ESG: new challenges for responsible companies
Climate change, demographic change and the technological revolution will reshape our planet, our values, and our way of living and doing business. These momentous changes have an impact on all areas of today’s society: countries, institutions, businesses, the financial world, and civil society. Sustainable investments, governance models, technological innovation, reduction of raw material and energy consumption, with a view to the circular economy, are all fundamental to achieving the 2030 Agenda, to fight against greenhouse gas emissions, and to reinforce the energy transition to a carbon neutral economy.
ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) factors have become a valuable tool in the hands of investors and lenders, whose investment choices depend not only on traditional financial assessments, but also on corporate governance and environmental and social sustainability, going beyond what is strictly required by legislative systems. The inclusion of ESG factors in business strategies can strengthen long-term value creation, and companies with strong corporate governance committed to protecting the environment and respecting social values, tend to be more stable and profitable.
Snam’s commitment and performance
Snam has been working for years to integrate ESG factors into its value chain. This year, it became the first Italian listed company to have an ESG committee within its board of directors. The committee is, like all Snam committees, composed of independent directors, and it fulfils a proactive and consultative role for the integration of these issues into business strategies. Integration begins with the strategic plan, which includes initiatives specifically targeting the environment and climate change, human rights protection, communication with communities, and strengthening of governance.
In this regard, € 850 million has been invested in the Snamtec project, which will target operational efficiency, with the aim of reducing methane emissions by 25% by 2025, innovation and the new “green” businesses such as sustainable mobility, renewable gas, and energy efficiency. To align Snam’s financial strategy and medium-long term ESG objectives, part of the Snamtec project is financed through sustainable finance instruments, such as the Sustainable Loan (the largest ever signed by a gas utility) and the Climate Action Bond (the first in Europe and second in the world) that were agreed in 2018 and 2019.
In terms of environmental protection, Snam takes care of habitat while carrying out its work: in 2018 alone, more than 400 km of environmental monitoring and over 200 km of environmental restoration were carried out in areas affected by works.
Snam is committed to protecting its employees and suppliers. In 2018, thanks to the development of specific programs such as "Snam4Safety", important steps forward were made regarding safety at work, with a 36% reduction recorded in injuries compared to 2017. Last year, the company provided more than 100,000 hours training for its employees, and 470 people took advantage of smart working.
Thanks to the initiatives of the Snam Foundation , Snam is able to contribute to community development in areas where it operates. In addition to numerous social projects developed in partnership with external companies and associations, the Foundation also collaborates with non-profit organizations, giving Snam’s employees the opportunity to contribute through " Volunteering Days" (beyond 2,000 hours in 2018).
ESG values also underpin Snam’s corporate governance activities. Snam is the only Italian company (and one of the four in the world) to have entered into a global partnership with Transparency International to fight against corruption. The promotion of business ethics also extends to Snam’s supply chain, with over 2,000 ethical agreements signed and reputational checks carried out in 2018.
Snam promotes diversity, starting with its own corporate body. This is shown by the proposal to permanently include the issue of gender balance in the board of directors and in the board of statutory auditors in the company bylaws, even if the provisions in force are not renewed. This will be decided on during the next shareholders’ meeting.
In 2018, Snam published the thirteenth edition of its Sustainability Report , which includes the main ESG targets achieved by the company, as well as the first edition of the Report on Climate Change, in line with the recommendations of the Task force on Climate related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). This document responds to the need of companies and investors to understand in depth the potential financial consequences associated with climate change.
Snam has also published its Annual Financial Report since 2015, integrating financial and non-financial data into the Integrated Report on Operations. The integrated approach was also maintained to meet the requirements of Legislative Decree 254 inserting the Non-Financial Statement as a specific chapter of the Integrated Report on Operations.
08 October 2019 - 17:51 CEST