- The 2018 materiality analysis largely confirmed the results of previous years
- Stakeholders are more inclined to give importance to all sustainability topics compared to the past.
The key aspects of Sika’s sustainability strategy and reporting were defined through a materiality analysis.
A materiality analysis is a process to identify the most important sustainability
topics, opportunities and risks for our business from two perspectives: their importance to stakeholders and their impact on Sika’s business. The outcome is a materiality matrix, showing all topics which are identified and prioritized to matter most to our business and stakeholders, which helps focus on those topics that have the highest priority. The information gained through this process can support decisions about the direction of our business and allows the integration of sustainability topics into the core business strategy.
In 2018, Sika reviewed the materiality analysis, which was last conducted in 2015. This periodical update is important to detect any changes in priority or requirement for re-evaluation. The analysis focused on potential material topics, reflecting the sustainability impacts of Sika’s operations, products, and services, along the entire value chain. The key aspects of Sika’s sustainability strategy and reporting were defined through the following activities.
The context in which Sika operates at global and local level was considered when determining the list of relevant topics and prioritizing the activities. The analysis focused on potential material topics, reflecting the sustainability impacts of Sika’s operations, products, and services along the entire value chain.
The identification of potential material topics included the creation of a comprehensive list of topics, considering different sources:
- GRI Standards
- Dow Jones Sustainability Index
- Previous materiality analysis
- Internal policies and guidelines
- Topics raised up in internal and external communications
- Issues picked up in media
- Relevant topics for stakeholder groups Desk research
- Expert knowledge
This list was discussed with the Corporate Communications department and adjusted accordingly.
The relative importance of the topics were rated according to two criteria “influence on stakeholder assessments and decisions” (importance to stakeholders) and “significance of economic, environmental and social impacts” (importance to Sika).
The materiality of the topics was defined by taking into account:
- The main sustainability topics raised by Sika’s stakeholders
- The relevance for Sika’s core business
- Potential reputational impacts
- Potential of Sika to influence/impact the topic
- Relevant laws and regulations, compliance
- Sika’s risk management
The materiality analysis captured responses from relevant internal and external
stakeholder groups across the value chain via an online survey, to prioritize the importance of each topic on a scale from very low to very high.
In this year’s materiality analysis process, the online survey was sent to > 1000
stakeholders, of which 249 responded: 102 employees from different departments and regions, 85 customers covering all Target Markets, 27 suppliers, 7 financial analysts/investors, 5 academic partners, 5 community/society partners, and 18 in the ‘other’ category.
Sustainability affects the entire business of Sika. Therefore it was important to engage Sika senior leaders from different departments and regions in the materiality process. In total, 5 Sika Group Management members and 22 senior managers have been involved to evaluate the topics’ relevance for Sika’s core business, potential reputational impacts and Sika potential to influence/impact.
Finally, an interdisciplinary internal panel, consisting of Sika Senior Managers and the CTO, has reviewed and validated the materiality matrix. Each topic was assessed regarding their potential financial and reputational impact, and legal implications associated with non-conformity.
The materiality matrix below outlines the key topics identified and prioritized to matter most to the Sika business and stakeholders.
The key findings of the materiality analysis are as follows:
- The results largely confirmed the findings from the previous analysis.
- Overall, stakeholders are more inclined to give importance to all sustainability topics compared to 2015 and 2013. For external stakeholders the importance of “Local Communities” as a material sustainability topic has lost significance. However, Sika staff confirmed its importance for a local approach.
- Product related topics like sustainable solutions, quality, reliability, safe-to-use, and innovation are leading the field in terms of stakeholder perception. Circular Economy is a new topic which came up.
- Sika Group Management and Sika employees tend to be more demanding with regards to topics considered to be material. This applies especially to social and economic topics.
- Customer are prone to put emphasis on product-related topics. The automotive industry in particular, tends to prioritize environmental issues. Megatrends in vehicle manufacturing and environmental regulations demand to reduce emissions, lead to a requirement for high-strength bonding systems that produce lighter, stronger, safer, quieter, and greener vehicles, all of which can be achieved with the aid of Sika products.
The materiality assessment has been shaping the strategic target areas for the sustainability strategy beyond 2018. The revised strategy will deliver the reference values for sustainability related action in the period 2019 to 2024.
Regular engagement with stakeholders helps Sika to identify, understand, prioritize and communicate how the company is addressing the most material areas to the business.
The report takes into account all significant impacts of Sika along its value chain. The reporting processes ensure that the data collected includes the results from all entities with significant impacts regarding material topics.
Stakeholder inclusiveness is ensured by considering feedback from stakeholder engagement (see chapter 5).