Your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. The array of challenges facing companies is wide and complex – from water, materials and chemicals use to human rights, ethical sourcing, corporate governance and everything in between. Across the globe, and in every sector, businesses need to integrate sustainability into their strategy, management and performance measurement – because sustainability is central to business success.
An effective sustainability strategy drives the bottom line while also delivers on the expectations of investors, regulators, employees, consumers and civil society. It takes insight, global expertise, intuition and old-fashioned listening to understand where and how a company is most affected by its own unique environmental, social and ethical issues. And it takes experience, rigour and creativity to map the best response to those issues.
Our clients rely on Sancroft for our judgment and evaluation – not only holding up a mirror to their operations, but helping them see through it to a more resilient, profitable and successful future.
Our work rests on a thorough understanding of the trends and business implications across industries, geographies and stakeholders. We build robust analytical tools based on best practice and decades of experience, and we apply them with care and wisdom to each client’s needs. We do this through:
Materiality assessments and risk and opportunity analysis.
Through sound and tested methodologies, we help you identify your most significant social, economic and environmental challenges and opportunities. We examine public policy, supply chains, customer trends, business-to-business pressures, competitor benchmarking and stakeholder expectations, to sketch a picture of context in which your company operates, and inform strategic planning and operational management. From hard law (regulatory requirements, reporting obligations and operational requirements) to soft (voluntary standards and best practices), we help you make sense of the obligations and opportunities your business is facing to deliver sustainable results.
Goal-setting and implementation.
We work with you to translate corporate objectives into ambitious, time-bound and measurable goals. We help you set short-, medium- and long-term plans to embed your goals into business processes. We provide the road maps, implementation plans and technical assistance to optimise your company’s time, resources and sustainability impact.
Dialogue and consultation.
We help you work with your stakeholders – internal and external – to identify what people expect of your business, and how to build trust and reputation while delivering on these expectations. We can help you road-test your strategy ideas, gain buy-in and support, and deepen relationships, even in situations of low trust. We convene and facilitate multi-company, multi-stakeholder dialogues and collaborative efforts to produce faster and more meaningful outcomes.
Measurement and reporting.
We develop practical, transparent and robust processes for you to measure your performance against established goals and impacts, guided by leading global frameworks – from the GRI to the SDGs and more. We help you develop your reporting and communications strategies, systems, concepts, messaging and documents from idea to final publication.
Coaching and development support.
Our decades of experience can help you develop your role and capability as a sustainability leader, collaborate with colleagues, identify allies and build your influence to achieve real-world results, wherever your company is in its sustainability journey.
Benefits for your business
Sustainability strategy has the potential to generate reduced costs and enhanced efficiency, new customer markets and improved access to capital. It also delivers:
- Resilience across supply chains, geographies and business cycles, through better-informed decision-making
- Buy-in among executives and the wider workforce, a shared sense of ownership, purpose and empowered action
- The ability to meet stakeholder expectations, from investors to NGOs, neighbours to regulators, to future-proof your business
- Managerial skill in anticipating change and driving progress
Johnson Matthey is a diverse speciality chemicals and sustainable technologies company, supplying solutions to enhance health and pollution control to the automotive, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other sectors. The company has set out to align its company strategy fully with its sustainability performance drivers.
Sancroft supported Johnson Matthey to explore stakeholders’ views on the company’s most important impacts, risks and opportunities, as part of its 2017 integrated annual report. The objective was to ensure that the company’s strategy and communications reflect the expectations of key stakeholders, as well as to enable Johnson Matthey to maintain open, transparent and productive dialogue with people and groups affected by the company’s performance.
Therefore, we spoke with over 25 individuals from 18 different organisations, representing Johnson Matthey’s customers, investors, NGOs, analysts and others. We discussed their analysis of the company’s past approach to material issues to uncover how views have changed – confirming key aspects of the company’s sustainability strategy, as well as identifying new themes and topics, and highlighting opportunities for Johnson Matthey to respond to sustainability challenges in a more sophisticated and transparent way.
Among the notable results was the introduction of a new topic – sustainability leadership – ranked equal to the highest-ranking long-standing topic of health and safety. Sustainability leadership expresses the ambitions of stakeholders for Johnson Matthey to help define best practices on behalf of its industry, and to seek for solutions that transform how all companies operate, revising the baseline expectations toward greater sustainability.
The outcomes of this dialogue and analysis informed Johnson Matthey’s materiality assessment presented in its 2016/17 integrated annual report.
Towards a New Materiality: A review of the current practices of FTSE 100 & a possible path ahead
Running a sustainable business depends on understanding and focusing on what matters most – the activities and impacts most crucial for the success of a business, and that of its stakeholders, now and in the future.
To that effect, materiality has long been a part of the sustainability management lexicon, yet there has been so little innovation – in concepts, terminology, tools and presentations. An idea that entered the sustainable business vocabulary some 20 years ago is still the subject of vague , overly simplistic and perfunctory interpretation, with little value for either decision-making or accountability.
Through this project we are intending to engage the community of service providers in this conversation, whose advice underpins the materiality assessments of their clients, and whose role as the very engineers of materiality assessments gives them an important role to play in driving meaningful progress.
In this report we share our findings and collective ideas with two objectives in mind: firstly, to assess the state of current practices among the FTSE 100, including common challenges and innovative solutions; and secondly, to inspire new thinking and start the conversation with the broader community of sustainability professionals.Click here to read the report