The identification of issues is based on the analysis of internal and external sources and takes into consideration the various geographical situations, the developments in the sector and corporate processes.
The issues have been classified into business and governance issues (blue), social issues (fuchsia) and environmental issues (green) and have been assessed on the basis of their importance by both stakeholders and the company. The reading of the materiality matrix in regard to each axis leads to consideration of:
- on the horizontal axis, the priority which stakeholders, duly calibrated on the basis of their importance, attribute to the various issues. In the right-hand part of the matrix are, therefore, the issues on which stakeholders request more commitment from the Group in terms of investments, enhancement of existing management practices and systems, formalization of clear commitments and policies;
- on the vertical axis, the issues on which Enel plans to focus its efforts, with the related degree of priority, also in consideration of the investments envisaged, the commitments entered into and the issues included in the Group Strategic Plan. In the high part of the matrix we can therefore find the issues on which a serious commitment is envisaged for coming years, as part of the Group’s strategic objectives.
The combination of the two perspectives enables the most important issues both for the Company and for stakeholders to be identified (so-called material issues), and consequently the level of “alignment” or “misalignment” between external expectations and internal relevance to be verified.
The materiality matrix shows the most important issues for the Company and for stakeholders:
- the creation of economic and financial value continues to be the most important issue for stakeholders and the company. Solid governance and transparent conduct are an important backdrop to industrial growth;
- the issue of innovation and operational efficiency is of great interest in terms of the increased efficiency of existing assets and processes, and there is growing interest in issues connected to quality for customers;
- issues relating to health and safety remain priorities for the company and, although they have been carefully controlled for a long time, they require constant monitoring and awareness-raising;
- there is a clear increasing focus on the issue of responsible relationships with communities in the areas where Enel operates, as well as on the support and development of local communities. The growing importance of these issues both on mature markets and on emerging markets further strengthens the approach followed by Enel towards shared creation of value, in order to combine efficient allocation of economic resources with the needs and expectations of the communities;
- expectations of stakeholders and corporate priorities are aligned as regards issues of renewables and climate change, in line with the sustainable business model adopted by Enel, which is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Enel’s industrial strategy aims at greater development of renewable sources, energy efficiency, smart grids and storage systems. On the other hand, there is a fall in the importance attributed to generation through traditional technologies;
- particular attention is placed on the issue of the management, development and motivation of human resources as well as valorizing diversity and the quality of life in the company. The whole system linked to these issues and the related processes were reviewed during 2015 on the basis of responsibility, innovation, being proactive and trust, which have been identified as the new values of the Group. As regards diversity, in January 2015 Enel started a specific project which resulted in the drawing up of a Group policy as well as numerous local initiatives;
- although it does not appear among the priority issues, the attention paid to sustainability in the supply chain is growing, highlighting the important role of large companies in disseminating sustainability issues among their suppliers.
The result of this analysis is an important tool to plan activities and set strategic direction, as well as the basis on which reporting is structured.