Determining what we should manage

The information contained in this report relates to all issues, both financial and non-financial, that we believe are important for our long-term success and sustainability. We see value in following international leading practices, and have therefore adopted the GRI’s latest G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for this report, as well as the IIRC’s Framework.

We are starting the journey towards a comprehensive materiality review by building on the work we have done over the past three years. Our sustainability framework already contains a detailed set of important financial and non-financial issues we have identified, prioritised and validated over time.

This year we refined our sustainability framework through these steps:

1. We workshopped our new ‘Growing our marketing channels and brands’ business and developed a set of issues that we think are material to that business. These are listed and described in this report in the following section, starting on page 21. During the forthcoming period we will be developing indicators for each of these new material issues and will attempt to derive baseline values, against which we can report in years to come.

2. The PUMA, adidas, NBC and Excellence in Health and Safety all conducted independent on-site audits across our production facilities. These audits included employee interviews and feedback. After every audit, the findings were discussed with each auditor and corrective action plans drawn up. The audits provided us with helpful insights into the concerns of our clients, employees and industry regulatory bodies.

3. As part of our reporting process, independent consultants from Trialogue conducted an employee satisfaction survey with 11 randomly sampled employees.

4. We continue to use the GRI G4 guidelines,as well as the IIRC Framework to ensure our most material issues receive prominent and balanced reporting.

A matrix of business ethics and dilemmas

With materiality in mind, we rank our most material indicators in the Materiality matrix on the opposite page (see also the legend below). This matrix not only shows how important we rank each of our issues, but also reveals the dilemmas that face the business as it seeks to maximise profit in the short-to-medium term, while preserving its long-term resources and relationships. This report is about accounting for how we manage these dilemmas. For example, in pursuing the management of costs and working capital (ranked high for Business, lower for Society), an apparel business may choose to disregard its extended responsibility in the supply chain (‘Responsible supply’ in our matrix, ranked low against the Business scale and high on the Societal scale) and import from a factory with unacceptable working conditions. This matrix thus serves to draw our attention to these dilemmas as we seek to grow our business responsibly.

In the MD’s executive summary of the business on page 8, we set forth our business strategy and how this affects, or is affected by, our most material issues. In the next sections, we discuss the performance of each of the six drivers of our business sustainability (new and existing). This year, we have moved our material issues indicator table to the back of the report (see home page tab 4), as it now contains more detail on indicators and we feel readers would rather use it as a reference tool, as one would treat the financial statements. For GRI compliance purposes, we also provide a list of the GRI aspects we have identified as material (see home page tab 5).