Relationships with stakeholders

Shareholders and Institutional Investors

Since its stock exchange listing in December 2001, Snam Rete Gas has acted in such a way as to create its own corporate identity expressing its objectives and management spirit, also in the form of disclosures to the market.

Snam Rete Gas is characterised by its transparent relationships with investors and the financial community by means of clear communications of its objectives and its results so that investors and the financial markets can have a full understanding of all its value drivers.

The Company’s commitment has been recognised by its inclusion in the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and in the ECPI Ethical Index Global, as well as with reconfirmation on the ethics indexes FTSE4Good, ECPI Ethical Index Euro, ECPI Ethical Index EMU and Ethibel Investment Register and Sustainability indices.

In 2009, with a very intense financial communications strategy, the company held almost twenty road shows, with the aim of meeting institutional investors and shareholders in the major financial markets in Europe and North America. In total, the management met roughly 100 investors in special one-on-one meetings, approximately twenty of which were held at the company’s head office in San Donato Milanese, and added to this there were about twenty meetings with multiple investors (group meetings). As well, segment conferences (Utilities Conference) represented further occasions for meetings.

In particular, the execution of extraordinary transactions in 2009 such as the acquisition of Stogit and Italgas and the capital increase completed for financing those acquisitions, in part, led the management of the company to be involved in ad hoc meetings both with the banks belonging to the placement pool as well as with investors, with the purpose of delineating the strategic consistency of the acquisition transaction as well as strengthening and expanding the shareholding base of the company within the context of the operation for increasing capital.

Upon the occasion of the publication of the business results (annual, half-yearly and quarterly results), the company organises conference calls in which an average of fifty people participate, including the twenty-six analysts who publish research on the share. Immediately after approval by the internal bodies, the company makes the documentation of the annual, half-yearly, interim and quarterly management reports available both in Italian and English. During the year, management took part in round table meetings, seminars and conferences on the topics of the utilities segment, stock markets and corporate governance. Special presentations are prepared for each event and they are then made available in a specific section of the Snam Rete Gas website.

The Investor Relations pages of the website (www.snamretegas.it) are constantly updated and developed to provide immediate, complete information. Among the innovations introduced, is the online publication of the Financial Market’s Review, which offers a monthly analysis of financial markets and the performance of the utility industry, of Snam Rete Gas stock, and of the stock of its competitors. Starting in December this is augmented by “News & Facts”, a quarterly publication meant especially for individual investors.

Particular attention has also been paid to the issue of sustainability, with further expansion and rationalisation in the area devoted to the categories of socially responsible investors, of information and of the links that an ethical investor or a company ethics rating analyst may need to evaluate the Company. It is noted that, as part of the work done, in addition to the stock market performance of the international indexes, the main sustainability indexes in which the company participates have also been added: Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, FTSE4Good Europe Index and FTSE4Good Global Index.

Relationships with the Territory and Communities

In line with its sustainable development policies and its strategic development plans, Snam Rete Gas carries out social and cultural activities. It interacts constructively and continuously with the communities in which it operates. It works with the local and national authorities and is a member of many associations and committees. It is committed to providing its expertise to ensure improvements in the area of corporate social responsibility.

With this in mind, the activities involving meetings and discussions with the communities in the territories where it operates have been continued. Of note are the public meetings with the inhabitants of Cortemaggiore and Besenzone in the Province of Piacenza to present and discuss the start-up of the pilot project that Stogit has planned for the injection and sequestration of CO2 in the Cortemaggiore deposit.

Furthermore, the traditional meetings (Open Days) have been continued so that inhabitants, local institutions and the press can be informed, with the help of specialised technicians, on the activities of Snam Rete Gas industrial facilities. In particular, Open Days have been on the subjects of the Messina compression station and the storage facilities of Minerbio, Fiume Treste and Settala.

During the year, institutional meetings continued with representatives of local authorities and governmental administrations present within the territory of Porto Venere, where the liquefied natural gas regasification facility owned by GNL Italia S.p.A. is located. The discussions were aimed at seeking ever greater sharing and participation from local stakeholders in the company’s strategic decision to upgrade the facility in Panigaglia.

GNL Italia also contributed to the presentation of a series of events and celebrations organised by the Porto Venere Regional Natural Park and by the Commune of Porto Venere during 2009.

Since 2002, Snam Rete Gas has supported the Legambiente initiative, “Clean up the World,” the largest international voluntary environmental campaign, sponsored by the UNEP, the United Nations environmental programme, by the Environment and Land and Sea Protection Ministry and by the Education Ministry.

Snam Rete Gas and Culture

Snam Rete Gas, as a corporate member, supports the activities of the Poldi Pezzoli museum, one of the most appreciated cultural institutions in Milan and in Italy. This membership is in line with the Company’s commitment to the protection of works of art and cultural diffusion.

Italgas has continued its activities in support of cultural, scientific and social initiatives and associations. In particular, in 2009 the moving and reopening of the Italgas museum took place, inaugurated on 15 May 2009, also starting up the project of systematising and computerising the documentary assets in the archive.

The “Italian Countryside” project has continued, for enhancing areas crossed by gas pipeline networks and their communities. This is a project of artistic and cultural value assigned to three important photographers who, by using their imaginations, have portrayed the frontiers of methane gas importation. In 2009 the initiative reached its third edition. After Sicily, the landing stage for gas from North Africa, and Val Padana, strategic hub for the gas pipeline network, the star of this new photographic voyage was the Alpine arch.

Electricity and Gas Authority and Customers

Relations with the regulator (the Electricity and Gas Authority) in 2009 were constructive. In particular, in December the Authority issued Resolution ARG/gas 184/09 setting the criteria for determining the tariffs for the transportation and measurement of natural gas for the third regulatory period (1 January 2010 to 31 December 2013), confirming a transparent, clear and stable regulatory framework for the four-year period. The characteristics of the regulatory framework governing the activities of regasification, distribution and storage are similar.

The cooperation between the transporter, the regulator and the users is the basis for creation of a regulated gas market that provides incentives for operators leading to an increasingly careful and efficient use of the network to the benefit of the community and of the customers. It also makes a real contribution to the safety and flexibility of gas supplies for Italy.

Suppliers

The Company, when availing itself of the labour, goods and services needed for the activities inherent to the operation of the infrastructures and the development of new investments, resorts to a multitude of appropriately qualified entities present on the market.

In light of the new organisational structure of the group, the suppliers signing at least one contract in 2009 amounted to 1,415, 3.7% of which were foreign, for a total of 2,124 contracts issued.

The process of provisioning for goods, labour and services is carried out by the Supply Chain department, which ensures its proper execution by using requirements planning, supplier qualification and research, definition of contractual tools and strategies consistent with a market in constant evolution and with the rules of law, promotion of job contract bidding and real property asset management.

The system upon which this process is based is aimed at ensuring an objective assessment of suppliers, both in the qualification phase as well as when contracts are allotted, ensuring that they have equal opportunity once the required qualitative standards are met.

According to the critical level of the product category, the inclusion of a new company on the list of suppliers is subject to a positive assessment of various aspects, including preliminary, documentary and technical ones. Furthermore, particular attention is requested of suppliers in terms of compliance with the Organisation and Control model (Legislative Decree No. 231/01 – Administrative Liability) of Snam Rete Gas and with the principles of the Ethics Code that is an integral part of that model, as well as the fulfilment of satisfactory occupational safety criteria, health protection, quality management and business safeguards, and, finally, the international standards on the right to work.

Once a contract is signed, remaining on the list of suppliers is subject to a positive assessment of performance in terms of product quality, processing and delivery compliance.