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Double Materiality Assessment

Double Materiality Assessment identifies how external environmental and social issues impact a business, and how the business impacts the world, guiding strategic sustainability decisions.

Double materiality assesment

What is Double Materiality?

Double Materiality is a concept that has gained significant traction within environmental, social, and governance (ESG) frameworks, particularly for its comprehensive approach to assessing materiality from two distinct perspectives: financial materiality and environmental and social materiality. This dual approach ensures that companies not only consider the financial impacts of their operations on their financial performance but also the impact of their operations on society and the environment, and vice versa.

Understanding Financial and Environmental & Social Materiality

Financial Materiality

It focuses on how environmental, social, and governance issues can impact the financial condition or operating performance of a company. It aligns with the traditional view of materiality, where the primary concern is the potential impact on economic value.

Environmental and Social Materiality

This on the other hand, puts emphasis on the impact of the company's operations on the environment and society. This perspective requires companies to assess and disclose the broader implications of their activities, including contributions to climate change, pollution, and social inequalities.

Competitive Advantage

Differentiating the company in the marketplace by demonstrating a verified commitment to sustainability.

Improved Investor Relations

Attracting and retaining investors by providing assured and transparent ESG information.

Regulatory Compliance

Helping ensure compliance with emerging ESG reporting standards and regulations.

Why is Double Materiality important?

Double materiality is crucial for comprehensive ESG reporting and decision-making. It prompts organizations to conduct a more thorough assessment of risks and opportunities, not just from a financial perspective but also considering the broader environmental and social impacts. This holistic approach is essential for:

Sustainable Decision Making

Encouraging companies to adopt strategies that are not only economically viable but also sustainable in the long term for the environment and society.

Transparency and Accountability

Enhancing disclosure practices, thereby providing investors, regulators, and stakeholders with a clearer understanding of a company's sustainability performance.

Risk Management

Identifying potential risks and opportunities from both a financial and non-financial perspective allows for more robust risk management strategies.

The process of conducting a Double Materiality Assessment

Conducting a double materiality assessment involves several key steps:

1. Identification

Recognizing the environmental, social, and governance issues that are most significant to the company and its stakeholders.

2. Assessment

Evaluating the potential impact of these issues on the company’s financial performance, as well as the impact of the company's operations on the environment and society.

3. Prioritization

Determining which issues are material from both a financial perspective and an environmental/social perspective, taking into account their magnitude and urgency.

4. Integration

Incorporating the findings into the company's strategic planning, risk management, and reporting processes.

5. Disclosure

Transparently reporting on material issues, their impacts, and the actions taken to address them, in line with relevant ESG reporting standards and frameworks.

Benefits of Double Materiality Assessment

Adopting a double materiality perspective offers multiple benefits, including:

Enhanced Stakeholder Trust

By acknowledging and addressing the full spectrum of material issues, companies can build trust with investors, consumers, and the community.

Improved Strategic Planning

A comprehensive understanding of material issues supports better long-term strategic planning and sustainability integration.

Regulatory Compliance

With increasing regulation around ESG disclosure, a double materiality assessment helps ensure compliance with emerging standards and expectations.


Double materiality represents a paradigm shift in how companies assess and report on material issues. By considering both the financial impacts of ESG issues and the impacts of their operations on society and the environment, companies can adopt a more sustainable and responsible business model. This approach not only aligns with the growing emphasis on corporate sustainability but also enhances companies' ability to respond to the evolving expectations of stakeholders and regulators in the ESG landscape.

Double materiality assesment

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What is double materiality?

Double materiality assesses both how ESG issues impact your business financially and how your business impacts society and the environment.

How does the double materiality assessment differ from traditional risk assessments?

The double materiality incorporates a broader range of ESG factors, considering both inward and outward impacts.

What are the benefits of conducting a double materiality assessment?

The double materiality assessment is beneficial as it enhances strategic planning, compliance, and stakeholder reporting.

How often should we reassess materiality?

Double materiality should be regularly reassessed to keep up to speed with evolving ESG landscapes and stakeholder expectations.

Which ESG factors are considered for double materiality assessment?

ESG factors considered within a double materiality assessment are those key risks and opportunities associated with environment, society and governance issues relevant to your organization. They should be evaluated based on their severity, likelihood and significance.