Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DE&I)

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: meaning

The Acea Group firmly believes that promoting issues of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion makes the company more innovative and capable of creating shared value, since to bring together individuals, facilitate interactions, embrace and deploy the wealth contributed by diversity, are skills that generate pluralistic and inclusive work environments and make the Company more competitive. To valorise diversity of thought and of cultural and educational background is a strategic lever of the business and a tool at the service of people’s wellbeing.

It's not just a matter of attraction or reputation: promoting diversity of thought, cultural and educational backgrounds is a strategic lever of the business and a tool at the service of people's well-being.

With this in mind, Acea has begun a transformation to be increasingly inclusive, a continuous path of growth and evolution through the adoption of process management practices, building an inclusive work environment useful for promoting continuous improvement and enabling the development of new solutions and innovative services, integrating the themes of sustainability and inclusion into the business objectives.

Strategic vision of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I)

As an industrial Group active in the water, energy and environmental sectors, we work constantly to ensure the well-being of the territories and communities in which we operate.

We are committed to integrating Equality, Diversity and Inclusion into business management, via concrete initiatives aimed at creating an inclusive work environment based on dialogue, respect, listening and the valorisation of each person

We promote values inspired by the principles of equal opportunities, ethics, competence and merit.

Towards the enhancement and promotion of Diversity and Inclusion

Starting from 2021, in order to build and disseminate a culture of inclusion and promotion of diversity, we have designed action plans which are more and more intertwined with our corporate strategy.

Through the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion annual plan, we have defined a programme of internal (actions dedicated to our people) and external (actions on the territory) initiatives, thanks to development of projects related to DE&I.

The path started aims at encouraging an inclusive culture, able to promote the diversity of gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and identity, religious faith or other personal characteristics of all the people belonging to the Group.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy and dedicated internal Committee 

In Acea, we have adopted a Policy approved by the Board of Directors in October 2022, which defines the appropriate values, tools and actions, aimed at supporting active practices, with the goal of promoting an increasingly collaborative and inclusive work environment. More specifically, the document defines how said principles are applied to the employee’s professional path, through the adoption of actions aimed at guaranteeing the observance of the Diversity and Inclusion principles in all stages of the employee journey, in line with the principles of Social Sustainability. 

An Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, a Group technical-advisory body Chaired by the Chief Executive Officer, has been set up with the task of steering the inclusion culture evolution and dissemination process. Moreover, a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Manager has been appointed to coordinate activities for drafting and monitoring the operational plan pertaining to the related initiatives.

Person and Participation Charter

The Person and Participation Charter was signed by the Company and the trade union organisations. It is a protocol which outlines a renewed model of Industrial Relations based on an even more participatory and integrated dialogue, with the aim of strengthening trade union relations, enhancing the involvement and putting people at the centre. This agreement aims, moreover, at developing and strengthening the company’s professional profiles and the individual and collective well-being, investing on abilities and competences as levers to face and overcome the great challenges of our social and economic context. 

Manifesto for Equality

For the Human Rights Day, the Acea Group has updated its Manifesto. The new Manifesto for Equality is inspired by Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which is reflected not only in the graphics but also in the content.

Four main values like Family, LGBTQIA+ Community, Gender Equality and the contrast on Ageism have been explored.

Group Procedure 

We have established a procedure on the “Protection, inclusion, and promotion of diversity and workers’ well-being” for the whole Group.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Annual Plan

Every year, Acea drafts a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan that collects the goals and the related projects both in the context of DE&I and corporate welfare, in order to define the best relation between sustainability policies and human capital, with the aim of enhancing its ability to evolve and adjust to new challenges.

Equality Platform

We have created an Equality Platform, a Group community aimed at valorising the ED&I culture, with the participation of 104 “Champions” from 14 Group Companies located across the national territory. These champions, who have volunteered to take part, have the task of promoting the ED&I culture, sharing requirements, project ideas and carrying out dedicated initiatives.

Code for responsible businesses supporting maternity

In November 2023 Acea signed the Code for responsible businesses supporting maternity, promoted by the Ministry for the Family, Birth Rates and Equal Opportunities and presented in Rome during the course of the event “La maternità (non) è un’impresa(maternity is (not) a business). The document provides for various areas of intervention, including: the continuity of a mother’s career, the prevention and treatment of healthcare needs, balancing work times and methods with private life, support for the cost of children’s care and education.

