Refining and validating materiality

“The research ACCSR undertook for us helped to validate our material sustainability issues. Their service was responsive and timely, and was undertaken with considerable regard for our stakeholders.”
Nancie-Lee Robinson, General Manager, Governance Integration & Reporting, Chief Sustainability Office, Telstra

ACCSR helped Telstra refine and identify further areas of focus for its future reporting and communication. At the conclusion of the project, Telstra received feedback from its stakeholders regarding the respectful and interesting nature of the engagement and their appreciation of being involved.

The Client Challenge

Telstra’s Chief Sustainability Office undertakes a materiality process to identify, prioritise and respond to its sustainability challenges and opportunities. This process is based on AccountAbility’s AA1000 Principles Standard (2008). In 2013 the office wanted to validate these issues and deepen its insight into stakeholders’ perceptions of the issues, as well as the effectiveness of their sustainability reporting and communications.

Our Approach

We employed a stakeholder engagement-based approach to this materiality assessment. We developed a stakeholder survey that provided validated, robust and comprehensive items to measure and test stakeholders’ engagement with, and perceptions of, Telstra’s sustainability reports, and their opinions about the sustainability matters they deemed most important.

ACCSR’s interviews with Telstra’s stakeholders covered feedback on Telstra’s most recent report, as well as perceptions of the issues stakeholders wanted to see covered in Telstra’s future reporting and communications.