The “new” materiality analysis
Focuses on the impacts on the organisation and its ability or opportunity to influence or control them.
X-axis: “Impact on the business/organisation.”
Y-axis: “Ability to impact/influence.”
Analysing the results:
- High impact on the business/organisation, high ability to impact/influence:
How can we optimise our work with these topics? (E.g. improvements, communication, development of new products and services, competitive advantage.)
- High impact on the business/organisation, low ability to impact/influence:
Why? Risks? How can we challenge the status quo?
- Low impact on the business/organisation, high ability to impact/influence:
Why? Are we missing out? Potential competitive advantage?
- Low impact on the business/organisation, little ability to impact/influence:
Why? Are we missing out?
Examples of focus questions:
- How can we create a most attractive sustainable development strategy / CSR initiative / sustainable business model?
- How can we prepare the transition from “business as usual” / conventional business to “business for good” / sustainable business?
- How can we identify blind spots / risks in how we’re perceived by our stakeholders?
- What topics must we address as we define / redefine a sustainable development strategy?
- What sustainable development topics are crucial to address as we define / redefine our product or service portfolio?
- How can we map out relevant key performance indicators / impact measures?
Depending on the type of materiality analysis that you choose it can be helpful to define relevant internal and external stakeholders to address in the analysis already before the workshop. If this is not an option, ask the participants to limit their discussions to one or a few selected stakeholders.
Examples of internal stakeholders:
Examples of external stakeholder:
- Clients/Customer/Beneficiaries (also specific segments)
- The public, the community
Factors or parameters
When facilitating a materiality analysis, you need a set of factors or parameters that you can move along the Y and X axis of the graph to define their relevance. These factors should be determined by the facilitators and/or the client well before the workshop. For a broad set of sustainable development factors or parameters you can use MethodKit for Sustainable Development, topics from the GRI reporting metric, the UN Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or other carefully selected issues.
The factors or parameters should be prepared before the workshop. E.g. printed on cards, which can quickly and easily be moved by hand along the Y and X axis). Leave blank cards for the participants to fill in. Also, use post-its to attach specific and ideas to different cards.