Consulting Firm Materiality Assessment and ESG Roadmap

A leading real estate consulting firm aiming to implement an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) program partnered with Stok to develop a strategic roadmap for the program. Stok conducted a company evaluation, competitor analysis, and comprehensive materiality assessment, including stakeholder interviews to assess current practices and understand areas of improvement. Information gathered in this phase was utilized to create a strategic roadmap that included the most material ESG topics to the client’s business, employees, clients, and stakeholders. The roadmap detailed out key metrics for success, actions to achieve goals, resources, and a timeline.

At a Glance

National program across company including 7 offices
  • ESG Consulting
  • ESG Strategy Development
  • Company Evaluation

The Challenge

Stok was brought on by the client to identify the most significant ESG topics to stakeholders and develop ESG strategy priorities based on the most material ESG topics to the client. Specifically, Stok: 

  • Conducted an ESG materiality assessment and competitive landscape to understand the client’s current ESG initiatives and focus areas, as well as strengths and opportunities
  • Developed an enterprise-wide ESG Strategic Roadmap to integrate into the client’s business strategy and vision

The client’s ESG program ranked as most important to the success of employee attraction and retention. A majority of employee respondents indicated that the client’s commitment to ESG topics has a material impact on their level of engagement.

ESG Program Team
“With Stok, everything was easy. From helping us understand where we were in the process, to enabling us to provide feedback, to getting us the information we needed to uplevel our ESG program, the Stok team brought deep ESG expertise, critical guidance, and great energy to every aspect of our engagement. In an organization where “sustainability” and “ESG” are fairly unfamiliar terms to leadership, Stok played an especially crucial role in getting all stakeholders aligned on terminology to facilitate a smooth internal stakeholder interview process and gather insightful feedback across our organization that informed our final ESG strategic roadmap. This was our team’s first materiality assessment and ESG roadmap, and the Stok team’s patience made all the difference in making it a positive learning opportunity for us and an overall amazing experience.”

The Solution


Stok started by reviewing the client’s corporate mission, purpose, values, organizational structure, and decision-making processes to inform communications and strategies, then dove into evaluating and aggregating established ESG-related initiatives to date across various departments. Looking externally, Stok conducted a competitor analysis of ten similar companies inclusive of topics such as reporting frameworks, material areas of focus, and ESG goals and metrics. This provided the client with insight into their opportunity to align with peers, create a competitive advantage, and attract clients by expanding and systematizing ESG activities. 

From this exercise, Stok reported out on the client’s strengths in line with competitors, such as addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the organization, opportunities to be aligned with competitors, such as forming an ESG Committee and aligning to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and opportunities to lead in ESG compared to competitors, such as baselining and setting reductions in energy use and carbon emissions and developing a plan to close the minority pay gap. 


To develop the materiality matrix, Stok conducted interviews with key stakeholders and collected additional input via an electronic survey with questions based on relevant reporting frameworks including GRI, SASB, TCFD, UN SDGs, CDP, and SBTi. The two main categories of the assessment addressed (1) the importance of the client’s ESG program to the success of certain areas, including brand reputation, growing revenue, employee retention, client retention, and risk mitigation, and (2) the level of materiality each ESG topic had for both the business and stakeholders. Stok and the client co-developed a scoring methodology for the two categories, resulting in a materiality matrix. 


Stok presented key takeaways from the company evaluation, competitive landscape, and materiality assessment to the client, focusing on top ESG issues for the client to consider through the lens of what their clients are focused on and what their employees feel they should focus on. These included a priority on social (S) and governance (G) topics, including DEI, employee health and well-being, fair pay policies, and a focus on the client’s culture as the company continues to grow. 

Informed by the materiality assessment, Stok developed an enterprise-wide ESG Strategic Roadmap to integrate into the client’s business strategy and vision. The roadmap addresses immediate needs, builds upon and aligns with long-term business strategies, and provides recommendations to guide future program implementation, as well as identifies responsible parties to support successful implementation. 

Project Leadership

Jess Pearson
Kelly Hagarty