General result

Defining What Matters - Mining, Metals and In collaboration with Electric Utilities

Framework / Guidelines | Free

Thousands of companies in more than 90 countries have used GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI Standards), making them the world’s most trusted and widely used standards on sustainability reporting. They enable organizations and their stakeholders to make better decisions based on information that matters. GRI Standards make it clear that material information is at the center of good reporting, and provide high-level guidance to companies on how to identify and report material topics. It is up to companies to bring this guidance to life – to identify the issues that are material to them, in the context of their business model, sustainability impacts and stakeholder relationships. As an asset manager, RobecoSAM has always focused on identifying financially relevant sustainability factors when evaluating companies. For this reason, it puts considerable effort into developing and maintaining its own materiality frameworks so that its analysis focuses on those factors that are most relevant to a company’s financial performance. This enables RobecoSAM to integrate financially material sustainability factors into its investment process in a structured manner. The importance of these factors is also reflected in the questionnaires it uses to support the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Corporate disclosures such as financial reports, integrated reports, sustainability reports and investor presentations are key sources of information used by financial analysts. As a result, for the deeper integration of sustainability into investment decisions it is also important that companies are able to communicate on the priority issues for investors. This includes discussing risk exposures and opportunities, and articulating the strategies they are deploying to mitigate risks and build on their strengths. As companies confront sustainability challenges with particular financial relevance it is increasingly important that investors see how they are making progress towards relevant goals and targets. The aim of the research described in this publication is to understand how companies in the selected sectors are defining the issues that are material, and whether this aligns with the needs of one key stakeholder group: investors (as represented by RobecoSAM). The research was done through collaboration between GRI and RobecoSAM, and with support from the Alcoa Foundation. We hope this research publication inspires discussion on the relevance of reported information, not only in the featured sectors but also in other sectors, helping reporters, investors and other stakeholders to better understand the information needs of investors, and to empower sustainable decisions


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