Sustainability materiality matrices in doubt: may prioritizations of aspects overestimate environmental performance?
This study builds on the research gap that arises from the consistency analysis of the GRI-materiality approach with other prioritization approaches. The main objective is to explore to what extent corporate environmental performance is consistent using two different prioritization approaches. This study employs a novel quantitative approach to assess environmental performance through the prioritization of environmental aspects by using companies’ materiality analysis and independent expert knowledge. The empirical analysis focuses on the environmental performance analysis of wearing apparel companies. The main findings reveal that companies with better environmental performance could be using materiality analysis to further embellish the positive performance or for greenwashing purposes. This study could serve as a starting point to improve understanding of how companies could identify, from an objective and comparable basis, those environmental aspects that are essential to their business strategy and that are necessary to help stakeholders to make fully informed decisions.
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 1–32. https://doi.org/10.1080/09640568.2020.1766427