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"Materiality is determining the relevance and significance of an issue to an organisation and its stakeholders."

AA1000 AccountAbility Principles Standard

The materiality matrix is a way of representing the issues that have an economic, social and environmental impact on our company and cross-referencing them with our stakeholders' level of interest in these issues. The matrix is drawn up through a process of analyzing and identifying the priority issues for us and for our stakeholders. It is then reviewed and updated annually. This page describes the process leading to the definition of the matrix for the year 2019.

Why it is important for us to analyze priority issues

TIM operates Italy's largest fixed-line infrastructure network, covering the entire country, and provides one of Italy's most extensive and advanced mobile network platforms. The Group invests heavily in the development of the UBB, LTE and 5G networks and in giving people the capabilities to drive the transformation of Italy (and the other countries where TIM operates) into a digital economy that is more sustainable and more responsive to people's individual needs.

We are therefore a "systemic" company in terms of our size, our reach, and our infrastructure, technology and people. Through ongoing dialogue with our internal and external stakeholders and their active engagement, our company plays an integral role in the country and its social and economic make-up. We have a ubiquitous role in Italy's economy and in the competitiveness of its companies, in the efficiency of its public administration and, more generally, in the wellbeing of its citizens. This means that there has to be greater alignment between our social, environmental and economic performance and our strategy.

Our model: Continuous Stakeholder Engagement and Monitoring

In 2017, we began the digital transformation of the materiality analysis process, using semantic analysis, big data analytics and digital engagement through a collaborative platform.

The use of advanced analysis methods allows us to consider more sources of information and data, to get a clear and comprehensive view of our operating environment and the opinions of our stakeholders. The collaborative platform facilitates us in keeping the dialogue open with our stakeholders, allows us to have a shared view of the varied system of relationships and activities managed with them at the Group level and to monitor the outcomes in order to update topics & concerns in a more timely and constant way thus facilitating the analysis of emerging risks.

TIM Group's materiality matrix 2019 was drawn up through the following steps:

1 - To check that the range of issues was still up to date, we started by updating the taxonomy of the semantic engine...

The taxonomy of the semantic engine was updated based on internationally recognised references in the fields of sustainability and digital.

•         GRI Standards, ISO26000, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and assessment specialist (e.g. Dow Jones Sustainability Index);

•         Italian Digital Agenda, Objectives of the European Digital Single Market and dedicated indexes (e.g. the Digital Economy Society Index), and regulatory references which are relevant for TIM and its stakeholders.

At the same time, one-to-one meetings were held with the first lines of management to collect information and official papers useful to better define the tree of the topics to be evaluated, having in mind the 2018 matrix.

2 - ... we then identified our core business documents and subjected them to semantic analysis

To identify and pull together the documents connected to the Group's core business, we used a series of Italian and international, public and non-public, and in-company and external sources (*).

The semantic engine then analyzed all these information sources, generating a list of topics to be submitted for evaluation by the company and external stakeholders.  

In 2019 this activity has allowed us to name and describe more punctually the themes identified the previous year by narrowing the list to those more specific to TIM and its stakeholders

Here is the list of issues:

  • correctness of corporate conduct
  • stakeholder engagement
  • integrating social, environmental and governance aspects into corporate strategies
  • managing the workforce
  • developing the company’s human capital
  • managing workers’ health and safety
  • fair management of customer relationship
  • safeguarding privacy and personal data security and protection
  • investments in 5G and UBB infrastructures’ development and in R&D
  • protecting diversity and promoting equal opportunities in the company
  • stimulating the spread of e-technologies and e-skills
  • integrating social and environmental aspects in the supply chain
  • protection of vulnerable groups (cyber bullying, child pornography, gambling)
  • promoting and safeguarding human rights
  • reducing energy consumption and fighting climate change
  • impacts of electromagnetic emissions
  • fostering the development of an inclusive digital society

(*) For example: The “Piano Nazionale italiano per l’Agenda 2030” (Italian National Plan for the 2030 agenda) of the Italian government, the “Ernst & Young Megatrends report 2018”, the “Fair and Sustainable Well-Being in Italy 2018” (BES) report promoted by the National Council for Economy and Labour (CNEL) and the National Institute for Statistics (ISTAT), TIM industrial plan “TIMe to deliver, TIMe to delever”.

3 - We submitted these issues for management and stakeholder assessment ...

So far, a key aspect had been missed out: defining the significance of each of these issues for our company’s strategy and for our stakeholders. To review and analyze our stakeholders' points of view, we used a series of innovative tools such as semantics and big data analysis, as well as the digital web-platform for the engagement activities.

To do this, we used the contribution of TIM's top managers and stakeholders (inside and outside the Group[1]). Using social media and the internet, we also indirectly collected the viewpoint of around 500 companies and organizations, while a select group of representatives of our stakeholders belonging to the following categories were directly consulted through the online platform: institutions and regulators, industry business communities, suppliers, customers, civil society, financial community, human resources. In both cases, the subjects were identified in relation to their response to the criteria of influence, dependence and urgency. Further details on stakeholders mappig are available on our stakeholders' page on this  website.

Having completed this analysis, we assigned a materiality score to each of the issues, depending on the occurrences of the issues[2] and of the votes expressed by stakeholders during the survey, weighed on the basis of the stakeholder mapping carried out in 2019 by consulting the departments of the Company.

[1] Managers and stakeholders were invited to evaluate the topics using the following scale: 1=barely influential; 2=limited impact; 3=direct influence; 4=significant influence; 5=decisive

[2] Scores ranged from 1 to 5, where 1 is the minimum frequency, 5 the maximum frequency, 3 the average frequency (calculated from the average occurrence of the topics taken into consideration). 2 and 4 are attributed in proportion to the minimum, average and maximum scores. Finally, the final score was calculated, weighted by the significance attributed to each source according to the different time periods covered in the analysis.   

4 - Now we were able to build the matrix of priority issues for 2019...

The materiality matrix is the result of this analysis and assessment process, representing precisely the issues that have an economic, social and environmental impact on our company and the level of importance attributed to those issues by our stakeholders.

Taking our cue from the priority issues, we identified the Sustainable Development Goals to which TIM believes it can make the greatest contribution through its people, technologies and services, adopting business practices that promote and safeguard human rights and the environment. 

5 - ...which has been validated and approved

The company validated the entire materiality analysis process with the help of its sustainability reporting function, the TIM Data Room and RE2N, an external consultant.

TIM Data Room is the TIM Group department that analyzes online data through listening, reporting and benchmarking activities.

The Control and Risk Committee then approved the 2019 materiality matrix on November 4, 2019.

6 - Analysis of priority issues is a circular process – it does not stop here!

The review phase is intended to be preparatory to the next reporting cycle, with the updated results of the analyses carried out being submitted to specific consultation and stakeholder engagement activities.

At TIM, we update the materiality analysis according to guidelines that incorporate the GRI standards.