Key Issues in Our Operating environment
Our approach to managing sustainability focuses on identifying the influences that matter to our stakeholders and is determined by the environment in which we operate. Every year we asses the importance of these influences both in terms of their relevance to our stakeholders (including customers, investors, UK government, employees and civil society) and their potential commercial impact on us.
This year, for the second time, we have published an integrated assessment of the most important influences in our (RBS) operating environment. These considerations have the potential to influence our ability to serve customers and create value for the long term. They carry both risks and opportunities for us, driven by a mixture of direct commercial impact and stakeholder interest as a result of wider societal trends.
For the 2017 key influences review, we undertook a much improved four-step process:
- Internal desktop review – Relevant RBS documentation, including insights from various teams and surveys
- External desktop review – External stakeholder reports and documentation, including relevant industry insights, investor and other thought leadership publications
- Interviews with representatives from our key stakeholder groups and opinion formers
- A key influences review, consultation and validation workshop together with representatives from internal stakeholders to help prioritise the most important influences for the bank
We have categorised the key influences accordingly, shown in the diagram below. This provides additional context for our performance and future strategy.
In 2017 we have reported against three broad themes – Customer Focused, Responsible Business and Working at RBS – which cover those influences which are of any environmental or social nature. Through our reporting, we have also reflected the strategy of the bank by demonstrating how all of the work featured in the report contributes to building a more sustainable bank.