2015 Sustainability Report

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Sustainability is a complex and far-reaching concept and it has the potential to be overwhelming. In order to identify and prioritize our most important social, environmental and governance issues, in 2014 we undertook a materiality assessment to determine what matters most. Here's how it worked:
Step 1: Decide on the process
We worked with an external sustainability strategy company to make sure that we structured our materiality process correctly and followed best practices like those outlined in the AccountAbility AA1000 Standards and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

Step 2: Understand our stakeholders
Next, we gathered information about our stakeholders. We looked at incoming inquiries from consumers to our social media pages and help line. We reviewed scorecards and questionnaires sent from our customers. We analyzed reports and regulations from advocacy groups, regulators, legislators and other governance bodies. We looked at what our competitors and suppliers were saying with regard to sustainability. We surveyed our employees to determine their sustainability priorities and suggestions.

Step 3: Identify and map stakeholder concerns
We developed a long list of issues and mapped their frequency and consistency across different stakeholder groups. Using a mapping tool, we ranked each issue between -10 (not of interest to stakeholders) and +10 (of extremely high importance to stakeholders).

Step 4: Identify and map our business concerns
Then we compared that same list of sustainability issues against our own analysis - filling in any items that were of great importance to us, but not necessarily to our stakeholders. Once we had a master list of sustainability concerns, we added a secondary ranking (again, between -10 and +10) to indicate each issue's importance to our business success.  

Step 5: Review the results
The resulting map gave us a compelling visual representation of what matters most to us and to our stakeholders. The map was reviewed and finalized by our Sustainability Steering Committee, which discussed how the map could influence our future activities and engagement.

Step 6: Communicate the results
We're sharing the results of our materiality assessment below, beginning with the prioritization matrix and ending with a brief discussion of the high-priority issue that rose to the top of the list.
In preparing our 2015 sustainability report, we conducted a desk review of the materiality assessment that confirmed the materiality matrix below continues to be a robust representation of our most material issues.
Prioritizing Material Issues

After completing the mapping exercise, we examined the results and decided to focus our efforts and our communications on three of the four quadrants above.

The most important set of issues landed in the top right quadrant, where issues are both highly important to our business success and very important to stakeholders. We manage these issues very closely and report on them in detail.

The top left quadrant includes issues highly important to stakeholders, but not necessarily relevant to our business success at this time. We closely monitor these issues and report on them on a regular basis.

The bottom right quadrant covers issues that are highly relevant to the success of our company, but are generally not high-priority concerns for our stakeholders. We manage these items carefully and provide summary information about our activities and progress in our sustainability communications.

Readers will notice that there are a few items in the bottom left quadrant. These items occasionally come up in discussion with stakeholders and are considered as part of our business strategy - however, they do not typically rise to the level of what we consider "highly material" topics for our sustainability strategy. We revisit this quadrant regularly, as it is often where emerging issues first appear.
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