Identify and rank critical issues for your business

Used in financial circles for decades, a materiality assessment identifies issues that are critical to an organization’s success. Issues are ranked according to their implications on the company’s ability to operate, to be profitable, or according to the level of interest from stakeholders. Outcomes of this material survey can be used to direct business strategy, including fiscal investment, to be implemented in the most strategic areas of a business.

A materiality assessment is an excellent tool for engaging stakeholders across your value chain and understanding both how your organization has an impact on these issues on how those issues impact your organization. It is one of many methods available for identifying priorities and developing a strong sustainability strategy.  

A materiality assessment identifies which sustainability issues are critical for an organization: engaging stakeholders to assess the importance of the many potentially relevant environmental, social, and economic topics

Prioritization of issues and investments

The number of sustainability issues a company can address can be overwhelming. To guide the prioritization of issues and a company’s investment decisions, it is important to use a framework to make decisions on where to focus our efforts. Should we be concentrating on climate change? Water issues? Child labor? Toxic health impacts? And if so, when and in what proportion? If we’re not intentional about our focus, we end up in a cycle of responding to the latest fire, often adding more topics to our list of priorities.

Pair a materiality assessment with a corporate footprint

At Quantis, we suggest complementing a materiality assessment with a corporate footprint, to gain both the stakeholder perspective as well as the scientific view. With the insights from these assessments in hand, you will be able to better understand which areas are critical to focus on in order to reduce risk, but also to think about the purpose of your organization and how you can use your unique position to make a meaningful difference.

"It is always a pleasure to work with the Quantis team. They are professional, experienced, organized, as well as fun. For the materiality assessment, they provided thorough pre-work information, strong guidance for the materiality interviews, and insightful follow-up reporting and reference materials."

Sarah Beaubien
while VP Sustainability, Farmer Bros