Interpretation and Analysis
We updated our data-driven materiality assessment in 2021 to establish an understanding of what ESG issues are of top importance to both our internal and external stakeholders. We are leveraging the results of this assessment for updates to Stanley Black & Decker’s ESG strategy, including targets, programs and reporting approach. The results further confirm strong alignment across external and internal stakeholders on the prioritization of material ESG issues.
The materiality assessment process utilized artificial intelligence to mine insights data across news and social media outlets, regulatory trends, and the public disclosures of our industry peers, suppliers and customers. This approach was enhanced with qualitative inputs from internal and external stakeholders via live interviews and an internal survey.
The resulting issues identified and their relative importance correlate strongly with our people, product and planet strategies embedded in our 2030 corporate social responsibility (CSR) vision, validating and enhancing our goal focus. All 25 identified issues are material to us and are addressed in our CSR strategy.
The six priority issues, which reflect the cross-section between internal and external emphasis, are:
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Employment Practices
- Employee Health, Safety & Wellbeing
- Product Responsibility
- Procurement Practices
- Innovation and Digitalization
Notably, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which was not a standalone issue in our prior assessment, has become the highest priority from both an internal and external perspective.
And while customer satisfaction is indicated as a critical issue as well, it is anchored at the core of all our product initiatives and innovations, reflected by priority issues “Innovation and Digitalization” and “Product Responsibility”.
We are aware that the assessment is a top-level approach and issues cannot clearly be separated as they are overarching, which is why all 25 issues are of high relevance. The prioritization of the six issues does not discount the relevance of the remaining 19 issues. The 2021 materiality assessment gives insight on the relevance of internal and external trends, improvement opportunities, potential risks, and helps to validate our ESG/CSR strategy.
We are leveraging this materiality assessment to further inform our strategic decision-making and target-setting. Although we do not expect issues to change dramatically year to year, we will continue to regularly monitor and update material issues and engage key stakeholder groups on a regular basis.