Corporate social responsibility: Material topics

In 2019, we conducted a comprehensive materiality assessment, in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, to reflect our growing business, strategy and stakeholder expectations. The assessment evaluated the 23 topics from our materiality assessment in 2017. Additionally, it reflected our Aetna integration activities through internal and external stakeholder feedback, competitive benchmarking, an industry landscape and assessment of emerging issues. Ultimately, the 2019 materiality assessment drove the development of our Transform Health 2030 strategy and its pillars: Healthy People, Healthy Community, Healthy Business and Healthy Planet.

A chart visually displaying the material topics relevant to CVS Heath by "Influence on Stakeholder assessment and decisions" and "Significance of economic, environmental, and social impacts."


Methodology and findings

Step One – Identification

Through external research, competitive benchmarking and a thorough review of internal documents, we identified 90 material topics of importance to stakeholders and which CVS Health® has an impact on. 

Step Two – Engagement

We conducted a series of interviews with relevant and credible external stakeholder groups for feedback on existing material topics and CVS Health’s CSR strategy. We also reviewed investor feedback to capture their point of view on the expected level of action and transparency related to specific topics. 

Step Three – Issue Prioritization

Using the information gathered in Steps One and Two, we developed a customized and weighted formula to generate and refine a materiality matrix, prioritizing material topics along an “X” and “Y” axis. This formula enabled us to narrow our initial list of 90 material topics down to the 28 topics that are pictured in the materiality matrix. The prioritized list reflects topics where CVS Health has significant impact, or which influence the decisions of stakeholders. 

Step Four – Review and Finalization

Following the prioritization and plotting of the material issues in a matrix, a working session with the CVS Health CSR team provided an opportunity to review, adjust and finalize the material topics. In this step, we also consolidated some of the terms and pillar areas to position topics in a way that makes sense for our business and stakeholders.

You can read more about our methodology and findings within our full corporate social responsibility report.