Materiality Case Study: Sealed Air

Materiality Case Study: Sealed Air

In 2014, Sealed Air reviewed its corporate sustainability strategy and established long-term goals.   To make sure it wasn’t creating a strategy in a vacuum, the company collected feedback from suppliers, customers, and non-governmental organizations to gain valuable insights and identify the most material issues to the company and its key stakeholders. The results were Sealed Air’s first materiality assessment and matrix.

Working with an outside expert the company leveraged internal and external sources to conduct 57 interviews. The participation rate and highly engaged feedback from partners reinforced the importance of the work.

The materiality analysis helped Sealed Air understand the social and environmental risks and opportunities that stakeholders see as most critical for the company. The results have helped focus resources and guide the development of a powerful, new sustainability strategy. To ensure the success of its greater sustainability strategy, the company outlined three pillars of measureable, aggressive and impactful sustainability goals called ‘The Better Way for Life Plan’. The Plan and goals focus on helping people around the world live better lives, delivering solutions that meet customers’ sustainability needs and reducing the impact of the company’s global operations.

Internal and external perspectives were well aligned and in agreement that the most material issues across Sealed Air’s business include employee safety, product safety, food security, ethical business practices, product stewardship, and transparency. Sealed Air will continue to engage these stakeholders, and use their feedback to guide the company’s sustainability work in the future.  The most exciting part of this process is to see how closely aligned the company’s sustainability strategy is with its overall business strategy. The new sustainability strategy isn’t business as usual; it’s a playbook for the company to live out its vision.

[This case study originally appeared in GEMI’s Quick Guide on Materiality]. 

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