1.2.2Stakeholders and Material Topics

SBM Offshore’s main stakeholders are its clients, employees, suppliers, shareholders and lenders (banks). Other important stakeholders are regulators, class society organisations, yards, partners, local communities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Throughout the year, SBM Offshore engages with these stakeholders and listens to their feedback, as part of its daily business.

SBM Offshore carries out a materiality assessment, factoring in the views of stakeholders and the impacts SBM Offshore has on economics, environment and society. The process is explained in section 5.1.2, with example engagement and outcomes mentioned below.

Example engagements during 2022

Stakeholder Group


All key stakeholders

Materiality update meetings


Pulse Survey, Management Calls and Virtual Townhalls.


Annual General Meeting. Engagement with representative groups – e.g. VBDO (Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development).


Ongoing environmental and social due diligence during project financing and the definition of actions for further improvement.


Engagement with representatives regarding business transparency, ship recycling and climate action.

Materiality analysis

In order to understand stakeholder interests and the impact SBM Offshore has, SBM Offshore conducts interviews with stakeholders and has internal management engagement. This leads to a list of material topics as the foundation of SBM Offshore's strategy. Material topics are topics that represent SBM Offshore’s most significant impacts on the economy, environment and people, including impacts on their human rights. These topics drive SBM Offshore's performance management, with the outcome explained in this report. Furthermore, the topics are addressed in the risk management approach of SBM Offshore, where material topics are used for the identification and assessment of significant risks to the business and associated impacts. Further information on significant risks to the business is found in section 1.4.2. Definition of impacts are described in chapter 2.

The 11 material topics are – in order of ranking through the above approach: Energy Transition, Ethics & Compliance; Employee Health, Safety & Security; Emissions; Economic Performance; Operational Excellence; Innovation; Human Rights; Market Positioning; Retaining & Developing Employees and Digitalization. Definitions of these are found in section 5.1.2. Compared with 2021, the material topic of Energy Transition increased further in importance.

Many stakeholders agree that the Energy Transition is one of the key challenges this industry faces, and is critical in dealing with climate change-related challenges, as well as providing a source of future economic value. Employees value the commitment of SBM Offshore as it allows them to work on renewable energy and other innovative, lower carbon solutions. Investors and lenders are interested in working with industry players on the development of new energy solutions. Emissions both air and ocean-related emissions, and particularly greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, dominate concerns on this topic and form a challenge in the energy transition.

Ethics & Compliance and Employee Health, Safety & Security remain as prerequisites of being in business. Vendors, partners and lenders, especially, rank the first highly, whereas clients and yards put a strong emphasis on the latter. Clients see Process Safety Management as a critical topic in ensuring high safety standards and mitigating the risk of hazardous accidents. The industry has inherent safety and compliance risks owing to the physical nature of the business (safety) and geographical location (compliance).

Human rights remains a key topic to stakeholders and is considered material to SBM Offshore. SBM Offshore commits to high standards, and is aware of potential risks in SBM Offshore's supply chain.

When it comes to Economic Performance, SBM Offshore’s integrated business model is seen as a strength. Shareholders, clients and lenders see strong benefits in an integrated contractor that can manage complex projects and risks plus offer financing solutions to enable large offshore developments. At the same time it allows SBM Offshore to fund a responsible energy transition.

For most stakeholders, Operational Excellence & Quality drive predictability, which is especially sought after in CAPEX- and resource-intensive projects with a global footprint. The same applies for fleet operation services and managing a global supply chain. Class society companies − providers of classification and certification services − take a specific interest in this area. Lenders to SBM Offshore also value operational excellence and quality as they enable predictable returns.

Retaining & Developing Employees is a material topic for many reasons, most importantly because large resource-intense projects such as offshore field developments rely heavily on best practices and past experience. Experienced staff increase efficiency and reduce risk in projects. Market Positioning is seen as a driver for future economic performance and is referred to as a key enabler in attracting and retaining talent. Strong ranking in ESG ratings are supportive to this.

Innovation matters to SBM Offshore’s stakeholders as a source of future value. Clients, partners and employees rank this subject highly. Regarding Digitalization, stakeholders see strong potential in leveraging data and digital technology to define new businesses and ways of working, as well as to partially mitigate the challenge of attracting talent to the industry.


In the coming period, SBM Offshore will further enhance its Materiality Analysis, in line with GRI guidance and compliant with the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which is expected to be applicable as from the 2024 financial year. SBM Offshore has already taken part in the consultation for the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), part of the CSRD, to drive harmonization of various standards and regulation. The concept of 'double materiality' is the driver for deeper understanding and better target-setting on the impacts by SBM Offshore and its business.