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Nueva evaluación de materialidad para informes de sostenibilidad

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TOIT20161113002
Publicado:
25/11/2016
Caducidad:
25/11/2017
Resumen:
Un equipo de investigación de una universidad italiana especializado en sostenibilidad corporativa y responsabilidad social ha desarrollado un método para mejorar los informes de sostenibilidad. Este método se basa en el análisis de materialidad, en las directrices de la iniciativa mundial de presentación de informes y en el compromiso de las partes interesadas, y permite mejorar la responsabilidad y transparencia de los informes a la vez que incluye los costes de tiempo y recursos. El método puede aplicarse en cualquier empresa independientemente de su tamaño
y sector y se ha diseñado para sintetizar diferentes juicios de los responsables en la toma de decisiones. El equipo de investigación busca socios industriales con el fin de establecer acuerdos de cooperación técnica para realizar pruebas de campo a largo plazo y con múltiples partes interesadas.

Details

Tittle:
An innovative materiality assessment for sustainability reporting
Summary:
A research team from an Italian university has developed a method for improving sustainability reporting based on materiality analysis, Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines and stakeholder engagement. The method allows enhancing accountability and transparency of reporting while containing costs of time and resources. The research team is seeking industrial partners for technical cooperation agreements aimed to conduct further field tests in a long-term and multi-stakeholder perspective.
Description:

The Italian research team is active in the field of corporate sustainability and social responsibility. Research activities mainly focus on the measurement of: sustainability performance, sustainability communication and reporting; stakeholder engagement initiatives.

Sustainability reports should provide stakeholders with information that clearly describe organizations´ long and short-term economic, social and environmental sustainability objectives and performance. To this aim, companies need to adopt a materiality approach in defining the content of their sustainability report.
Materiality assessment is a subjective process, where decision-makers are asked to judge the significance of sustainability issues with regard to their influence over companies and stakeholders. The subjectivity is a critical aspect since it introduces uncertainty in the evaluation process. The proposed method allows solving the problem of subjectivity inherent in materiality analysis, by integrating multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) and fuzzy linguistic variables.
Furthermore, it appears that materiality analysis would be especially useful for SMEs since it permits to reduce the level of resources and skills to dedicate to reporting activities. The method addresses the SMEs criticalities indicating the more material aspects and indicators and thus optimizing the use of limited resources.

Since the method is based on Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) aspects and indicators, it offers advantages in terms of accuracy, thoroughness and efficiency of reporting. The method can be applied to all companies regardless of size and sector. The method is designed to synthesize different decision-makers´ judgments. This allows engaging various typologies of stakeholders (internal and/or external) in the materiality assessment process.

The scope of the technical cooperation agreement is to conduct further field tests for analyzing the benefits that a company can achieve by systematic materiality assessments, through the engagement of various groups of stakeholders.

Advantages and Innovations:
The main innovative aspect of the proposed method relies on the quantitative approach used for materiality assessment. The method allows setting a threshold of completeness that enables to focus reporting activities mainly on the more material sustainability issues. Thereby, the method allows an effective identification of most appropriate content for inclusion in sustainability reporting.

The following advantages are achievable:
-addressing subjectivity in materiality assessment;
-applicability by company of any size or sector;
-the use of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines, which is the most widely used framework for sustainability reporting, ensures accuracy and thoroughness of sustainability reporting;
-improving transparency, credibility and completeness of reports;
-engagement of both internal and external stakeholders. The method is designed to easily synthesize different stakeholders´ judgments in a single aggregate judgment, addressing the multi-stakeholder issue from a materiality analysis perspective.
The method can be especially useful for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) since it facilitates the planning of reporting completeness thus overcoming the time and financial constraints that SMEs often face in sustainability reporting. The method is also useful for those companies that have never provided formal and structured sustainability reports. For those companies already engaged in sustainability reporting, the method helps optimizing costs in terms of time and resources, while again it allows improving content relevance and precision.
Stage of Development:
Field tested/evaluated
IPs:
Secret Know-how

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The Italian research team is interested in technical cooperation agreements with industrial partners that have never engaged in sustainability reporting or are already engaged but without a fully-structured approach. The partner can belong to any sector.
The contribution expected from the partner is mainly the availability of time to dedicate to the method application. The partner is also expected to provide the research team with appropriate information for the materiality assessment and stakeholder engagement.
The research team is available to assist partner during the method implementation providing training activities, if necessary.

Client

Type and Size of Client:
University
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
No
Languages Spoken:
English

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
11001 Modelos de desarrollo socioeconómico, aspectos económicos