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Materiality matrix and the AA1000 standard

05/30/2017 - 05:00 PM

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Materiality is the "identification of the important issues for the organisation and its stakeholders", according to the definition of the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles Standard.

A materiality matrix is a way of representing the issues which have an impact on our company, crossed with the level of interest those issues have for our stakeholders.

The materiality matrix we have adopted in Telecom Italia has been developed through a methodology which includes:

  • stakeholder preception review
  • press review
  • interviews with managers
  • internal considerations done by the Sustainability department of TIM

Each year we review and update our Materiality matrix.


FILTER BY ISSUE:
Full matrix
Environmental protection
People
Digitisation
Digital culture
FILTER BY SDGs:

Click on the issue or SDG you are interested in, this will highlight the activities to which it is associated

The materiality analysis process: how it works

In 2016 as well, the materiality analysis process was conducted according to the GRI G4 requirements, in order to identify topics that are most relevant to the socioenvironmental and economic impacts generated by business activities both inside and outside the organisation.

Identification of relevant topics

Through a first activity of analyzing and comparing the various national and international information sources, both public and non-public, internal and external to the Group, and a benchmarking of sectorial practices, TIM has verified that the issues emerging in 2015 would also be valid for 2016.

At the end of this initial screening, TIM was able to draw up a list of relevant topics representing the following macro areas:

  • direct and indirect economic impacts;
  • business ethics and promotion of Human Rights;
  • responsible management of the supply chain;
  • risk management and Public Policy;
  • market position and customer protection;
  • management of human resources, promotion of diversity, equal opportunities and the health and safety of workers;
  • compliance with national and international regulations;
  • initiatives for local communities;
  • responsible management of energy resources and waste.

Assignment of priorities

The assignment of priorities among the topics emerged, led to the identification of the material issues to be disclosed.
During this phase, TIM assessed the importance of the topics identified from an external and internal viewpoint. The latter was provided by the main departments of the company following a specific assessment of the topics for analysis.

In 2016, the updated assessment of relevance from an external point of view was produced by a specific stakeholder listening activity, the Multi-stakeholder Forum, aimed at gathering the perceptions of authoritative Group stakeholder representatives. At the forum, which involved nearly 40 representatives of the main external stakeholder categories, participants were presented with material issues for the Company’s strategy in order to identify an order of importance. The stakeholders, subdivided into theme-based working groups based on their interests and skills, expressed their views regarding the matters discussed by their working group. The use of parametric qualitative and quantitative scales ensured the uniformity of the assessment.
The analysis of the results produced the data needed to determine the "stakeholder relevance" dimension of the materiality matrix.

The chart above shows only the relevant issues for both stakeholders and TIM.
For the sake of completeness of information, also the following themes are material for the Company:

  • Economic and financial performance;
  • management of energy resources.

The health and safety of workers and staff management may appear to be material issues only for employee stakeholders. In actual fact, these issues directly involve government local offices and the communities where the Group operates and indirectly all the stakeholders who come into contact with the Group’s employees.

Validation

The issues and the whole materiality analysis process were validated by the CSV department, which, as stated above, availed itself of the support of SCS Consulting to determine perceptions by participating in the working groups and sharing the results among the forum participants. The Governance of the CSV department is explained in the Sustainability Governance section of the Sustainability Report.

Review

The review phase is due to take place as a preparatory stage prior to the next reporting cycle, with the aim of submitting the results of the analyses carried out, updated in the following year, to specific stakeholder engagement activities.
The Group has drawn up the "Guidelines for updating the materiality analysis of TIM" pursuant to the GRI G4 in order to establish a transparent structure for the analysis process. The document provides guidelines for the activities to be carried out, establishing timetables and the roles involved in the process.

Boundaries

All the topics (and therefore aspects of the GRI G4 standard) that are judged to be material have major implications both inside and outside the company.
On the one hand there are cross-cutting topics that are relevant to all the companies in the Group’s consolidation scope, wherever they may be, without exception, and which are relevant to all external and internal stakeholders, these being:

  • Correctness of corporate conduct
  • Promotion of respect for Human Rights inside and outside the company
  • Quality of the service and customer satisfaction
  • Solutions for a low carbon & circular economy
  • Economic impact at local level and on communities
  • Management of the health and safety of workers
  • Management of the workforce, generational renewal and promotion of talent

On the other hand there are topics that are mainly relevant to Group companies operating as telephone service operators, which account by far for the main part of the Group in terms of turnover, employees and impact on external stakeholders:

  • Internet safety, particularly for minors
  • Solutions for the digital evolution of the PA, businesses and Voluntary Sector
  • Investments in infrastructure
  • Privacy and data security protection
  • "Disaster response" and business continuity
  • Social digital inclusion

These topics are undoubtedly more relevant to all the stakeholders who live in Italy, where TIM is the biggest operator and therefore the company on which stakeholders pin their greatest expectations. In Brazil, where the Group is present with one of the country’s biggest mobile operators, the topics are definitely relevant to stakeholders but to a lesser extent than in Italy.

More generally, some ideas that emerged from the multi-stakeholder forum show how the Group is characterised by being:

  • a hub for the development of digital skills and culture; participants noted the need to improve the digital skills of ordinary citizens, businesses and government local offices in a structured way, identifying TIM as an active player for improvements in the home.
  • a promoter of projects capable of generating shared value; institutional and community representatives valued the company’s potential role as a direct promoter of research and development initiatives for digital solutions, while the business world proposed support and promotion of entrepreneurial activities that can achieve digital innovation independently, to be identified by means of an active scouting process.

The materiality matrix, in addition to highlighting TIM’s priority areas of commitment, also reflects the SDGs to which the company believes it can make the biggest contribution. Specifically, the relevant goals are:

  • No. 4: Education and quality
  • No. 5: Gender equality
  • No. 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • No. 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • No. 11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • No. 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • No. 16: Peace, Justice and strong Institutions

In addition to No. 3 “Good health” for positive impacts and e-health solutions and No. 13 “Combat climate change and its impacts”, for the inevitability and importance of the topic at global level.

No significant changes have been recorded in the scope of activities, and therefore boundary relevance, in recent years, except as mentioned in Group Profile section of The TIM Group chapter.