Materiality Analysis 2014 & Wienerberger Sustainability Roadmap 2020
Step 2: Establishment of materiality from the stakeholder point of view
Material aspects of the value chains
To establish the materiality of the individual steps of the value chain, potential ecological, social, ethical, regional and economical issues as well as security of supply issues were allocated to them. Subsequently, the stakeholders’ view of materiality was established by means of a survey. Some of the questions of the survey also referred to the perception of Wienerberger’s current commitment in respect of the individual aspects.
Almost 500 stakeholders invited to take part in the survey, 80% of them external stakeholders
Close to 500 stakeholders were invited to take part in the survey – 80% of them external stakeholders. Among them were many customers and users, such as building material dealers, building contractors, architects and landscape designers, real-estate developers and final customers, as well as suppliers, representatives of public authorities, the research sector and academia. Media representatives, policy-makers, trade unionists, shareholders and analysts were also invited to take part in the survey. Among the internal stakeholders – almost 100 in total – management representatives accounted for the largest group, followed by representatives of production, the works council, sales and human resources. Employees working in controlling, marketing, communication and research and development were also contacted.
Online survey with excellent return rate
The stakeholders selected received an online questionnaire in which they were asked to classify the Wienerberger sustainability issues by materiality and Wienerberger’s existing commitment. A total of 232 persons responded to the online survey, which corresponds to a return rate of well above 45% – an excellent value for a survey of this type.
Stakeholders acknowledge Wienerberger’s commitment in many areas
The evaluation of the results covered the materiality of the issue for Wienerberger and Wienerberger’s perceived commitment to that specific issue. A strong and consistent correlation between these two aspects was found: Both internal and external stakeholders acknowledged that Wienerberger had already been working intensively on those sustainability issues which they regarded as particularly important, and had reached a high level of development.
Materiality analyses for all product-group-specific value chains
Based on the stakeholders’ responses, the essential issues for the four business units (Clay Building Materials Europe, Semmelrock, Steinzeug-Keramo and Pipelife) along their respective value chains were established. The significance (medium to high) of individual aspects, as perceived by internal and external stakeholders, was entered into a matrix. The essential issues of the four value chains are described on the following pages.
It turned out that the stakeholders perceived certain aspects as being of similarly high significance across all business units. In the supply chain, the avoidance of hazardous substances and long-term security of raw material supply were mentioned frequently as material aspects. As regards environmental protection in production, the stakeholders ranked energy efficiency and measures to combat climate change, as well as resource efficiency and waste management, as high priorities. Among the social aspects of production, the safety and health of employees, business ethics and compliance scored high in all business units. Throughout the Wienerberger Group, the sustainability of products was found to be determined, in particular, by their long service life and their innovative strength.