We recognise the need to understand the ESG issues most relevant to our operations, our industries and our stakeholders.

Materiality assessment helps us understand how ESG factors might impact our businesses. This assessment helps us prioritise our activities. We consider the guidance of globally recognised sustainability standards and frameworks when compiling potential material topics and issues.

Our materiality process

In line with our devolved business model, assessing and prioritising the most material environmental and social opportunities starts with our businesses. This builds on their business-level assessments of risk, including ESG risks and their divisional reporting to the Board. In the materiality process at Group level, we aggregate the material topics and risks identified by our businesses and incorporate a Group perspective. This includes considering topics discussed with stakeholders, including investors, as well as the information expected by external ESG benchmarks, and rating agencies. The topics presented in the table below are material for the Group. Most topics are material for all businesses, for example, the wide-ranging impacts of climate change, however the degree to which each topic is material for each business varies.

This year, we conducted a review of our list of material topics and subsequently updated it. The updated list of material topics is grouped into the following six key areas to demonstrate where we are focusing:

  • Agriculture and farming practices;
  • People in our supply chains and surrounding communities;
  • Our people;
  • Carbon and climate;
  • Efficient resource use: and
  • Food and nutrition.

Looking ahead, we are working to develop our materiality approach further, in line with the reporting requirements under the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). We are currently undertaking a pilot project on double materiality assessment in one of our businesses. Once our double materiality approach has been finalised, it will be used to support the rest of our businesses that fall within the scope of the CSRD.


Involving our stakeholders 

At business, divisional and Group levels, we have considered the views and priorities of many different stakeholders in our materiality assessments, which has included engaging directly with numerous stakeholders. 


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