Materiality assessment

To determine whether an aspect is material, a combination of internal and external factors has been used. In the matrix below, the materiality of aspects 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 spent to improve performance and/or reporting scope
  • Frequency and weight attached to the aspect in Bekaert reporting and communication
  • Measurable KPI & progress included in this report

In the matrix below, the shadow area visualizes the measurable material aspects included in this report. (GRI 102-47)


Bekaert Materiality Matrix 2017

Material aspects (per category)

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

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

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 company’s general policy, approve the strategy and supervise the activities. The Board of Directors is the company’s supreme decision-making body in all matters, other than those in respect of which decision-making powers are reserved to the General Meeting of Shareholders by law or the articles of association. The Board of Directors currently has fifteen members. Their professional profiles cover different areas of expertise, such as law, business, industrial operations, banking & investment banking, marketing & sales, technology & engineering, HR and consultancy. One third of the Board members are female, in line with current regulations on diversity. GRI 103-2 + GRI 102-18 + 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)

For more information on the activities and remuneration of the Board of Directors in 2017, please consult Bekaert’s Annual Report 2017.

Bekaert Group Executive (GRI 102-18)

The Bekaert Group Executive assumes the operational responsibility for the company’s activities and acts under the supervision of the Board of Directors.

For more information on the performance and remuneration of the Bekaert Group Executive in 2017, please consult Bekaert’s Annual Report 2017.

Enterprise Risk Management (GRI 102-11)

Bekaert’s 2017 ERM report includes among others, the following potential risks:

  • overall pressure on profitability;
  • political/economic/social instability in emerging countries (e.g. Venezuela, Russia);
  • globalizing competition;
  • asset and profit concentration (e.g. in one city);
  • intellectual property risk (overall and permanent risk);
  • non-compliance risk with local regulations and with the Bekaert standards;
  • wire rod price volatility and source dependency;
  • evolution of environmental regulations;
  • creditworthiness of customers; and
  • the risk of failure of the banking system in specific countries.

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 sustainability.

Bekaert’s responsible performance in 2017 has been recognized by its inclusion in the Ethibel Excellence Index (ESI) Europe - a reference benchmark for top performers in terms of corporate social responsibility based on Vigeo’s research - as well as in Kempen SRI.

In 2017, Bekaert was awarded a gold recognition level from EcoVadis, an independent sustainability rating agency whose methodology is built on international CSR standards. This good result places Bekaert among the top 30% of performers evaluated by EcoVadis.

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. (GRI 102-54)

Memberships and associations

Bekaert has numerous corporate memberships, including (GRI 102-13):

  • American Chamber of Commerce (several bilateral memberships)
  • Belgo-Indian Chamber of Commerce
  • Chambre de commerce Belgo-Luxembourgoise pour la Russie et le Belarus asbl - Belgisch-Luxemburgse Kamer van Koophandel voor Rusland en Wit Rusland v.z.w
  • Flanders-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (FCCC)
  • EU-China Chamber of Commerce
  • Benelux-China Chamber of Commerce

2. General Industry Associations

  • Agoria
  • American Wire Producer Association (AWPA)
  • China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA)
  • VOKA – Flanders
  • Wire Association International (WAI)
  • Member of national employers association in all countries where Bekaert is active

3. Other

  • The Conference Board