The key aspects of Sika’s sustainability strategy and reporting were defined through a materiality analysis.
A materiality analysis is a process to identify the most important sustainability topics, opportunities and risks for our business from two perspectives: their importance to our stakeholders and their impact on Sika’s business. The outcome is a materiality matrix that shows all topics identified and prioritized as mattering most to our business and stakeholders, and helps us to focus on those topics that have the highest priority. The information gained through this process can support decisions about the direction of our business and allows the integration of sustainability topics in the core business strategy.
In 2018, Sika reviewed the materiality analysis, which had last been conducted in 2015. This periodic update is important for detecting any changes of priority or need for re-evaluation. The analysis focused on potential material topics that reflect the sustainability impacts of Sika’s operations, products, and services along the entire value chain. The key aspects of Sika’s sustainability strategy and reporting were defined through the following activities.
The context in which Sika operates at global and local level was considered when determining the list of relevant topics and prioritizing the activities. The analysis focused on potential material topics that reflect the sustainability impacts of Sika’s operations, products, and services along the entire value chain.
The identification of potential material topics included the creation of a comprehensive list of topics based on different sources:
- GRI Standards
- Dow Jones Sustainability Index
- Previous materiality analysis
- Internal policies and guidelines
- Topics raised in internal and external communications
- Issues picked up in media
- Relevant topics for stakeholder groups
- Desk research
- Expert knowledge
This list was discussed with the Corporate Communications department and adjusted accordingly.
The relative importance of the topics was rated according to the two criteria “influence on stakeholder assessments and decisions” (importance to stakeholders) and “significance of economic, environmental and social impacts” (importance to Sika).
The materiality of the topics was defined by considering:
- The main sustainability topics raised by Sika’s stakeholders
- The relevance for Sika’s core business
- Potential reputational impacts
- Potential of Sika to influence/impact the topic
- Relevant laws and regulations, compliance
- Sika’s risk management
The materiality analysis captured responses from relevant internal and external stakeholder groups across our value chain via an online survey, to prioritize the importance of each topic on a scale from very low to very high.
In the 2018 materiality analysis process, the online survey was sent to over 1,000 stakeholders, of which 249 responded: 102 employees from different departments and regions, 85 customers covering all target markets, 27 suppliers, 7 financial analysts/investors, 5 academic partners, 5 community/society partners and 18 in the ‘other’ category.
Sustainability affects our entire business. It was therefore important to engage senior Sika leaders from different departments and regions in the materiality process. In total, 5 Sika Group Management members and 22 Senior Managers were involved in evaluating the topics’ relevance for Sika’s core business, potential reputational impacts and Sika's potential to influence/impact.
Finally, an internal interdisciplinary panel consisting of Sika Senior Managers and the CTO reviewed and validated the materiality matrix. Each topic was assessed in terms of its possible financial and reputational impact, and the legal implications associated with non-conformity.
The materiality matrix below outlines the key topics identified and prioritized as mattering most to our business and stakeholders.
The key findings of the materiality analysis are as follows:
- The results largely confirmed the findings of the previous analysis.
- All in all, stakeholders are more inclined to give importance to all sustainability topics than in 2015 and 2013. For external stakeholders, the importance of “Local Communities” as a material sustainability topic has lost significance. However, Sika staff confirmed its importance for a local approach.
- Product-related topics, such as sustainable solutions, quality, reliability, safe-to-use, and innovation, lead the field in terms of stakeholder perception. Circular Economy emerged as a new topic.
- Sika Group Management and Sika staff tend to be more demanding with regard to topics considered to be material. This applies especially to social and economic topics.
- Customers typically emphasize product-related topics. The automotive industry, in particular, tends to prioritize environmental issues. The megatrends in vehicle manufacturing and sustainability necessitate a reduction in emissions, fueling the demand for high-strength bonding systems that produce lighter, stronger, safer, quieter, and greener vehicles – all of which can be achieved with the aid of Sika products.
The materiality assessment has shaped the strategic target areas for the Sustainability Strategy 2023. The revised strategy delivers the reference values for sustainability-related action in the period 2020 to 2023. With its newly defined sustainability targets, Sika’s priority will be to minimize resource consumption and the environmental impact of its production process. Sika’s overriding goal is to achieve a 12% reduction in CO2 emissions per ton sold by 2023. The sustainability-related performance for 2019 will be the baseline for the Sustainability Strategy 2023.
Regular engagement with its stakeholders helps Sika to identify, understand, prioritize and communicate how the company is addressing the most material areas.
The report considers all significant impacts of Sika along its value chain. The reporting processes ensure that the data collected include the results from all entities with significant impacts in terms of the material topics.
Stakeholder inclusiveness is ensured by considering feedback from stakeholder engagement (see chapter 5).