Material issues

In 2011, we conducted a materiality assessment with input from nearly 600 people, including senior ABB executives and employees from all parts of the business, customers, and external stakeholders specialized in key sustainability areas.

We also mapped regulatory risks and macro trends, and benchmarked against peer companies to help us establish a comprehensive sustainability issues landscape. The resulting materiality matrix then shaped the development of our sustainability strategy during 2011.

We undertook a further review with our stakeholders during 2013 to update our assessment of material aspects and to seek their views on how best to report on our sustainability strategy, performance and progress. The results from interviews with ABB employees, investors, customers and external sustainability experts, in the main, confirmed the conclusions from our 2011 consultation and helped us to shape our Sustainability Objectives 2014–2020.

In 2014, we consulted our stakeholders again: to gauge their views on the newly-released sustainability objectives and the 2013 matrix, and how we report on our sustainability performance. We also sought to assess any changes in their evaluation of ABB’s material issues following the release of ABB’s Next Level strategy.

This consultation focused solely on external stakeholders, as leaders from ABB’s business, countries and functions were extensively involved in the development of the Group Sustainability Objectives and the new business strategy.

A third party conducted 29 interviews with representatives across our key constituencies: Customers, suppliers, investors, civil society, including NGOs, international organizations, sustainability experts and young people. Around 40 percent of participants had been involved in previous consultations.

Overall, stakeholders found that the 2013 matrix provided a good snapshot of relevant issues for ABB, although a number of stakeholders requested better definition of the specifics considered within each issue. 
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