To identify which issues to prioritise, Wesfarmers undertakes a robust materiality process for each division and at a Group level. Having regular, open and honest engagement with our stakeholders helps us to identify, understand and prioritise the sustainability issues and opportunities that matter most to our stakeholders and to our businesses.
We outline our work on material issues through the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards. We undertake this process annually, monitoring issues to determine if they are becoming more or less important and ensure we capture any emerging issues, and our actions are in line with our stakeholders’ expectations.
Because our divisions face unique challenges and operate in different environments, each division conducts its own annual materiality assessment by gathering feedback from its stakeholders and prioritising its most material sustainability issues. The divisional material sustainability assessments then inform the Group process.
1. Review inputs to develop a list of issues
Wesfarmers engages with a range of stakeholders during the year and draws on their feedback and other sources to complete the materiality process. The inputs for our reporting include analysis of existing and emerging important issues for peers, the community, investors, lenders and analysts, NGOs, media and government.
In addition, our senior management and key functions, including risk and governance, are engaged to consider these key issues.
Each year, we apply the same scoring criteria for all stakeholder groups, which we believe provides consistency in our annual assessment to compare and monitor issues across time.
2. Prioritise issues
Identified issues are prioritised by all stakeholders according to their potential financial or reputational impact on Wesfarmers and our ability to influence the issue.
The issues were reviewed during and at the end of the process. Independent sources of information such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and external corporate reputations survey are used to validate the issues identified during the process.
4. External review
Ernst & Young (EY) reviewed this process to assess if our reporting reflects the importance that Wesfarmers and external stakeholders place on these issues. Our materiality process was carried out in accordance with the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards.
Our material issues this year include:
- Health, safety and wellbeing
- People development, diversity and inclusion
- Ethical sourcing and human rights
- Product quality and safety
- Data and cyber security
- Economic and community contributions
- Climate change resilience
- Waste, packaging and plastic
- Circular economy strategy
- Governance, corporate conduct and ethics
GRI 102-46, GRI 102-47, GRI 102-49, GRI 103-1