Stakeholders & Materiality
Close exchange with stakeholders
NORMA Group sees itself as a transparent and open company. The company specifically seeks exchange with its internal and external stakeholders as well as experts. This enables the company to effectively implement the continuous improvement process, which is applied throughout the Group, for CR issues as well. NORMA Groups’ most important stakeholders and experts include its employees, customers, shareholders, and financial market players, as well as suppliers and representatives from science, the media, politics, and non-profit organizations. The company considers it part of its responsible corporate governance to incorporate the interests of stakeholders and the impact of its own business activities on stakeholders into its key decisions. Particularly in the strategic direction of the company as well as in identifying material topic, NORMA Group values an open approach to stakeholder expectations.
Materiality analysis defines scope of CR activities
In 2020, NORMA Group carried out its last materiality analysis, in which it defines the most important social, environmental, and economic sustainability issues. The methodology was based on the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI 2016): First, a comprehensive list of CR sub-topics was put together, based on requests from external stakeholder groups and on the GRI standards and the requirements of the German Commercial Code (HGB). The individual sub-topics were aggregated, and a total of 23 topics were defined, which were divided into the three areas of action “Environment,” “Social” and “Governance.”
For each of the 23 defined sustainability topics, NORMA Group evaluated the relevance and impact. The relevance assessment was based on a survey of NORMA Group employees and the weighting of external customer and financial market ratings as well as an analysis of the assessment by media and existing and future legislation (relevance axis). The impact analysis assessed both the extent to which NORMA Group‘s business activities influence the various topics and what risks could arise for the Group from these topics (impact risk axis). The latter was based on what are known as gross risks, i.e. those risks with which the NORMA Group is confronted if no suitable countermeasures are implemented. The assessment was deducted on a scale of 1 (irrelevant/ no impact) to 6 (very relevant / major impact) and then prioritized ( GRAPHIC G007: ‘MATERIALITY MATRIX’). This was divided into topics that are a) managed globally, regionally and locally with measurable targets (right outer area), b) topics that are managed at the functional level through concrete measures (middle area) and c) those that are not considered material. The results were validated internally with the top management of all regions and subsequently confirmed by NORMA Group’s Management Board.
In 2022, the materiality analysis was again validated with the Management Board, the top management of the regions and the specialist departments. There were no changes.
NORMA Group will carry out an update of the materiality analysis in the fiscal year 2023. This will be based on the new standards of GRI (GRI 2021) as well as the requirements of the upcoming Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) that needs to be applied for the first time for fiscal year 2024. The preparation of the new materiality analysis was started in fiscal year 2022. For this purpose, a gap analysis for example was carried out. The results identify gaps between the current materiality analysis and the new GRI standard as well as the CSRD requirements (ESRS, status August 2022). Furthermore, the gap analysis describes measures for closing these gaps as part of the new materiality analysis.
These contents are part of the Non-financial Group Report and were subject to a separate limited assurance examination.