Materiality analysis is an essential tool for companies developing ESG strategies. The method is used to identify the most relevant and material issues for a company to focus on based on each issue’s value to the business and importance to stakeholders. Guided by disclosure frameworks like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), these assessments can help companies and investors identify opportunities for impact, financial returns, and improved performance.
For many companies, education is a material issue by itself as well as a determining factor in many other material topics companies seek to address. To effectively connect education and ESG in an actionable framework, it first requires understanding how education contributes to many of the most common material issues that companies face and how that connection impacts broader economic, environmental, and societal concerns. Positioning education as a strong component of effective ESG strategies allows for the opportunity to apply education-based policy and program actions to a complex suite of challenges facing both companies and investors. In turn, business can meaningfully address issues ranging from human rights across the supply chain, environmental performance, and diversity and inclusion.
As an example, the following analysis highlights the most common material issues across selected industries, including software, IT, oil and gas, financial services, and hospitality. It then underscores the material impact education can have on each of these issues from a risk reduction and opportunity perspective.
Key material issues for education
- Human Capital Management (HCM)
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
- Climate Change and Environmental Impact
- Digital Divide and Digital Literacy
- Supply Chain
- Regulatory Compliance and Transparency
- Ethics and Corruption
- Social Stability
- Community Engagement