Key material issues

Material topics

We devise our strategic measures in the area of sustainability on the basis of a so-called materiality analysis. Within this process, we are constantly conducting assessments to ascertain which sustainability topics are relevant to our Group. For this purpose, we consider which topics are particularly important from an internal perspective and what demands are placed upon us by our stakeholders. On the basis of this, we determine focus areas for our sustainability management and reporting. Besides, this process helps us identify key topics at an early stage.

Key topics

Process

When we prioritise sustainability topics, our focus is on:

  • whether those topics have a direct impact on our business development;
  • whether those topics are of particular relevance to our stakeholders and to the decisions they make;
  • which areas have a particular influence on the economic, ecological and social impact of our business activities.

We also examine in which stage of the value chain topics are of particular relevance.

To meet the diverse demands on our company, we use numerous sources of information and approaches for exchange. These include surveys and dialogue with shareholders, customers and other stakeholders. We also record enquiries from our stakeholders. In 2015, the Group’s Corporate Responsibility department answered more than 2,000 questions about sustainability at Linde. Other sources are legislative initiatives and political decisions.

Within Linde, we evaluate information from employee surveys as well as from workshops with subject specialists and strategy experts, and interdisciplinary working groups. We also consider findings derived from the Group’s core processes, including information about environmental and social risks identified by Group risk management as well as purchase analyses and market analyses.

With our activities we comply with internationally recognised standards for sustainability management. These include the principles set out in the UN Global Compact and sustainability ratings.