In line with the Company’s growth and evolution, we recently undertook an in-depth process to evaluate the environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics most material to our business and our stakeholders. For Thermo Fisher, active engagement with stakeholders is central to our success as it builds strong relationships and mutual understanding that provide meaningful insights to inform our practices, policies and priorities. This deep and regular involvement with customers, investors, colleagues, board members, governments, local communities, suppliers, trade associations, and others builds our awareness and fuels our responsiveness. It enables us to identify new opportunities and to meet and exceed stakeholder expectations.
In 2019, we engaged an independent third-party advisor to develop and conduct a materiality assessment that would identify and prioritize ESG topics using critical inputs from both internal and external stakeholders. The 2020 output of that process is helping to shape our holistic CSR approach, aligning it directly with our business strategy and providing us with insights to drive stronger risk management and greater long-term value creation through the implementation of our sustainability plans.
The four-step materiality process mapped ESG issues based on both their importance to Thermo Fisher’s business success, and their importance to our stakeholders.
From the 32 ESG issues evaluated, our extensive assessment found that the 22 issues below are most relevant to the Company’s key strategic and sustainability goals. These issues are actively monitored and managed, with Tier I reflecting those that emerged as most significant.
We will apply heightened concentration and strategic importance to five priority issues* within our ESG scope, shown at left within the four pillars that make up the framework for our global CSR strategy.
Moving forward, the results of our materiality assessment will inform our approach, with the five strategic focus areas influencing near-term enhancements to how we drive improvement, track our progress and ensure Thermo Fisher’s continued performance. For reporting we will continue to align to GRI and CDP. We will also be broadening the scope of our reporting and disclosures by incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
As our business, our stakeholder needs and the external landscape evolve, our iterative business process will ensure we actively revisit and validate materiality. This allows us to remain focused on those topics that are minimizing risk and maximizing long-term value