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How we assess material issues

One of our CR objectives this year was to further improve the transparency of the methodology used to identify our material issues for the year. To do so we compiled a list of 15 potentially material issues to stakeholders based on IOGP, UN Sustainable Development Goals and GRI international reporting requirements. Each of those 15 issues has linked sub-issues each of which was ranked to indicate its level of importance to Cairn and to stakeholders (high, significant, medium, low, insignificant).

The importance to Cairn used the latest risk register and Cairn risk criteria. The worst-case sub-issue linked to an issue ranking was used as the overall ranking for the issue as a whole. 

The rankings for importance to stakeholders were based on objective criteria, which include Cairn’s experiences and communications with stakeholders during the course of the year. In 2015, a cohort of stakeholders was used to validate the stakeholder classifications; this will be repeated every other year based on specialist advice. See 2015 report: Stakeholder views on materiality.

An external specialist* reviewed the issues in 2016 and feedback on methodology and stakeholder expectations were incorporated with actions for improvement capture for CR Objectives.

Materiality assessment

We have grouped the 15 potential material issues by Business Principle.


*Julie McDowell, former head of Standard Life Sustainability Team.

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