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Sustainability screening
along the upstream
value chain

Year

2020


Initial situation

A large financial institution commissioned us to analyse key sustainability issues along the entire value chain, systematically and with regard to their impact relevance. In addition to identifying the material sustainability issues for business relevance, transparent reporting on the impact of companies on people, the environment, and society is to become increasingly important in the future (double materiality/materiality). Thus, it was necessary to supplement the previous materiality analysis with the impact relevance of the company – i.e., to expand the view from the inside outwards. Until now the focus has only been on business relevance from an outside-in perspective. The aim – to flank expert assessments with objective, fact-based analysis.

Our approach

Together with the client, our first step was to identify the relevant sustainability issues such as climate protection, biodiversity, and human and employee rights. In the second step, the Prognos sustainability screening tool was used to analyse the company's hotspots along the entire upstream value chain and to assess sustainability topics in terms of their materiality, i.e., their relevance to the company. For this purpose, we combined information on the sustainability performance of countries with macroeconomic statistics and company-specific data. Based on the findings, we conducted special evaluations for specific groups of countries and deep dives for individual sustainability topics.

Result

As a result, the client first received a classification detailing the extent to which their key sustainability issues affect people, the environment, and society. In addition to this impact relevance from the “inside-out” perspective, the results were also blended with their business relevance – that is, the “outside-in” perspective. In the overall picture, the client was provided with a materiality matrix that clarifies the upcoming reporting requirements and enables the company to set the content focus on sustainability management. The results were also visualised in an appealing form for communication purposes.

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Dr Jan Trenczek

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Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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