Defining our material issues
We live in an uncertain and constantly changing world. Materiality helps us identify and prioritise the sustainability issues that matter most to our business and stakeholders.
An issue is material to Unilever if it meets two conditions. Firstly, it impacts our business in terms of growth, cost, risk or trust. And secondly, it is important to our stakeholders – such as consumers, customers, employees, governments, investors, NGOs and suppliers. In determining if an issue is material, we also consider whether it is aligned with our Vision and Purpose, brand portfolio and geographical footprint; its potential impact on our value chain (PDF | 635KB); and the degree to which we can affect change.
We use our materiality assessment to identify priority sustainability issues across our value chain. Materiality helps to inform the development of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) and ensures we report on the issues of most interest. We update our assessment every two years to make sure it reflects changes in our business and the external environment.
Find out more in our interactive materiality matrix, which shows the results from our 2017 assessment.