VR Group – GRI G4 materiality analysis and interest group dialogue

VR Group’s aim was to update the most essential issues in its responsibility work and develop their reporting in accordance with the GRI G4 guidelines. The G4 guidelines emphasise interest group oriented materiality analysis. The guiding values in the guidelines are: Systematic approach, documentability and openness.

Especially combining openness and a systematic approach turned out challenging in terms of VR Group’s large contact surface. In the social media channels, attention was drawn to individual issues, focus groups are not open and numerical surveys produce data that is difficult to utilise in innovations and in developing new things.

What should VR Group do?

VR Group’s customer promise is “Our journey together”. VR Group summoned its interest groups on a joint journey to develop more responsible operations than before. In this manner, corporate responsibility was linked with the strategy from the start.

An online service was created for the brainstorming of interest groups, where the participants had the possibility for open brainstorming and evaluating the other participants’ ideas. In this manner, the focus shifted from evaluating previous measures to developing new things.

Interest groups involved in the materiality analysis

Identifying the most essential issues was done in two phases. In the first phase of the interest group dialogue, crowdsourcing was utilised and the participants evaluated each others’ ideas. After the participants’ prioritisation, Fountain Park performed an extensive qualitative analysis of the material. As a final result, the interest group’s view regarding the main points of VR Group’s corporate responsibility and development possibilities was condensed.

Management involved from the start

A significant part of the materiality analysis is the company’s view of responsibility. Therefore VR Group’s management was actively involved in the project from the start. From the operating environment and benchmark analysis the work proceeded to management workshops that served to identify the influence that the factors mentioned by the interest groups have on business. In the management workshops, factors essential for VR Group’s business operations were defined and it was made sure that there were appropriate indicators for everything.

What you don’t measure, you cannot manage, is an old but a truthful saying even in this case. As a result of the work, a plan was drafted for preparing a corporate responsibility report in accordance with the GRI G4 guidelines.

The interest group dialogue was an interesting and efficient way of finding out the views and ideas of a large group in order to develop our responsibility. Based on the project results, we will develop both our responsibility work and responsibility reporting, says Tuija Säynätjoki, Environmental Manager of the VR Group.

When the most central themes in terms of responsibility have been identified and prioritised, we can incorporate those as a part of everyday work, decision-making and the VR Group strategy.

Further information: Janne Jauhiainen