In 2014, we conducted our first materiality analysis in accordance with the GRI-G4 reporting guidelines, with the aim of identifying the priorities for our sustainability strategy and defining the content of the 2014 Report.
Material aspects are those that, on the one hand, are perceived as relevant by stakeholders, as they may substantively influence their expectations, decisions and actions and, on the other, that can have a significant economic, social and environmental impact on the Group’s activities.
During the identification phase, potential material aspects were selected by analysing different sources. The main sources were:
- internal company documents, such as the Code of Conduct, the Sustainability Report and the Annual Integrated Report, the Strategic Plan, the Charter of sustainability commitments, the Ethical Guidelines for Investments and the Group Policy for the Environment and Climate;
- external documents, such as scenario reports, produced among others by the World Economic Forum, rating agencies’ assessment questionnaires for inclusion in responsible investment indices, benchmarking analysis performed on the main competitors, and internet and media search activities;
- international multi-stakeholder standards/initiatives, including the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), the GRI-G4 sustainability reporting guidelines, the UNI ISO 26000 guidelines for Social Responsibility, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the European Commission’s CSR Agenda for Action.
During the second phase (assessment and prioritization), the Group’s top management analyzed the sustainability aspects identified (around 150 in total), assigning a priority to the individual topics based both on the impact for the Group and the interests of external stakeholders. To this end, in this first edition the importance of each topic for stakeholders was assessed on the basis of the perception of top management and surveys carried out by the Group.
The materiality matrix is approved by the Board of Directors in conjunction with the Sustainability Report.
The materiality analysis should be viewed as a dynamic process: on the one hand, the results help the internal functions to identify areas on which to focus their initiatives to improve the Group’s impact on the environment and society.
On the other hand, listening to stakeholders, the implementation of the Charter of sustainability commitments and changes in the general scenario will prompt us to periodically review the analysis of the material topics and update the assessment of risks and opportunities related to the sustainability scenario.
When defining the material topics, the following three preconditions to the sustainability model were identified:
- creating sustainable economic value over time;
- adopting an effective and transparent governance system to support the business;
- paying constant attention to ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.
The result of the analysis process is reflected in the position of the 21 topics (identified as most important for Generali and/or its stakeholders) on the materiality matrix, where:
- the distribution of the topics along the x axis reflects the significance of the sustainability aspects for Generali;
- the position along the y axis determines the topics’ influence on the assessments and decisions made by stakeholders;
- the different colours classify the topics as global trends, or as topics that are specific to the Generali context and that of its stakeholder network.