Material issues

Material issues

Our materiality assessment helps us to identify our most important Responsible Business issues, risks and opportunities, taking into account business priorities and the views of our stakeholders. It informs how we focus our resources, and what information we choose to include in our Responsible Business reporting.

Materiality refresh

We updated our assessment during 2019 and early 2020. The priority issues from a business perspective were identified through an internal workshop. This gathered input from a range of internal stakeholders including colleagues from our sustainability teams and key functions. Expert consultants conducted interviews with 20 external stakeholders including investors, peers, supply chain stakeholders, NGOs and trade associations. These two inputs were combined to develop our draft matrix (published in our 2019/20 Responsible Business Report).

In early 2021 our matrix was reviewed by our consultants, in light of the impact of the pandemic and other events during 2020. They made a number of recommendations for adjusting our matrix and their findings were reviewed by a group of internal stakeholders from our Group functions.

The final matrix identifies several high-priority issues including product sustainability, climate change, human rights, and wood and forestry. Issues such as wellbeing, health and safety, data privacy and security, and diversity and inclusion, have increased in priority since last year.

The governance of our Responsible Business programme, including how we establish and uphold clear, transparent and accountable governance structures, as explained in further detail on page 57 of our 2020/21 Responsible Business Report.

We have strategies in place to manage our most material issues.