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In order to help Campbell identify and prioritize our most relevant issues related to CR and sustainability, we conducted an in-depth materiality assessment this year. This process allowed us to better understand how the priorities and concerns of external stakeholders align with our business priorities and CR objectives. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Reporting Guidelines mandate that organizations do a materiality assessment as part of their reporting process to inform what are the most critical — or “material” — issues to report.

Campbell defines CR material issues as those that influence the judgment and decisions of our external and internal stakeholders and have an impact on our stakeholders and business today and in the future. In order to identify the key issues of importance, we seek the input of a variety of stakeholder groups and measure the risks and opportunities for all relevant environmental, social and governance topics. Our goal in this process is to help inform our overall CR and sustainability strategies, set priorities and ensure that our annual CR Report communicates how we are managing those material issues.

Our assessment adhered to the following steps:

Step 1: Identification of Issues

We reviewed publicly available CR communications of our peer set, including CR reports, press releases and corporate websites, to analyze what CR issues and initiatives currently are of priority across our industry. We then conducted a thorough media audit of trade, CR and mainstream media outlets to understand what issues are trending and of the highest concern in the news. We also had conversations with various NGOs, investors and CR organizations to confirm our findings.

Step 2: Stakeholder Survey

We organized a widespread survey of global employees, customers (retailers), suppliers, NGOs, community partners, government or regulatory agencies, investors, trade organizations and consumers. The survey was not only sent directly to targeted external stakeholders, but was also posted publicly on Twitter and LinkedIn to gather input from as varied an audience as possible. In total, we received responses from more than 1,250 survey participants.

Step 3: Stakeholder Interviews

To further vet the issues and rankings as identified by the survey results, we conducted detailed stakeholder interviews. Sustainable Brands interviewed five internal stakeholders, while Business for Social Responsibility interviewed five external stakeholders. In addition, we did post-survey interviews internally with more than 60 employees globally and 12 external stakeholders.

Our stakeholders were asked to rate the importance of each of the following issues identified in our initial materiality research, including:

Responsible Business Practices

  • Transparency: Communicating openly with stakeholders on material issues and being clear with customers and consumers about what is in our food and where it comes from
  • Responsible Sourcing Practices: Addressing issues in the supply chain, including human rights, workplace safety, being capable of fully tracing product inputs to their supply source, and full traceability of product inputs in our supply chain
  • Sustainable Business Models: Doing business in a way that increases the size of the business while simultaneously reducing our environmental footprint and increasing positive social impact
  • Business Ethics: Upholding ethical principles in the business and workplace, including consumer privacy, fraud, bribery, corruption and corporate governance
  • Public Policy and Engagement: Actively engaging in public policy on issues affecting our industry


  • Health, Nutrition and Wellness: Improving the health profile of our products and engaging in public discussions on healthy and nutritious lifestyles
  • Animal Welfare: Ensuring the ethical treatment of animals in our value chain
  • Food Access: Ensuring wholesome, nutritional food is available to as many people as possible in an affordable manner
  • Community Involvement: Improving the communities in which we live and work through philanthropic efforts, including donations, volunteerism and other community programming
  • Human Rights in the Supply Chain: Combatting child labor and forced labor in the supply chain and evaluating our suppliers in the area of human rights

Product Responsibility

  • Food Safety and Quality: Setting and maintaining high standards for food safety and quality, including programs, policies and procedures that ensure safety of materials, manufacturing environment and processes, and finished products
  • Responsible Marketing: Adhering to internal and industry guidelines regarding consumer communications
  • Responsible Labeling: Providing consumers with information through labeling or other communications

Labor Practices

  • Talent Management: Creating a workplace that attracts and retains employees and includes professional development, succession planning, training and education
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Ensuring a diverse workplace
  • Occupational Health and Safety: Ensuring a safe and healthy workplace
  • Workplace Culture: Ensuring employees have an inclusive and supportive workplace environment that includes a variety of benefits such as health care programs, paid time off and work-life balance
  • Human Rights in the Workplace: Providing a workplace that respects the basic human rights and freedoms of all workers, including eliminating child labor, discrimination and forced labor


  • Water Stewardship: Managing water resources strategically throughout the value chain
  • Packaging Footprint: Reducing the environmental impact of our packaging
  • Food Waste: Addressing food waste and loss from farm to table
  • Energy Management: Managing energy usage and costs throughout the value chain, including agriculture, production, transportation and distribution
  • Waste Reduction: Ensuring as little waste as possible goes to landfill
  • Climate Change: Reducing GHG emissions and contributing to the mitigation of and adaptation to the effects of climate change, and understanding climate change risks
  • Deforestation: Understanding the impacts of deforestation in the value chain and making commitments to mitigate the impacts
  • Sustainable Agriculture: Addressing issues related to farming, such as soil health, pesticide use, deforestation, biodiversity and water use
  • Logistics and Transportation: Addressing the environmental impacts from the transportation of our products

Step 4: Validation

Campbell’s CR Steering Committee met to review the findings and validate the issues. Then these issues were presented to various company leaders who also provided their input on the importance of these issues to Campbell’s overall company strategies.

Based on the results of these steps, we created a materiality grid, which maps where our long-term business success aligns with marketplace and stakeholder priorities. We will utilize these findings to identify and validate opportunities for strengthening our CR and sustainability strategy and reporting in the future.