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    Materiality matrix

    Materiality matrix

    Coming from the financial world, the concept of materiality refers to anything that can have a significant impact on a company, its activities and its ability to create value, financial and non-financial, for itself and its stakeholders.

    In 2013, Schneider Electric conducted a materiality analysis, involving its external stakeholders (customers, media, distributors, international organizations, experts, etc.), as well as managers and executives from different departments of the Group (Environment, Supply Chain, Finance, Human Resources, Business, etc.). Six different nationalities were represented among the participants and 37% of respondents were women while 63% were men.

    With the help of consulting firm Utopies, the objective of this analysis is to ensure that Schneider Electric communicates on the most important economic, social and environmental issues; identifies opportunities and risks for its present and future activities; and updates its approach to sustainable development in the light of key stakeholders' expectations.
    • Methodology

      • The identification of relevant issues was made: first by a broad inventory of topics from transversal ones (issues relevant to all types of businesses) to specific ones (relevant issues for the sector and particularly for Schneider Electric), and then by a refocusing that allowed to keep 36 issues.

      • Two rounds of interviews, internal and external, were conducted with stakeholders and experts with the aim of filling an evaluation grid, resulting in a scoring of the issues, depending on their relative importance, on a scale ranging from 1 (issue not at all material) to 5 (issue extensively material).

      • The scores given during interviews carried with internal participants were reported on the "importance for Schneider Electric" axis and those given by external stakeholders were plotted on the "importance for stakeholders" axis.
    • Analysis of the results

      • The more topics are located near the diagonal line which passes by the point of origin, the more there is an agreement between internal and external stakeholders about the relative importance of the issue for Schneider Electric and its ecosystem of stakeholders. Topics constitute an “external signal” when they are located over the diagonal line and an “internal signal” when they are located under it.

      • The most material issues include energy transition, energy efficiency in industry and buildings, sustainable cities, smart grids, sustainable innovation, access to energy, eco-design, sustainable purchases, employee engagement and talent attraction, resource scarcity, and the digital economy.

      • It should be noted that, on the following subjects, the standard deviation observed in the scores given by the participants is particularly high. Indeed, there is some disagreement among the internal participants on the materiality of following topics: SRI, human rights, energy storage, business development in developing countries, sustainable branding, and climate change.
        And similarly for external participants on the following topics: energy storage, circular economy, urbanization, sustainable branding, water usage & pollution, and energy efficiency in the residential sector.
    • Use of the results

      • Through quantified indicators and three-year objectives, the Planet & Society barometer, for the period 2015-2017, covers the following challenges identified to be of highest importance by this analysis: sustainable innovation, access to energy, eco-design, sustainable purchasing, employee attraction and engagement, scarcity of resources, raising awareness of sustainability , climate change, and subjects linked to Schneider Electric’s major customer projects (energy transition, energy efficiency in industry, in buildings, in homes , sustainable cities, digital economy, green IT). It does not cover green IT within the Group. This is addressed in communications through other channels (the registration document, for example).

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