Analysis of materiality
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) have repeatedly proposed materiality as a starting point to bring reporting in line with stakeholder expectations. SNAM is following the GRI standards of Global Reporting Institute, issued in 2016.
Materiality is the key element that reinforces Snam’s sustainability strategy by generating environmental, economic and social value for the company and stakeholders
Materiality is the principle according to which businesses must prepare their reports by including information on aspects that significantly impact their capacity to create value over time.
By following the principles of the GRI's G4 guidelines in force since May 2013, which place particular emphasis on the principle of materiality, Snam immediately took advantage of the opportunity to lend greater focus to its reporting by updating the topics that have traditionally been part of its sustainability efforts. Now Snam follows the GRI standards which still keep focus on material aspects is key to the reinforcement of the corporate social responsibility strategy.
13 material topics resulted from the materiality analysis as in last year results. In particular, the “Brand reputation” topic switched from being material to relevant, while the topic "Relations with the authorities and quality of services" came back as material.
The materiality analysis is conducted to identify the most significant topics for the Company and Stakeholders
Starting from the relevant issues arisen from the materiality analysis of the last year, at the end of 2020 Snam initiated the process for their updating, by analyzing the main sustainability trends, the most important publications in the sector and through a benchmark with the main peers and comparable companies of Snam at national and international level. Also the directions provided by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), for the Extractives & Minerals Processing: Oil & Gas midstream" were taken into consideration in defining the important issues.
In order to identify the most relevant issues from the company’s point of view, Snam proceeded by analyzing the available internal documentation (e.g. the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan), the main adopted policies, the main risks identified by the ERM model and the issues on which they insisted on. The preliminary internal relevance of the issues identified in this way was then submitted to management, through direct interviews with the managers of each department, in order to analyze the perception of the issues from the company’s point of view. Each function, where appropriate, was allowed to update the relative scoring of these issues.
On the other hand, to define the most important issues from an external point of view, online surveys were conducted with all categories of stakeholders. Particularly more of 6,000 stakeholders where reached by questionnaires with a participation rate of about 32%. The following categories of stakeholders were considered for the online survey: Associations, communities and local areas, Investors and lenders, Business partners, Other operators, Media, Suppliers, Customers, People (Employees), Authorities and Institutions.
This year there was again the realization of in-depth workshops involving 77 representatives from customers, suppliers and employees. During the meetings, after an introduction on Snam's position on the issue of sustainability and the novelties in the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan, there was a brief induction on the concept of "materiality" and the analyses conducted to identify the relevant issues. Later on, the stakeholders were asked to validate the universe of issues and prioritise the themes by filling in a hard copy and online questionnaire. The results of the workshop, together with the preliminary analyses described above, have made it possible to determine the external relevance of the sustainability issues.
The joint analysis of the internal and external relevance led to the identification of the priority and materiality areas. The materiality matrix has been validated by the management, the ESG Committee and the CEO.
Fight against corruption: Adopting preventive safeguards and targeted policies, as well as promoting partnerships that have the goal of fighting corruption and offences in general and also the dissemination of a culture of lawfulness.
Business integrity: Carry out activities with loyalty and fairness in compliance with laws, regulations, additional and improving company dispositions and ensuring the efficiency of corporate governance, with particular attention to the issues of remuneration and balanced participation in the main corporate governance bodies.
Reliability of infrastructure, business continuity and cyber security: Ensure the reliability of infrastructures and services in order to prevent and/or mitigate potential situations that could compromise business continuity (e.g. emergencies, pandemic events). Manage cyber security with particular reference to potential cyber attacks, also in the light of the continuous increase in the use of of IT tools (also accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic).
Economic performance and value generation: Promote the creation of shared medium to long-term value for all categories of stakeholders, through operational and financial efficiency and commit to the development of business activities capable of generating value for all stakeholders.
Innovation: Research new technologies aimed at increasing the efficiency of business and reducing environmental impacts, also with a view to the circular. Exploit technological innovation (e.g. cloud, Al, etc.) for greater efficiency of operations and services offered, to digitise and optimise the monitoring and management of infrastructure and to easily integrate new green business opportunities.
Health and safety: Adopt practices and management systems to safeguard the health and safety of employees and third parties involved in company activities (e.g. suppliers), also with reference to pandemic events.
Development of human capital: Encourage professional growth paths and policies for attracting and retaining talent, and enhancing the technical, managerial and organisational skills of employees. Embrace new technologies in order to ensure the recruitment, continuous training and development of employees.
Promote work-life balance for staff through welfare initiatives (e.g. smart working), also with reference to pandemic events and with particular particular attention to the most vulnerable.
Diversity & Inclusion: Promote and ensure equal opportunities for all employees, and protect diversity (race, religion, culture, gender and age) by promoting initiatives for dialogue and collaboration.
Relations with local communities: Involving local communities in order to develop projects capable of responding effectively to the expectations of stakeholders and which also reinforce the licence to operate.
Relations with authorities and quality of services: Ensure that customers receive a safe and reliable service over time, in compliance with the principles of competition and equal treatment and access to infrastructure and promote constructive and transparent relationships with regulatory authorities and institutions, in order to develop satisfactory services for customers and at the same time oriented to the needs and demands of the market.
Climate Change: Promote strategies to contain climate change, to reduce greenhouse gases and environmental impacts, develop energy efficiency initiatives at Group plants and sites and promote a more sustainable business through the use and production of energy from renewable sources.
Green Business: Integrate in its operations, in support of a low-carbon economy new businesses that accompany the processes of decarbonisation, such as biomethane, use of gas for sustainable mobility (CNG, LNG) and new technologies capable of incorporating renewable energy from the environment.
Land protection and biodiversity: Safeguard the landscape heritage of the territories where the Group's plants or sites are located and promote environmental protection by integrating soil, subsoil and groundwater protection policies into its operational activities.
The relevant issues are, however, important topics for the Company and therefore they are properly managed and supervised. In the 2020 materiality analysis, the relevant issues were:
Supply chain, Waste management, Water management, Employment, Brand reputation, Respect for human rights and Air protection.
13 April 2021 - 14:56 CEST