Priority topic assessment
We engaged in a three-pronged qualitative assessment approach to identify our priority topics. The approach looked at:
- mega-trends and regulatory developments,
- corporate objectives and values and
- opportunities to support global sustainable development.
By looking at mega-trends and regulatory developments that might impact our business area, we identified future opportunities.
Examples of relevance to us include projections on access to water, water quality and treatment, refugee streams and
We took a fresh look at our corporate objectives and values in this context to better understand how we are currently positioned and assess our impact now and in the future. This led to the identification of opportunities for Grundfos to support global sustainable development, which incorporated an analysis of SDG opportunities and gaps. We followed an impact-based approach to our business strengths within pumps, pump solutions, service and water technologies, always asking, 'How can we enhance our social value as a business?'
We engaged a wide range of stakeholders in a more traditional materiality survey, asking them to rank different topics. The survey was not as robust as we would have liked and we used the results with some caution, adding interviews as verification.
The result was the identification of “future proof” material topics – those where we have an impact today and those that lie ahead.
How we arrived at the material topics
For "Green at Heart" and "Passionate about Water", we holistically assessed these three areas:
- (a) trends
withinwater, energy and climate
- (b) our mission to care for the planet
- (c) key business strengths and potential impact areas within efficient pump solutions, service and water technology
"Green at Heart" focuses on
For "Responsible" and "Ethics and Integrity", we coupled:
- (a) trends
withinregulation, societal expectations, and social contract issues
- (b) our values and mission to improve the quality of life
- (c) key business strengths within a diverse and inclusive workforce which conducts business in an ethical manner.
"Responsible" focuses on creating a diverse, inclusive and safe workplace (health and safety, employee satisfaction, diversity and inclusion, and local communities), while "Ethics and Integrity"
To place the findings in the context of the wider business, the topics are assessed in terms of “theory of change”, showing how we see the connection between them and the impact we aim for, as expressed in our purpose.
Outcomes are notoriously challenging to measure – they are often qualitative in nature and affected by numerous other elements in society. We attempt to report on the outcomes in the SDG (see the GRI Index) whilst a large part of the sustainability report is dedicated to the outputs – processes, standards and programmes that support the realisation of the intended impact. They should be seen
We have used the same key indicators to track our performance for a decade, enabling transparent year-on-year comparisons. To retain the benefit of this comparison capability we maintain the same key performance indicators, while performance on our material topics can be tracked in the GRI Index.
A “future proof” assessment?
We embarked on a process to “future proof” the materiality assessment. We did this by working with mega-trends, regulatory developments, and company purpose and values, building on assumptions about what the world is and may become. Consequently, it is not a list of sustainability issues, but elements on which to build the future of Grundfos from a “sustainability meets business” point of view.
The mega-trends we continue to track include access to water, water quality, food security and urbanization. Then there are regulatory trends
This means the findings are subject to change; changes in assumptions and changes in our actual and intended impact. Hence, we commit to constantly improve our understanding of the time we live in, our role and how we as a business can contribute positively to global sustainability.