Unlocking business value with materiality assessments
Elsie Rivera Palabrica
Indianapolis, Indiana, US
To be successful, a company needs to understand what is important to its customers, suppliers, employees and community partners.
I have assisted several multinational corporations recently with their materiality assessments. Through targeted communication and face-to-face interviews, we gather information on the social, economic and environmental challenges that are top-of-mind for key stakeholders, both inside and outside the company. Personal interviews are the most valuable method for gathering information; we can explore the issues and develop insights that go beyond simple survey results. These are conversations that do not typically happen in the routine course of doing business. They often provide new perspectives that help companies identify and proactively address emerging or evolving issues, and even new business opportunities.
The sustainability work I do for ERM is both interesting and rewarding. I also use my professional expertise to help improve and address sustainability in the local community. I serve as Board Chair for Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, an organization that engages diverse communities through hands-on programs to create vibrant public places. Each year, ERM colleagues from the Indianapolis office join more than 30,000 volunteers to support community improvement projects focused on getting citizens engaged in the environmental stewardship of their urban greenspaces.