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Annex

Materiality assessment

To determine whether a topic is material, a combination of internal and external factors has been used. In the matrix below, the materiality of topics have been ranked according to the following criteria:
(GRI 103-1)

1. Influence on stakeholder decisions:
  • Frequency of reporting requests by individual aspect
  • Rigor/stringency of stakeholder criteria by aspect

2. Importance to Bekaert business:

  • Efforts to improve performance and/or reporting scope
  • Frequency  and  weight  attached  to  the  aspect  in  Bekaert  reporting  and communication
  • Measurable KPI and progress included in this report

In the matrix below, the shaded area visualizes the measurable material topics included in this report.

Materiality matrix

(GRI 102-47)

Material aspects (per category):

Economic:

1. Economic performance of the company
2. Promotion of social and economic development in the community
3. Upstream sustainable supply chain

Environmental:

4. Energy and emissions
5. Water
6. Effluent and waste

Social:
7. Health and Safety
8. Learning and development
9. Child, forced and compulsory labor
10. Freedom of association
11. Anti-corruption (ethics)
12. Diversity and equal opportunity
13. Customer privacy
14. Human rights
15. Performance assessments
 

General disclosure on governance and ERM

Board of Directors

The main tasks of the Board of Directors are to determine the Group’s strategy and general policy, and to monitor Bekaert’s operations. The Board of Directors is the company’s prime decision-making body with the exception of matters reserved by law or by the articles of association to the General Meeting of Shareholders. The Board of Directors currently has 13 members. Their professional profiles cover different areas of expertise, such as law, business, industrial operations, finance & investment banking, HR and consultancy. 38% of the Board members are female, exceeding the requirements of current regulations on diversity.
(GRI 102-18 GRI 103-2 GRI 103-3)

The Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer are never the same individual. The Chief Executive Officer is the only Board member with an executive function. All other members are non-executive Directors.
(GRI 102-23)

The composition of the Board of Directors of NV Bekaert SA has changed in 2020. For more information on the changes, and on activities and remuneration of the Board of Directors in 2020, please consult Bekaert’s Annual Report 2020.
(GRI 102-10)

Bekaert Group Executive

The Bekaert Group Executive assumes the operational responsibility for the company’s activities and acts under the supervision of the Board of Directors. The executive management team is chaired by the Chief Executive Officer.

The composition of the Bekaert Group Executive changed in 2020. For more information on the changes in composition in 2020 and in 2021 and the performance and remuneration of the Bekaert Group Executive in 2020, please consult Bekaert’s Annual Report 2020.
(GRI 102-18 GRI 102-10)

Internal control and Enterprise Risk Management

Internal control 

Bekaert’s internal control framework consists of a set of group policies for the main business processes, and applies Group-wide. Bekaert has different tools in place to constantly monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of the design and the operation of the internal control framework.

The Internal Audit Department monitors the internal control performance based on the global framework and reports to the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee at each of its meetings. The Governance, Risk and Compliance Department reports to the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee at each of its meetings on risk and compliance matters.

The BGE regularly evaluates the Group’s exposure to risk, the potential financial impact thereof and the actions to monitor, mitigate and control the exposure.
(GRI 102-11)

Enterprise Risk Management 

At the request of the Board of Directors and the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee, the management has developed a permanent global enterprise risk management (ERM) framework to assist the Group in managing uncertainty in Bekaert’s value creation process.
 
The framework consists of the identification, assessment and prioritization of the major risks confronting Bekaert, and of the continuous reporting and monitoring of those major risks (including the development and implementation of risk mitigation plans).
 
The risks are identified in six risk categories: strategic, people/organization, operational, legal/compliance, financial, and geopolitical/country risks. The identified risks are classified on two axes: probability and impact or consequence.
 
Decisions are made and action plans defined to mitigate the identified risks. Also the risk sensitivity evolution (decrease, increase, stable) is evaluated.
 
For more information on Enterprise Risk Management in 2020, please consult Bekaert’s Annual Report 2020.
(GRI 102-11)

General information on sustainability reporting principles  

This report has been prepared  in accordance  with the GRI  Standards: Core option. Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a non-profit organization that promotes economic, environmental and social sustainability.

Bekaert’s responsible performance in 2020 has been recognized by its inclusion in the Solactive ISS ESG Screened Europe Small Cap Index and the Solactive ISS ESG Screened Developed Markets Small Cap Index - a reference benchmark for top performers in terms of corporate social responsibility based on Vigeo - Eiris’  research - as well as in Kempen SRI.

In 2020-2021 respectively rating agencies MSCI and ISS-ESG have analyzed the Environment, Social and Governance performance of our company, based on our publicly available information. Their reports are used by institutional investors and financial service companies. Bekaert received a rating of 'BBB' in the MSCI ESG Ratings assessment (above average) and 'C-' rating in the ISS-ESG rating (on a scale from D- to A+), which is on average within the sector.

For the fourth year in a row, Bekaert was awarded a gold recognition level from EcoVadis, an independent sustainability rating agency whose methodology is built on international CSR standards. The agency states that Bekaert forms part of the top 5% of all companies assessed in the same industry category.

In response to growing interest throughout the supply chain to report on the carbon footprint of operations and logistics, Bekaert also participates in the Climate Change and Supply Chain questionnaires of CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project).

Bekaert has received a 'B-' score in CDP’s Supplier Engagement Rating (SER), an improvement of 2 steps compared with previous ratings. Bekaert’s rating for disclosing and engaging with customers has significantly improved, bringing us in a leading 'A' rating position. 

(GRI 102-54)

Memberships & associations

Bekaert has numerous corporate memberships, including various relevant bilateral chambers of commerce and general industry associations, such as Agoria, VOKA – Flanders and Wire Association International and cross-industry associations such as the Conference Board. Bekaert is also a member of national employer associations in all countries where Bekaert is active. 
(GRI 102-13)

Bekaert’s Conflict Free Minerals policy and compliance plan 

The Bekaert Policy on Conflict Minerals and Compliance Plan is available on the website.