Challenge

Bank of Ireland is one of the premier banking organisations in Ireland. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the Bank has embarked on a cultural transformation to enable its customers, colleagues and community to thrive. But, with an ad hoc approach to sustainability, they needed a robust materiality assessment, informed by rigorous stakeholder engagement, to help inform the development of a new proactive strategy.

Approach

We conducted Bank of Ireland’s first materiality assessment to spark engagement with key stakeholders and to help shape its upcoming sustainability strategy.

To identify the key issues playing out the Bank’s world, we first conducted in-depth research and immersed ourselves in the organisation. Next, we used our robust methodology and unique ‘prioritisation criteria’ to prioritise the importance of the resulting issues according to the Bank’s stakeholders. We interviewed and surveyed a wide variety of external stakeholders – including government representatives, industry bodies, trade organisations, NGOs, customers amongst others – as well as senior executives from within the Bank.

We supplemented this with a survey to uncover insights about colleagues’ perceptions and level of interest in the Bank’s sustainability activities. Finally, we facilitated an executive-level workshop to evaluate the impact and influence of each issue on Bank of Ireland’s business.

Results

Using our unique and innovative three-lens approach to prioritise material issues (impact, influence and importance), we analysed the resulting data to support the Bank in considering where to focus its efforts. In this particular case, we used our expertise to recommend emerging sustainability topics that the Bank could champion, in order to scale positive impact and differentiate its approach.

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