Human Rights Policy

In December 2023 our Human Rights Policy, confirming the Group’s commitment also on the issue of inclusion and non discrimination, was approved.


Diversity management and governance

In 2022, we have established the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at the top management level, with the goal of ensuring the observance of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy and drive the dissemination of a culture based on the promotion of diversity and inclusion in the company, to create an inclusive and pluralist work environment. The Committee has also appointed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager, who has the responsibility of coordinating the preparation and monitoring activities of the operational plan for the initiatives.

Our Diversity Manager

From the governance standpoint, the responsibility in terms of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) is entrusted to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Federica Marinetti.
At an operational level, within the Human Resources function, the Talent Acquisition & People Development unit has the mission of undertaking measures on Inclusion Management and People Experience, and the HR Special Projects unit has the task of designing, in collaboration with the other units of the Human Resources function, specific initiatives for the enhancement of people and the improvement of the corporate climate, also promoting the value of well-being, plurality and inclusion.

We have started a process of promotion of the principles of equity, inclusion and valorisation of diversity to respond to the sensitivity of all our people. We consider the values of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion to be real strategic drivers for corporate competitiveness, and this is why we work every day to increasingly encourage an inclusive culture that values individual characteristics and the contribution of all the people of the Group.

Federica Marinetti

Federica Marinetti

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager

What the Diversity Manager does

Since diversity, equity and inclusion are increasingly transversal themes in the company, it is necessary to entrust their management and responsibility to a duly chosen figure. In fact, the role of the Diversity Manager represents a link between representatives of several areas, with the task of promoting continuous dialogue in order to develop corporate strategies that guarantee the right to diversity in all organisational and management processes, through the understanding and enhancement of the differences and unique talents of each individual, and therefore fostering people's well-being and their sense of belonging.

The areas of our commitment as an inclusive company

Our commitment vis-à-vis Equality, Diversity & Inclusion within the Company is reflected in specific actions aimed at preventing, identifying and opposing discriminations, focusing above all on gender identity, visible or invisible disabilities, age, sexual orientation and cultural backgrounds.

Certifications, indexes, awards

In 2023, Acea confirms the gender equality UNI/PdR 125:2022 certification issued by RINA, a body accredited by Accredia, already obtained in 2022. This is the only national standard on equal opportunities that indicates the guidelines for reducing the gender gap with respect to growth opportunities, equal pay, protection of parenthood and work-life balance.

In 2023, for the third consecutive year, the Acea Group obtained Top Employers Italia certification also due to its material adoption of HR practices with regard to ED&I issues.

Acea has also received some important awards for its commitment to the issues of diversity, inclusiveness and women empowerment.

Acea and Valore D

In June 2024, we joined Valore D, a network of more than 370 companies that since 2009 have been committed to promoting a culture of inclusion and confrontation on the theme of gender balance, through an exchange of good practices and an ongoing dialogue between members. By joining Valore D we are continuing our exploration on the themes of enhancing diversity and equality to support innovation, progress, and growth in our organisation and to help develop a country in which equity plays an increasingly central role.

Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI)

In 2023, Acea was included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for the fourth consecutive year. The analyst has not yet published the assessments for the year, although the last one available assigns to Acea a score of 81.58 (scale of 0-100), with an improvement over the previous year (80.67), positioning the Group above the sector averages (73.75) and the sample analysed (72.94). The Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) evaluates companies' performance with respect to gender equality, across five pillars — female leadership, equal pay, inclusive culture, anti-sexual harassment policies and brand positioning as a pro-women company.

Acea again this year decided to take part in the GEI assessment, responding to the 30 KPIs selected by Bloomberg with a dedicated Gender Reporting Framework.

Go to the 2024 Gender Equality Framework

Europe’s Diversity Leaders

The Acea Group has been included by the Financial Times and Statista in the special ranking of "Europe's Diversity Leaders 2024" (based on 2023 data), which selects the 850 European employers demonstrating significant leadership in the field of diversity and inclusion.

Read more in the press release

Italy’s Best Employers for women

Acea was included among the 2,000 companies evaluated in the Italy's Best Employers for Women 2023 study (based on 2022 data) conducted by Istituto Tedesco Qualità e Finanza which, based on online citations, rewards the 360 best employers for women in Italy.


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