Materiality Assessment

Our stakeholders are important to us. That’s why we’re committed to understanding what they care about.

Sunset over windmill

Materiality Analysis as Engagement Tool

Of special interest to the corporate responsibility and sustainability team at NextEra Energy ─ and one interesting way we’ve engaged stakeholders ─ has been the concept of materiality. As defined in the context of corporate responsibility reporting, we say a topic is material if it has “a direct or indirect impact on our ability to create, preserve or affect economic, environmental, and/or social value for the company, our stakeholders and society at large.”

For corporate responsibility reporting, materiality is not limited to topics that have a significant financial impact on our company, but also includes topics regarding environmental and social impacts that have been identified by internal and external stakeholders as potentially affecting our ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations.

Why We Did It

Though our company continuously engages with our multiple stakeholders in numerous ways, our team felt that conducting a materiality assessment would serve at least two immediate purposes. It would give us yet another lens into the views of a sample of our stakeholders and it would help us ensure that we included in our corporate responsibility report those issues that were important to those stakeholders.

How We Did It

We worked with MetaVu, Inc. and CRD Analytics to complete the materiality assessment as part of an overall corporate reporting performance diagnostic, which identified opportunities for short-term improvement and also a longer-term view to more closely link reporting with core business operations.

The diagnostic included:

  • The materiality assessment;
  • A targeted benchmarking of utility sector sustainability reporting; and
  • An analysis of the content, quality, balance and delivery of the information presented in earlier reports.

In addition, we reviewed and incorporated reporting expectations of the Global Reporting Initiative, as well as aspects of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and the International Integrated Reporting Council reporting frameworks.

To complete the materiality assessment, we held a series of workshops to identify the universe of stakeholder groups, both internal and external, as well as the different sustainable development issues for NextEra Energy. These issues were then structured into a formal stakeholder analysis tool and stakeholders were surveyed to determine whether issues were of no importance, low importance, medium importance or high importance. We received responses from nearly 140 stakeholders, allowing us to quantitatively rank 33 issues across our value chain.

What We Found

While some of the issues scored differently than we expected, the top 10 issues were:

  • Reliability;
  • Cyber Security;
  • Cost Efficiency;
  • Integrity and Ethics;
  • Infrastructure Investments;
  • Customer Relations;
  • Reducing Air Pollution;
  • Building a High Performance Workforce;
  • Remediation; and
  • Fuel Diversity.

Looking Ahead

We have derived good value by employing the concept of materiality in our corporate responsibility and sustainability work at NextEra Energy, so we plan to use this idea of a materiality assessment in the future as we continue to engage with our many and varied stakeholders across North America.