Health, Safety, Environment and Quality

Centralisation of staff functions within Snam Rete Gas S.p.A., implemented in 2010 in order to converge staff skills and share them with all the businesses, also served as the inspiration for the corporate organisation in terms of health, safety, environment and quality.

The solution adopted distinguishes between the general tasks assigned to Snam Rete Gas S.p.A. and the specific tasks of coordinating and supporting operating units that have been assigned to the individual subsidiaries.

This new corporate organisation began 2010 with the challenge of reorganising health, safety, environment and quality activities group-wide, and thus introduced a new way to tackle the various issues while simultaneously guaranteeing service performance and provision without a continuity solution.

During the course of the year, a Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Policy was also issued. This was signed by the CEO of Snam Rete Gas, and serves as the reference document for all subsidiaries.

Management systems

Group companies have been provided with management systems that comply with international standards like OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety), ISO 14001 (environment) and ISO 9001 (quality) all of which help in tackling and managing HSEQ issues.

In 2010, Snam Rete Gas worked to maintain all the certifications awarded for the various corporate entities and to increase the number obtained.

In particular, in December 2010, Snam Rete Gas S.p.A. was awarded certification for the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (SGSSL), in conformity with OHSAS 18001:2007, from the company DNV Italia on completion of a two-year process, and Stogit updated its Environmental Management System by integrating it with the safety system pursuant to Legislative Decree no. 238/2005 concerning the implementation of Directive 96/82/EC which governs major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances.

The table below details the certifications awarded to the various management systems.

COMPANY ACTIVITIES TYPE
Snam Rete Gas Company OHSAS 18001
Snam Rete Gas - Compression stations - Gas pipeline networks ISO 14001
Snam Rete Gas - Dispatching of natural gas - Natural gas metering service, transportation network, and management of the design and construction of metering apparatus ISO 9001
STOGIT Company ISO 14001
STOGIT Natural gas metering and accounting service ISO 9001
GNL Italia Regasification plant ISO 14001
ITALGAS and Napoletana Gas Company ISO 14001-ISO 9001-OHSAS 18001

In applying the corporate management systems associated with HSEQ issues, Snam Rete Gas constantly monitors the implementation and effectiveness of the related systems, which includes periodic auditing. In particular, in 2010 approximately 350 inspections were carried out with regard to health, safety, environment and quality.

Health and safety

Preventing accidents and working in a safe environment are objectives of primary importance for Snam Rete Gas.

In 2010, in addition to the activities provided for by Legislative Decree no. 81/08, major initiatives were launched aimed at achieving better performance and results in the health and safety of employees, which included leveraging potential synergies between the various companies.

In particular, specific accident prevention campaigns such as “Objective Safety” and “Communicating safety” were launched. The many initiatives implemented in connection with the “Objective Safety” project also include the “Safety Trophy” and the “Zero Accidents Prize”, which are specifically aimed at improving management in occupational health and safety and preventing accidents.

To this end, we increased accident awareness activities and training initiatives to make each employee more attentive to the safety of his/her work.

Staff training and awareness activities focused primarily on workplace risks, accident causes and associated preventive measures.

With regard to safety in connection with contracted labour, special attention was paid to Suppliers’ qualifications and, subsequently, to evaluating suppliers through special inspections performed in the work execution phase. Suppliers also increased their involvement in issues of safety through specific awareness meetings.

Initiatives taken over the last few years have yielded positive results both for the Group and for the individual companies, as demonstrated by the trends in the accident indicators shown below.

Employees Snam Rete Gas Group - Working accidents - Index of Frequency * (*) number of accidents not sustained on the way to or from work, with incapacity of at least one day, per million hours worked Employees Snam Rete Gas Group - Working accidents - Index of Seriousness** (**) number of working days lost in relation to accidents not sustained on the way to or from work, with incapacity of at least one day, per thousand hours worked.

During the course of the year, the commitment to protect the health of employees was reaffirmed by focusing on continually monitoring risk factors identified in the corporate processes and implementing suitable prevention and protection measures. Work environment inspections were carried out in order to evaluate adequate and appropriate working and environmental conditions and to identify possible measures for prevention or improvement. A total of 357 environmental inspections were performed in 2010.

Activities were continued to support specific health protection initiatives, such as cancer prevention and flu vaccination campaigns, bans on smoking in company workplaces, and on the supply of alcohol in company canteens.

For personnel exposed to specific risk factors, we put a programme in place to periodically survey health, which includes 3,097 medical examinations carried out by occupational health physicians during the year.

Environment

Environmental protection is of the utmost importance in all phases of Snam Rete Gas operations, from feasibility studies to the final completion of projects with the aim of optimising technical decisions in an environmentally friendly manner.

One of the key environmental aspects of operations is the temporary use of the soil and subsoil during the pipe laying phase. Limiting impact in the area and returning the land to its previous condition after completing pipe laying operations is a strategic goal in the Sustainable Development Policy of Snam Rete Gas. To this end, painstaking environmental clean-up and crop restoration efforts are carried out following the construction of gas pipelines with a particular focus on problems related to biodiversity.

During the year, following the laying of new pipelines, environmental clean-up mainly involved regions in the north (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Piedmont and Lombardy) and the south (Sicily). To be more specific, clean-up operations were carried out along pipeline sections totalling about 173 km, along with 25 km of reforestation. The goal of replanting and reforestation is not just to restore the forested areas affected by pipeline construction work, but generally to rebuild the landscape on the whole and recover the biological function of planted areas affected by the work, especially in their role as animal habitats with specific biodiversity features.

Snam Rete Gas, through its activities, is committed to providing our country with a daily source of energy -- natural gas -- which, owing to its chemical and physical properties and its ability to be used in highly efficient technologies in various sectors (civil, industrial and thermoelectric), is able to provide a significant contribution to reducing atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), particulate matter and sulphur oxides.

In addition to using natural gas as the main fuel, Snam Rete Gas attempts to minimise emissions of GHG in its operating activities by employing specific containment programmes such as:

  • the reduction of natural gas emissions (through the recompression of gas in pipelines, the replacement of pneumatic equipment and the replacement of cast-iron pipes in distribution networks);
  • the reduction of power consumption (using specific energy management measures);
  • the use of electricity produced from renewable energy sources (through specific purchase contracts and the installation of photovoltaic panels in building construction).

During the year, in order to reduce atmospheric emissions of nitric oxides, the installation of low-emission gas turbines (DLEs) continued in both gas compression stations and storage facilities. In particular, work was completed to transform the turbine (TC2) at the Melizzano gas compression station and turbines (TC2), (TC4) and (TC6) respectively at the Settala, Fiume Trieste and Sergnano storage facilities.

With regard to waste management, in 2010 all Group companies joined the SISTRI system (Waste Tracking Control System) introduced by the Ministerial Decree of 17 December 2009. The local operating units of all companies were identified which are to join the new system. The introduction of this new regulation required intense training, which will continue into 2011.

Quality

ISO 9001 certification is currently pending for the process to define the transportation capacity of the Snam Rete Gas network.

The units in charge of this process use special computer systems in addition to their expertise and codified procedures to define the transportation capacity for all parts of the national and regional network for the subsequent transfer of the network by the business units of Snam Rete Gas to users in accordance with the procedures specified in the Network Code approved by the Electricity and Gas Authority.

This project, which was launched in the second half of 2010, calls for obtaining quality certification from an official accredited body by June 2011 in keeping with the capacity definition that Snam Rete Gas will publish for thermal years starting in 2011-2012 and beyond, and all procedures related to the processes involved in 2010 have already been issued in accordance with standards dictated by the regulations.