materiality assessment

In 2010 we completed a business wide process to reassess the key material issues that will increasingly impact business performance and influence decisions within our organisation. This assessment identified the most material issues which formed the basis for our 12 sustainability commitments.

We engaged outside consultants who facilitated the process and incorporated the views of over 300 Rexam employees across the business. In addition, we included a comprehensive review of Rexam’s top customers and competitors’ published sustainability information to establish common themes and their publicly stated issues of significant concern. We also interviewed a small selection of stakeholders, representing investors, customers, suppliers, retailers and NGOs.

A two day workshop was held at the end of 2010 to discuss and agree the material sustainability issues facing Rexam and to begin the discussion on appropriate actions, mitigations and targets to the extent possible. An important part of the workshop was a ‘futures briefing’ which outlined the various environmental, economic and social mega trends looking 20+ years ahead.

materiality workshop outputs

We created ‘materiality matrices’, split into four quadrants (based on high or low impact on Rexam and of greater or lesser concern to stakeholders), for Rexam globally, and by business unit.

Whilst all these issues are seen to be important to Rexam this analysis helped us to identity the ones which were most material to our business:

  • NGO/policymaker pressure
  • eco design communication
  • material usage
  • energy efficiency
  • resource use
  • customer expectations
  • product and process innovation
  • emerging markets
  • employee engagement
  • talent management
  • recycling and eco design
  • corporate citizenship

A diagram outlining high or low impact on Rexam and of greater or lesser concern to stakeholders

We added safety, waste to landfill and our Code of Conduct because our senior management considered these to be additional critical areas for our long term future.

We grouped these issues into three topic themes (products, operations, people) which developed into our 12 commitments and are covered in detail in this report. We continue to monitor and discuss future scenarios to review and verify that these 12 commitments remain relevant and significant to the business.

stakeholder perspective:
Article 13

“Article 13 helps companies to identify their material issues; these are then integrated into business strategy. The culture change required to create behaviour change is of particular interest to us.

We worked with Rexam in 2010 to support and challenge them to analyse and review their materiality issues with the objective for the Rexam team to create an innovative and fit for purpose strategy that is linked into their business priorities.

The Rexam team impressed us with their commitment and deliberation during the process and taking the time to encourage and elicit a broad representation from both internal and external stakeholders. Rexam actively encouraged the inclusion of commercial stakeholders which is less usual and excellent practice. The resulting sustainability strategy is a reflection of this work.”

Article 13. The responsible business experts

Jane-Fiona Cumming chief executive, Article 13