Dialogue with stakeholders
Maintaining a positive and constant long-term relationship with stakeholder helps to foster consensus, increase trust, improve decision-making processes and reduce conflicts
Snam believes in the participatory involvement of stakeholders.
Maintaining a positive and constant long-term relationship with suppliers helps to foster consensus, increase trust, improve decision-making processes and reduce conflicts. For this reason, the Group’s sustainability approach primarily aims to identify and involve all stakeholders with which the company interacts and, subsequently, to understand the interests and issues that are relevant to each of them.
This is why in an attempt to communicate proactively and engage in a continual dialogue with its stakeholders, Snam has developed over time (and continues to do so) a set of specific channels and tools for best managing these relations and always trying to create value.
Snam’s approach to stakeholder engagement, explained in the Stakeholder Engagement Policy, aims to:
- identify the different categories of stakeholder with which the Company interacts by monitoring changes in the environment and how the business is developing;
- analyse and understand the profile of the stakeholders and the position of the Company in relation to them;
- study the interests and issues relevant to each category of stakeholder by periodically updating the materiality analysis;
- report on and periodically communicate to stakeholders the operating results relating to material issues of mutual interest by way of the Sustainability Report and any other reporting and communication tool developed by the Company.
Each corporate structure contributes to the various stakeholder engagement activities in relation to its own prerogatives, roles and responsibilities.
In 2017, as part of the materiality analysis, Snam updated the mapping of stakeholders, taking into account the degree of influence and mutual dependence between company and stakeholder.
The topics at the center of the interaction with stakeholders in 2017 made particular reference to the main changes that took place during the year, with particular reference to the expansion of new business, new uses of natural gas and international expansion.
There were over 1,200 external stakeholders and 2,919 employees reached through specific questionnaires. The redemption of external stakeholders was around 27.2% while that relating to employees was around 44%.
Snam considers communication to be a key driver for promoting employee participation and encouraging the sharing of values, principles, projects and initiatives. Besides internal communication is also strategically important since it is able to create and distribute value through an improvement in the company’s credibility and by increasing the sense of belonging felt by its people.In fact, Snam promotes many internal communication initiatives. Besides, in the first months of 2016 a survey was realized with the participation of 82% of employees. Areas of enquiry of the survey were: the level of engagement, circumstances that promote the involvement of people, a positive climate at work and instances of improvement for company personnel. Here can be found the results.
There has been a particular focus on the set of instruments used to communicate, with the launch of a coordinated change plan.
Easy, the new group intranet is the tool that transformed our way of thinking about the intranet space: from repository of information to a veritable digital workplace. Today, the Group’s intranet is a space for information and raising awareness for all Snam’s employees, but also a forum for knowledge-sharing and development. Indeed, the portal includes thematic sections of interest across the entire company and reaches all employees in real time (including via remote connections) with news, the launch of projects and initiatives, innovations and analyses. It also provides the “let’s work together” space, which employees working in teams can use to exchange work documents, share opinions and view notices regarding the working group, all in real time.
Among other dialogue and comparison initiatives, Snam organized cascading meetings in 2017: the traditional communication initiative aimed at spreading the company's values, strategies and strategies, sharing issues, problems and solutions of the individual organizational realities. Thematic meetings were also held to reinforce innovative thinking and team spirit ("The future is in our hands") and a year-end event in video conference to bring together the entire corporate population.
In order to involve all personnel, including those difficult to reach with the computer network, Snam makes and uses paper tools: from the in-house publication “Energie”, to the newsletter “Obiettivo Sicurezza News” to brochures on useful topics. The magazine “Energie”, which represents Snam’s corporate identity, followed the developments and changes that the company was involved in over the course of the year.
Snam has always paid particular attention to its relationship with its customers with a view to meeting their evolving needs according to changes in the gas market (all the more so now that the category has been expanded and diversified), including parties such as: industrial gas consumers, city network gas distributors, automotive users, thermoelectric power plants, regasification terminal operators, producers of gas from fields located in Italy, etc.
Both Snam Rete Gas and Stogit have adapted their IT applications and web interfaces to manage the specific elements of the new balancing regime. Both businesses have adopted an approach aimed at involvement and debate with customers and the analysis of their demands.
The monitoring of the quality of services provided involves customers on an ongoing and ever-expanding basis.
Each year a customer satisfaction survey is performed to identify the degree of satisfaction of storage users with respect to the clarity of the Code, the availability and efficiency of IT services and commercial management. In November 2017 a new online survey was conducted with all Shippers and Traders who were active in the 2016-2017 thermal year.
The survey focused on the quality and functionality of the services and their evolution with respect to the requests made by customers in previous occasions of comparison. On this occasion, for the first time the survey was carried out simultaneously on all three sectors of activity (transport, storage and regasification). The participation rate was 63% and around 93% of respondents expressed satisfaction with stakeholder engagement activities.
