Following definition in total consistency with the sustainability plan, our 2018-2022 business plan was approved in November 2017. In view of the excellent 2018 results, which far exceeded our 2019 target forecasts, in April 2019 we presented an update to the plan, which confirmed the strategic pillars, also providing for more challenging objectives and a further increase in investments to 4 billion Euro by 2022 (900 million more than the earlier business plan).

ACEA is an industrial group that must and intends to return to its original vocation: management of infrastructures, enhancing their resilience and developing new, higher-performing and more efficient ones, riding the wave of innovation, practising sound financial management, encouraging careful attention to the environment and ensuring a good return for shareholders. These are the pillars of our plan.

Stefano Donnarumma, CEO of Acea

Capex 2018-2022: 4 billion Euro, of which 1.7 billion dedicated to sustainability targets

In November 2017, Acea defined and simultaneously approved the Business Plan and the Sustainability Plan, both in reference to the period 2018-2022. The two plans are tangible evidence of two processes which had once been separate, but which now follow a common path and logic. The objectives of the two plans are fully consistent and promote a vision of industrial development that includes aspects of sustainability and stakeholder expectations. The targets associated with the sustainability plan account for more than 40% of the 4 billion Euro in investments envisaged during the business plan period.

The context

The business plan takes account of the rapid evolution characterising all industrial segments in which we operate :

  • in the water sector, where we lead the market in Italy, a regulatory and institutional drive is recorded, together with consolidation of the sector;
  • in the energy infrastructures sector, the 2017 National Energy Strategy marks out the route towards total decarbonisation in Italy. On the other hand, the electricity market is expected to be fully liberalised by 2020.
  • in the environment, we are seeing an increasing drive towards the circular economy.

From the strategic pillars of the 2018-2022 plan . . .

… to the evolution of GRIDS

Infographic of the actions envisaged by the industrial plan of the Acea Group


Since November 2017, when we presented the 2018-2022 Business Plan, we have successfully leveraged our strengths and the 2018 results came in better than ever: the year just ended represents a turning point, above all on an industrial level. We have consequently become aware of our ability to improve even more on our initial forecasts and the 2019-2022 plan, presented in April 2019, marks a strong acceleration for the group’s value creation.

Our strategic pillars have remained the same, but we now intend to focus even more closely on five specific actions:

  • to accelerate growth (Grow)
  • to develop and diversify our business portfolio (Reshape)
  • to concentrate on the innovation of our industrial processes (Innovate)
  • to become results oriented (Deliver)
  • to develop a dynamic and sustainable approach (Smart).

These factors, which make up the acronym GRIDS, represent an evolution of the path we embarked upon two years ago.

Read more about our financial objectives and strategies by business unit

Innovation in Acea

  • Infrastructures: technological innovation makes it possible to improve water and electricity infrastructures, potentially extending their useful lives (predictive modelling for faults), enabling greater efficiency and a better use of data, expanding the range of services offered through advanced communication systems (optical fibre, smart grid, smart meter). Also as regards the environmental area it opens up new opportunities, with innovative methods and plants for the disposal and valorisation of sludge and other waste.

  • People: innovation in the management of human capital means capitalising on the vast know-how of our staff and investing in workers’ skills and well-being.

  • Customers and users: innovation in the services offered to citizens makes it possible to develop a high quality service not only in physical terms (resilience and increased infrastructural efficiency), but also in terms of security, including cyber security.

Innovation and Industry 4.0

Infographic of the investments in innovation envisaged by the industrial plan of the Acea Group

The Business Plan also identified additional strategic initiatives, with opportunities for growth and consolidation in the water sector, in gas distribution, in smart energy services, in waste treatment and in renewable energy sources, photovoltaic in particular. These initiatives will positively impact our EBITDA.

Correlation between the business plan and the sustainability plan (only Italian version)

The industrial plan of the Acea Group and its relation to the sustainability plan