MATERIALITY: BREAKING OUT OF THE STRAIT-JACKET /// salterbaxter /// Creative communications and sustainability advisors in London

Directions Quarterly/ Summer 2016

Materiality can help to deliver a range of valuable outcomes, but all too often the process ends up being nothing than a costly rubber-stamp; a matrix of prioritised issues, that’s finalised, published, and then… nothing.

by author sbadmin

When reporting is the main focus, materiality almost always disappoints. Too many companies see materiality as a way of justifying business as usual; this just reinforces a narrow and formulaic approach, the use of tried-and-tested processes and people that inevitably give the same or similar answers.

We take a closer look at what’s going wrong and share our perspectives on how to get it right in our latest Directions report: ‘MATERIALITY: BREAKING OUT OF THE STRAIT-JACKET’.

Drawing on our own experience, as well as conversations with a number of leading practitioners, we present five materiality fundamentals, which are important considerations that can help improve results no matter where a company is on its journey.

  • Focus on change
  • See the bigger picture
  • Set objectives
  • Think creatively
  • Involve the best people

In the supplement we go on to describe how, by applying these fundamentals, companies can not only tick the GRI box, but also leverage the process and outputs to drive more value for the business. Finally, we take the chance to list some of the possible outcomes that materiality can help achieve.

If you would like to discuss any strategic challenges you are currently facing and find out how Salterbaxter can help, then please contact us on 020 7229 5720 or email:

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