During 2017, workshops were held with customers aimed at a mutual comparison on the dynamics balancing and the market and the collection of observations / wishes by the operators. In In particular, the meetings provided an opportunity to discuss the innovations and trends in balancing and transport, storage and regasification, as well as providing feedback on the process of renewing IT systems.
Finally, during the annual "Shippers 'Day" meeting, which was merged this year in Partners' Day, a debate was held on the challenges for the Italian and foreign gas market, which saw the participation for the first time in external companies as well. Eni, A2A, Shell Energy Europe and Edison.
Snam’s shareholders consist of many different types of investors (CDP Networks, Bank of Italy, Treasury shares, Minozzi, Institutional Investors and Retail Investors), divided geographically as follows: 30.63% in Italy (strategic investors), 14.35% in Italy (retail investors), 3.47% in Italy (institutional investors), 15.53% in Continental Europe, 12.16% in the UK and Ireland, 16.27% in the USA and Canada, 2.45% for Company-Held shares and 5.14% in rest of the world.
Snam has always aimed for transparency in its relationships with the financial community, explicitly stating its objectives and results so that shareholders and the financial markets have a full understanding of all of its value drivers.
During the year, the following activities were organised:
- road shows (18 in 2017) to meet shareholders and institutional investors in the largest European and North American financial markets;
- one-to-one meetings between management and investors (115 in 2017), as well as group meetings (98 in 2017);
- 5 industry conferences allowing investor specialising in the utilities and infrastructure sectors to meet the Company’s senior management.
The tools Snam uses to update its shareholders include:
- Snam Shareholders, a six-monthly guide that provides a summary of relevant information for all current and potential Snam shareholders. The Guide is one of the tools implemented in 2010 to strengthen communication with private investors
- The publication Fact book has been available since 2015.
Over the years, Snam has established a constructive and collaborative working relationship with the Institutions and the Energy Network and Environmental Regulatory Authority (ARERA). The relationships established between Snam and State Administrations, the Regions and local Associations mainly focus on:
- satisfying requests for data and information regarding corporate activities
- facilitating the acceptance of decisions to locate facilities in local areas
- submitting applications for permits required for the construction of new infrastructure.
Snam participates in public meetings and organises educational and informational visits to its operating sites for Public Administration officials with a view to demonstrating directly “in the field” exactly what these activities involve, as well as the true nature of their impact on the local area and the environmental and safety standards adopted in order to ensure their proper functioning. Concerning the relationship with the Authority, the systems of rules (governing the transmission, distribution, regasification and storage activities) and the Network Codes all include processes for updating and maintaining constant contact with it, to ensure the provision of services that are in a position to respond to the market and its evolution in as suitable a manner as possible.
In particular, all Group companies – each within its own area of responsibility – maintain a relationship of constructive dialogue and practical collaboration made of numerous meetings and technical tables.
Snam works closely with other sector operators, its partners, to guarantee the safety of the twoway gas flows between the UK and Italy and France and the Iberian peninsula. This is the first important step towards the European integration of networks. Snam is committed to continuing to develop services for the market, both on its own and with its partners, focusing on production quality in an attempt to satisfy the ever-changing demands of shippers and end customers. For example, ARERA and Snam Rete Gas also operate at a European level within the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG), respectively.
These two bodies are, respectively, responsible for developing European guidelines and codes that will contribute towards the creation of a single natural gas market.
The activities performed during 2017 were about:
- The implementation of the EU rules on the allocation of capacity, balancing and interoperability was completed.
- The Implementation of European codes on tariffs and the new rules included in the CAM code on the sale of newly created transportation capacity, for which the legislative approval process was concluded and that already came into force, for the part regarding the new provisions, in 2017.
- The starting of the works to prepare the Ten Year Development Plan of the European transportation network, with the publication of a draft report containing the scenarios shared between ENTSOG and ENTSOE (“Scenario Report”), based on the respective ten-year plans of the two associations (TYNDP 2018).
- The drafting and publishing of two regional investment plans (GRIPs) which concern the south north connecting route between Italy and Northern European markets, relevant for reverse flows, and the South-East Europe area, involving the new natural gas procurement routes from the Caspian Sea region.
- The preparation of around 20 documents including responses to public consultations and association positions, in relation to documents and opinions produced mainly by the European Commission and ACER. The most important consultation issues regarded the EU and domestic market energy policy developments, with special reference to the role of gas in the future energy mix and that of infrastructures in guaranteeing benefits in terms of security of supply, competitiveness and sustainability.
By working throughout Italy, Snam engages in open dialogue with the territory to consolidate its knowledge of and relationship with the communities in which it operates.
The relationships established between Snam and the State, regional and local authorities mainly relate to the submission of applications for permits required to lay new gas pipelines and build new plants. In parallel, the relationships forged with local communities help to publicise the company’s commitment and raise awareness among local residents.
From time to time, meetings with relevant institutional stakeholders are held to illustrate the company’s operational activities and programmes, including:
- with the mayors of the municipalities through which the pipeline is to pass, as well as with regional farmers associations, to present the draft project before submitting applications for permits, and with the regional farmers associations through specific meetings to provide information on easement allowances and payments for damage to crops on lands through which the gas pipeline will pass, 106 during 2017.
