Our promise to Enhance Society Together becomes ever more relevant with each year that passes. Our world is changing and so must we. The trends and developments we take into account are described in the Annual Report Section Our Strategy.
Strong22 was the strategy for 2017-2021. It had a clear focus on new digital technologies and climate change. Since its launch we have made great progress, improving performance, building awareness and desire and creating new knowledge and skills. The strategy was good and has put us in a strong position for growth, but the targets set were ambitious. An assessment of progress and description of broader market dynamics appear in our Annual Report Section Our Strategy.
During 2021, we refined our corporate strategy towards 2025. A vital part of this was to reconfirm Enhancing Society Together as our overarching mission while making its meaning more tangible and targeted. Our new strategy Stronger25 is described in more detail in the section Outlook and actions for 2022 and beyond and our Annual Report Section Our Strategy.
In the meantime, during 2021, we continued with the defined important material topics for our stakeholders and related them to the actions and decisions we take, for example by steering on our Key Performance Indicators.
To ensure the right focus as an organisation, we define the important material topics for our stakeholders and relate them to the actions and decisions we take.
Our current top seven priorities (material themes), in no particular order, as approved by the Board are:
In 2021, we took the first steps to reassess our current materiality, as we planned last year. To do so, we continued discussions with relevant internal and external stakeholders, through several activities:
We assessed whether each topic definition was in line with how it is currently managed and how some stakeholders and the industry perceive it.
We conducted desk research of peers from comparable industries, collecting insights from non-financial reporting institutes and perspectives from internal stakeholders.
Insights from external stakeholders were obtained from client interviews that were carried out in 2021, our 2019 client survey and through other regular stakeholder interactions.
The results were internally discussed with our newly-appointed Leading Professional for Enhancing Society. Together we validated the current set of material topics and identified whether there were any new material topics.
This potentially ‘new’ set of material topics is being further developed in our ways of working. A large-scale survey among clients and employees is planned in 2022. Based on these and additional client conversations in 2022, we will refine our materiality analysis.
Our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals
We recognise our capacity to drive positive change in society. Our commitments support a number of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the United Nations Agenda 2030. These (interlinked) goals are a universal (urgent) call to action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure everyone enjoys peace and prosperity, now and into the future. They are designed to be "a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all people and the world by 2030". It is inherent in our responsibility to apply our expertise in water, energy, industry and transportation to support these goals through new services and solutions and it forms a central pillar in the company's vision for the future.
During 2021, our activities were aligned with the following SDGs in respect of our projects: SDG 6, SDG 7, SDG 9, SDG 11, SDG 12, SDG 13 and SDG 17. Go to this page for an overview of project examples per SDG (from our Annual Report 2021 and our CSR Report 2021). For our operations, these were: SDG 4, SDG 8, SDG 13 and SDG 17. Our progress appears in the chapter Our Performance.
How we Enhance Society Together in our projects and innovations and our operations