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What matters most

We proactively consult and communicate with a range of partners and stakeholders at development level. At Group level we engage with a diverse array of stakeholders, commission research and insight studies, and sit on sector-wide steering groups to help us align the wider social, economic and environmental risks and opportunities with our business strategy.












How we identified 'What Matters Most' 

In 2016 we launched a full materiality process, following a change of Chief Executive to determine what the key sustainability issues are for our business, simplifying the issues and aiding communication. We identified six material issues that are key to creating value for all our stakeholders.

Our What Matters Most publication shows the process and results of this materiality process. You can download it here.

How our issues are informed

In summary the six ‘issues that matter most’ were informed by:

  • Consulting widely within our employees
  • Direct engagement, structured interviews, commissioning research and holding workshops with key stakeholders
  • Referring to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability indicators
  • Mapping sustainability risks and opportunities
  • Creating a framework of ‘issues that matter most’
  • Opinions, insights and challenges offered by internal stakeholders and industry knowledge combined with social and environmental expertise
  • Insights from our participation in sustainability benchmarking indices (NextGeneration, Carbon Disclosure Project)
  • Technical expertise from external advisors and partners
  • Good practice guidelines from industry bodies and trade organisations
How our sustainability framework evolved

We began our journey to define what was material to our business and our stakeholders in 2014, by taking a long list of possible social, economic and environmental issues informed by the (Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, Construction and Real Estate Sector Supplement), and drawing on feedback from four customer workshops, and knowledge and feedback from our divisional managing directors, senior managers, graduates, construction material suppliers and a limited number of external industry and sustainability representatives including the HCA, Next Generation, Joint Venture partners and the RSPB.

This resulted in 12 sustainability issues that we felt were important for our business which were summarised and approved by the Executive team, integrated into our principal risks and uncertainties and used as the basis for our sustainability reporting, and business review within the Annual Report and Accounts in 2014.

In 2015 we established long term aspirations and action plans under each of the 12 issues informed by feedback from benchmark studies, research and insight, a further supplier survey involving 71 materials suppliers; and specific structured interviews with the UK Green Building Council and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). We made adjustments to improve the definition for each issue and we gave a clear outline of why the issue is important to us and our stakeholders.