In 2014 we launched a process to identify the most important issues on which to concentrate our attention and efforts, in line with the GRI-G4 guidelines. This activity enabled us to define the materiality matrix, which pinpoints material aspects that can have a significant economic, social and environmental impact on the Group’s activities and which, influencing the expectations, decisions and actions of stakeholders, are perceived as relevant by the latter.
Thanks also to the involvement of our stakeholders, materiality analysis has enabled us to identify a number of relevant issues about which we are committed to developing concrete actions and consistent initiatives. The identified issues are the result of an analysis of the scenario, the companies of the insurance sector or other sectors with relevant experience in the area of corporate responsibility, and the dialogue with the Generali top management and, since 2015, also with a number of external stakeholders, chosen for their authority and knowledge of the insurance sector or for their ability to provide original and innovative perspectives.
Quality of the customer experience
In the relations with clients it is essential to be able to guarantee a unique and distinctive experience, maintaining and strengthening the loyalty on which the phases of the customer experience are based.
Business innovation for the digital customer
The spread of the internet and mobile technology continues to grow and is changing consumer habits. Changes in customer behaviour before, during and after the purchase of policies require companies to adopt a multichannel communication strategy, to implement technological systems capable of meeting needs and to ensure security when managing purchase data.
Demographic and social change
Migration, new family structures, new coming generations and the aging of the population due to the fall in the birth rate and the increase in average life expectancy have relevant impact on public finances (in the management of both pensions and health care) and the attitude of citizens towards saving.
Climate change and natural disasters
Climate change is already taking place and natural disasters are on the rise, constituting a threat to global economic development. In this context, the mitigation of climate risks and adaptation strategies are key factors at global level for strengthening the resilience of communities.
Relations with distributors
Distributors play a key role in the promotion and distribution of products and are able to provide important feedback for the development of products and improvement of services. Developing our relationship with the sales networks through dialogue, training and involvement in business strategies increases their satisfaction and loyalty.
Product and service development
The requirements of customers constantly change and evolve in response to the changing scenarios, mega trends and technological innovations. Companies must be able to identify needs and to update their offers with a practical approach that is in keeping with expectations and with the constantly changing regulatory framework.
Employee engagement and promotion of a common culture
Strengthening the motivation and commitment of employees to meeting our goals is important for maintaining a single, shared company vision. Dialogue and listening activities and the sharing of information are key aspects for the involvement of employees.
Data and Cyber Security
The quantity and quality of personal data now available is such that they must be managed carefully and professionally to ensure their confidentiality. The risks arising from the computerised management of acquired data and the vulnerability of systems to external or internal attacks require appropriate prevention and protection systems that ensure the protection of all stakeholders and business continuity.
Responsible remuneration and incentives
A remuneration system based on internal equity, competitiveness, consistency and merit through a direct relationship between commitment and the recognition of merit makes it possible to create long-term value at all levels of the organisation.
Diversity, inclusion and equal opportunities
Enhancing diversity, promoting inclusion and contrasting any kind of discrimination allow us to create the best possible conditions in our relationships with stakeholders and to promote targeted behaviour to prevent inequalities.
Responsible management of reorganisations
Company reorganisations and especially the manner in which they are performed are key aspects for individuals’ adaptability to changing contexts and for the economic stability of the areas in which these impacts occur.
Attracting talent and development of human capital
In an increasingly competitive and selective market, it is important to be able to count on wellprepared and motivated resources that are able to rise to the challenges of the sector.
Excellence in the management of claims
The relationship established with an insurance company for the claims settlement is a key aspect of the contract: it represents the phase when the client can assess information received during the initial consulting, the quality of the service and the scope of the insurance coverage.
Responsible business management
In a context in which it is increasingly easy to access information, which continues to spread at a quicker rate, the transparency of business management, the recurring disclosure and the constant dialogue with stakeholders are crucial for developing long-term trusting relationships.
Financial inclusion and education
The increase in regulations, the demographic change, the peculiarity of insurance products and the uncertainty that characterises the dynamics of the markets require the spread of training/ information programmes to raise the awareness of stakeholder and to favour virtuous purchasing choices.
Insurance solutions promoting sustainable and responsible behaviour
The initiatives of the private sector supplement and promote public policies to support a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. Raising awareness and promoting the adoption of behaviour that prevents risks or reduces the extent of damage produce shared value for all stakeholders involved.
Prevention of corruption
In a sector based on trust, such as that of insurance, the promotion of business ethics and the prevention of corruption have a key role in protecting the company’s reputation and credibility, the efficiency of the business and fair competition.
Responsible investments and underwriting
In the context of sustainable development the environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects of investments and underwriting are becoming increasingly important for the market.
Relations with contractual partners
In a context in which customers are always more informed and connected, and often seek direct contact with the insurer, the relations we hold with our contractual partners, who work alongside us to supply our services, are essential to ensure a quality relationship and customer satisfaction.
Engagement and development of communities
The development of the communities in which we operate is linked with our activities but also the relations with businesses, associations and other organizations in the area.
- economic performance
- regulatory compliance
More specifically, the analysis was coordinated by the Group Social Responsibility department together with a specialist company, and developed as follows:
The starting point for the process was the identification of megatrends and material issues. The main sustainability guidelines developed by international organisations and networks (ISO26000, GRI-G4, Global Compact, Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and ethical ratings agencies) were taken into account and an analysis of the sector and benchmarks was carried out, analysing the material issues identified by major insurance groups, businesses from other sectors with relevant experience in the field of corporate responsibility, and companies that stand out for their technological innovation. The issues covered by the media were also analysed.
In 2015 we launched a dialogue with our stakeholders for the first time in order to obtain an external point of view on the analyses conducted the year before. We identified a small group of stakeholders, chosen for their authority and knowledge of the insurance sector or for their ability to provide original and innovative perspectives.
When choosing who to involve in the dialogue we focused on four main categories:
- opinion leaders: authoritative experts recognised at national and international level (members of international organisations, academics, holders of leading roles in sustainability networks, industry journalists), sustainability managers in sectors other than the insurance one, business managers that operate via online platforms (people that regularly manage big data in their activities and have an overview of consumer habits and the macroeconomic scenario), start-uppers and incubators
- millennials: 25-35 year-olds who have carried out their training during a period in which communication technologies have expanded rapidly, regularly use social networking sites and are used to sharing and collaboration/interaction that goes beyond cultural and geographical barriers
- sustainable investors: not only investors that assess investment opportunities according to ESG criteria but also analysts, independent responsible investment advisors and ethical ratings agencies
- trade associations: insurance sector representatives that regularly collaborate and interact with consumers or consumer associations, that have relations with the institutions and the regulators and which constantly monitor the evolution of the needs and requests of the public.