At West, we realize that our activities have impact beyond our financial performance. We understand that in order to be successful in the long-term, we need to engage with stakeholders and focus on the societal issues that are important to them. To that end, we periodically conduct a materiality assessment by which we receive input from key stakeholders on what is important to them from the perspective of sustainability.
In order to meet the expectations and requirements of our stakeholders and keep pace with our business priorities, West’s materiality assessment process follows the industry standard Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. The GRI is an international independent standards organization that helps companies such as West understand and communicate their impact on issues such as climate, human rights and corruption.
Our materiality assessment provides us with a clear understanding of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues that matter the most to our business and to our stakeholders. Our recently completed 2019 materiality assessment was developed with a clear goal to be used by the business as a tool to inform internal stakeholders, aid in strategy development and assist operational decision-making.
How We Define Materiality
Our focus is on those activities that are most important to our business and stakeholders. We judge materiality using a disciplined assessment process that identifies critical environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues that reflect a significant impact on our business performance or substantively influences the assessment and decisions of our stakeholders. Those activities that are determined to have the most significant impact are considered to be material.
2019 Materiality Assessment Results
Our 2019 Materiality Assessment results are summarized and prioritized in the materiality matrix shown at right. The matrix features seven different colors, each representing a broader grouping of the identified material topics. The horizontal axis represents the material topics that West perceives to be more important to its success, and the vertical axis represents the material topics that external stakeholders perceive as more important.