Standards and reporting guidelines

This report has been prepared according to the legal requirements of section 2:391 of the Dutch civil code and the Dutch legal guidelines for management board reports, RJ 400. We have used the Integrated Reporting framework to describe how we create value for our stakeholders through our strategy aimed at being the preferred partner to invest in local prosperity. In the context of the external environment and our business model we describe how we are steering the organization and what this means to our achieving this strategy in practice.

We apply the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards and the specific financial sector guidelines and have chosen to report in accordance with the ‘Core’ option. The Board Report consists of chapters ‘At a glance’, ‘Report of the Management Board’, ‘Corporate Governance’, 'Risk Management' and ‘How we report’. Please refer to the separate GRI index for a detailed overview of all GRI disclosures.

The European Parliament has adopted an EU directive that requires eligible organizations and all banks to disclose non-financial and diversity information from the end of 2016. We have incorporated the elements of this Directive in this report. Please refer to the reference table ( to find the relevant information.

Materiality determination process

One of the fundamental concepts of integrated reporting is materiality. As part of an ongoing process to further develop our strategy and ensure that our reporting reflects the most material developments and issues, we undertook a materiality analysis in 2018. GRI defines material topics as those aspects that reflect the organization’s significant economic, environmental and social impacts or that substantively influence the assessments and decisions of stakeholders.

The previous materiality assessment was conducted in 2015 and updated yearly through interviews with stakeholder account managers and desk research. However, in our opinion a thorough materiality assessment needs to be repeated at least every three years.


To validate the developments and issues, a survey was send to over 100 individuals, representing 8 key internal and external stakeholder groups. Previously only stakeholders with continuous dialogue were asked to participate, whereas for this survey also stakeholders we interact with less frequently were also invited. We received a total of 90 responses which cover our stakeholder groups as follows: 15 clients, 4 State of the Netherlands, 3 shareholders, 39 employees including management, 13 investors, 6 partner DFIs, 6 NGOs, 4 knowledge partners, 0 Supervisor and regulator. Since we invest in more than 80 countries worldwide, we have not invited local communities and clients of clients for practical reasons. For a description of our key stakeholders, please read chapter entitled ‘External environment’ included in the Report of the Management Board.

Topics and subtopics

FMO used the issues raised by stakeholders in previous engagements as a starting point for identifying the material topics, and to track change over time. Other commonly applied reporting guidelines such as (e.g. GRI, IFC performance Standards, and SASB) as well as reporting by peers and other financial institutions were also considered. In total 14 matters were identified as topics relevant to FMO’s context.

Topics were cut down from 28 (in previous assessments) to 14, by exhaustively reviewing previous topics and clustering them around themes. From there a main topic was selected, and additional items were re-categorized as subtopics. The intention was to reduce the number of choices for the stakeholder, and to present them with a truly mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive set of choices. The aim of this was to gain better understanding of stakeholder needs. In addition, stakeholders were asked to rank subtopics, only if they had chosen a corresponding main topic, to provide deeper insights on topics relevant to certain stakeholders.

New GRI Dimensions

Results of survey are plotted on a matrix along two dimensions in accordance with the GRI standards:

  • The substantive influence on the assessments and decisions of stakeholders (importance to stakeholders, plotted on the vertical axis)

  • Significance of impact on society, environment and the economy (plotted on the horizontal axis)

For the latter, new dimension stakeholders were asked by means of a survey through which of the topics they believed FMO could have the most/least significant positive/negative impact on society, the environment, or the economy. In previous years the X-axis was composed of importance to FMO’s strategy as ranked by FMO’s Management Board.


The results have been clustered in two quadrants:

  1. Important and impactful topics (bottom-left corner), which are relevant to our stakeholders and FMO but not considered most important and impactful.

  2. Highly important and very impactful topics (top-right corner), are those which our stakeholders consider most important and through which they believe FMO can have most impact. Seven topics were found in this threshold.

Calculation method

The survey results determine the position of topics along two dimensions: the Importance to Stakeholders (plotted on the Y-Axis) and the significance of Impact on society, environment and the economy (plotted on the X-Axis).  

The scoring matrix looks at each axis separately, balancing the number of responses received for most against least important / significant impact. This yields a net result and (X,Y) scatterplot for each of the 14 main topics. Stakeholder responses are weighted in two ways: 

    • Stakeholder engagement. FMO engages with many different stakeholder groups but engages most with those that have a high interest in and high influence on our business. These 'Dialogue' stakeholders are weighted higher (2x) than those categorized as 'Keep satisfied' or 'Keep informed'.

    • Respondents per stakeholder group. A representative sample has been selected for each stakeholder group. As a result, some will include more respondents than others. To treat each stakeholder group equally- after applying the weights as explained above- results are normalized by taking the total number of respondents per stakeholder group and dividing it by the number of times a topic is chosen by that particular stakeholder group.

The results included in the matrix represent the aggregate scores for all stakeholder groups.  As such it might be that specific topics score as important and impactful in our matrix, whereas for individual stakeholder groups or FMO the topic is highly important and very impactful. Examples include Client satisfaction and Employee engagement, which were scored material in previous materiality assessments, but no longer so in our latest survey. We consider both topics as key to our mission and strategy, and as such continue to monitor and report on both.