term business success. This assessment also allows us to see whether we are helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the areas in which we are doing so.
Identifying the material issues
Materiality assessments help us define and verify the focus of our sustainability management efforts and the contents of our reporting. In 2021, we conducted a comprehensive analysis in order to meet the applicable reporting requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The analysis identified topics that our stakeholders view as impacting our business operations as well as influential external factors such as regulatory requirements. It also pinpointed areas that are in turn affected by our business activities.
Our most recent analysis partially took a Big Data approach, and we also qualitatively assessed a variety of sources, such as scientific journals, sustainability reports and databases. We furthermore interviewed primarily external experts in order to substantiate the results of the analysis. These interviews focused on aspects such as opportunities, risks and potential future developments for our operations that could result from the material topics. Moreover, the findings were validated by an interdisciplinary sustainability work group.
We consolidated the issues assessed in our materiality analysis into 14 topic clusters that are material to our company. Although “Tax Governance” and “Community engagement” fell below the materiality threshold, we have included information pertaining to these two issues in our report because we expect tax matters to become increasingly relevant to our stakeholders going forward. Furthermore, we have worked hard to help support communities worldwide over the years. We would like to continue playing an active role in these communities and to continue reporting on our outreach efforts.
Impact of our company (Inside-out)
- very high
Impact on our company (Outside-in)
- very high
Section 289c(3) of the German Commercial Code requires us to report on topics of double materiality in a non-financial statement. The principle of double materiality requires companies to disclose non-financial information when the following two criteria are met: First, the information makes it possible to understand how the company’s business activities affect non-financial aspects, and secondly, the information is necessary to understand the company’s business performance, business results and financial situation.