Our materiality process is the way we translate global trends into a business strategy. Our annual materiality process identified the following issues. Priority issues – in the top right of the matrix – are the ones we and our stakeholders defined as our most material business issues.
Our materiality process
Our process is based on a methodology created by Viridis Strategy Groups (previously Esty Environmental Partners). Originally completed for Hannaford in 2007, it was replicated for the Group in 2008. It has three core phases and an ongoing fourth phase.
Our materiality phases
1. Understand stakeholders' concerns through requests and dialogue, peer reporting, and media reviews. Stakeholders include our associates, customers, NGOs, consumer groups, governments, suppliers, local communities and our competitors.
2. Evaluate the importance to business in terms of risks and opportunities through internal experts and leadership interviews, with a review of existing local projects and priorities.
3. Identify high priority issues and which issues are best managed through the recommendations of internal experts.
4. Ongoing formal and informal stakeholder engagement keeps track of shifting priorities, allowing us to adjust how we manage sustainability based on actual performance.
During 2011 we have been working closely with stakeholders to revisit our most material issues. To do this we have reviewed our sustainability performance inside the business and listened to what stakeholders think of our strategy and results to date. This in-depth engagement is an ongoing and important part of defining the next steps in our sustainability journey, particularly our 2020 strategy outlined in the section 'Looking Forward to 2020' .