Progress in addressing material sustainability topics
Our Group materiality assessment initially undertaken in 2020 identified the key sustainability topics considered to be both important to our stakeholders and to impact our ability to create value over time. In 2021, the topics of Responsible Sourcing and Water were elevated in importance and prominence in response to the evolving macro business environment, and were focused upon in 2022.
We implemented a Group Water policy in 2022, setting out our approach to improving our businesses’ water management practices. The policy is intended to help our businesses build resilience to water risks, minimise their potential negative impact on water availability and quality, and continue to explore ways of addressing water challenges in their regions of operation where such challenges are prevalent. To support our target to reduce water withdrawal intensity, we have launched a Group Water Stewardship Programme. Additionally, we made our inaugural CDP Water Security submission in 2022 to improve the quality of our businesses’ water data disclosure and will continue to report on progress.
Reponsible sourcing and supply chain
To achieve Net Zero, we need to play our part in accelerating the climate transition beyond our immediate chain of control, including across our suppliers and customers. In 2022, we have taken further steps to improve the understanding of key suppliers’ energy consumption and emissions footprint and climate ambition. By working closely with supply chain and instilling good governance principles, we seek to accelerate progress to achieve Net Zero by 2050.
Supply chain management programme is a running item on our sustainability agenda which helps us prepare for any supply chain related risks, seize emissions reduction opportunities, and ultimately improve Scope 3 carbon footprint. In 2022, the Board approved our inaugural Group Supply Chain policy, which sets minimum standards for suppliers in the areas such as energy use, emissions reduction targets, adoption of low-carbon energy sources, water stewardship, biodiversity, waste reduction and resource use. The Supply Chain policy can be found on our Policies page.
We also participate in the CDP Supply Chain engagement initiative, taking steps towards engaging with suppliers to identify any climate-related risks and explore emissions reduction opportunities, such as energy efficiency, innovation, and resource diversification. The first year of participation has generated a supplier response rate of over 50%, providing valuable insight for improving our understanding of the nature of our suppliers emissions footprint and engagement opportunities.
(1) The exclusion of topics from this list does not mean that they are not considered to be important to Melrose and its businesses or are not being actively managed.