Decathlon sustainable development leader

Meeting with Isabelle Guyader

In 2018 you performed a new materiality test. What were your goals?
IG: We undertook this study as a chance to have a real conversation with our stakeholders about the most important social, societal and environmental issues. The previous materiality test was conducted in 2012 and it provided the basis of our current ambitions for 2015-2019. As major changes have taken place inside and outside the company since then, we decided to conduct this study again in order to develop a new set of ambitions.
What approach have you adopted?
IG: For this study we had several goals in mind. First, we wanted to be representative in terms of our international development, so we surveyed seven countries: Bangladesh, China, France, India, Italy, Spain and Vietnam. Then we got the broader Decathlon organisation involved by structuring the project into batches. We followed up specifically with teammates, users and customers, suppliers, citizens, neighbours, business leaders and shareholders. We also wanted to get other Decathlon players involved to conduct the study.

We asked many open-ended questions to our activity leaders, community representatives and shareholders, who by answering in their own words helped us better understand and act on their concerns. Lastly, we directed our questions about financial and governance topics at certain targeted groups. We wanted to take a comprehensive approach.

The process began in September 2017 and ended in October 2018.

To obtain robust results, we followed a rigorous methodology and worked with AFNOR for guidance and support.
How did you interpret the results?
IG: There were no surprises and no major disconnects between what we are currently doing and the conclusions of the study. That being said, we must intensify our policies in certain areas, for instance when it comes to greater diversity and inclusion, as well as resource reservation and the circular economy.
What are the next steps?
IG: A materiality analysis is not an end in itself. This was an important starting point for our 2020-2026 strategy. We have already started formulating our ambitions for 2020-2026.

We must develop our response to these challenges, starting from our culture, purpose and what makes us unique. Our 2020-2026 ambitions will be finalised in 2019 and described in our 2019 report.
What are the takeaways from this process ?
IG: The dialogue with our stakeholders was rewarding and inspiring. Our interactions with teammates provided an opportunity to share a common vision of our priorities and give meaning to our actions.

With the materiality analysis, we have started the transition from our 2015-2019 policy to our 2020-2026 ambitions, designed to set us apart.