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 2019, 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.
There were 5,460 stakeholders (employees included) reached through specific questionnaires with a redemption of about 39%, besides 3 in-depth workshops about materiality have been organised involving 68 participants between suppliers, clients and employees.
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. A Pulse survey, launched by the CEO Marco Alverà, was carried out (erogated at the end of 2018 and disclosed to employees in 2019), with the aim of setting the next steps of the company's evolution thanks to the contribution of all the people who have so far made possible the successes achieved, collecting feedback and comments from all areas and levels of the company. Here can be found 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. Thanks to the spread of streaming methods and webinars for events, a plan of initiatives was launched with the Snam Institute open for people to participate in, to disseminate new work philosophies and digital culture (Lean Speech, Digital Journeys), accessible through the company intranet.
In 2019 the Agile re-design project was launched for the creation of the new portal, which involved around 80 employees through focus group activities as they are the intended users. The new version of the portal will be available from the second half of 2020.
Among other dialogue and comparison initiatives, in addition to the Pulse survey, several events were organized in 2019: an Online Webinar presenting the strategic plan, in which the CEO illustrated the pillars of the new plan, directly answering the questions posed by employees, Auguri In Rete, the end of year event videoconferencing with the 10 Italian regional offices and the 4 foreign headquarters (Tirana, Athens, Vienna, Beijing) and the second edition of the initiative #Storiedivalore, a contest which took the 4 winning colleagues to Dublin in the Linkedin headquarter.
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 “Osservatorio domanda gas”, ” to brochures on useful topics.
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 integrated 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.
A new online customer satisfaction survey was conducted in November involving all the shippers and traders who collaborated with Snam in the concluded Thermal Year 2018-2019.
The Survey, extended to transportation, storage and regasification activities, involved surveying the customer satisfaction on the quality of services offered, the customer engagement activities undertaken by the Company and on the functionality and additional services introduced in 2019 including in response to the needs of customer that emerged on previous occasions as well as regulatory developments.
The participation rate was 57% and the results were very positive with regard to the customer engagement activities implemented by Snam to improve the services offered and consolidate the collaboration with its stakeholders.
In 2019, 4 commercial workshops and one on biomethane were organised, as well as a seminar dedicated entirely to settlement. The ten-year development plans for the gas transportation network and the cost/benefit analysis methodology were also presented, and two events were held, one with customers at the Panigaglia terminal and one at the headquarter attended by the Snam's CEO.
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: 30.9% in Italy (strategic investors), 14.6% in Italy (retail investors), 4.0% in Italy (institutional investors), 14.5% in Continental Europe, 9.0% in the UK and Ireland, 17.0% in the USA and Canada, 4.8% for Company-Held shares and 5.2% 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:
- 11 roadshows and 6 reverse roadshows to meet shareholders and institutional investors in the major financial centres of Europe and North America;
- 15 industry conferences allowing investors specialising in the utilities and infrastructure sectors to meet senior management;
- meetings with more than 210 institutional investors during the year, corresponding to more than 40% of shares owned by active managers.
The tools Snam uses to update its shareholders include:
- Snam Shareholders, an annual 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 "Metanino", an annual guide which offers a picture of the main elements and trends of the gas market worldwide and in Europe. The energy context in which Snam's business is inserted is outlined through detailed data for individual countries and geographic areas,
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. A wide-ranging debate is ongoing at a European level about the role of gas in the future energy mix and on how new renewable energy (green gas) operators can support the energy transition process.
The activities performed during 2019 were about:
Snam has provided contributions, both through the sector associations of which it is a member (eg ENTSO-G, Gas Infrastructure Europe and Hydrogen Europe), and directly, through the development of specific assessments based on requests received from the European Commission and by the European Regulators (CEER / ACER).
Business partners are the companies with which Snam collaborates for the implementation of projects by realizing partnerships, agreements and memorandums of understing. Examples of this type of stakeholders are Automotive, CNG Plant Builders / managers, LNG for automotive, Biomethane plant managers and Technological innovators in the gas sector. An example of this relationship is the Memorandum Of Understanding signed with Infore Environmental Group, an environmental services company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, for possible joint initiatives in the development of biogas and biomethane infrastructures in China.
One of the most important events in 2019 in which many Business partners took part, together with other Snam's stakeholders, was “The Hydrogen Challenge - 2019 Global ESG Conference”, at Lanterna di Fuksas in Rome, focused on the potential of hydrogen as a clean energy vector on the journey to national and international decarbonisation. The conference, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and "Cooperazione Internazionale" and the National Research Council (CNR), featured a speech by the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte and was attended by numerous international guests. During the first day, agreements were signed with the Israel Innovation Authority and with the CNR on innovation and sustainable energy. The second day, in conjunction with the World Economic Forum, was dedicated to interactive round table discussions between international experts on the development of technological solutions for a sustainable hydrogen economy.
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, 99 during 2019.
- 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 with the dedicated websites about Abruzzo, Puglia and Minerbio
|AN EXAMPLE: 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 Snam for 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.
Several events have been organized and participated by Snam in order to strengthen and disseminate all-round knowledge of the Group's activities, especially in a period in which the Company renews itself and expands towards new businesses to support the energy transition.
One of the most important events of 2019, which saw the participation of various Snam stakeholders, including Suppliers, was "The Hydrogen Challenge - 2019 Global ESG Conference", at the Fuksas Lantern in Rome, focused on the potential of the hydrogen as a carrier of clean energy in the path of national and international decarbonisation.
Besides, to confirm the integration of sustainability aspects in the assessment of the supply chain, in 2019 a questionnaire was sent on the topic to over 2,000 companies.
The main findings were:
- 48% of companies promote personnel initiatives to spread knowledge of sustainability-related issues;
- 58% of companies support social / environmental projects in favor of the territory or grant donations to non-profit associations / bodies;
- 70% of companies use ethical and environmental performance criteria in selecting suppliers.
Under the scope of the activities carried out with its stakeholders, at the Partners Day held in November 2018 in Milan, Snam met more than 500 people, including suppliers, customers, employees, institutions, the financial community and the media. The Chairman of the Board, representatives of the institutions and businesses took part in the initiative, which was an opportunity to debate on innovation and growth.
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.
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.
Snam adopted a communication style integrated between traditional and digital channels allowing a considerable increase in its exposure on the main Italian and international media outlets. Alongside this, Snam created a storytelling on the digital channels aimed at promoting the company, its people and the new businesses, strongly engaging with direct language. As a testament to this, the Company was confirmed, also in 2019, on the podium of the leading Italian companies in the field of digital communication of the Italian "Webranking" ranking, distinguishing itself for its transparency.
Furthermore, the international ".future" research has placed Snam among the best companies (Gold Class) in terms of digital communication of sustainability.
As for social activity on digital channels, in 2019 Snam was awarded the "Best employer brand" on LinkedIn.
29 May 2020 - 09:22 CEST