We have set up governance and operational bodies and have equipped ourselves with tools that enable us to integrate sustainability into our businesses.
This is a collegiate body and internal board committee, which assists the Board of Directors in matters concerning business ethics and environmental, social and governance issues. More specifically, the Committee encourages the integration of sustainability into corporate strategy and culture, supervises the way in which the company dialogues with its stakeholders and its pursuance of sustainability objectives, examines the guidelines, monitors implementation of the Sustainability Plan, checks compliance with the Code of Ethics and promotes a culture of diversity and inclusion within the Group.
The Sustainability Unit’s tasks include the coordination and development of sustainability in the Group’s processes and operations. This Unit forms part of the Risk and Compliance Department, which reports to the Chairman and, functionally, to the CEO.
The Sustainability Round Table is a collegial body, comprising the main corporate departments and directorates, which supports the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer in supervising the implementation and periodic review of the Sustainability Plan and promotes the integration of sustainability in company management.
The Round Table, which is specifically focused on the level of governance and on monitoring the progress of the operational sustainability objectives, in 2019 met to discuss the procedure for revising the Sustainability Plan and consider the developments of certain major initiatives, such as the stakeholder engagement project, the integration of sustainability into the ERM system and obtainment of the first Standard Ethics solicited ESG rating.
Our internal regulations and management and control systems are the governance tools that ensure our organisation is operating correctly, from the identification of general directives to the turning of strategic plans into concrete actions.
Our sustainability Policy and our quality, environmental, safety and energy systems focus our operations on major issues, such as promotion of the quality culture, respect for the environment and protection of the ecosystems, the valuation of people and safety in the workplace, the efficient management of resources, the analysis of risks, the responsible management of economic, social and environmental impacts, the dialogue with stakeholders and promotion of sustainability throughout the value chain.
The Policy is an integral part of the Management Systems adopted by us to govern aspects of our business activities concerning quality, environment, safety and energy.
To facilitate an integrated vision of risks, in 2018 we launched the ERM Programme based on the recent COSO framework “Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) – integrating with Strategy and Performance”, designed not only to reveal the nature and level of the main risks which could prevent us from achieving our business and sustainability planning objectives, but also to address strategies for the development of a mitigation plan, where necessary.
Being aware of the new economic, social and environmental challenges we take part in external initiatives, whose values are consistent with our governance. These include: Global Compact Network Italia, CSR Manager Network, Integrated Governance Index (IGI), ESG Governance LAB and Carbon Discoscure Project.
Towards integrated governance: the Integrated Governance Index (IGI)
The IGI is a quantitative index, which assesses the top 100 listed companies based on the extent to which they integrate sustainability into corporate governance. Their score is obtained based on a questionnaire, which also gives details of especially relevant, "extraordinary" issues pertaining to the year alongside more "commonplace" topics of governance. In April 2017, Acea was asked to take part in the IGI survey for the first time and obtained a score of 55.90, positioning itself halfway down the general classification of participants (17th out of 33). In the 2018 assessment, Acea improved its position and rose to 14th out of 47 with a score of 61.2. In 2019, during its third year of participation in the IGI survey, Acea obtained a score of 62.78 (scale of 0-100), ranking 23rd position out of a total 61 respondents.