This Sustainable Development Report supplements Lonmin’s Annual Report and Accounts 2017, providing more detail regarding the Company’s most material sustainability matters. This section outlines how we determine material sustainability matters.

We define material matters as those that substantively affect the Company’s ability to create value in the short, medium and long term, and considerably influence key stakeholder decisions.

The process used to determine Lonmin’s most material matters aligns with the approach to materiality recommended in the GRI’s1 G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. It considers the guidance provided in the International Integrated Reporting Council’s (IIRC) Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework and the corporate reporting dialogue.

1 The GRI (formerly the Global Reporting Initiative) is a global reporting guideline that provides a framework for sustainable development reporting (www.globalreporting.org). Lonmin’s GRI index is available

Six-step process

The process of determining material matters considers operational and contextual variables, drawing from an understanding of our value drivers, and the extent and nature of the Company’s impacts on social, human and natural capital.

A materiality workshop was held in June 2017 that included senior executives and operational specialists. The process followed six steps:

  1. We conducted a review of Lonmin’s business model to identify the material value drivers in the business, including Lonmin’s profit formula, value chain activities, and critical resources and relationships. This was followed by a consideration of the top issues in the external business environment that could most substantially affect the Company’s ability to create value.
  2. We identified the most significant impacts (positive and negative) of Lonmin’s activities on social and relationship, human and natural capital, as well as an assessment of the areas where the Company can most effectively use its influence to effect positive change.
  3. We assessed material matters against the key risks identified by the enterprise risk management process.
  4. We discussed the topics that could most substantively influence the assessments and decisions of key stakeholders. This was informed by information gathered through desktop reviews, analysis of media coverage, online sources, a review of key matters raised by analysts and environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs), internal conversations and consultation sessions. Further information on how we engaged with our key stakeholder groups and their main areas of concern is detailed in the online supplementary report.
  5. We reviewed the material topics identified against those of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards.
  6. We assessed the implications of each material sustainability focus area against Lonmin’s strategy.

The workshop led to five of the existing material focus areas being retained, with revisions made to certain material matters to better describe their content, as shown in the graphic below. These are summarised in the table in Material Focus Areas Overview and discussed in more detail in other chapters of this report. Last year we discussed ‘a challenging operating environment’ as a material focus area, which information is included in the current report as contextual information in the Our Sustainability Context section to better align with the recommendations of the International IIRC’s <IR> Framework.

Material focus area 2016 Material focus area 2017
A challenging operating environment Discussed in our sustainability context
Employee relationships Employee relationships
Safety and health Safety and health
Social licence to operate Community relationships and investment
Environment Managing environmental impacts and opportunities
Relationships with government Constructive engagement: government, regulatory and other stakeholders