1. Stakeholders
  2. Materiality
  3. Volver


Ferrovial - Integrated annual report 2013 / Materiality

According to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), materiality refers to those aspects and indicators that reflect the significant social, environmental and economic impacts of the organization or those that could have a substantial influence on the assessments and decisions of the stakeholders, affecting the capacity to meet current needs without compromising the needs of future generations. In other words, the report should include those indicators that are considered of great importance for attaining the company’s strategic goals and are also relevant for stakeholders insofar as they address their expectations and enable them to make decisions in relation to the organization they relate to.

Materiality is one of the operating principles of the GRI.

Internal and external factors need to be combined when determining the materiality of the information.

External factors

  • Main interests considered by the stakeholders.
  • Main issues in the sector.
  • National and international legislation.
  • Risks, impacts and opportunities affecting sustainability, assessed by experts

Internal factors

  • Main values of the organization.
  • Employee opinion.
  • Risks.
  • Main competencies of the organization.

The assessment of materiality should also take into account the basic expectations contained in the international agreements and standards that the organization is expected to meet.

Thanks to the analysis of materiality, the company can:

  • Manage all the issues that may affect corporate competitiveness and sustainability.
  • Identify risks and opportunities.
  • Align the corporate responsibility strategy with international standards and stakeholder expectations.

Following these guidelines, the study of Ferrovial’s materiality has initially been conducted in two phases:

In an initial phase a materiality matrix for the infrastructure management sector was created by analyzing:

  • The ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) criteria followed by institutional investors.
  • Issues related to Corporate Responsibility at the AGMs of companies in the sector.
  • Relevant documents and reports issued by various international organizations.
  • Monitoring by the media at both local and international level of Corporate Responsibility issues.

The second phase used the industry information obtained and involved a series of interviews to 10 internal opinion leaders and 15 external opinion leaders, who gave their opinion on the various Corporate Responsibility areas and their relationship with Ferrovial.

The study was updated in 2013. This was done by using the study completed in 2012 as the basis and setting up an internal work group with the aim of renewing the matrix and the issues that are relevant to the company. As a result, the relevant issues have not changed and Ferrovial needs to continue working on them. The same work will then be conducted with external opinion leaders to continue with the regular updating of the study and, consequently, of the organization’s materiality matrix.

The 78 issues detected have been classified into 15 categories and, in turn, have been grouped into ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) issues and by corporate area in order to work on them efficiently.


In order to conduct this study it is necessary to identify, prioritize, analyze and validate the issues based on the matrix that reflects their maturity and relevance.

  • Maturity: level of attention that the companies in the sector pay to a particular issue.
  • Relevance: attention paid by opinion leaders to corporate responsibility issues.

Between these two variables, the issues are included in the four quadrants:

  • Necessary, which require special attention, review and ongoing adaptation. (N)
  • Widespread, which require maintaining performance within the sector’s average. (G)
  • Emerging, which require anticipation and forecasting changes as a source of competitive advantages. (E)
  • Urgent, which require imminent action and close monitoring. (U)

Once the issues have been placed in the matrix, the result is as follows:


This definitive matrix uses the nexus between the vision of a select group of the company’s internal stakeholders and the perceptions of external stakeholders: suppliers, labor unions, NGOs, experts in corporate responsibility, the academic community and the media.

Two important factors need to be taken into account:

  • All the issues cannot be relevant. The complexity of this analysis increases in multinational companies (different territories, activity diversification, etc.).
  • Issues that are material for some stakeholders may not be material for others, and for this reason it is also important to prioritize the stakeholders (see stakeholders chart).