Managing Material Issues and Reporting
The Group applies a collective approach in determining material issues identified by our stakeholders during engagement and assessment processes in our business units. Material issues are identified and prioritised using a multi-stage process which starts at business unit level to Group Level. At business unit level, the operation’s material issues and topics are identified and their relevant impacts assessed at business level as well as shared with our stakeholders.
At Group level, all material issues and topics are assessed for their relevance and impacts on our broad stakeholders, corporate strategy and national context in relations to economic, environmental and social aspects. The Group Sustainability Team consolidate material topics as part of the Executive Board Committee Packages for evaluation during their meetings.
The material topics and issues considered at Group Level for the year were also considered at government level to have significant impacts on our stakeholders. Key material issues considered included economic growth, poverty, climate change, poverty alleviation, supply chain, sustainable development, energy, water and environmental impacts. Our assessments were based on the fact that Zimbabwe ratified the Paris Agreement (2016) on climate change and made commitment to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At a National level, Zimbabwe published the National Climate Change Strategy with the Climate Change Policy expected to be launched in 2018. In addition, the country prioritised 10 of 17 SDGs for implementation in the following order: Goal 2 (Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition), Goal 3 (Health), Goal 4 (Education), Goal 5 (Gender and Women Empowerment). Goal 6 (Water and Sanitation), Goal 7 (Energy), Goal 8 (Economic Growth), Goal 9 (Infrastructure), Goal 13 (combating Climate Change), and Goal 17 (Partnership). As such, these national developments goals have impacts in the way we operate, manage risk and identify business opportunities for the Group. Therefore, material issues and topics at Group level were significantly influenced by how the Group was responding to the above sustainable development goals in creating and sustaining value for our stakeholders.
At Company level, material issues were identified by company based Sustainability Teams and Coordinators through feedback from stakeholder engagement processes. The teams/coordinators report to company management which evaluate and address material issues at that level in line with Group and Company policies. The Group’s Management evaluate the issues and their impact on the business and stakeholders for action, response and accountability to the stakeholders.
In defining the reporting boundaries, we focused on identified material impacts and from companies where the impacts occurred. While sustainability reporting continued to be fully embedded in some of our companies, we opted to define reporting boundaries by considering key Group companies with high and material impacts on economic, environmental and social aspects. However, sustainability performance indicators provided in this report were drawn from all our subsidiaries and associates companies.