To continuously improve as an organisation, we identify, understand and balance the most important topics for our stakeholders, and relate them to the actions and decisions we take. A solid materiality analysis provides insights into future trends, business risks and opportunities that influence our ability to create value. It helps identify topics that our stakeholders, internal and external, expect us to focus on.
How we obtained our shortlist of material topics
Our first materiality analysis was performed in 2014. It has been used as a baseline ever since, checked and refined when needed by internal experts in the environmental, social or economic field, and approved by the board in 2016, 2017 and 2019. The analysis has resulted in a shortlist of 5-7 material topics, obtained by prioritising a long list from the GRI principles, studying our existing business strategy, internal input, and regular stakeholder engagement. Every year we check whether these topics are still aligned with our business strategy, reflected in customer and employee feedback, and through wider discussions across society and the media. The results are validated with key internal stakeholders. Our view on priorities has remained consistent with current priorities set as:
Health and safety
Quality and sustainability in our products and services
Integrity and ethical performance
Economic / financial performance
Recent shifts in our business strategy (eg digitalisation) and societal trends (eg climate change and the energy transition) have increased the priority of emission reduction, security and privacy from medium to high. Human rights assessment, anti-competitive behavior and environmental compliance have been raised from low to medium priority.
Our CSR strategy is based on our promise (we ‘walk the talk’) and our culture of ‘enhancing society together’. Material topics that contribute to this way of working are therefore addressed continuously in our projects and operations (see also the section Strategy & Governance for our key results on the material topics).
Our most important stakeholders, clients and employees, are asked annually for feedback on the company’s strategy and performance, which serves as a regular pulse check. Our 2019 client survey indicated a dramatic increase in demand for sustainability. Customers’ key materialities are:
Minimise negative effects of a project on the environment
Minimise the use of scarce resources and materials
Adapt to the energy transition and use renewable sources of energy
Work with consultants who not only do what is asked, but proactively provide advice and solutions
Implement innovative solutions to add more value to the project.
For our employees, key materialities are human rights issues and ethical questions that arise when working on projects in certain countries.
The outcomes of our client and customer surveys indicate a need to revise our materiality analysis in 2020. We will do this through a further survey and open discussions with all relevant internal and external stakeholders. This will be used to refine our company strategy and long-term vision.