The 2014 Sustainability Report concentrates on the issues that are of greatest relevance to our core business and the Group's stakeholders. Issue identification was conducted through a structured process in accordance with GRI G4 guidelines. The materiality analysis led to the identification and summary of our priorities and those of our stakeholders. The material aspects are those that reflect the significant economic, social and environmental impacts of the organisation or which have substantial influence over stakeholders' assessments and decisions. The process recommended by the GRI involves three steps:
Identification of material issues and stakeholders
In 2014 we implemented a stakeholder map validation process defined in recent years according to AA1000SES principles. The identification of economic, environmental and social sustainability issues significant to the financial sector and significant to Group business and our stakeholders was carried out by analysing:
- sustainability aspects and topics identified by the Global Reporting Initiative reporting standard;
- document sources within the Group including, for example, top management communications, Shareholders’ Meeting minutes, communications to shareholders, Sustainability Reports for the last three years, policies adopted by the Group and complaints to the Code of Ethics;
- external document sources, including the reference standards for reporting sustainability performance (G4, SASB), the questionnaires of ESG rating agencies, the Sustainability Reports of other national and international financial groups;
- press reviews and planning documents of Italian public entities and multilateral organisations.
The assessments of the results deriving from these document sources and from the stakeholder engagement path (see @) bear in mind the GRI principles of stakeholder inclusiveness and the sustainability context.
The issues identified were organised into a tree arranged into three increasing levels of detail: these issues were the subject of listening and dialogue with our key stakeholders.
Prioritisation and definition of the materiality matrix
To prioritise the issues identified, for each issue we first assessed its significance compared to corporate strategies and commitments defined in the Business Plan, and then the degree to which it represents the interests and expectations of stakeholders (thus evaluating the principles of stakeholder materiality and inclusiveness). These two aspects are indicated by the two axes of the materiality matrix, illustrated below.
The 2014 materiality matrix
Of all the issues identified, those in the quadrant of high significance on both axes are recognised as priorities for 2014. Therefore, the Sustainability Report comments on the related issues in detail, their management methods, significant indicators and the status of issues compared to progress in the Business Plan. These issues are covered by the following seven macro-areas:
Relations with suppliers and the community do not qualify as material issues, but Intesa Sanpaolo recognises their high social and environmental value and therefore provides detailed disclosures on the website @ and in single-issue notebooks @ @. A summary disclosure is in any event provided in the Sustainability Report.
The main differences compared to the 2013 materiality matrix refer to issues of strong significance in the 2014-2017 Business Plan: support to the business system becomes an even more strategic success factor for the Bank and fundamental leverage for Italy's growth. Innovation, both from a Service Model viewpoint and from that of new business on which the Bank will focus its efforts, has made the issue of offering value to customers crucial.
The final step recommended by the GRI is validation. To define the scope of the issues identified, all impacts – positive and negative – the issue might have on stakeholders or in the reference context of its value chain were considered. In particular, the risks and opportunities arising from the issue and its potential influence over long-term Group strategy were considered with a view to assessing the wider context of sustainability.
The application of GRI principles of completeness and inclusiveness for stakeholders has allowed us to evaluate for each material subject the boundaries within which relative impacts arise (both within the Bank and externally), with the aim of offering stakeholders a complete view of our performance (see GRI – Impact boundaries @).
The assessments were discussed with Delegates from the Chief Risk Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Governance Areas, identifying the reporting structure and management disclosures associated with each issue.
Analysis of material issues in the wider context of sustainability
This Report illustrates the Bank’s performance in the wider context of sustainability. In other words, in the presentation of the Report’s contents, Intesa Sanpaolo aims to show how business activities help to improve or deteriorate social, economic and environmental conditions in a local, regional or global framework.
To clarify these concepts, a concentric chart is provided below (Figure 2) that shows the seven issues proved to be the most significant (as per the materiality matrix), the risks and opportunities associated with each issue and the agreed long-term value intended as the outcome, i.e. positive impacts for the Bank, the environment and for society in general.
(*) ESG refers to Environmental Social and Governance Risks
(**) SRI (Social Responsible Investments) investors: investors that not only assess the financial performance of businesses, but also their commitment to society and the environment