We regularly conduct an assessment of the issues that matter most to our stakeholders, and use this feedback to inform our strategic approach and goal setting. Our sustainable business goals to 2025 therefore address the key material issues for our business – monitoring progress against our targets is used as a means of managing these.
Our key material issues
Profitability and sustainability are inextricably linked and our business will only survive if it can continue to deliver superior value to its shareholders. All other material issues identified by the group and its performance against the related targets can all have an impact on profitability. Underlying earnings per share is the principal measure used by the board to assess the overall profitability of the group.
Climate change presents many opportunities for Johnson Matthey. Our products and technologies have a role to play in mitigating its effects and we must ensure we are well positioned to maximise our benefit. The group must also manage the potential negative impacts arising from an increasingly carbon constrained world.
We have a responsibility to do our utmost to ensure that the safety of our employees, or of anyone else, is not compromised as a result of our activities. Shortcomings in any area of safety can have devastating effects on people's lives. Our failure to maintain the required high standards could damage the group's reputation, result in financial penalties and cause disruption to the business. We have rigorous systems in place to manage our performance and we aim to continuously improve our lost time injury and illness rate. The safety of our processes is also critical to operating as a safe and sustainable manufacturer and we are increasingly applying rigorous standards to all manufacturing processes that have a risk of serious accidents.
The health and wellbeing of our employees are a priority for Johnson Matthey and we recognise that building a sustainable workforce is a key contributor to our long term success. We are committed to minimising workplace related negative health hazards and to promoting a culture of sustainable health among our employees.
Johnson Matthey has an important role to play in protecting the environment for the benefit of others. Many of our products and technologies have an environmentally beneficial effect and generate a significant proportion of the group's profit. Operating our processes with care and respect for the environment is a focus. Failure to do so can have damaging effects on the planet and society and negatively impact our reputation and our business.
Continued economic development will place an ever increasing strain on the world's resources. Over time, the raw materials we use today may become less available and more costly. Our challenges are to carefully select those with the lowest sustainability footprint, use them as efficiently as possible and maximise the amounts we recycle.
As populations and industry continue to grow, so will the amount of waste we collectively generate. It places a burden on the planet, can have a negative impact on habitats and potentially spoil areas of natural beauty that we currently enjoy. It is in our interest to manage the waste we generate as a business. Addressing this issue delivers financial savings, more efficient processes and a better environment for us all.
These issues are summarised in the group's materiality map which outlines the key material issues and the targets in place to address them.
Material issues are continually assessed as part of our risk management and business planning processes and the group integrates horizon scanning into these processes to seek new market opportunities and identify emerging issues that many have an impact on our business over the longer term.