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The materiality matrix compares how issues are prioritised from an internal perspective, with how these issues are prioritised according to external stakeholders. For each axis, the higher the score, the more evidence there is that an issue is important from that stakeholder perspective, and thus, more material for the company.
Within your materiality matrix, are three different coloured zones, which reflect how issues are to be prioritised (low, medium and high priority). The placement of these zones can be edited through the ‘Chart Settings’ on the analysis, to change these priority zones.
Depending on the company’s strategic approach, issues with high internal (or external) priority only, might be identified as material.
Additionally, it may insightful to identify and consider the following three groups of issues:
- Top priorities - where there is alignment between external stakeholders and internal priorities.
- External signals - issues that are particularly important for external stakeholders.
- Internal signals - issues are particularly important from an internal perspective.
We also recommend that the points below be taken into consideration when prioritizing the material issues:
- Market opportunities - are there products or services that would contribute to addressing an issue?
- Differentiation potential - have competitors tackled an issue yet or is there opportunity to gain a competitive advantage?
- Innovation potential - is there opportunity for technical or organisational change around an issue?
Corporate values & brand purpose - how does action (or lack thereof) around an issue align with the company’s vision and mission, and what might the impact be on employee motivation?