GRI 3-1, 3-2

Our material topics

A materiality assessment is the foundation for any sustainable progress as it enables us to identify and prioritize the issues that matter most to the business and stakeholders. Beckers regularly revisits its material topics to ascertain their continuing relevance for our company. For transparency purposes, we disclose the process of identifying, reviewing and restructuring our material topics.

Our material topics provide the underlying basis for our sustainable path. See also ➜ Our 2030 sustainability strategy: goals, revision and progress. We have identified material topics in our three streams ➜ Products with Impact, ➜ People with Impact and ➜ Operations with impact. In 2022 we renewed the material topics and added two new topics, covered under ➜ Governance in this report.

In the graphic below, all current material topics in the different streams and Governance are outlined:

2022: Revision and re-evaluation of all material topics

In 2022, we conducted a major review of our material topics. This was to ensure that all our topics are still in alignment with our priorities as well as those of our stakeholders, and that they are aligned with the new 2021 sustainability standards set by the independent standards organization ➜ GRI. Based on a formal ➜ stakeholder survey taking into account the views of 483 representatives, our Beckers Sustainability Council discussed and determined the topics that represent our greatest impact on the world we operate in, as well as sustainability topics that affect our organization. While the essentials of the material topics have not changed, we made some additions to elements that connect them. Apart from that, some minor changes were made to the structure and wording of some of the topics.

All changes in our material topics are outlined in the table and details about the process are described below.

Our material topics

What. Products
  • Materially sustainable coatings
  • Functionally sustainable coatings
We. People
  • Diverse, motivated and empowered employees
  • Safety and well-being
  • Social engagement
Do. Operations
  • Carbon neutral activities
  • Circular economy
  • Supply chain sustainability
& Value. Governance
  • -
  • -

Our approach to defining material topics

We use the principle of materiality to review our strategic priorities and address the relevant topics for our stakeholders in our sustainability report. The internal and external importance of each of these material topics is validated annually, with different major reviews and stakeholder surveys in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2020. In 2022, we conducted an other major review of our material topics to ensure they are still aligned with the priorities of our stakeholders and in order to comply with the new GRI 2021standards. Thereby, we followed the process as described in the GRI 3 – Material Topics.

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Determination process of our material topics 

Understanding the context of our organization

The topics were determined using industry standards, rating schemes and reporting frameworks such as GRI Universal Standards, EcoVadis and research regarding material topics for the chemical sector, as there is no GRI Sector Standard yet. The organizational context is described here. We have mapped out the aspects of sustainability that we believe to be relevant for us. This was done by looking at our previous sustainability reporting, our competitors’ sustainability reporting, GRI’s aspect list and, together with sustainability experts, creating a broad aspect list. As a coil coating company with business in over 60 countries, many of which are classified as belonging to the Global South, we naturally have quite a large number of very material aspects to deal with.

Identifying actual and potential impacts

This step was completed by the Beckers Sustainability Team and the ➜ Beckers Sustainability Council (BSC). The actual and potential positive and negative impacts of the organization were discussed and weighted according to severity and likelihood. These impacts and our actions are reflected in the management approach for each topic.

Assessing the significance of impacts

This step was completed by Beckers stakeholders and the BSC. In August/September 2022, we conducted a formal stakeholder survey to obtain the views of our stakeholders. A total of 483 representatives of our stakeholder groups answered: employees, customers, community representatives, suppliers and representatives of our owner, Lindéngruppen. We asked them to prioritize 27 different topics related to sustainable development. Stakeholders from 33 countries and all three regions answered and weighted the topics.

Prioritizing material topics for reporting

This step was completed by the Beckers Sustainability Council, resulting in the prioritization of the material topics above for reporting. The main changes are:

  • We adopted human and children’s rights and governance as material topics
  • We are including customer health and safety under Health and Safety
  • We are adding responsible information management under Governance
  • We introduce Water under Resource efficiency
  • Carbon-neutral activities have become Climate Action and we have included new topics such as climate disaster-preparedness and local pollution
  • Materially sustainable products and functionally sustainable products merge into one sustainable product portfolio 

History of our materiality assessments

Since we started reporting according to GRI guidelines in 2012, we have mapped out the sustainability topics most relevant to our business. The selection process started in 2013. The detailed description of previous materiality assessments can be found here.

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