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Defining our material issues

Every year we conduct a materiality process to learn which aspects matter most to our business and stakeholders. Findings from this process enhance our strategic decisions and inform the content of this year’s Annual Report. For Australia Post, an issue is considered material if it substantially influences the assessments and decisions of our stakeholders, and reflects our areas of greatest economic, environmental or social impact.

Our most recent materiality process aligns with the GRI Standards and the <IR> Framework, and follows four key steps:

Identify: Our process starts with a large list of potential issues, clustered according to six different types of capitals (financial, human, social, manufactured, intellectual and environmental). These issues were identified through desktop-based research of peer reviews, results of our ongoing dialogue with employees, customers, partners, and the broader community, media reports and sustainability thought leadership from industry experts and frameworks, such as the GRI Standards, the UN Global Compact and the International Integrated Reporting Council.

Prioritise: We engaged with 350 internal and external stakeholders to learn from their views on the issues we identified and asked them to rate their level of importance. Internal stakeholders were selected from a wide range of business areas across Australia Post including LPOs, and external stakeholders included customers, suppliers, partners, and sustainability experts.

We complemented this exercise with an exploration of the impact that those issues have on the economy, the environment and society based on external and independent research specific to our industry. In doing so, we identified some new material aspects, and adjusted the position of previously identified ones.

Review: We reviewed the insights obtained to identify key priorities, challenges, opportunities and connections among issues. In this way, we identified about 50 topics which we clustered into six focus areas in line with the <IR> Framework:

  • Financial Capital: Our business performance
  • Human Capital: Our people
  • Social Capital: Our customers and communities
  • Manufactured Capital: Our customer network
  • Intellectual Capital: Our innovation and expertise
  • Natural Capital: Our environment

Validate: The results of the process were discussed internally by our Annual Report Steering Committee (representing key parts of the business) and the Stakeholder Council. Following these discussions we could validate the insights and use them to inform decisions on the required disclosures for this Annual Report and our future direction.

The table below summarises the 10 most material issues for Australia Post’s internal and external stakeholders, by level of impact, and overall.

Materiality assessment table