The company discloses the aspects of its business operations that have a significant impact on sustainability issues and what material impact sustainability issues have on its operations. It analyses the positive and negative effects and provides information as to how these insights are integrated into the company’s processes.


To give sustainability management an effective direction, companies should initially focus on solving particularly pressing problems. This calls for clarification regarding which company activities are associated with or have an impact on key environmental and/or social problems. Vice versa, environmental and social challenges can also have an impact on the business model from outside of the company.

What needs to be borne in mind?

Ideally, the material sustainability aspects should be identified not only from the company’s perspective, but also in dialogue with the key stakeholders. This prevents a blinkered perspective from being adopted and helps the company to identify its stakeholders’ expectations in good time. It is therefore important that there is an early analysis of how the company is embedded within society and of any specific features that this results in. The first aspect on the checklist therefore enquires about milieu specifics such as your company’s significance as a regional employer, environmental specifics (bodies of water, nature reserves, etc.) in the direct vicinity and environmental and social issues with which your sector is frequently associated in the media. The materiality analysis can then build on this consideration of the milieu.

Sustainability aspects tend to present companies not only with risks, but also with opportunities. Please therefore endeavour to give a balanced account.

Aspect 1:

Describe the environmental, socio-economic and political specifics of the milieu in which your company operates.

Aspect 2:

Explain which material sustainability topics are impacted by your business operations. State both the positive and negative impacts (inside-out perspective).

Aspect 3:

Explain which material sustainability topics have an impact on your business operations. State both the positive and negative impacts (outside-in perspective).

Aspect 4:

Outline the opportunities and risks that your company is presented with as a result of tackling the above sustainability topics. State the conclusions you derive from this for your sustainability management.

Nachhaltigkeitsaspekte sind diejenigen Themen, die eine nachhaltige Entwicklung erst möglich machen. Die Sustainable Development Goals oder die im GRI Standard genutzte Themenliste können erste Anhaltspunkte dafür liefern, welche Nachhaltigkeitsaspekte es gibt.

Wesentlich im Sinne dieses Kriteriums sind sowohl diejenigen Unternehmensaktivitäten, die eine entscheidende negative oder positive Auswirkung auf Nachhaltigkeitsaspekte haben, als auch Nachhaltigkeitsaspekte, die sich in besonderem Maße auf die Unternehmensaktivitäten auswirken. Zusätzlich können Themen auch dann wesentlich sein, wenn sie für die Entscheidungsfindung von Stakeholdern eine besondere Bedeutung haben oder deren Verhältnis zu Ihrem Unternehmen prägen. Welche Aspekte im Einzelfall als wesentlich gelten, ist branchenspezifisch und hängt stark von den Prozessen in Ihrem Unternehmen ab.

Stakeholder sind Einzelpersonen oder Gruppen aus dem Umfeld des Unternehmens, die entweder einen Einfluss auf die Geschäftstätigkeit haben oder aber von der Geschäftstätigkeit beeinflusst werden, z.B. Geschäftspartner/-innen, Mitarbeitende, Kund/-innen, zuliefernde Betriebe, Kommunen, Parteien, Verbände, staatliche Organe, Nichtregierungsorganisationen usw. (siehe Kriterium 9).

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