The sector in which we operate, our business and the impact our activities have on the environment and society represent an extremely
complex framework. This is why in order to best manage and communicate our operations, we need to accurately identify all the areas where we have an impact or that impact on us, be they positive or negative.
The main tool for identifying these, with the respective priorities for us and our stakeholders, is the materiality analysis.
How do we implement our materiality analysis?
Since 2013, we have adopted a process to define our “material” (or significant) issues, by following the Guidelines of the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), an international reference entity on the issues of sustainability accounting.
Today, in addition to the most recent version of the GRI standards, we also need to consider the provisions under Italian Legislative Decree 254/2016 on the communication of non-financial information, which came into effect with reporting relating to 2017.
- Identifying areas relevant to the business
- Priorities internal stakeholders
- Priorities external stakeholders
Issues relevant in the context of:
- Issues relating to personnel
- Human rights
- Fight against active and passive corruption
How to define internal and external priorities?
In 2017, we involved management in all corporate structures asking them to complete an on-line questionnaire, to assess all potential material areas.
The relevance assessments provided by the managers involved were then submitted to the Group’s top management, which confirmed which issues were current and relevant and validated the results of the investigation.
Priorities for external stakeholders
We defined the relevance for stakeholders by analysing:
- General sources, i.e. rules, publications, position papers, assessment tools produced by stakeholders that reflect their perception of relevance in relation to different issues.
- Direct listening sources, i.e. the outcomes of initiatives undertaken in respect of our stakeholders to understand their expectations and perceptions
in relation to the issues in question (for example, for employees, local communities and customers of non-regulated activities);
Management could then fine tune the results of the document-based analysis, by taking in account stakeholder’s opinions, who were then engaged directly regarding the relevance of the issues.
The summary of the corporate viewpoint and that of stakeholders is represented in the Materiality Matrix.
The value of the materiality analysis for our strategy
The Materiality Matrix provides an accurate picture of the current relevance of issues and an assessment of issues from a future and strategic perspective.
Management and top management were also involved in an assessment of the future relevance of issues, in an attempt to understand to what extent the current level of management on
specific issues needed to to amended over the time frame of the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.
From this analysis, three issues emerged that would require significant investments over the Strategic Plan’s time frame:
- Developing human resources
- Innovation and Research
- Optimal management of relations with local stakeholders
Our approach in building and consolidating a long-lasting relationship of reciprocal trust with our main stakeholder groups
Why is it important to involve stakeholders
Our activities result in us continually interacting with the interests of different categories of stakeholders.
To clarify the complexity and critical nature of these interests, we can imagine the relevant categories as the transition of a new power line:
- Single person: owner of the land over which the power line will passa
- Local community: involved in the transition of the power line
- Electricity producers: involved in the connection to the transmission grid
- Shareholders: wanting to increase the value of their investments
- Employees: responsible for the project, the authorisation and implementation phase
- Contracting companies: responsible for effectively constructing the grid
- Environment: impact on ecosystems and animals that could be interacting with it, and more generally, future generations.
Understanding the diversity of interests and different positions of all these components could make the difference in our business.
How do we manage relations with our stakeholders?
At Terna, we have identified a “Stakeholder Management Model”, which allows us to periodically:
- Update the stakeholder map;
- Set the importance and influence ranking of stakeholders;
- Formulate the optimal relationship procedure matrix, which guides our stakeholder engagement activities;
- Define the monitoring system for the engagement activities, which summarises the opinions, expectations and level of satisfaction amongst stakeholders in their relations with us.