- public meetings to present projects and initiatives to the local communities
- Initiatives of involvement toward schools and communities by means of the project Young energy
- Implementation of information campaigns dedicated to the communities
|MINI WEBSITE SNAM FOR ABRUZZO|
Snam's mini website is dedicated to the company's projects in Abruzzo, with all the details on the objectives, the route, the safety and the environmental compatibility of the works.
The navigable area, accessible at http://www.snam.it/it/snam_per_abruzzo/ (available only in italian), is proposed as a new tool for dialogue with the population, fully exposing the characteristics of the pipelines and the compressor station that will be built in the territory and providing data and context information on the natural gas sector and infrastructure already in operation in Italy.
As part of its business activities, Snam seeks to establish partnerships with many suitably qualified market players, looking for an operational approach that reflects specific values.
On the occasion of its seventy-fifth anniversary, as part of the "Partners' Day" held on November 9, 2017 at the "Leonardo da Vinci" Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, Snam saw partners and stakeholders gathered in a detailed discussion on the future scenarios in the energy world.
After a plenary session where issues such as the importance of infrastructures, the dialogue with the territories and the new uses of gas were discussed, an in-depth session was held in which almost 500 people were divided into working groups and were compared on some key themes.
In 2016 as well Snam met with its suppliers with the aim of creating a shared culture on fundamental issues, such as innovation, sustainability and business ethics. During the meeting, in which more than 450 people took part, a great deal of attention was paid to the value of collaboration between the company and suppliers as a factor for development, the strategic importance of the sustainable supply chain, the theme of transparency and the fight against corruption. Specific discussions then touched on more technical subjects, such as: the new procurement code; the environment and innovation (the best practices of foreign investees); innovative technologies in the oil and gas industry; and the development of technologies to promote alternative uses of natural gas.
In 2015 Snam held its annual workshop for suppliers: a moment of dialogue aimed to consolidate quality standards throughout the supply chain and to share Snam's model of sustainable growth.
We focused, in particular, on workplace safety and the high standards of environmental protection to which the Group and its suppliers are asked to adhere.
As a part of the dissemination of the sustainability culture, in July 2014 an other workshop was organised, this year at the Group level. The workshop was dedicated to “The Responsible Relationship between the Company and Supply Chain” focusing in particular on the sharing of information between the company and its suppliers, which is essential to enhance the sustainability culture and improve the best practices implemented by Snam and its suppliers.
A third workshop was held in Milan in July 2013: “Sharing views to prevent and improve.”
In 2012, Snam Rete Gas organised a second workshop “My safety is your safety” aimed at companies involved in work processes for the construction of infrastructures.
In 2011, Snam organised the “Suppliers’ Day for Sustainability”, the first workshop involving company management representatives and a significant representation of suppliers (75 companies) grouped by type of supply, including goods (35) and works and services (40).
With this initiative, Snam wanted to disseminate and engage with the concepts of safety, transparency, attention to the community, respect for the land and reinforcement of operating licences – indispensable values based on which a responsible and trusting relationship can be forged with suppliers.
During the meeting, structured feedback was also collected on the needs and requirements of suppliers, to reflect on suitable initiatives with a view to ensuring continuous improvement.
|The supplier's portal|
Activated in 2013, the Portal is the most important way of implementing Snam’s procurement policy and of making an additional contribution in terms of transparent, traceable and complete information available to current and potential suppliers.
On a daily basis, Snam interacts with all of the online and offline media (newspapers, magazines, press agencies, radio, TV, websites and blogs) at local, national and international levels.
Communication with the media is considered to be a critical part of Snam’s relationship with the regions and with stakeholders in general. In its dialogue with the media, Snam aims to efficiently provide the information necessary to raise awareness and help others better understand the company’s activities, its history, its business environment, its distinctive strategic characteristics, and its programmes and achievements.
The result is a communication action that effectively expresses the company’s values by highlighting its commitment to sustainability, the industrial aspects of the business, and the initiatives through which the company contributes to the cultural and civil development of the Community and the territory.
Snam is committed to providing truthful, timely, transparent and accurate information to external parties. Snam is convinced that a good relationship with the media proactively fosters dialogue and interaction with its stakeholders and facilitates a greater awareness of the Company, its mission and its activities. Interaction is a constant, daily event that takes place through various channels: from the traditional media channels to the new social media as Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, Instagram and Facebook. The Company intends to progressively implement the social media channel in order to increase the level of interaction with its stakeholders.
On the main media an increase in the number of articles in particular linked to trends such as sustainable mobility and energy decarbonisation through the use of new sources (for example the biomethane), and on the role of Snam in the country system, along with its drive towards innovation has been observed. Furthermore, during 2017, the press office aimed at highlighting the company's positions and its willingness to dialogue in the territories (such as Abruzzo and Puglia) characterized by movements of opinion contrary to some infrastructure projects.
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08 May 2018 - 17:47 CEST