During the previous year (FY 2016-17), UPL conducted the materiality assessment taking into consideration the inputs form its key internal stakeholders. This year we extended the scope of our assessment and included the key external stakeholders as well to enhance the output of the materiality exercise. The approach used for this exercise was guided by the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) standards, sustainability reporting framework.
The material issues were assessed for their significance based on the following four parameters;
The scale to which the issues are aligned with organization's goals and purpose.
The potential impact on UPL's services, or on sourcing and customers.
The level of influence UPL has on the issue.
The significant impact on UPL's key stakeholders.
A combination of internal and external factors were used to determine material topics for UPL. This was supported by a detailed secondary research of peer reports, sector specific guidelines by GRI, issues reported by UPL in their previous sustainability report and the Company's overall mission and objectives. This exercise helped us to prepare a cumbersome list of material issues which was specific for UPL.
The material issues were further scrutinized for its level of importance by taking inputs from the key internal and external stakeholders. The external stakeholders who participated in this exercise were prioritized collectively by the management at UPL.
Interactions with the stakeholder groups located in India was performed on a one to one basis. Each stakeholder group brought their own perspective which helped UPL in obtaining a broad view of its material issues across the economic, environmental and social bottom lines. We also interacted with our overseas employees through video conferencing. To integrate the business strategy with the key material issues, we collected feedback from the senior management. Collective inputs on the materiality assessment were collected in form of surveys from all the stakeholders to further arrive at the final list of focus areas.
The key material issues identified and prioritized based on the assessment conducted are given below:
1. Product Stewardship
2. Supply Chain Management
3. Occupational Health & Safety
4. Operational Excellence
5. Corporate Governance and Business Ethics
6. Waste Management
7. Emission Reduction
8. Competitive Behavior
9. Emergency Preparedness
10. Human Rights Issues Across Value Chain
11. Water Management
12. Energy Consumption and Efficiency
13. Spill Management
14. Employee Retention
15. Community Development
16. Diversity at Workplace
18. Financial Assistance Received from Governments
19. Procurement Practices
20. Local Employment
From the broad list of material issues, those that were identified as highly important were: