What Is a Materiality Assessment?

Mar 9, 2022 2:45 PM ET
Blog

What is a materiality assessment? check out our latest video or read the subtitles below where Jessica Atar, Sustainability Project Manager from Antea Group, gives an overview of materiality assessments. She describes the materiality assessment process which is the baseline of our 7 Step ESG Program.

For those of you that would rather read, here is the transcript of the video:

A materiality assessment is understanding the relative importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance topics to our client's organization - so what is most important for them to focus on and what is most material to focus on.

There are a lot of hot ESG topics right now and it's almost impossible to focus on all of them, so it's really helping our clients to refine their strategy around the most important and material ESG topics to their organization. This assessment is based on stakeholder feedback.

We get feedback from both internal and external stakeholders that will really feed the results and our recommendations. And, ultimately, it allows for our clients to set a specific strategy around these ESG topics.

It's the foundation of our seven-step process because, without this information, our clients won't know where they should be focusing their efforts. And then we get into some of our other seven-step offerings which will allow the client to understand what they currently have in place around these ESG topics, any future aspirations, whether that's setting targets and goals or objectives, and then how to disclose this information in a helpful way and transparent way that tells the best story for these organizations and for their key stakeholders.

How exactly do we help our clients do this? First, we develop a comprehensive list of anywhere between 30 to 40 ESG topics that are most important and relevant for their business. Then, we map our client's stakeholders. With their support, we provide a list of the most important internal and external stakeholders to their organization. External stakeholders could be anyone from investor groups, customers, shareholders, suppliers, anything like that, but we really identify the key ones that they want to engage during this materiality assessment. We gather that information, we gather the contact information, and then we will start the engagement with these stakeholders.

Our engagement consists of three parts. We interview the most important stakeholders, so that would only be a handful of these stakeholders. We will directly ask them to rank the topics that we developed initially, and then ask for a few other sustainability insights about our client's organization. We survey the vast majority of the stakeholders and just ask them to rate and rank these ESG topics as what's most important. The last type of engagement is more of an indirect engagement. We benchmark our clients against their peers and competitors to understand their relative ESG maturity associated with the topics that we developed initially.

After we've consolidated all of this information, we then roll-up the results and we provide our recommendations based on our industry experience and knowledge and what we know about our client organizations. So, it's a way of calibrating the results. And then finally, we will summarize the whole process in a materiality report that will primarily be used for our clients to distribute internally within their organizations.

Learn more about materiality assessments as well as other corporate sustainability reporting and disclosure services that Antea Group can provide.

About Antea Group
Antea®Group is an environment, health, safety, and sustainability consulting firm. By combining strategic thinking and multidisciplinary perspectives with technical expertise, we do more than effectively solve client challenges; we deliver sustainable results for a better future. We work in partnership with and advise many of the world’s most sustainable companies to address ESG-business challenges in a way that fits their pace and unique objectives. Our consultants equip organizations to better understand threats, capture opportunities and find their position of strength. Lastly, we maintain a global perspective on ESG issues through not only our work with multinational clients, but also through our sister organizations in Europe, Asia, and Latin America and as a founding member of the Inogen Alliance.