The accompanying Materiality Matrix describes the relative priority of issues.
The grouping of issues highlights strong alignment across external and internal stakeholders on the prioritization of key challenges. Customer focus was identified as the highest priority by both external and internal stakeholders, emphasizing the importance of a continued customer-centric approach based on responsible business practices. Business ethics were clearly identified as the second most important category of issues, reflecting the importance stakeholders place on the way we conduct business.
Environmental issues such as waste, air pollution, water and climate change are of stakeholder interest but the perception is that these are being managed adequately at present. Community impact was seen as a low priority, although philanthropy and volunteering are seen by stakeholders as a positive activity which supports our license to operate.
For internal stakeholders, employee wellbeing is a key priority. Diversity and non-discrimination appear to be of greater concern for internal stakeholders than external; however, increasing scrutiny from investors and media suggests growing potential for reputational impact.
Review of stakeholder comments suggests that customer satisfaction is consistently recognized as a key strength across all stakeholder groups. Product safety and product innovation are top of mind.
Innovation is seen as a key indicator for success, with high customer expectation that companies such as ours continually innovate products and services to reflect changing needs and disrupt existing models. Innovation around battery performance and transportation were highlighted as areas of particular focus for us. Stakeholders see partnerships as a means to foster innovation, develop solutions (especially in areas where we have limited experience) and improve reputation.
Inequality was highlighted as an issue by several well-regarded institutions. We have the opportunity to work with communities to develop locally relevant products and services, particularly in emerging markets where our brands may be less established.
respondents who completed both
survey and interview
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. As a result of this process, Stanley Black & Decker submitted a robust response on materiality to this year’s Dow Jones Sustainability Index.