The Materiality Matrix as a key tool for Corporate Accountability

Home » The Materiality Matrix as a key tool for Corporate Accountability

Evaluation tools are playing an increasingly important role in the arts, culture and heritage sector. It benefits both individual institutions and the universe of stakeholders that orbit around them. Indeed, without conducting a solid and credible evaluation, it is not possible to understand the impact of one’s work and the advancement of strategic goals.

In this article we will discover a very interesting model, the materiality matrix, which is a key tool for corporate responsibility and stakeholder engagement-with interesting implications for fundraising activities.

Corporate Social Responsibility

In recent years, the importance of the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), a principle, already espoused by many industries, that refers to a strategic commitment to integrating actions aimed at social, environmental and economic sustainability into one’s development program, both through increased stakeholder involvement and through the adoption of ethically sound and transparent business practices.

Corporate Social Responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns into their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders.

United Nations Industrial Development Organization

Among the many benefits generated by embracing these techniques, it is important to mention one of the most relevant for companies: the creation of a business strategy that generates long-term value, improving brand reputation and increasing consumer satisfaction.

These reporting procedures lead to value creation for themselves (giving the company itself the possibility of self-monitoring in advancing the strategies adopted with a view to improvement) and for stakeholders, who can observe how the latter chooses to Introduce themselves and operate in the market and society.

The importance of the materiality matrix

It is not always easy and straightforward to get clear and useful feedback. For this reason, the use of the materiality matrix has been introduced in recent decades. This model was promoted by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) – global, nonprofit organization that creates guidelines for documenting sustainable practices – and from the‘International Integrated Reporting Council. (IIRC)-an international body that created the Integrated Reporting (IR) framework, an integrated reporting standard for companies.

The materiality matrix is a fundamental method for measuring the relationship and intersection points between the company and its stakeholders, an integral part in the decision-making and reporting process.

Placed within a two-dimensional table, the analysis provides a glimpse into issues related to sustainability. It consists of the inclusion in the graph of aspects chosen based on the value given by both the organization and the stakeholders, thus allowing a comparison, including a visual one, of the same topic for both sides.

In order to make the analysis effective, it is important that the values are measurable and concrete. The view is to develop a set of goals to improve one’s positioning and effectively monitor performance. The implementation process consists of six steps, such as identifying key issues, categorizing stakeholder groups and business drivers, collecting data from internal and external stakeholders, mapping and prioritizing issues, aligning issues with the company’s management vision, and developing strategy.

An example of application: The Egyptian Museum in Turin

The Egyptian Museum of Turin presented its integrated report 2022 by including among its data those related to the materiality matrix. Each topic was associated with a symbol, placed in the graph at the intersection of the internal and external relevance of the same topic. The materiality matrix is used here as a starting point for a more in-depth analysis of the organization itself, in light of which it is then possible to reason about future goals and consolidation of certain aspects.

The materiality matrix of the Integrated Report 2022, Egyptian Museum of Turin.

This model allows the company to Clearly and effectively communicate its commitment to sustainability, initiating a process of developing stakeholder engagement . In addition, it is possible to implement in this way reflection for the identification of new opportunities and the introduction of changes to correct one’s behavior related to particular areas of one’s development strategy. A limitation of this approach is the risk of excessive self-referral in cases where these specific analyses are carried out by the organization itself. For this reason, reliance on outside consultants who can make objective and comprehensive observations is desirable.

The materiality matrix therefore contributes to responsible management of sustainability issues and can lead to the company’s long-term success. Indeed, it dwells on analyses and reflections related to the future for open and participatory growth by stakeholders, without neglecting the impact of aspects related to the economy, environment and society that affect the community.

To find out more about the materiality matrix and how you can activate cultural capital by making it an active part of the sustainable conversion process through our help you can write to us at

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