Our approach to materiality considers how our business creates value for all stakeholders across the short, medium and longer-term horizons. Aligned to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, we assess our economic, environmental and social impacts across the value chain (including positive, negative, actual and potential) on stakeholders, society at large and on our business.
The results of our materiality assessment inform our sustainability approach, strategic priorities and reporting. This year, we leveraged the methodology implemented in 2019 with the assistance of a third-party consultant to ensure continued independence in our process. This analysis considered how our business creates value for all stakeholders across the short, medium- and longer-term horizons. Aligned to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, the assessment also considered our economic, environmental and social impacts across the value chain (including positive, negative, actual and potential) on stakeholders, society at large and on QBE.
We also considered our alignment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the process, assessing the most relevant SDGs and associated targets for each material topic.
The following provides an overview of the key aspects of the methodology:
Sustainability topics were identified using both internal and external inputs. This involved gathering perspectives from a wide range of sources, with both internal and external stakeholder engagement. The process was aligned to:
- the GRI Reporting Principles for defining report content and report quality including Stakeholder Inclusiveness,
Sustainability Context, Materiality and Completeness; and
- AccountAbility’s AA1000 AcountAbility Principles (AA1000AP) 2018 of Inclusivity, Materiality, Responsiveness and Impact.
As part of the process, we engaged with a diverse range of stakeholders including investors, employees, government, community groups, industry associations, commercial partners and think tanks. Our stakeholders are selected to ensure balance and coverage between themes and topics. Stakeholders participate in one-on-one interviews with an independent facilitator, enabling a discussion of the issues ranked as most significant by each stakeholder. During these interviews, stakeholders were asked to identify the SDGs most relevant to QBE. The process enabled us to understand our stakeholders’ unique needs, expectations, perceptions or concerns. As part of our broader approach to sustainability, we regularly consult with our stakeholders to help us identify risks and opportunities and gain the insights we need to ensure our strategy, products and services continue to meet our stakeholders’ needs and requirements.
The sustainability topics identified were mapped to our Sustainability Framework to ensure coverage of the risks and opportunities relevant to our role in society as an international insurance and reinsurance company.
Topics raised through the identification process were reviewed, consolidated and prioritised. The GRI Standards provided valuable guidance in assessing the significance of our impact on the economy, environment and society. As part of the process, we considered a range of factors to test the insights from the identification stage.
The results of this review were used to develop a materiality matrix.
Each topic was then positioned on our materiality matrix considering three different stages of relevance and maturity:
- Prioritise – Topics with high importance to our stakeholders and with a significant impact on the environment, economy and society. These require significant management and strategic focus.
- Maintain – Topics with strategic significance for which we have well-established management processes. Stakeholder interest in these topics may vary.
- Monitor and Manage – Topics with increasing relevance to QBE or of significance to particular stakeholder groups. These topics warrant further analysis and management.
Once the revised materiality matrix was completed, an internal validation workshop was held with the Sustainability Committee and other internal stakeholders to test and validate the assumptions used and the outcomes. This considered the short, medium and long-term potential impacts of each topic.
The final outcomes were then presented to and approved by the GEC and the Group BRCC.
To find out more about our key material issues for 2020, please refer to our 2020 Sustainability Report.