Lip Or Process

G4 reporters in 2014, this is actually the Fiat Group. As game-changers go, Fiat seems to be making progress. For some background to game-changers, see this post. The very first thing you might notice about the 2013 Fiat report is that it’s around 100 web pages shorter than both prior reports. Bad news for graphic designers but great information for individuals who predicted that G4 would lead to compactness. Material issues – drives the report or simply for show?

In this statement by Fiat Group, there will seem to be always a change towards more considered reporting of materials issues. In 2012, there have been fewer issues and the problems were rather broad-based: corporate and business governance, environment change, public policy engagement etc. The presssing issues were not sector specific, and could apply to any industry anywhere. In 2013, while there are more issues, they are more sector specific, more carefully related to Fiat’s primary business and more narrowly described, in a real way that enables more detailed focus and defined management approach.

2013. Creativity and Research has been bumped up a little. This change in materiality seems positive. The brand new matrix seems more relevant and focused on the problems that affect Fiat and Fiat’s stakeholders. The structure of the Fiat statement has transformed to reflect the new material focus. In both prior reports, Fiat reported in three sections: economic, environmental and social. In the G4 report, there’s a group of chapters that break the report into smaller, more specific sections, for instance, there’s a section on employee health insurance and safety, and sub-sections on vehicle vehicle and security quality.

There is apparently evidence of an attempt to align the report structure with the stated materials issues, although, with 23 issues, this makes for a rather congested, and fragmented slightly, report. Focus – focused and relevant or ticking the containers? At comprehensive level, all performance indicators should be reported for every material Aspect in this report. Also, one issue, for example, human being rights over the value chain, can cover 12 different human being rights signals across ten different material Aspects.

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In this survey, Fiat recognizes six other conditions that arrived up in stakeholder engagement that are protected in the web report, but not in the primary print report. Engagement – process or lip-service? It is rather easy to fudge stakeholder engagement to provide the impression a lot of interaction has taken place when in fact, not much has actually. In the Fiat report, there is evidence of several targeted stakeholder intervention opportunities which have shaped Fiat’s thinking. Furthermore, Fiat has published a set of Stakeholder Engagement Guidelines.

This is good practice, and I suspect that stakeholder engagement policies have become quite trendy now. Therefore, in this report, the game on stakeholder engagement does appear to have changed. In the last report, engagement initiatives reported were primarily incident-based, with less focus on ongoing dialogue and process. In 2013, greater detail is provided.

Integrity- forms up or misleads? To be in accordance as a G4 comprehensive survey, Fiat should identify the material Aspects that have governed selecting specific standard disclosures (including performance indicators). That is sort of achieved in sort of indirect way in the Fiat survey. The material issues are shown in the materiality matrix. At this true point, these issues aren’t correlated to the GRI table of material Aspects straight, as is necessary by G4. They may be reported as a set of company-defined issues. General disclosure G4-19 requires the reporting company to “List all the material Aspects identified along the way for defining survey content”.

However, Fiat Group does not do this in a primary way and in my own view, will not therefore respond precisely to G4-19. On the other hand, each page of the Fiat report carries a disclosure-label mention of the relevant GRI G4 performance indicator which is part of a material Aspect.