TIM believes it is fundamentally important to consider the opinions and expectations of its stakeholders, namely the parties who for various reasons have an interest in the company’s activities.
[G4-24] The stakeholders with whom the Group comes into contact in the conduct of its business are many and very varied. For ease of management they were grouped into eight categories:
- community (including associations, universities, world of education, media, start-ups)
- human resources
For TIM, listening to its stakeholders means improving its understanding of their demands and priorities regarding key aspects of its strategy, and gathering contributions on the potential areas of development of the strategy itself, with a view to improving the ability to create shared value between the Company and its stakeholders.
This is the purpose of the multi-stakeholder forum 2016, organised for the second year running, on 18 October 2016, at the TIM Space in Milan.
The forum is a listening and involvement tool that promotes integration between the demands of the various stakeholders involved, allowing the company to receive contributions that consider the various perspectives while at the same time providing an integrated vision of the various expectations and priorities.
The 2016 forum focused on three objectives:
- strengthening understanding of the demands and priorities of stakeholders on matters relevant to the Group’s strategy;
- gathering the assessments and opinions of stakeholders about potential future scenarios regarding the matters discussed during the meetings;
- gathering actual suggestions and proposals about what the Group - and all the relevant actors - can do to contribute to these matters with a view to creating shared value.
In establishing the method used to run the forum, the principles of the international Stakeholder Engagement Standard AA1000SES, drawn up by AccountAbility, were applied. In accordance with the AA1000SES standard, provision was made for:
- ensuring the presence of a third party independent of TIM and specialised in stakeholder engagement and AccountAbility. The Group availed itself of SCS Consulting, responsible for guaranteeing the materiality of the issues being discussed, an independent review of what emerged from the listening activities and the inclusion of stakeholders who represent different views on the topics being discussed;
- selecting participants in the forum based on their knowledge of the topics discussed and a balanced presence of stakeholders with different points of view;
- excluding people who have been employed by or have had a professional working relationship with the Group and ruling out any remuneration for forum participants.
Finally, provision was made for the presence of a representative of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company in charge of auditing the Sustainability Report.
The participants were identified by involving the internal departments of TIM. In particular, stakeholders from the customers1, institutions, suppliers, communities and the environment categories were involved.
Furthermore, in order to ensure the full representation of the various interests involved, stakeholders with different points of view on the issues were identified:
- directly impacted stakeholders, such as customers and suppliers to the Group; community representatives with a direct interest in TIM’s activities, e.g. local institutions, schools and associations;
- stakeholders with technical and scientific knowledge about the topics, such as universities, research centres, opinion leaders.
Selection of topics for discussion
The first point of reference for determining the topics to be dealt with by the forum was the 2015 materiality matrix, which was revised in 2016 in light of the most significant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for TIM.
The materiality matrix is where the demands, objectives and expectations of the external reference context on the one hand meet with the strategies and commitments of TIM on the other. Every year, this leads to the key issues on which further work is needed being identified, listening tools to the forum, as described in the respective paragraphs.
With regard to the external context, consideration was given in 2016 to the SDGs where TIM can contribute to providing a concrete response with its ICT solutions, including in the fields of “Good Health” (n0 3), “Quality Education” (n0 4), “Decent Work and Economic Growth” (n0 8), “Innovation and Infrastructure” (n0 9), “Sustainable Cities and Communities”(n0 11).
The key issues thus identified were grouped by similarity and assessed in the following workshops:
- competitiveness and innovation
- quality of services
- smart living
- technology for the environment
- digital culture
- informed use of the internet
Proposals for action
During the forum, the process used by TIM to consult stakeholders, gather their proposals and translate them into concrete actions to create shared value is shown in the image below.
The stages of the process are described below:
1. Each forum participant was sent a dossier introducing the topic of their workshop, also containing the projects carried out by TIM on the specific topic, with the aim of facilitating active and informed involvement.
2. After having envisaged some future scenarios for each of the topics considered to be most significant by each workshop, the stakeholders suggested concrete actions that TIM could promote and undertake as a national company together with other relevant parties. 17 proposals for action emerged from these workshops.
3. After the forum, 17 proposals for action were analysed and assessed according to three criteria:
- business potential;
- potential for stakeholder engagement, with particular reference to the ability to generate
- systemic projects with key players;
- potential to create shared value.
4. With regard to the proposals for action judged to be most relevant, TIM undertakes to engage in detailed analysis with the main stakeholders in order to concretely determine the subsequent action plans.
1 The employees category was not involved because the reference standard AA1000SES adopted when organising the forum excludes the presence of people who have been employed by the Group or have had any kind of professional relationship with it. The investors and competitors categories were instead involved by the Group using alternative both to ensure consistency with internal objectives and to fulfil the needs of the external context and the Company’s stakeholders.