Health, safety, the environment and quality

Introduction

In line with the principles set out in its health, safety and environment policies, the companies of the Snam Rete Gas group are actively involved in reducing the environmental impact of its activities, completing the objective of maximising the value of the business, ensuring protection against disaster and the health and safety of the employees and third parties.

The Snam Rete Gas group is working to develop and circulate its HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) culture, with a view to proactively adapting both to the regulatory framework, which is constantly evolving and becoming ever more stringent, as well as to the growing demands of sustainability.

The systems for managing the environment and the health and safety of workers are essential tools for activating the Health, Safety and Environment Policies of each company, as well as for meeting the improvement objectives established.

Particular attention has been paid to the development and dissemination of worker safety management systems so as to maintain the existing certifications and expand certification to all of the companies in the group.

Health and Safety

The main goal that the Snam Rete Gas companies have set for themselves is to reduce the employee accident rate. For that purpose, activities were strengthened to make people aware of accident issues, along with training initiatives to increase the attention that each employee pays to safety in his own work.

The activities of personnel training and awareness have mainly involved occupational hazards, causes of accidents and the pertinent prevention measures. In particular, courses on safety, first aid and fire prevention continue to be provided.

With positive results, Stogit and Italgas have adopted the HSE Trophy and the Italgas Safety Trophy to improve the process of awareness and involvement on these subjects for all of the personnel.

In 2009 the “Communicating Safety” bi-annual information project was started, aimed at disseminating a culture of safety on the job. With respect to safety in subcontracting, particular attention has been paid to the qualification of suppliers and subsequently their evaluation by means of specific inspections checks carried out in the execution phase of the work. The involvement of suppliers in the matter of safety has also been strengthened with specific meetings on awareness.

Compliance of the Health and Safety Management Systems of the laboratories with the OHSAS 18001 standard is in progress, with a view to extending this certification to all of the group companies.

Environmental Responsibility

Environmental protection is an issue of prime importance in all phases of the activities of the group’s companies, from feasibility studies through the final completion of the work, in order to optimise the technical decisions in terms of full respect for the environment.

One of the main environmental issues involved in the activities of the Snam Rete Gas group is the use of soil and the subsoil in the pipe installation phase. Limiting the impact on the environment and returning the land to its original condition at the end of the operations of pipe-laying are strategic objectives of the Snam Rete Gas Sustainable Development Policy.

To that end, thorough environmental clean-up operations are carried out along with remedies for cultivation after gas pipelines are laid, with particular attention to the issues connected with biodiversity.

In 2009 guidelines were presented on the safeguarding and sustainable use of biodiversity in the projecting and execution of gas pipelines, identifying in a structured manner the work and activities by which Snam Rete Gas has already contributed to reconstituting the ecological value of areas where it has done work.

Furthermore, during 2009, besides reapplying the current environmental certificates, the Environmental Management System for the new Snam Rete Gas power station at Poggio Renatico obtained the ISO 14001 environmental certification.

Climate Change and Emissions

Attending to climate change plays an important role in the choice of activities in the environmental field; the main efforts within the scope of environmental protection have particularly related to containing energy consumption and emissions into the atmosphere.

For this purpose, a series of energy management activities has been implemented to proceed with actions for rationalising, containing and optimising energy consumption.

The main initiatives have been carried out, in particular, by Italgas and Snam Rete Gas, which have installed photovoltaic plants to produce electrical energy both at buildings as well as at installations.

Particular attention has been paid to the issues of energy efficiency in remodelling and constructing new buildings. On 3 June 2009 the Genoa Station photovoltaic plant became operational and was connected to the electricity grid. The new station in Genoa has an “A” energy classification and meets the energy efficiency criteria provided for the new buildings of Snam Rete Gas.

Furthermore, in 2009 the project of disseminating the “Even Distribution of Gas Volumes at Reduction Facilities System” continued, involving 10 Italgas facilities. This system enables greater efficiency to be achieved in processes, in both operational as well as economic terms, with a reduction of consumption.

In 2008 the second activation period started for the Kyoto Protocol (relating to 2008-2012), providing targets for the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. These obligations will increase substantially in the post-Kyoto period (starting 2013).

In this context, the initiatives and programmes for reducing energy consumption and the resulting reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from facilities covered by the emissions regulations (Emission Trading) are becoming ever more important for the Snam Rete Gas group.

The Snam Rete Gas group currently has 20 facilities subject to the Emission Trading regulations. They include 12 Snam Rete Gas facilities (11 gas compression stations and the Mazara del Vallo Terminal), the liquefied natural gas regasification facility of GNL Italia, and 7 of the 8 natural gas storage stations of Stogit.

In 2009 carbon dioxide emissions proved to be lower than the quotas allocated for all of the group companies. Results in terms of CO2 emissions are directly related to the use of the fuels necessary for the activities of compression and storage of natural gas, so every activity carried out to contain energy consumption has positive repercussions on reducing CO2 emissions as well.

During 2009 multi-annual projects proceeded for adapting machinery and facilities to achieve higher efficiency with the resulting reduction in energy consumption and thus in CO2 emissions. In particular, activities have proceeded in the installation of new turbines or the adaptation of existing turbines using technologies and equipment with low emissions at Snam Rete Gas and Stogit stations.

Quality

In 2009, ISO 9001:2008 certification was obtained for the process: “Performance of the service of measuring natural gas injected and withdrawn at the Snam Rete Gas transportation network within Italy. Management of the design and construction of natural gas measuring facilities.”

During 2009 the quality management system for the activities of dispatching natural gas within the national Snam Rete Gas network, already certified under ISO 9001:2000 since 2003, was certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) under the new ISO 9001:2008 standard.

At the end of 2009 the “Measurement Laboratory” (Italgas) obtained SIT (Sistema di Taratura in Italia) accreditation for the Volume figure.

These certifications are added to the certifications and accreditations already existing and confirmed in 2009:

  • Certification of the Italgas HSE Integrated Management System under the ISO 9001:2008 standard;
  • Certification of Stogit under the UNI EN ISO 9001:2000 standard for the activities of “Projecting and performing the service of measuring and accounting for natural gas”;
  • SIT (Sistema di Taratura in Italia) accreditation awarded to the Snam Rete Gas “Laboratory and Development”, the first natural gas mixture calibration station in Italy to obtain this accreditation. The laboratory has also been accredited since 2007 by SINAL (Sistema Nazionale per l’Accreditamento dei Laboratori) with respect to analysis of piped gas fume emissions;
  • The Snam Rete Gas “Materials Analysis Laboratory,” accredited by SINAL since 2007 for mechanical testing and materials spectrometric analyses;
  • SINAL accreditation for the “Technology Laboratories” of Asti (Italgas), relating to fuel gas and thermoplastic joint analysis.