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.
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%.
The update of the materiality analysis used the results of this survey, having been carried out in early 2018.
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. 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. 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 2018: the communication initiative aimed at spreading the company's values, strategies and strategies, sharing issues, problems and solutions of the individual organizational realities. Two initiatives were launched jointly with the Snam Foundation for supporting the company's social commitment and encouraging team and relationship-building: (Snam volunteering day throughout Italy, Family Christmas with employees and their children at 11 company premises).
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. 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 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 2017-2018. The analysis was extended to transportation, storage and regasification activities. The survey involved a poll about customer satisfaction in relation to the quality of services offered, the customer engagement activities undertaken by the Company and the functionalities and additional services introduced in 2018 also following the requirements revealed by the customers themselves as well as regulatory developments.
The turnout rate was 55% and about 93% of the results were positive about the customer engagement activities which were implemented by Snam to improve the services offered and consolidate a proactive collaboration with its stakeholders.
Five commercial workshops were held in 2018 (plus one on biomethane) aimed at comparing the functioning of balancing and market mechanisms. In particular, the meetings provided the opportunity to discuss innovations and the progress of balancing and transportation, storage and regasification, as well as providing feedback on the process of the updating of IT systems.
At the Partners’ Day, which took place in November, a debate was held, as part of the commercial issues, on digital transformation in the gas industry, block chain and new technologies.
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:
- road shows (11 in 2018) to meet shareholders and institutional investors in the largest European and North American financial markets;
- one-to-one meetings between management and investors (117 in 2018), as well as group meetings (for a total value of 161 meetings);
- 15 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. 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.
In 2018, the European Commission launched numerous analyses and studies to identify a package of measures (the so-called 2020 Gas Package) aimed at supporting this process, specifically with the objective of analysing how the gas infrastructures will be capable of accommodating the renewable gases and which regulatory solutions could support their development to the benefit of society as a whole.
The activities performed during 2018 were about:
Snam has contributed, both through the industry associations to which it belongs (such as ENTSO-G and Gas Infrastructure Europe) and directly, through the development of specific evaluations based on the requests received from the European Commission.
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, 127 during 2018.
- 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.
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.
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.
During 2018 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, Snam was recognised as the best Italian company for the use of Facebook and was quoted by LinkedIn for best practice in the use of this professional platform.
19 April 2019 - 12:43 CEST