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: