Get some insight into the materiality review process Suncor used to create the 2016 Report on Sustainability

Get some insight into the materiality review process Suncor used to create the 2016 Report on Sustainability

Get some insight into the materiality review process Suncor used to create the 2016 Report on Sustainability

Get some insight into the materiality review process Suncor used to create the 2016 Report on Sustainability

View the latest Report on Sustainability

A Suncor employee watches the sun set in Norway

Materiality review

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Our reporting framework

Our 2016 Report on Sustainability outlines performance in 2015 and provides a five-year performance trend wherever possible.

We have prepared our report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Core Guidelines and Oil and Gas Sector Disclosures (PDF, 69 pp., 2.06 MB).

Ernst & Young LLP, an independent third party, has reviewed selected performance indicators for the 2015 reporting year using the GRI G4 guidelines and the sector disclosures.

Review the results of the third-party assurance report.

Materiality review

For the purposes of this report, materiality, in a sustainability context, is defined as the relative significance of an issue’s environmental, social, governance and economic impacts (both positive and negative) to our business and our stakeholders.

Our materiality review process ensures the content we include in our annual Report on sustainability reflects the key environmental, economic, social and governance issues considered most critical to our company and our stakeholders.

We conducted an extensive materiality review in late 2014 for our 2015 Report on Sustainability. This review was done in accordance with GRI’s G4 guidelines. For the 2016 report, we conducted a materiality reaffirmation process to test the validity of the prior year’s assessment and allow for any necessary updates to be made. Although different in scale, both materiality review processes followed the same two-step procedure described below.

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Materiality assessment process

Step 1 – Review of materials and issues identification

In addition to using the framework provided by Account Ability’s Five-Part test, we also conducted a thorough review and analyses of the following:

  • social media and website analytics
  • corporate objectives, programs and risks
  • traditional news releases and media coverage
  • internal communication publications
  • multi-sector sustainability and corporate social responsibility reports
  • topics identified through our internal strategic issues management process
  • input from across our business areas

We also reviewed information from our ongoing stakeholder dialogues, in addition to feedback from our annual multi-stakeholder forum. This forum is important for providing us a venue to highlight, discuss and address complex issues with a wide range of key stakeholders and document their feedback. During this forum, we talk about our challenges and how we can work to address them.

Our extensive review resulted in a number of material sustainability issues for both external and internal evaluation for inclusion in this year’s report.

Step 2 – External and internal issue evaluation

External evaluation

We incorporated direct stakeholder feedback into our materiality review process to improve on past materiality assessments as well as provide a more comprehensive evaluation of what are our most material sustainability issues.

Internal evaluation

Using feedback learned from our on-going stakeholder dialogues, we evaluated our sustainability issues with a cross functional employee team.

For each candidate material issue, team members determined the degree of impact and importance to the company and our stakeholders.

The aggregated data collected from both our internal and external reviews resulted in a list of our most material sustainability issues, which are plotted on the materiality matrix below. This diagram displays a sampling of the pertinent issues identified during the materiality review. Issues increase in material importance to both the company and our stakeholders from the lower-left corner up to the right corner of the matrix. While these are all important issues, we’ve prioritized the content of this report around our most material issues.

In some instances we chose to report above and beyond the issues identified in our materiality review because although they don’t meet the GRI G4 materiality threshold, they remain important to our stakeholders.

Materiality matrix

Select a letter in the chart below to identify and learn more about an issue. You can filter categories below by selecting communities, economic, environment or our employees. Click the category again to turn the filter off. We not only identified our most material issues, we also mapped where the most material positive or negative impacts of those relevant issues occur within our value chain, both within and outside of our organizational boundary. Our upstream, refining and marketing and corporate offices exist within this boundary while our suppliers, some joint venture relationships, product transportation, customers and broader society exist outside of this boundary.

Communities
Continuously earning and maintaining our social license to operate is crucial to our business. If not managed well, these issues could potentially result in increased project delays and costs, legal proceedings, stakeholder outrage and an erosion of community resilience. Managed well, these issues present a vital shared value opportunity to build relationships and provide economic and social benefit. Impact across Suncor value chain
Inside of
Suncor
Outside
of Suncor
F Aboriginal engagement in energy development X X
G Responsible community partnerships X X
Economy
The following issues are material to Suncor’s performance and growth. Managed poorly, these issues could result in unplanned legal, financial, operational or reputational impacts. Managed well, these issues help to support business continuity and maximize shareholder value. Impact across Suncor value chain
Inside of
Suncor
Outside
of Suncor
A Economic conditions and performance X X
B Market access    
K Operational reliability X X
P Corporate governance X  
R Business ethics X X
Environment
Our environmental performance represents a key strategic risk and opportunity. The management of these issues are subject to strict scrutiny from both government regulators and stakeholders. Poor management of these issues could result in regulatory fines, stakeholder outrage, capital divestment and project costs and delays. Managed well, these issues contribute to a case for innovation, new technology and collaboration with our stakeholders and industry peers to create more value and improved environmental performance. Impact across Suncor value chain
Inside of
Suncor
Outside
of Suncor
C Water management X X
D Climate change X X
E Tailings management X X
H Land management and biodiversity X X
J Technology and Innovation X X
L Air quality X X
N Cumulative impacts X X
O Environmental protection and compliance X X
Q Waste Management
  • Waste Management
X X
Our people
Our people are our most valuable asset and key to our success. If managed poorly, these issues could result in labour shortages, talent depletion, process and personal safety incidents or even worse, fatalities. Managed well these issues could result in improved productivity, lower costs, innovation and a strong and thriving work culture. Impact across Suncor value chain
Inside of
Suncor
Outside
of Suncor
I Employee attraction, retention and development X
M Health and safety (employees and contractors) X