Sustainability management

Top management has defined governance-related sustainability objectives, thanks to which it will be able to guide the Group towards increasing responsibility and sustainability. We have set up governance and operational bodies and have equipped ourselves with tools that allow us to integrate sustainability into our businesses and the relationships with all our stakeholders.

Ethics and Sustainability Committee

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.

Investor Relations & Sustainability

The aim of the Investor Relations & Sustainability Division, which reports to the Chief Executive Officer, is to increase the integration of sustainability into the company’s strategic business decisions, making them part and parcel of the Group’s equity story vis-à-vis all its stakeholders. It coordinates the Group’s sustainability planning and is responsible for preparing the Sustainability Report.

The Sustainability Round Table

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.

Sustainability policy and QASE system

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.

Graphic representation of the operational processes in the sustainability policy of the Acea Group

Our Management Systems and Sustainability Policy revised in November 2020, sets out the company’s principles, values and commitments, framing them within the pursuit of sustainable development and is an integral part of the Management systems compliant with the ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO 50001 standards.

The Policy lists the following values as fundamental elements for sustainability, contributing towards its increasing integration within the planning and management of our business activities:

  • promotion of the quality culture;
  • respect for the environment and preservation of the ecosystems;
  • fight against climate change;
  • development of people and safety in the workplace;
  • efficient management of resources;
  • assessment of risks and economic, social and environmental impacts;
  • engagement in collective well-being and development of an ongoing dialogue with the parties concerned;
  • promotion of creativity and technological and organisational innovation.

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.

Infographics of the sustainability management systems of the Acea Group

Our integrated risk analysis

To facilitate an integrated vision of risks and their proactive management, we have continued our development of the ERM Programme based on the COSO framework “Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) – integrating with Strategy and Performance”, designed both to reveal the nature and level of the main risks that could prevent the achievement of our business and sustainability planning objectives, and to address strategies for the development of a mitigation plan, where necessary.

Participation in external initiatives

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.

Our participation in the United Nations Global Compact

Since 2007 Acea has been a participant in the United Nations Global Compact, the global initiative set up 20 years ago to encourage companies all over the world to develop their business in an ethical and sustainable manner. It promotes the application of ten universal principles aimed at respect for human and workers’ rights, environmental protection and the fight against corruption.

Our participation takes the form of an ongoing commitment to the pursuit of its principles, illustrating our actions and projects via annual Communication on Progress reports, which are also integrated into our Sustainability Report.

Towards integrated governance: the Integrated Governance Index (IGI)

The IGI is a quantitative index, which assesses the positioning of businesses based on the extent to which they integrate sustainability into corporate governance. The questionnaire is addressed to the top 100 companies listed on the Italian Stock Exchange, the companies that publish a Non-financial declaration in accordance with Legislative Decree no. 254/2016, the top 50 unlisted and industrial companies included in Mediobanca’s ranking. More specifically, the questionnaire considers not only the more “commonplace” governance topics, but also the particularly significant “extraordinary” issues pertaining to the year, such as the matter of “ESG digital governance” during 2020.

Acea, in its fourth year of IGI survey participation, has gradually improved its positioning obtaining a score of 64.6 and ranking 15th out of a total 74 respondents. In particular, the areas where Acea showed its best performances concerned Corporate Governance Code compliance, composition of the Board of Directors in terms of diversity and skills, the Board and Sustainability Committees and Human Resources.

 

IGI Performance Acea

2017

2018

2019

2020

Score

55.90

61.2

62.78

64.6

Position

17th out of 33

14th out of 47

23rd out of 61

15th out of 74