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.
Snam updated its stakeholder map in 2015, partly because of changes to economic and operating conditions (the acquisition of a majority stake by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and the growth of the business outside Italy), taking account of the degree of mutual influence and dependency between the Snam Group and its stakeholders.
This new mapping exercise also provided an opportunity both to listen and gauge the quality of stakeholder relations and to get their perceptions on the materiality of key issues.
We sent dedicated questionnaires to more than 1,000 stakeholders. A total of 305 people took part in the survey, consisting mainly of clients (132) and suppliers (74).
The stakeholders we surveyed provided a clear and fairly consistent view of the most pressing issues in the energy sector and how a large company like Snam can contribute in terms of creating value. The responses we received add further weight to the commitments Snam has made with regards to material sustainability issues.
> To find out more read the main results of the survey
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 new 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 a summary of the results (available only in italian).
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.
Another initiative for dialogue and discussion, continued during 2016, across all organizational units, is “Sapernedi+”: the traditional communications initiative aimed at the widespread dissemination of the company’s values and strategies, and sharing issues, problems and solutions of individual organisational units.
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. The newsletter “Osservatorio Domanda Gas”, which was established in 2016, with news, analysis and comments on gas demand, is available to all employees on mobile devices too. Posters and window bills then reach all the company’s facilities through images, references and slogans in order to highlight initiatives (e.g., competitions, surveys), opportunities (e.g., summer camps for children of employees) and significant issues (e.g., work safety).
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. As a part of this survey, user suggestions are gathered with the aim of improving mapped areas of the questionnaire while determining any actions to be taken under their responsibility.
The 2016 survey involved 73 customers, and the responses were 57 equal to 78% (68% in 2015). The assessments generally expressed a positive evaluation of the service offered.
Meetings continued with customers, and especially those that purchased storage capacity for the first time in 2016. These included several traders in addition to the more traditional shippers.
The customer satisfaction survey for transportation activities was conducted in 2016 with the aim to evaluate the quality of services offered for the transportation and balancing sectors and the new commercial features introduced in the year also with regard to the results of previous surveys. Beside it tries to identify further possible developments of the commercial services offered.
A total of 135 individuals participated in the questionnaire with a participation rate of over 87%. Participants expressed greater satisfaction with this type of initiative than in previous years. The individuals interviewed admitted they were an active part of these initiatives and defined them as an opportunity to express improvements to business processes.
80% of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the stakeholder engagement initiatives carried out by Snam Rete Gas to improve the services it offers and encourage effective relationships with its stakeholders.
During the year Snam Rete Gas organised an event dedicated to shippers with the aim of presenting the company’s strategy, and it repeated the positive experience of discussing issues concerning the products and services offered in the context of growing flexibility. Nearly 170 people attended the event, representing about 80 companies.
Snam’s shareholders consist of many different types of investors (CDP Gas and CDP Networks, Bank of Italy, Treasury shares, Minozzi, Institutional Investors and Retail Investors), divided geographically as follows: 46.8% in Italy, 18.3% in Continental Europe, 13.00% in the UK and Ireland, 15.60% in the USA and Canada, 0.85 for Company-Held shares and 5.4% 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 (17 in 2016) to meet shareholders and institutional investors in the largest European and North American financial markets;
- one-to-one meetings between management and investors (77 in 2016), as well as group meetings (20 in 2016);
- conference calls when the results are announced (annual, half-yearly and quarterly results), which are attended by analysts who publish research on the stock.
- 3 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:
- Financial Markets Review, a specialised journal published on a monthly basis
- News@Facts, which provides a quarterly update
- 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 annual publication " Sustainability. Building shared value" that summarise the sustainability policies of the Company
- The annual publication, CSR Review, that is a newsletter that provides in-depth coverage of Corporate Social Responsibility
- Finally since 2015 the new publication Fact book has been available.
Over the years, Snam has established a constructive and collaborative working relationship with the Institutions and the Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity Gas and Water. 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. The activities about Educational, supported by the Ministry of Environment and Safeguard of Land and Sea, are particularly interesting.
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 and here can be found a summary of the relations with authority (AEEGSI).
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, the AEEGSI 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 2016 were about:
- implementation of EU rules on the allocation of capacity, balancing and interoperability, which came into force between 2015 and 2016;
- definition of the European codes on tariffs and changes to the CAM code on the sale of newly created transport capacity, for which the legislative approval process was concluded in 2016 and which is expected to come into force in 2017;
- preparation of the European Ten-Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) published in December;
- drafting of two regional investment plans respectively involving the southnorth connecting route between Italy and Northern European markets and South-East Europe, involving the new natural gas procurement routes from the Caspian Sea region. The publication of the third edition of the reports is expected in early 2017;
- 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 issues for consultation involved 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 the security of procurement, 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, 112 during 2016.
- public meetings to present projects and initiatives to the local communities
- Initiatives of involvement toward schools and communities interested by Snam's implants
|Tour of Italy in 80 bookstores|
Uniting Italy through an ideal network of bookshops, routes, museums and cities, thanks to the support and experience of a network. This is the objective of the “Giro d’Italia in 80 bookshops”, a cycling and cultural tour that brings Italy together through an ideal network of bookshops, museums and cities. An initiative launched in partnership with the Associazione Letteratura Rinnovabile,which, for the third year, has made it possible to promote and consolidate Snam’s presence in areas in which the Company has had a strong presence for some time. The cultural and environmental cycling race took place following the entire course of the Ticino River, visiting significant and evocative centres of cultural importance. It also provided an opportunity to present “Sustainable Paths - Ticino Park” at various meetings.
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.
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.
In printed media, on the other hand, 541 articles featured Snam (with 446 dedicated to it), nationally and internationally, an increase of 73% compared with 2015 (312 of which 275 were dedicated to it).
The content and tone of these articles was judged positive or neutral in almost all cases (99.3%), while the proportion of positive articles rose from 151 in 2015 to 196. The main subjects dealt with were Corporate, Operations, Finance and Sustainability.
Barclays Capital analyst
“In recent years, the markets have been subject to wide-ranging movements...”
“ENTSOG – European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas – was established...”
“How did the idea of a general agreement with Snam Rete Gas S.p.A. ...”
“The teachers give their views on the appeal...”
“The Legambiente representatives who, together with Snam Rete Gas...”
Tre colli S.p.A
“The company has been active in the construction and maintenance of Snam pipelines since 1973...”
18 April 2017 - 10:48 CEST