Conducting a Materiality Assessment for The North Face

The challenge with this type of project is to find the right partner that instinctively understands what is needed, and can deliver efficiently against the project brief. Anthesis’ way of working and communicating enabled us to execute the project on time, on budget, and to an excellent standard.”

Julian Lings – Sustainability Manager, The North Face


The objectives of The North Face were two-fold: for the organisation to understand how its stakeholders and staff view the brand’s sustainability position in relation to its competitors and understand their thoughts on where the organisation should focus; secondly to bring these insights together and highlight how it can inform future strategy.


Anthesis conducted a materiality assessment to identify the issues that matter most to the future sustainability of The North Face. We explored a range of environmental, social and governmental issues, themes and opportunities via benchmarking, desk research, interviews with internal and external stakeholders and a staff survey. We also developed alternative names, narratives and goals showing how the most material issues could be taken forward into a strategy.

Key Project Outputs

  • A materiality matrix.
  • Supporting slide deck report containing insights from benchmarking, the staff survey and stakeholder engagement.
  • Names, narratives, example goals and activities for three strategy pathways used as source material for The North Face sustainability strategy development.


The North Face used the materiality assessment and strategy pathways as inputs to the development of a refreshed sustainability strategy during 2016.

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