Identifying relevant economic, environmental and social aspects

The goal of sustainable development requires the involvementof all participants along the entire value chain and the identification of shared topic areas of significance to all those involved. Sika considers the materiality analysis, which assesses the importance of sustainability issues for the company and its external stakeholders, to be an important tool for identifying the most relevant economic, environmental, and social aspects that are consistent with its business strategy, and to define the contents of the sustainability strategy according to the GRI-Standards.

In terms of sustainability reporting, the aspects deemedas material (or relevant) are those that have a significant impacton the economic, social, and environmental performance of the company, or that may substantially influence stakeholders’ perceptionsand decisions. Accordingly, the materiality analysis istwo-fold, as it takes into account the standpoint of the company and its stakeholders. Sika originally developed its sustainability materiality matrix in 2013 to identify and prioritize strategic target areas based on extensive consultation with all stakeholders, through surveys and interviews with employees, customers, suppliers, investors and analysts, and NGOs, and additional desk research. This shaped the six strategic target areas for the sustainability strategy.

Sika regularly reviews the materiality matrix to ensure the sustainability agenda remains relevant, as the business and the external context may be subject to changes. In 2018, Sika reviewed the materiality analysis which was last conducted in 2015. A stakeholder online survey was sent to 1,000 internal and external stakeholders. Based upon the insights of this survey, and on some additional desk research, Sika has reviewed the materiality matrix of 2015 and updated the identification and prioritization of topics and strategic target areas for the time beyond 2018.

The survey largely confirmed the results of the 2015 materiality analysis. Product-related topics, such as sustainable solutions, quality, reliability, safety, and innovation are leading the field in terms of stakeholder perception. Sika Group Management and employees tend to be more demanding with regards to topics considered to be material, particularly in relation to social and economic topics.

Customers are prone to put emphasis on product-related topics. Especially the automotive industry tends to prioritize environmental issues. The megatrends in vehicle manufacturingand the sustainability demand to reduce emissions lead to a requirement 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.

More detailed information about the materiality analysis can befound in the GRI report at www.sika.com/gri. The materiality assessment has been shaping the strategic target areas for the sustainability strategy beyond 2018.

The revised strategy will deliver the reference values for sustainability-related action in the period 2019 to 2024.