In 2018, we continued to host stakeholder engagement activities that are core to our approach. We once again conducted internal sustainability surveys and convened focus groups with the assistance of third-party agencies to help us validate and prioritize our material issues and help identify emerging issues.
Additionally, we conducted an innovative community-focused stakeholder engagement pilot in Surrey, British Columbia. We engaged over 1,200 members of the community in malls, libraries, schools, at the local food bank as well as at meetings with specific groups such as seniors and first responders. We asked community members a series of questions to help us understand what societal issues were most important to them and also how they believed TELUS could help address these issues.
Following this stakeholder engagement exercise, in late 2018, and into early 2019, we engaged AccountAbility to assist us in applying a methodology and framework to assess what we heard from our stakeholders and further determine and prioritize our material issues.
This assessment led to the identification of several key issues. We also received more than 100 ideas on how TELUS could provide equal access of our technology solutions, promote responsible use of our technology and leverage our technology for good. Our purpose – creating better health outcomes, caring for our planet, advancing educational opportunities and keeping people safe in our digital world – is aligned with many of the key issues identified.
We plan to leverage this framework to help inform our organizational purpose and identify opportunities for value creation. Lastly, we intend to take what we heard and design and implement long-term strategies to improve TELUS’ performance and maximize our impact. These efforts remain a work in progress.