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Integrating Corporate Responsibility into the Core Business Through Materiality

The 2017 Corporate Responsibility Materiality Assessment Results Report summarises the approach and results of the Novartis 2017 corporate responsibility (CR) materiality assessment.

This third full materiality assessment for Novartis plays an important role in strengthening the integration of CR in Novartis’ core business. The objectives of the materiality assessment were to:

  • Further align strategies with societal expectations, business needs and market developments;
  • Intensify dialogue with key stakeholders on a systematic basis;
  • Structure and prioritise Novartis’ corporate reporting

Through its materiality cycle, Novartis thinks deeply and carefully about the expectations of its stakeholders, and how to respond most effectively.

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The company invested significant resources and time into the research and analysis underpinning the process, enabling the materiality assessment to become a valuable management tool for the business. To achieve this, SustainAbility worked with Novartis to ensure the materiality assessment produced deep insights into priority topics. Novartis built on the methodology of its previous materiality assessments with:

  • Over 60 one-on-one interviews: This materiality assessment prioritised engagement more than in previous assessments, including one-to-one interviews with internal topic experts to better understand risks and opportunities related to CR topics leveraging the methodology used by Enterprise Risk Management at Novartis as well as a wide range of external stakeholders.
  • Comprehensive statistical analysis including correlation and factor analysis.
  • Scenario analysis (in the pilot phase) to future-proof the methodology and to strengthen the conclusions drawn from the results.

SustainAbility also supported the development of a country-level toolkit featuring important guidelines and best practices for conducting a local materiality assessment.

“Novartis takes an advanced and evidence-based approach to uncovering its most material topics. Surveying over 1,000 Novartis associates, and almost 200 external stakeholders brings the company valuable strategic insights. Through its materiality cycle, Novartis thinks deeply and carefully about the expectations of its stakeholders, and how to respond most effectively. It also enables the company to focus on the areas that really matter to the business and provides a firm foundation for its success.” – Rob Cameron, Chief Executive, SustainAbility

You can access the report here.

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2017 Corporate Responsibility Materiality Assessment Results Report

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