3.Materiality and contribution to the SDGs

In order to identify the material ESG topics and to comply with requirements from applicable regulations and standards, PolyPeptide regularly conducts a materiality analysis.

The following section summarizes how PolyPeptide identified the material topics and displays the materiality matrix resulting from the analysis. Moreover, it introduces the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), outlines the connection between PolyPeptide’s material topics and SDGs, and presents PolyPeptide’s contribution to relevant SDG targets.

3.1Identification of material topics

In early 2023, PolyPeptide reviewed its initial double materiality assessment conducted with the support of a specialized sustainability advisory firm in 2021. The assessment in 2021 followed a structured process in a cross-functional working group that included global function heads and selected Executive Committee members.

In a first step, a comprehensive desk research of current and emerging trends as well as regulations was conducted, followed by a peer analysis. In a second step, the resulting long list of topics was discussed with the working group to incorporate feedback and missing topics. As a third step, the working group shortened the long list by taking into consideration risks and opportunities for PolyPeptide. For the resulting shorter list, the fourth step included the assessment of the stakeholder relevance through interviews with internal stakeholders, followed by the last step of assessing both the outside-in impact (financial materiality) and the inside-out impact (impact materiality).

Further, emerging Swiss legal requirements on the disclosure of non-financial matters (environmental matters (in particular the CO2 goals), social matters, employee-related matters, respect for human rights and the fight against corruption) and climate reporting were taken into consideration throughout the process. As a result, a total of twelve ESG topics were identified as material for PolyPeptide, with a clear definition derived from applicable sustainability standards, including the new Swiss legal requirements.

In the assessment conducted in early 2023, PolyPeptide updated and prioritized its material ESG topics. In light of market and business developments, the material ESG topics were re-positioned by considering their relevance for PolyPeptide’s business success as well as the relevance of PolyPeptide’s impact on sustainable development. The process also included the prioritization, re-grouping and consolidation of the topics, reflecting their interdependencies. An initial proposal was developed by a core working group with the support of a specialized sustainability advisory firm and then reviewed and adapted by the ESG Steering Committee during a one-day workshop. The resulting updated materiality matrix with the consolidated six topics was thereafter approved by the Board of Directors.

3.2Materiality matrix

PolyPeptide’s six material ESG topics include Product responsibility, Green chemistry, Climate change mitigation, Supply chain engagement, People, and Business ethics and compliance. The relative prioritization of the topics is illustrated in the graph “Materiality matrix”, ranging from moderately relevant to very relevant.

Materiality matrix

3.3Contribution to the SDGs

The 17 SDGs with their underlying 169 targets are a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. The goals were adopted by all UN member states in 2015 and take into account the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The global partnership between all countries as well as the contribution made by the private sector and non-governmental organizations are crucial for the achievement of the SDGs and the agenda for sustainable development by 20301.

PolyPeptide endorses the UN Agenda 2030 and considers the 17 SDGs as an important reference point for a sustainable future. 

In line with PolyPeptide’s prioritized material topics, the Group has set its sight to contribute to the following SDG goals, recognizing the comparably limited size and impact of its business.

Materiality and contribution to the SDGs

Material ESG topics

Relevant SDGs 1

Relevant underlying targets

Product responsibility

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

3.8 Contribute to providing access to quality health care services, as well as to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines.

Green chemistry

Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

9.4 Upgrade infrastructure, technologies, and processes for sustainable and efficient use of resources.

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

12.4 Ensure management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle. 12.5 Reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse.

Climate change mitigation

Take action to combat climate change and its impacts

13.2 Integrate climate change measures into policies, strategies, and planning.

Supply chain engagement

Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work

8.7 Secure the prohibition and contribute to the elimination of child labor.


Achieve gender equality and empower women

5.5 Ensure participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making.

Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work

8.5 Achieve productive employment, decent work, and equal pay for work of equal value.

Business ethics and compliance

Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions

16.5 Contribute to the reduction of corruption and bribery.

1 For details, refer to https://sdgs.un.org/goals; icons for informational purpose only.

For more details on how PolyPeptide contributes to the individual SDG targets please refer to section 4 Reporting on the material ESG topics of this Corporate Responsibility Report.