Our relationship with the Institutions is a fundamental aspect of our business, bearing in mind that our company provides essential public services throughout the territory, the majority of which are subject to regulation.
Acea represents one of the territory's strategic infrastructural assets an interacts with the Public Administrations to contribute towards the higher needs of public interest, for example in terms of water, by activating the emergency management Plans agreed with the local Institutions. Emerging issues include monitoring the cyber threat to the IT networks pertaining to services of general interest and, in this area, Acea is permanently involved in the works of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and has also taken part in the European Horizon 2020 programme with the ECHO (European network of Cybersecurity centres and competence Hub for innovation and Operations) project. for the establishment of a European network of cybersecurity competence centres.
Relations and synergies with universities, research entities, representative organisations, professional associations, etc. are maintained assiduously and transparently, in observance of roles and purposes.
In the world of multi-utilitities, we stand out for the human and relation aspect of our services. We organise specific initiatives to involve our staff and encourage them to work to the best of their ability with a view to creating first and foremost a solid company culture.
We involve our employees in every aspect of our work and pay close attention to issues concerning health and safety, training, life-work balance and equal opportunities.
As we are aware that improvement depends first of all on our employees' applied skills, we have created a new Model of Execution, path for valorising our wealth of internal competencies designed to put into practice important company strategic initiatives. Coming within this path are the projects "Managerial Academy" aimed at implementing a centre of managerial excellence from a perspective of leadership and utility management, and "School of Trades" designed to share the technical knowledge present within the Group.
Given the nature of our business, the promotion of health and safety is particularly important to us and we are constantly striving to spread a culture that allows our operators to work in the best possible way. More specifically, in 2018 we set up two projects aimed at safeguarding the health of employees and visitors to the site: with the initiative "Acea: a cardio-protected company" we installed 10 semi-automatic defibrillators in some branches and provided specific training in this regard, while the "Acea for prevention " project provides for the introduction of certain preventive medicine services in addition to the benefits already envisaged in the corporate health policy.
We are also careful to ensure organisational wellbeing, via the creation of a favourable, and inclusive work environment. In this connection, a new innovative, and participatory model of industrial relations has been defined, via the signing of a Group Framework Agreement enabling the definition of implemental company-level agreements on issues such as performance bonuses and welfare, smart working (295 resources operate using this method) and parental support measures (extension of parental and paternity leave and new forms of family leave).
We wish to assure our customers regarding the social and environmental sustainability of our supply chain. With this in mind, we talk to our suppliers help them to become increasingly more sustainable.
The main initiatives we have undertaken along the supply chain concern the strengthening of contractual forecasts to protect social and environmental aspects. For example, our tenders reward and encourage companies that are able to demonstrate their motoring of sustainability aspects, such as safety trainig and the use of ecological equipment during operations, and their joint possession of quality, environmental and safety certifications. Furthermore, on the subject of green procurement, we apply minimum environmental criteria (MEC) in all our tender specifications and are endeavouring to extend this approach to product categories currently not covered by the Ministerial Decrees. Acea’s commitment in this regard was acknowledged during the International Forum Compraverde-Buygreen, where we received the Social Procurement Award for best practice in the European tender for the entire Group's supply of work clothes withlower environmental impact.
Lastly, in order to register with the qualification systems relating to the Single Regulations for Goods, and Services and Works, all operators must answer a self-assessment questionnaire on matters of social and environmental responsibility managed directly on quality, environment, safety, energy and sustainability directly managed on our Vendor Management platform and we have a second-party audit plan to support the improvement of our supply chain.
We operate in businesses closely linked to natural resources which therefore have a major impact on the environment.
We are constantly committed to sustainable management of our industrial processes from the offtake of resources to their transformation and return to the ecological cycle.
We encourage companies to use resources responsibly and efficiently, to protect springs, to safeguard natural areas where the plants and mains networks stand, and to mitigate the physical impacts and external effects generated by the operational processes on the ecological context. This is why we encourage the companies in our Group to use Management Systems, which we consider to be essential instruments for the sustainable admininistration of our businesses. Thanks to the increase in production from renewable energy sources and enhanced efficiency of internal end energy uses and process uses over the last ten years, the Group has achieved levels of carbon intensity values (gCO2/kWh produced) among the lowest in the Italian utility sector with a 72% of energy produced from renewable sources of the total generated. Furthermore, as regards the environmental services connected with waste management we are actively developing technologies to improve the efficiency of the processes and transform waste according to the dictates of a circular economy.
As a multi-utility company, we ensure citizens receive essential services. Driven by this awareness we are committed to becoming a reliable, top quality partner capable of responding to our customer needs.
In the digital era, technology is influencing and rapidly changing not only the infrastructures, but also the dynamics and contact channels between the company and the customer. Alongside the consolidated six-monthly customer satisfaction surveys, whereby we measure customer and citizen satisfaction for the services we provide, thanks to new technologies and the Group's renewed digital ecosystem, we are capable of advanced communications and can monitor our services in real time and consequently also our level of efficiency and compliance with territorial requirements. After listening carefully, we decided to directly involve customers and residents, by promoting a sustainable style of consumption, for example by encouraging the choice of energy from renewable sources, the use of electronic payment and by designing awareness campaigns focused on the issues of water saving and protection.
Relationships with the economic and financial world are important for making ourselves known, enhancing our strengths and creating opportunities for growth.
We maintain an open, dialogue of trust with the financial community, which we meet at numerous roadshows in conjunction with the major corporate events in key European piazzas. Here again we continue to give importance to aspects of sustainability, which we know are receiving more and more attention from the financial world: we hold increasingly frequent discussions with ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) analysts to effectively communicate our commitment to creating a shared value with our stakeholders.
We want to grow alongside the territory generating the best infrastructural conditions in terms of safety and efficiency, which are the foundations for developing the local community and valorising the monumental heritage via the creation of culture.
To be forerunner and create value means making our networks and plants more efficient, safer and technologically advanced, so that the services can be integrated in an increasingly rapid and reliable manner. This is the direction taken for example, by our projects and the investments in innovation of the urban network from a smart city perspective, intelligent public lighting and multiservice metering systems. From a safety standpoint, we ensure the smooth running of our services by enhancing the resilience of the system when faced with critical environmental and fraudulent or terrorist events.
At the same time, we are working with the local communities, and with young people in particular, to disseminate principles of environmental education and valorise our monumental heritage , via initiatives conducted in collaboration with the competent authorities.
When carryng out our work, our guiding principle is the company's sustainability over time.
We have drawn up a challenging, and innovative Business Plan which retrieved, strengthened and renewed Acea's industrial vocation, heavily focused on the creation and management of modern, resilient public service infrastructures. The Business Plan was conceived designed in close conjunction with the Sustainability Plan, since we convinced that growth cannot exist without sustainability, namely respect for the environment and working conditions and aimied at creating a shared value with the community.
We consider innovation to be a precious leverage for the development of our business, thanks to which we can grow and provide effective solutions to future challenges, such as smart cities and the reduction of water leaks.