We regularly evaluate the relevance of sustainability topics at Linde and also assess issues that are of particular interest to our stakeholders. This enables us to define focus areas for our CR strategy and our reporting activities. We evaluate these topics drawing, for example, on findings from internal workshops with specialists and strategy experts and on insights from interdisciplinary round tables. We also incorporate information on potential environmental and social risks identified by Group risk management.
We then map the results of this process (materiality analysis) to a matrix, which rates each topic by weighing stakeholder relevance against the impact on our business activities. This enables us to develop concrete measures for issues that are high on our stakeholders’ priority lists, and provide new information on these subjects. In 2011, key topics for corporate responsibility included climate protection and energy efficiency, transport safety and human rights. These issues play an important role in the expansion of our corporate responsibility strategy. They help to shape our goals and are covered extensively in our reporting activities.
When selecting focus areas, we follow internationally recognised standards and recommendations in sustainability management and sustainability reporting, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and capital market requirements for sustainable business practices. We maintain continuous dialog with both internal and external stakeholders to find out what their priorities are.