The Board has also recognised the need to reflect on Rank’s broader ESG responsibilities and report on the Group’s ESG performance as a whole.
To ensure that we are addressing and managing the issues that are most significant to Rank and our stakeholders, we engaged Buchanan Communications Limited (‘Buchanan’) to provide us with greater insight into stakeholder perceptions regarding material ESG-related risks and opportunities.
This process commenced with a materiality assessment and will be followed by the launch of a new sustainability programme concentrating specifically on mitigating our key ESG risks and how we plan to deliver on the identified opportunities.
In addition, to provide governance and oversight, the Board determined to expand the existing Safer Gambling Committee to incorporate wider ESG matters and so be renamed the ESG & Safer Gambling Committee as explained in more detail on pages 87 and 102 of our 2021 annual report. Its terms of reference were approved in August 2021 and it will have primary responsibility for approving the new sustainability strategy and monitoring its delivery.
The initial list of issues that formed the basis of the assessment was informed by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB – which maps the sustainability issues most likely to impact the financial performance of a specific industry), MSCI (an ESG ratings agency), and a review of relevant peer organisations to the Group. We reached out to individuals across our stakeholder groups to rate these issues in terms of their importance to our business.
The resulting materiality matrix (as set out opposite) plots the results. This output will inform our ESG strategy and programme of work that will be developed by the business.
In January 2022, we formally launched the Group’s first Responsible Business Report. The report provides an overview of the initial work we have undertaken to establish the appropriate approach to the development of our ESG strategy. The next stage of our work will be to promote the core initiatives and define the key performance indicators which will enable us to report more broadly on our social and environmental impacts alongside our financial reporting calendar.
A copy of the report can be found here.
Below is an overview of our four focus areas and key issues.