3 simple rules to identify the relevant sustainability priorities for your own company
As LTP set a goal to work with sustainability on a strategic level, in April they welcomed Karin Simondon as the new Global Strategic Sustainability Manager. LTP has always had sustainability as a priority with strong initial focus on compliance, certifications, and operational improvements. They now strongly believe that looking at sustainability from a strategic perspective is an imperative for future growth.
Henrik Holmgaard Olsson, CEO in LTP Furniture, quoted in April 2021;
“We look very much forward to be on this new journey together with our customers and stakeholders”.
And so, months of intense work has passed, and LTP is now ready with the results of a comprehensive Materiality Assessment. It has been conducted to identify clear sustainability priorities within the industry, and to be able to build a global sustainability strategy, that position LTP as a leader on specific areas and integrate sustainability within its business model and practices. This important work further allows LTP to gain insights on the sustainability focus areas of their employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
“As manufactures we have a big responsibility. However, to really make an impact we need to involve all our stakeholders, which means - the idea, the design-stage, through the whole supply chain, the manufacturer through the retailer and at the end the consumer – all need to pick up their share, in order to really make a difference”
,says Camilla Deichmann, CEO in LTP Garment.
We have asked Karin Simondon about her work with the Materiality Assessment, and hereby follows 3 guiding rules on ‘How to start with sustainability?’
“It is simple”, she says, “run a materiality assessment, but do it properly by following 3 simple rules.”
When Karin started her new position as Global Sustainability Manager at LTP Group, her first main task was very clear: run a materiality assessment to lay down the foundation for the company’s sustainability strategy. As a former consultant within Strategic Sustainability Consulting division at Ramboll, the job was right up her alley. But it was the first time that she could design it exactly the way she wanted. LTP management team gave full liberty to define the necessary duration, who to involve and how to involve the stakeholders.
This was both the opportunity to develop a best practice approach, but also raised questions, says Karin:
“Therefore, I am happy to share my conclusions and learnings about how to run a materiality assessment that can be used to make strategic decisions and define sustainability priorities that are specific to your own company and supply chain.”
Rule 1: dedicate sufficient time and resources
It takes time to plan and interview a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. After the interviews, it is also necessary to analyze all results and present results to decision makers to ensure alignment and shared ownership of results. On the other hand, it should not become a theoretical exercise nor research paper, and it takes some limitations. In the case of LTP, our materiality assessment took 3 months.
· 0.5 month preparation and translation in local language of all materials and planning of interviews
· 1.5 month running all interviews, launching online survey and conducting desk research in parallel
· 1 month for final analysis, preparation of results summary presentation and getting validation from decision makers.
“In those 3 months we collected input from 80 various stakeholders, and I do not believe that we could have done it faster with the same results.”
Rule 2: ensure that stakeholders involved represent the complexity of your business
You should engage with 2 types of stakeholders: internal stakeholders are the company owners, its management team and employees. External stakeholders are customers, suppliers, industry experts, certification bodies, NGO’s and civil society representatives.
Among the 80 stakeholders involved LTP made sure to have a variety of stakeholders that represent the complexity of LTP Group: 2 business units Garment and Furniture, 5 countries, employees’ different roles (management, local sales & administration and production).
Rule 3: take this opportunity to foster dialogue and awareness around sustainability with business partners and employees
A materiality assessment is also an amazing opportunity to discuss sustainability with customers, suppliers, and employees.
With customers and suppliers, we have been able to assess openness for partnerships and identify shared priorities. We have also openly discussed best practices but also challenges and how to best overcome them.
“With employees we have shown the importance of the topic for the company, collected great ideas for action and better understood what sustainability means to them.
It is a great place to start to be able to build a shared culture with sustainability at its core. “
By following those 3 rules, LTP is now able to build a Sustainability Strategy based on an inclusive and bottom-up approach, and where chances of commitments and success for implementation are optimized.
This assessment has identified 9 core sustainability priorities that have been grouped into 3 sustainability commitments. For each sustainability commitment, LTP is now defining the ambition level and will identify necessary initiatives and related investment required to meet the ambition.
If you have any questions about LTP’s work with the materiality assessment or sustainability strategy, please contact our Strategic Sustainability Manager, Karin Simondon at KASI@ltpgroup.com
Consciously Crafted Garment &Furniture
LTP Group is production partner for demanding Sport & Outdoor and Furniture brands with 9 fully-owned factories across 5 countries in Europe & Asia.