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Strengthen Your Materiality Assessment with Stakeholder Engagement

Friday, June 28, 2019

Face to face dialogue on businesses and society's issues is a great way to start long and strong relationships with stakeholders. It not only builds trust but also provides quality input that your business needs to stay ahead and identify sustainable business opportunities. Discover how we deliver Materiality Assessments via high-quality stakeholder dialogues.

Successfully integrating sustainability into corporate strategy represents a challenge for many companies. Bringing key stakeholders around the table to discuss what is meaningful and material for your business is a crucial step to success.  

What is the added value of stakeholder engagement?

  1. Companies can build trust

As highlighted by Orange last May, at the 3rd Brussels SDG Summit, engaging customers, investors and national governments isn’t enough: a full and wider range of relevant stakeholders is necessary to support and validate corporate decision making. Assessing corporate material issues isn’t just about business, but also about building relationships, trust, people and communities

  1. Companies can manage stakeholder expectations

Companies who participated to last June’s Conference on Valuing Corporate Sustainability Performance, co-hosted with the European Investment Bank (EIB), confirmed the importance of dialogue and long-term engagement as the best tool to balance stakeholder expectations. Engaging them to assess material ESG issues with structured, ongoing, face-to-face processes allows companies to measure and manage risks, opportunities, and ultimately the limited resources they have access to. For instance, this approach helped Pirelli to develop its timely and inclusive Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy.

  1. Companies can make better and more informed decisions

By engaging internal and external stakeholders, companies receive unique feedback that can improve project design and outcomes, while helping to identify risks and opportunities. This allows to prioritise resources for relevant sustainability issues. It also enables the identification of key areas of interest for affected stakeholders, supporting companies to report concise information that provides a meaningful picture of progress to those that need it. Since 2003, CSR Europe member Iberdrola conducts a detailed materiality assessment, involving different groups of stakeholders on a yearly basis. This allows the company to identify ESG and ethical issues significant to its focus on sustainable development.

Our signature approach: Stakeholder Dialogue to ensure quality engagement

At CSR Europe we are strong believers in engaging the right stakeholders through a well-structured, face-to-face dialogue. CSR Europe’s large pan-EU network of companies, National Partner Organisations (NPOs) and stakeholders such as the European Commission, national governments enables us to reach out to experts and organisations relevant to each business.

In doing so, businesses are best apt to apply sustainability lenses to their risks, opportunities and management processes. As a result, businesses can:

  • Identify trends that could significantly impact its ability to create value in the long-term;
  • Take advantage of opportunities to develop new products or services and stay ahead of competitors;
  • Prioritize resources so companies can focus time and money on the most important topics, and on collecting relevant data;
  • Mitigate business risks and opportunities;
  • Identify where a company is creating, or reducing, value for society

At CSR Europe we recognise that each company has a unique way of operating, and for this reason, we deliver a tailor-made Materiality Assessment characterised by Stakeholder Dialogue.   

For more information:

For more information about Materiality Assessments and Stakeholder Dialogues, please contact:

Joanne Houston: jh@csreurope.org  

Soni Kanabar: sk@csreurope.org.