Owens Corning: Materiality & Stakeholder Engagement

Aug 24, 2021 3:00 PM ET
Article

In 2020, we conducted a refresh of the 2019 Materiality Assessment, in which we sought to confirm the continued relevance of the existing Material Topics and their relative positioning within the materiality matrix visuals for the company as a whole and broken out by region. The refresh and review process can be described in three steps:

  • Reassess scopes of material topics and input data for material topics.
  • Refresh the AI-driven aspects of the assessment to incorporate new industry benchmark, regulatory, news, and social data into the models.
  • A sustainability review to determine if the materiality assessment conducted in 2019 continues to accurately represent the company’s sustainability strategy, impacts, and goals, or if there has been a significant enough change to the company strategy or model inputs to require further revisions.

In the review of the Material Topics’ scopes, the topic with the most discussion around it was Health and Wellness, due to the pandemic. After review, the scope of this topic was considered to still be accurate: While the pandemic is a threat to physical well-being for the workforce, this does not change the fact that the company is committed to physical well-being for employees — the pandemic is a serious reminder of that relevance, and it is already covered within the existing scope of the Health and Wellness topic. As such, no change to the topic scope was determined to be necessary.

Our AI-driven model inputs, wherein specific subtopics are mapped to the company’s sustainability topics, underwent a complete overhaul as the Datamaran AI model was updated to reflect a new ontology. This led to reviews to ensure the desired scopes of the Material Topics were still being met, and to the addition of two new subtopics within our Material Topics:

  • A subtopic related to public health risks was added to Health and Wellness. This is in response to the rise of COVID-19 and its impact on all companies in responding and protecting their workforce.
  • A subtopic was added to Sustainable Growth to further assess customers’ preferences as they relate to sustainable consumption and consumer activism. This reflects our view that Sustainable Growth entails serving both our customers and the planet through sustainable production and products.

A sustainability review was conducted of the updated topic mapping to the new ontology, the original topic mapping, and the preliminary matrix data, taking into account the changes due to refreshing the data sources, and in the case of the new ontology, refreshing the underlying aspects of the material topics themselves. Through this assessment, it was determined that some topics did have slight movements in their weighting due to the new data. This includes a universal slight decrease in the relevance of Air Quality Management from an influence standpoint, as well as a universal uptick in ‘Health and Wellness’ (particularly in the new ontology when adding in Public Health Risks). Despite these minor movements, the fundamental positions of the Material Topics, such as where topics lie in regions of the graph, were not significantly changed, and the Material Topics and their visual representations continue to represent Owens Corning’s material sustainability topics accurately.

Photos submitted by:
Florian Albrieux | Chambéry, France
Florian and family, Mont Granier, France (left). Mont Blanc, France (right).

Read the full 2020 Sustainability Report here