calendar 07.04. 2015

Determining material report topics

ista focuses on transparency not only in its core business – but also in reporting. Above all, we want to report on those topics which are particularly important for our business model and our stakeholders. In 2014, we therefore again intensified our reporting process.

G4-18

ista is presenting its fifth sustainability report. It is the fourth report written in accordance with the internationally recognised guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative. This year, we are reporting for the first time in accordance with the new version GRI-G4, which prescribes intensive inclusion of stakeholders to determine the report content. We took this opportunity to focus our reporting on key topics and to align our sustainability strategy with them. We have strived to communicate a comprehensive picture of our corporate activities and to show what contribution ista can make to a sustainable development. In an initial step, we conducted the materiality analysis, which focused on Germany. However, it is valid for all companies of ista International, in line with the scope of the report.

Topics for ista G4-18

The materiality analysis was conducted in a three-stage procedure between December 2014 and February 2015. Relevant topics were selected in the first stage. This preliminary selection of topics was based on an analysis of national and international, industry-wide and pan-industry sustainability standards as well as on the evaluation of subjects raised during contact between ista and its stakeholders in the reporting period. The result was a list of 12 sustainability topics which, given ista’s business model, may be fundamentally material to the company.

Prioritisation by stakeholders G4-18 G4-24 G4-25 G4-26

In the second stage of the materiality analysis, internal and external stakeholders prioritised the 12 topics during an online survey. They were asked to evaluate these subjects on a scale of 1 to 10 according to their relevance for ista. Moreover, in additional questions the stakeholders provided a general assessment of ista’s sustainability performance and its communications on this subject.

The external stakeholders were 10 people selected by ista, who, on the one hand, know the company well and, on the other, belong to one of the stakeholder groups relevant for ista. They are customers, tenants, associations, NGOs, representatives from politics as well as sustainability and financial experts. Prior to participating in the online survey, the external stakeholders were asked in detail about their expectations of ista and their assessment of ista’s sustainability engagement in a roughly half-hour, semi-structured telephone interview. Members of the ista Sustainability Council and representatives of the national organisations, the so-called sustainability delegates, took part in the survey as internal stakeholders.

Adoption of material topics G4-18 G4-27

A workshop organised by the ista Sustainability Council was the final stage of the materiality analysis. The objective and result of the workshop was to adopt the materiality matrix (see diagram) containing the major topics for ista’s reporting. To achieve this, the results of the internal and external stakeholder surveys were presented, discussed and the internal assessment modified, where necessary. Finally, the decision was taken on where the boundary is drawn between material and non-material subjects. The materiality matrix diagram shows what relevance internal and external stakeholders attach to the sustainability topics. The subjects highlighted in the diagram are those which we prioritise in our report. This matrix acts as a guide, helping us to determine the content of this sustainability report, further develop our sustainability strategy and select topics for internal and external communications.

 

Result of the stakeholder assessment

Material GRI aspects G4-19 G4-20 G4-21

The table assigns the relevant GRI aspects to the topics identified as material and states whether the topics reported have ecological and social impacts inside or outside our company.

Field of action Topic Relevant GRI aspect Inside / Outside
Employees Employee health Occupational safety and health Inside
Attractive employer Equality

Same pay for men and women
Inside
Products & services Innovative products & services Products & services Outside
Quality of products & services Products & services Outside
Energy & resources Saving resources Energy emissions Transport Outside
Dialogue Dialogue with politicians & society Politics Outside
Employees
Topic: Employee health
Relevant GRI aspect:
Occupational safety and health
Inside / Outside: Inside
Topic: Attractive employer
Relevant GRI aspect:
Equality
Same pay for men and women
Inside / Outside: Inside
Products & services
Topic: Innovative products & services
Relevant GRI aspect:
Products & services
Inside / Outside: Outside
Topic: Quality of products & services
Relevant GRI aspect:
Products & services
Inside / Outside: Outside
Energy & resources
Topic: Saving resources
Relevant GRI aspect:
Energy emissions Transport
Inside / Outside: Outside
Dialogue
Topic: Dialogue with politicians & society
Relevant GRI aspect:
Politics
Inside / Outside: Outside

The above analysis of internal and external stakeholder expectations is the first materiality analysis of its kind conducted by ista. In future, it will be an integral part of ista’s sustainability reporting and will be repeated at regular intervals.



Picture credits: fotolia, grasundsterne