Our materiality assessment

Being purpose-led means we strive to create value by balancing the different needs of our stakeholders. To do so we need to understand the issues that matter most to them. Based on our 2021 in-depth materiality assessment, involving a large programme of stakeholder engagement supported by a third-party expert, our 2022 approach has been to re-evaluate our key ESG topics and refresh where appropriate to ensure our list continues to be comprehensive, relevant and reflective of our stakeholder groups’ perspectives.

For this assessment, we’ve taken into consideration the evolving landscape and engaged with a number of internal and external stakeholders. This exercise has resulted in a more focused list. The findings guide our reporting and decision-making, ensuring we remain focused on the right issues.

Climate, enterprise and learning continue to be the three focus areas of our purpose, where we can make a meaningful contribution and build long-term value in our business. This year’s review once again confirmed that, as a responsible business, our approach to a broader range of ESG topics is also of great significance to our stakeholders.

We’ll continue to re-evaluate annually, by engaging and working closely with our stakeholders to deepen our understanding of the ESG issues that matter most to them and their changing expectations of how we address them.

Our key ESG topics seen through the Blueprint for Better Business lens

Honest and fair with customers and suppliers

  • Financial wellbeing, customers in vulnerable situations and accessibility
  • Financial crime, cyber-security and data protection
  • Consumer protection, fair products and marketing
  • Responsible supply chain

A good citizen

  • Enterprise
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion
  • Human rights

A responsible and responsive employer

  • Colleague learning, fair reward and wellbeing

A guardian for future generations

  • Climate action
  • Nature and biodiversity
  • Innovation and digitisation
  • Social impacts of financing and lending

The progress we’ve made against each of the key ESG topics identified varies and we know we have more to do to strengthen our approach. Topics aligned to our focus areas (or areas which we’ve concentrated on as a responsible business) such as climate action, enterprise, colleague learning, fair reward and wellbeing and responsible supply chain are well established, and we’ll continue to develop our understanding, monitoring and actions within each.

Other topics such as nature and biodiversity, human rights and the social impacts of financing and lending are less progressed and will continue to require attention as we further develop our ability to measure and respond to these topics. 

Identifying the key ESG topics for our stakeholders

Details of our actions and how we’ve delivered against all of our topics are described on page 11 and throughout our 2022 ESG Disclosures Report

Related content

Read more about who our key stakeholders are, how we engaged with them, what we discussed and the outcomes. 

Read more about how we are working to embed and integrate the SDGs into our strategy.

Read more about how the diverse awards we have reinforce our determination in aiming to make a difference for our stakeholders.