In fiscal 2021 we conducted a materiality assessment to identify the issues that matter most to our business and our stakeholders. Having most recently performed a similar assessment in 2018, these results establish the updated material topics and priorities for our sustainability strategy going forward, and inform the way we set goals and report on our sustainability achievements.
Updates from the 2018 assessment largely represent changes in nomenclature and an evolving understanding of societal and environmental impact. As an example, emphasis on energy consumption and reduction has transformed into a focus on the ultimate effect: climate change.
The materiality assessment identified Schnitzer’s top issues and priorities as:
- Environmental Management
- Carbon Neutrality
- Air Quality
- Local Environmental Impacts
- Employee Safety
- Talent Recruitment & Retention
- Training & Development
- Local Community Relations & Trust
- Recycled Metals & Recycling Services
- Technological Innovation
- Material Quality
- Circular Economy
- Climate Change Management
- ESG Governance
- Customer Satisfaction
Since 2014 we have engaged with S&P Global Market Intelligence to provide assurance of selected Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), including Scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions; energy consumption by source; water withdrawal by source; disposition of recycled, recovered, and landfill material; and occupational workforce safety performance. S&P Global Market Intelligence has undertaken assurance of these KPIs in accordance with AA1000AS (2008) Type 2 moderate-level assurance.
Schnitzer references relevant standards developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a global framework for sustainability reporting, providing a clear and transparent way for organizations to report their environmental, social, economic, and governance impacts.
Schnitzer reports on relevant metrics developed by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) for our Primary SICS Sector (Extractives & Minerals Processing) and Primary SICS Industry (Iron & Steel Producers).
Since 2017 Schnitzer has been a respondent to CDP’s questionnaires. CDP is a nonprofit organization that operates the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states, and regions to manage their environmental impacts.
Over the years our reporting to CDP has been beneficial in engaging with investors, suppliers, and customers on the environmental value of the Company, as well as providing valuable information on the Company’s governance structure and involvement, risks and opportunities, integrated sustainable business strategy, environmental-related targets and performance, and showing progress toward managing our GHG emissions, energy use, water consumption, and supply chain impacts. In 2021 we received CDP scores of A- (Climate) and A (Water Security).
CDP’s climate change questionnaire is aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD)—a body established in 2015 by G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors within the Financial Stability Board (FSB), and its chair at the time, Mark Carney, then Governor of the Bank of England. This group is concerned with the financial stability ramifications of climate change resulting from the potential mispricing of assets and misallocation of capital.
The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) develops voluntary, consistent, climate-related financial risk disclosures for companies to provide information to stakeholders. Schnitzer supports this initiative and is committed to providing our stakeholders with relevant information on climate-related issues. Our approach and assessment results are summarized below.
TCFD-related information can be found in the Designing Our Sustainable Future section of this report and our CDP disclosures. CDP’s climate change questionnaire contains over 25 TCFD-aligned questions, which form the basis of the analysis above. These questions are contained within the Governance, Risks & Opportunities, Strategy, Targets and Emissions modules.