HARMAN International Industries, Inc. has conducted a materiality analysis as set forth in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, “Principles for Defining Report Content.”
Materiality informs the issues that we focus our corporate responsibility strategy and initiatives on and how we approach corporate responsibility reporting. This is a key task for our corporate responsibility team that leads this process by analyzing potential topics and selecting those that are relevant to HARMAN and our key stakeholders.
We apply a four-step methodology in defining material aspects:
Step 1 – Issue identification
As part of overall corporate responsibility strategy development, a number of interviews and working sessions were completed. This internal insight was supplemented by the expectations of key external stakeholder partners. The groups and individuals with whom we interact are broad and diverse. Through constructive relationships, we engage in a respectful and candid exchange of ideas with government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, socially responsible investors, trade associations, employees, shareholders, partners and community based organizations. This ongoing exchange of ideas keeps us informed of changes in stakeholder concerns.
Step 2 – Stakeholder concern prioritization
In the process of updating our sustainability strategy and reporting priorities, we completed a materiality matrix based upon the full list of GRI categories and aspects. Each aspect was ranked on a scale of 1 to 5: 1 being the least significant and 5 being the most significant. The priority ranking was repeated for the aspect’s internal relevance to HARMAN and for its concern to external stakeholders. No GRI G4 supplemental categories were evaluated. All scored aspects were mapped to highlight those of highest significance to both HARMAN and to external stakeholders.
Step 3 – Material aspect validation
Material aspects highlighted as being of the highest significance were assessed against reporting scope, boundaries and the reporting period. These included:
- Aspects of highest significance to both HARMAN and external stakeholders
- Aspects of highest significance to either HARMAN or external stakeholders
Validation was undertaken with the aim of ensuring that the report provides a reasonable and balanced representation of HARMAN’s sustainability performance, including both positive and negative impacts.
Step 4 – Review and feedback
This is HARMAN’s second external sustainability report. Accordingly, feedback from the first report was reviewed and included in this report where applicable.