The principle of materiality
The integrated annual and sustainability report summarizes the economical, ecological and social impacts at all four sites of the Uelzena Group. We determine the aspects important to us in a specific analysis, the materiality analysis.
In 2014, the Uelzena Group published its first sustainability report. We are aiming at improving our performance constantly and at representing our actions in a transparent way. To achieve this we have developed strategic goals and suitable measures. Working on the annual and sustainability reports supports this development process. For the reports we are following the globally recognized GRI Reporting Standard 4.0 Food Processing. We intend to implement its core criteria and achieve a certification in the future.
The materiality analysis weighs topics
The basis of the G4 reporting standard is a so-called materiality analysis. It provides individual answers to the question as to which topics and aspects are material to a company and to what extent. For our first sustainability report, we started with a materiality analysis. The analysis follows the principle of materiality and weighs the relevant topics and aspects of the sustainability management of the Uelzena Group.
MATERIALITY ANALYSIS: KEY ASPECTS OF THE UELZENA GROUP
The first step is an internal analysis of matters under consideration of our long-term experiences with relevant stakeholders. In the future, we intend to increasingly include the opinion of important stakeholders such as our member dairies for example in the reporting on our sustainability commitment.
Selective and general revisions
Regarding the reporting year 2015, the aspects identified as significant for the Uelzena Group have not changed. For 2016/2017, we have reviewed our materiality analysis on selected points. Following a thorough review and in coordination with significant stakeholders, we have decided that animal welfare and transport are not relevant to Uelzena as individual aspects. This is because the GRI aspect Animal Welfare refers predominantly to companies where animals are kept and bred. Uelzena does not have its own animals. Nevertheless the topic is still important to us because we procure and process animal products. Animal Welfare plays a central role in the GRI aspect Procurement.
We do not consider the aspect Transport as being significant at the moment. The reason for this is the results of the study, "Environmental balance of milk and dairy products" (Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg, Germany, 10/2014, www.ifeu.de). The study concludes that the sustainability of transport, which is initiated by a company – predominantly in terms of energy consumption and CO2 emissions – is not of high priority for dairy companies. However, this evaluation may change in the future.
We have scheduled a general review of the materiality analysis for 2017/2018. We expect to be presenting the results together with new features from the GRI Guideline next year. This will also include the inputs from the stakeholder dialogue, which we are constantly developing further.