Materiality Assessment Review and Alignment with the SDG's

Key emerging issue areas were recommended for higher prioritization by the sector

Materiality assessments are a fundamental step in the development and adjustment of a company’s sustainability strategies, reporting activities, and stakeholder engagement. Carrying out the exercise at sector level is also of fundamental importance and that is why, already ten years ago, GeSI commissioned its first materiality report. 

At the time, the very concept of materiality was still in its early days; but the fast pace of evolution and change within – and caused by – the ICT industry, meant that a review of the Assessment became rapidly needed, and in 2014 we issued a review of the original assessment. The document has proven an invaluable tool to support GeSI Members in their individual materiality exercises, and in informing their sustainability and business development decisions.

Four years later, and at the start of a new term of office for a renewed GeSI Board, the timing is ideal for another review of the document. Building on a proven approach, the new report was developed taking into account the materiality assessments of individual GeSI members, and the input provided by extensive conversations with a number of external stakeholders.The stakeholders interviewed provided useful insights on the social application of ICT products/services, and on the analysis of the disruptive potential of ICT. 

Two key emerging issue areas were recommended for higher prioritization by the sector.
- Disruptive Forces;
- Social Impact of Products and Services.

The report conclusions recommend that GeSI treat these two key emerging issues and stresses that although the interviewed stakeholders focused mostly on the risks, there are many potential ICT applications in both areas that will offer positive sustainability impacts. 

An important addition to this third assessment is the section on the alignment between the most material issues for the ICT industry and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which GeSI adopted as its overall framework for action in June 2016.  

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