Neste's materiality matrix describes the key sustainability topics from the point of view of our business operations and stakeholders. The matrix is based on a materiality assessment conducted once every two years by engaging our key stakeholders in the process. The most recent one was conducted in fall 2016. The next assessment will be conducted in 2018.
Of the 24 topics, ten are related to climate and resource efficiency, eight to the sustainability of our operations and six to the sustainability of our supply chains.
We will utilize the results of the material assessment in updating the company's sustainability work plan and developing the sustainability practices. We aim at communicating effectively on these themes and highlight them in our reporting.
Results of the materiality assessment and content of the matrix
The 24 key sustainability topics presented in the matrix have remained largely the same as in previous years. When comparing the most recent and previous years' materiality matrices, one can identify 13 completely or almost identical topics.
The materiality assessment clarified our view of needing to continue to invest in the development of new renewable products, management and transparency of the company's supply chains, and the portfolio of raw materials used.
We have already begun preparations for determining and measuring our overall impact, and we have finalized our first water scarcity footprint calculations for our renewable products. Our aim is that in the future, we will communicate more effectively about how we ensure sustainable and compliant operations from the environmental point of view. We will also clarify our vision of sustainable energy solutions.
Process of assessing materiality
The content of our matrix was gathered in fall 2016 through an international online dialogue open to all our stakeholders. The dialogue focused on exploring our stakeholders' views on how we should develop the sustainability of our operations and what we should particularly focus on in our sustainability efforts.
The invitation to participate was presented via personal email messages, in a digital newsletter to our stakeholders, as well as on our corporate website and social media channels. The stakeholders were also encouraged to distribute the message further themselves.
Both external stakeholders (77% of the respondents) and our own employees (23% of the respondents) took part in the anonymous dialogue, which went on for approximately two weeks in two languages. The largest external respondent groups were consumers (22%), customers (10%), analysts and shareholders (8%), as well as suppliers of goods, services and raw materials (6%).
In all, the dialogue involved almost 600 people from 17 countries or geographic areas, representing over ten stakeholder groups. Of them, as many as 450 respondents were particularly active in the dialogue.
Identifying material issues
Our stakeholders used an online tool to assess sustainability topics they and others proposed. Also those topics considered the most important in 2014–2015 were included in the assessment.
Altogether 28 representatives of our management and experts continued to process the 24 sustainability topics that the stakeholders had considered the most important by evaluating their importance from the long-term point of view of our business.
This process lead to Neste's materiality matrix which combines the sustainability topics that the stakeholders had considered the most important and the assessments of Neste's management and sustainability experts. Neste Executive Board approved the materiality matrix in October 2016. We communicated about the materiality assessment on our website in November.