​Feedback from stakeholders

Eight of the material issues were considered by some stakeholders as more important – developing our people, waste and recycling, hazardous substances, innovation, human rights, working in the community, water, and health, safety and security – whereas only governance was considered slightly less important.

Stakeholder views differed on the placement of three specific issues – stakeholder relations, energy efficiency and risk management. Stakeholders expressed diverse views about new or missing issues, with some topics already encompassed in the existing material issue categories. However, there was insufficient support on any new single issue to justify its addition to the matrix. We have updated our materiality matrix accordingly.

Ratings of various issues have been adjusted in line with the feedback outlined above. We have also harmonized the terms used in the matrix with the language of our sustainability objectives to increase understanding and have developed definitions of the material issues. However, we have kept the internal and external constituencies of “People and society” separate to ensure a better focus on actions and outcomes. Other key changes are:

– “Water” and “Waste and recycling” now combined under “Resource efficiency”

– “Stakeholder relations” and “Working in the community” now combined under “Stakeholder engagement”

– “Risk management” removed from the matrix in response to commentary from stakeholders that the relevant risk – and opportunity – should be dealt with within each issue category

Regarding ABB’s Sustainability Objectives 2014–2020, stakeholders considered our 2020 ambitions highly relevant, reflecting the key issues on which the Group should focus. Products and services was clearly identified as the most important objective.

However, stakeholders also told us that we have further work to do to ensure the KPIs and targets underpinning the objectives match our ambition levels. We acknowledge this point and, as noted throughout this report, we continue to develop the KPIs, targets and underlying programs to achieve our objectives. Stakeholders also wanted to understand ABB’s contribution to broader societal goals and emphasized the importance of responsibility and collaboration along the value chain.

These stakeholder views are helping us to further shape the targets underpinning our Sustainability Objectives 2014–2020 and have helped to determine the structure and content of this report. We will continue to review these issues with our stakeholders at regular intervals and will use this input to inform our improvement goals and reporting activities.

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