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Dual materiality

Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.


Materiality is about focusing on the sustainability topics that make a difference. Now, what makes a difference depends on the perspective. In the financial community, a topic is material if it poses a substantial financial risk to the future value creation of a company. We call this financial materiality. This is what ESG indexes are made of, although this is far from what most people believe ESG is about.


Impact materiality is not about risks to the company but about the negative or positive effects the company has on the world: Its customers and employees, the environment, the workers in its supply chain. What is material under this perspective, depends on where the company really has impact: Does it produce a lot of emissions or not? Are the workers in its supply chain exposed to significant risks or not?


Companies reporting according to the Global Reporting Initiative are reporting on the topics that are impact material. A key element of the new EU CSRD legislation is that companies should report on topics that are impact material as well as topics that have financial materiality.


What do sustainability topics do to your company? What can you do for them?




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