Materiality assessment

To ensure that our corporate responsibility work continues to concentrate on the most material issues, we updated our materiality assessment in 2018. To increase the scope of the assessment, a new data-driven approach was applied, using the Datamaran platform. Datamaran tracks around 100 environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics from different sources including corporate reports, hard and soft law, news and social media. All data is fully traceable to the original source.

Materiality matrix

The matrix was built as follows:

  • the X-axis represents industry view, including internal stakeholder surveys and corporate reports
  • the Y-axis represents external view, including external stakeholder surveys, online news, regulations, Twitter and international standards

Combining the 44 Datamaran topics in a matrix showed that 26 topics are material for Huhtamaki (scoring medium to high in the matrix, located above the curve line in the picture above). To avoid overlapping between the topics, these 26 topics were grouped by Datamaran using an adaptation of the groupings used in GRI Standards. After the grouping, the number of topics was reduced to 15. The picture above represents the final Huhtamaki materiality matrix.

The materiality assessment shows that material topics for Huhtamaki have remained largely the same during the years. The assessment reaffirms that the choices made in the Packaging for Good program are valid and that Huhtamaki is focusing its corporate responsibility efforts on the right topics.

Methodology add_circle_outline

The goal of the materiality assessment was to track the relevance of each Datamaran ESG topic for Huhtamaki. The following Datamaran sources were analyzed:

  • Corporate reports of 42 companies identified as main peers, customers and suppliers. The total of 82 reports included annual financial reports, SEC filings (10-Ks and 20-Fs), and sustainability reports (published in 2017 reporting on 2016 performance).
  • 203 online news sources, more specifically 4,732 articles published between July 2017 and December 2017.
  • Hard law and soft law which either contain corporate disclosure requirements or are essential to the understanding of the current regulatory development. These included sector-free regulations, sector-specific regulations as well as expected regulations.
  • Over 36 million tweets in Twitter published between July 2017–December 2017 that mentioned the tracked ESG topics.

Additionally, to include stakeholder opinions in the materiality assessment, questionnaires were sent to targeted external and internal stakeholders. External stakeholders included customers, suppliers and investors. Internal stakeholders were management level employees working on corporate responsibility matters within Huhtamaki. Out of a total of 32 respondents, half were external and half internal.

We also strengthened the analysis by integrating sustainability-related standards. Standards were chosen according to their relevance for Huhtamaki’s business sector: Sustainability Accounting Standard Board (SASB) standard for the containers & packaging industry, the GRI Food Processing sector standard (as a proxy for food packaging), the UN Sustainable Developments Goals and the RobecoSAM Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

By using computational linguistics that made it possible to quantify qualitative information, each of the tracked ESG topics received a score retrieved for each source. A specific weight was applied to the scores to refine the results. Finally, the topics were ranked by importance for Huhtamaki. Out of the original 95 topics, the 44 most relevant topics were included in a materiality matrix.