Key influences in our operating environment
Our approach to managing sustainability focuses on identifying the issues that matter to our stakeholders. This year, for the first time, we have published our assessment of the most important influences in our 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.
The influences have been identified using a five-step process:
- stakeholder engagement
- review of internal and external sources
- interviews with senior stakeholders
- materiality workshop to help prioritise the most important influences for the bank
- final prioritisation exercise
We have assessed the importance of these influences both in terms of their relevance to our stakeholders (including customers, investors, UK government, colleagues and civil society) and their potential commercial impact on us and categorised them accordingly.
In 2016 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.