What is double materiality?

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Single vs. Double Materiality

Double materiality considers a company’s outward impacts on the environment and society, as well as the financial effects of sustainability risks and opportunities on the company.

A double materiality assessment always requires conducting the impact and financial materiality assessments at the same time. This combined approach includes the assessment of impacts, risks, and opportunities (often referred to as IROs).


Single materiality is a one-sided assessment. It involves focusing on only a single perspective. This means identifying the inside-out (impact) material sustainability matters OR identifying the outside-in (financial) material sustainability matters - but not both at the same time.

A single materiality assessment could refer to either of the materiality perspectives.


Double materiality refers to assessing both materiality perspectives simultaneously. There are important interplays between impact and financial materiality, this necessitates assessing both perspectives at the same time.

Keep in mind that combining two separate single materiality assessments does not make a double materiality assessment.

How to Run a Double Materiality Assessment

Read our blog post for a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a double materiality assessment in-house.

Why are materiality
assessments important?

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Stakeholders provide a wide range of perspectives
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Provides qualitative and quantitative data
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Enables data-driven decision making
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Identifies a company's most relevant sustainability topics
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Creates a sustainability roadmap for executives
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Builds trust and credibility
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