Materiality assessment and policies to support energy companies in their sustainability work for Finnish Energy

A joint materiality assessment and responsibility policies for the energy sector enabled the client to understand what to focus on in promoting the sustainable development of the energy sector.

Name of the client: Finnish Energy
Spring 2022

Client’s needs

In times of climate change and energy crisis, promoting the sustainable development of the energy sector is critical for the functioning of society. Sustainability work has been carried out in the energy sector for a long time, but at the same time, expectations placed on the sector are constantly growing and becoming more diverse, and they are coming from an increasingly broad group of stakeholders.

In order to support the sector’s sustainable development and communications, Finnish Energy wanted to gain an understanding of the sustainability work that is already being done in the sector and to engage and support energy companies in continuing to develop their sustainability in line with the expectations of their stakeholders. Companies in the industry had also expressed the need for a common vision for the sector of material sustainability topics. The goal of the work was to achieve a balanced and coherent understanding of sustainable development in the energy sector.

What did we do?

To achieve the goals, we carried out a shared materiality assessment for the energy industry together with stakeholders for Finnish Energy and produced a common set of sustainability policies for the sector based on the assessment. We started by finding out more about the starting points for sustainability work in the sector and looking at the materials that already existed. Then, in two workshops carried out with companies in the sector, we identified the social, environmental and economic issues with the greatest impacts in the sector, and mapped and identified key stakeholders that would be included in the work. We then conducted a stakeholder survey and interviews to identify the views of the energy industry stakeholders on the material sustainability topics identified in the workshops.

Based on the information produced in the workshops and the stakeholder survey, we formed a materiality matrix of the sector’s shared material sustainability topics which companies in the sector can apply in their own work to promote sustainable development. Finally, based on the assessment we formulated a set of sustainability policies for Finnish Energy, which encapsulate the very essence of sustainability in the sector:

“Energy companies are committed to creating one of the world’s first carbon neutral energy systems in Finland. The change is being made without compromising the security of service and supply.”
– an extract from the sustainability policies drawn up for the sector together with Kaskas

Achievements and targets for the material topics were also included in the policies. We also created illustrations to support the communication of the policies.

How did it go?

In the materiality matrix and the sustainability policies we were able to comprehensively encapsulate the energy sector’s sustainable development aspects and the relationships between these aspects. Energy companies participated actively in the work, which shows that they also feel that the subject is important.

The joint process has encouraged companies in the sector to more actively develop their own work on sustainable development. The materiality assessment has also been applied by companies to form a basis for their own development work.