Let's Talk: Open Online Sustainability Dialogue on Materiality and Stakeholder Engagement March 17-21
We invite you to join an online Think Tank facilitated by Framework President and Chief Operating Officer Aleksandra Dobkowski-Joy during the week of March 17, 2014. We will focus on the key question of: How can companies best tap stakeholder sentiment to make complex materiality determinations?
The dialogue will take place on Convetit, an online stakeholder engagement platform, and will be co-curated by Convetit Co-Founder Bill Baue. We invite you to use the platform to weigh in with ideas, commentary, and questions throughout the weeklong dialogue—whenever and however frequently you’d like.
Daily Conversation Themes
Monday: Defining materiality. We will review the materiality approaches adopted by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).
For discussion: how are these materiality definitions the same or different as materiality for financial disclosure?
Tuesday: Defining “stakeholders”. We will explore the implications for soliciting stakeholder input based on which materiality approach a company selects (GRI/IIRC/SASB/Other).
For discussion: who “qualifies” as a stakeholder?
Wednesday: Stakeholder fatigue. As more companies embark on materiality determinations, certain groups/individuals are targeted multiple times for providing “stakeholder input”.
For discussion: with stakeholder fatigue very much a reality, how can companies gather meaningful input for their analyses? What tools or processes can they use to maximize feedback while limiting burnout?
Thursday: Practical dilemmas. Stakeholders are an unruly bunch, often offering conflicting viewpoints and strong opinions that may be difficult to synthesize into a tidy materiality conclusion.
For discussion: How can companies best use the input they receive to develop both overarching priorities for performance/disclosure while also accounting for divergent views?
Friday: The future of feedback. With efforts to surface and confirm material issues by sector (SASB), and with greater numbers of companies arriving at materiality determinations, will the role of stakeholder input change?
For discussion: What is the best/highest use of stakeholder engagement once an initial materiality analysis is complete?