Demystifying double materiality

A new model for corporate ESG compliance and leadership.

The author(s)
  • Jessica Long Head of Sustainability, Ipsos Strategy3
  • Arushi Gupta Ipsos Strategy3
  • Christine Glatz Rush Ipsos Strategy3
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Ipsos Views | Demystifying double materialityESG (or Environmental, Social and Governance activities) is increasingly recognised as a business imperative. Yet inherent doubts about return on investment can cloud investment strategy and decision-making. This ultimately perpetuates a perceived dichotomy between what’s good for people and planet and what is good for the wallet.

Double materiality

Double materiality assessments necessitate equal consideration and understanding of areas of financial impact and areas of impact on people and planet. They are therefore critical to help bridge the perceived divide between the two.

By addressing both financial and sustainable materiality, a business can in theory prioritise decision-making and strategy more effectively.

Ipsos | Double Materiality

ESG is an ever-evolving space. In order to keep pace with these changes, it is important to continue to be reflective when it comes to materiality


While double materiality assessments are increasing in popularity, they remain a relatively new concept, with no universally standardised alignment and many competing frameworks on guidance.

Current approaches therefore include many pitfalls, including:

  • Reliance on perception based results
  • Competing, confusing guidelines and frameworks
  • Data manipulation with weighting
  • Lacking objectivity
  • Lacking a ‘whole business’ approach

As a result, many businesses and organisations are at risk of conducting a double materiality assessment in a way that does not add meaningful value to investors or to sustainability strategies and efforts.

Businesses are at risk of ill-informed strategy if they rely solely on perception-based assessments of a topic that is widely misunderstood amongst the general public and wider stakeholders alike.

A new approach

This paper answers these problems by:

  1. Demystifying the process of carrying out double materiality assessments;
  2. Highlighting key pitfalls and limitations within the process, and recommending best practices for current conventional approaches; and
  3. Introducing a new, innovative model that addresses traditional limitations.

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Want to learn more? Watch our webinar!

Check out our webinar on demystifying double materiality. We delve into what double materiality assessments are and share Ipsos’ new innovative approach to it.

You will walk away learning how your business can effectively navigate this new reporting mandate.

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The author(s)
  • Jessica Long Head of Sustainability, Ipsos Strategy3
  • Arushi Gupta Ipsos Strategy3
  • Christine Glatz Rush Ipsos Strategy3

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