The reality of materiality

vrijdag 21 oktober 2022

dm2.jpgThis week we hosted an engaging session on double materiality. 


Companies such as PostNL, Aegon, Rabobank, Corbion and Port of Rotterdam were around the table, and we discussed challenges and possible solutions to practically apply the concept within organizations. 


Our guest speaker Jilde Garst shed light on the current state of materiality through her work with WBCSD ‘The Reality of Materiality’ and recent article [Materiality Assessment Is an Art, Not a Science: Selecting ESG Topics for Sustainability Reports - Jilde Garst, Karen Maas, Jeroen Suijs, 2022 (] on the topic. 


Three key takeaways:


  • Materiality can and should no longer be a separate reporting exercise. With upcoming CSRD requirements, companies are expected to disclose a clear action plan and monitor progress. Maintaining materiality as a separate reporting process will only create further gap between disclosures and sustainability integration


  • Financial materiality in sustainability reporting is different than in financial reporting. It must be viewed with a broader lens of enterprise value, considering different capitals such as natural, social, intellectual and their importance to financial performance. For example, Talent (social) should be financially material in the service sector as revenues and company’s competitiveness have a strong relationship with human capital. 


  • Surveys alone are not enough to determine financial and impact materiality. Expert interviews and focused groups are important to get the correct understanding of the two perspectives. These can be supplemented by secondary data such as sector research, peer reviews and media analysis. 

Are you setting up a double materiality process and looking for some guidance? 

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