Are you daunted by the GRI G4 requirement of engaging stakeholders to determine materiality for sustainability reporting? Convetit, a new online stakeholder engagement platform, is offering a solution: a Materiality Mapping Tool, which embeds an interactive matrix into virtual “ThinkTanks.” There, stakeholders can plot material issues on a dual-axis grid weighing significance to stakeholders against impact on business, and then export that data for integration into corporate sustainability reports and websites.
“Convetit ThinkTanks introduce a new, more efficient and effective practice of interacting with key stakeholders at their convenience across timezones globally over a matter of days in asynchronous dialogues, enabling companies to collaboratively identify, prioritize, validate, and review their material sustainability issues with our Materiality Mapping Tool,” said co-founder and CEO Tom O'Malley, who presented the Convetit platform and tool at last month’s New Metrics ‘14. “Convetit ThinkTanks save on the cost, calendaring, and carbon associated with traditional real-time engagement — such as in-person meetings, conference calls, and webinars — empowering companies and stakeholders to integrate meaningful, in-depth dialogue into their regular routines.”
To help jumpstart materiality determinations, Convetit pre-loaded templates of the top 15 material GRI aspects (each representing an issue) in each of 35 sectors based on research of more than 1,200 GRI sustainability reports by the Governance & Accountability Institute for its report, What Matters.
“Our What Matters research makes for a perfect starting point for Convetit's Materiality Mapping tool,” said Lou Coppola, EVP of the Governance & Accountability Institute. “If your sector peers consider the 15 GRI aspects we found most often in the 1,200-plus surveyed sustainability reports the most worthy of reporting, then it only makes sense to see if your stakeholders agree these are your company's most material issues — or not.”
Convetit's business model is fueled by the corporate sustainability field's longstanding practices of Stakeholder Engagement and Materiality — which are increasingly coming into sharper focus and converging. In addition to GRI G4's enhanced attention on these two interrelated practices, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) includes both Materiality and Stakeholder Relationships as Guiding Principles.
“The increasing alignment between GRI and IIRC around the core practices of stakeholder engagement and materiality enhances the demand for simple yet sophisticated platforms such as Convetit's virtual ThinkTanks that embed our Materiality Mapping tool,” said Convetit co-founder and Chief Engagement Architect Bill Baue. “Convetit ThinkTanks can augment or replace traditional stakeholder engagement, supplanting arms-length, tick-box surveys with direct, authentic interaction with key stakeholders over enough time for creative collaboration to emerge.”
Convetit says even before broad release, its Materiality Mapping Tool is already securing a faithful following.
"Over the last several years, I've tested more than 80 sustainability-focused web tools and Convetit stands out as one of the most effective, powerful tools I've seen,” said Jennifer Woofter, President of Strategic Sustainability Consulting. “Convetit is on a very short list of tools I will recommend to my clients, and the only one that I will use to conduct materiality assessments.”