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Materiality assessment

(GRI 103-1)

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:

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 aspects included in this report.
(GRI 102-47)

Materiality matrix 

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 disclosures 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 2019. For more information on the changes (2019 and 2020), and on activities and remuneration of the Board of Directors in 2019, please consult Bekaert’s Annual Report 2019.
(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 2019 according to the new organizational structure. For more information on the changes in composition in 2019 and the performance and remuneration of the Bekaert Group Executive in 2019, please consult Bekaert’s Annual Report 2019.
(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 and Finance Committee at each of its meetings. The Governance, Risk and Compliance Department reports to the Audit 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.

Entreprise Risk Management

At the request of the Board of Directors and the Audit and Finance Committee, 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 five risk categories: strategic, operational, legal, financial, and 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 2019, please consult Bekaert’s Annual Report 2019.

(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.

(GRI 102-54)

Bekaert has been confirmed for inclusion in the Ethibel Excellence Investment Register. This selection by Forum Ethibel indicates that the company performs better than average in its sector in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Bekaert’s responsible performance in 2019 has also 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 - Eiris’ research - as well as in Kempen SRI.

In 2019 rating agencies MSCI and ISS-oekom 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. In 2019, Bekaert received a rating of BBB in the MSCI ESG Ratings assessment (above average) and a C- rating (on average within the sector) from ISS-oekom.

For the third 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 3% 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).

Memberships and associates

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.