Stakeholder relations

Stakeholder Engagement

The Engagement system at Snam Rete Gas is present at all company levels. The company regularly collaborates with investors, government authorities, institutions and companies with the aim of offering a service which is consistent with local and national needs and growth plans and makes available its expertise to foster the development of activities to ensure on-going improvements in the reliability of plants and the quality of services offered, while placing a priority on the safety and health of its internal and external workers.

In order to understand the characteristics and interests of the various individuals and entities which revolve around the business, at the end of 2010 a “stakeholder mapping” project was launched in order to take a coordinated approach to identifying categories of individuals whose opinions or decisions, attitudes or actions could objectively foster or hinder the Company’s ability to achieve a specific goal based on their level of interest or influence. This survey is considered to be even more necessary now that Italgas and Stogit have become a part of the company’s structure.

The goal of this project is to identify all the group’s Stakeholders and break them down into several relevant categories. In future years, based on the identification of stakeholders and the analysis of their significance, focus groups, surveys and analyses will be developed in order to bring about more specific participatory initiatives consistent with the company’s goals.

Shareholders and institutional investors

Since its listing on the stock market (December 2001), Snam Rete Gas has taken steps to create its “corporate” identity in an effort to express the goals and spirit of the company’s management including financial reporting.

Snam Rete Gas is known for the transparency of its relations with investors and the financial community, and provides detailed reports of its goals and results to enable shareholders and the financial market to assess all the ways the Company creates value.

Based on assessments expressed by the financial community, Snam Rete Gas is a company with a limited industrial and financial risk profile, operating in a stable and transparent regulated environment, which ensures that results and future cash flows will be properly disclosed.

The year 2010 was also characterised by considerable financial communication on the part of the Company’s management, which took the form of some thirty road shows in key European, North American and Japanese financial markets with the aim of meeting shareholders and institutional investors. In addition, one-to-one meetings were held with about 160 investors, and about twenty meetings were held with groups of investors.

From 12-13 October 2010, the Outdoor Investor Days event was held, during which there was a meeting between top management and institutional investors, and for the first time with representatives of individual investors. To ensure the broader involvement of the latter group of investors, a meeting was also arranged at the headquarters in San Donato Milanese between the CEO, Chief Operating Officer and representatives of small shareholders. This was followed by a visit to the dispatch centre.

This event is consistent with the strategy of placing greater focus on small shareholders so that they are more involved, along with the support of new reporting tools made available on the Company’s website. In addition to the new publications introduced in 2009 (“Financial Markets Review and “News&Facts”), in 2010 an online “Shareholder Guide” was published, again targeting mainly individual investors to enable them to actively experience their investment in Snam Rete Gas.

The commitment to the issue of sustainability was corroborated by rating agencies which focus on corporate social responsibility resulting in the Company’s inclusion in 2010 in leading international ethical indices such as the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, FTSE4Good, the ECPI Ethical Indices and the Ethibel Investment Register and Sustainability Indexes.

In 2010 the Company also participated in several other assessments requested by investment banks, financial intermediaries and international rating agencies to monitor Snam Rete Gas’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

Communities and local areas

In keeping with the principles of sustainable growth and its strategic growth plans, Snam Rete Gas arranges social and cultural events. The company is involved in on-going positive discussions with the local communities where it operates. It cooperates with local and national authorities, participates in the work of several associations and committees and provides its commitment and expertise to encourage improvements in the area of corporate social responsibility.

In 2010 initiatives were implemented through various events involving schools, citizens and environmental associations in several areas where our plants are located.

To be more specific, an initiative was launched targeting students in primary and secondary schools called “Tutto giù per Terra” [Everything Down on the Ground] whose goal was to familiarise students with the group’s operations and commitment to sustainability, specifically the virtuous practices of environmental clean-ups, which Snam Rete Gas carries out with particular care and dedication. Local representatives of Legambiente also participated in these meetings. They, in turn, described the purposes of the association’s activities and its various initiatives in the environmental area. Appropriate communications tools were created to encourage students to get involved and participate.

To promote transparency and a dialogue with communities, the “Giro in Centrale” [Plant Tour] initiative was also broadened by opening several plants to receive visits by citizens, schools and stakeholders in the area. During these guided tours, schools and local residents were able to learn first-hand from technicians about an important industrial entity located in their area. The plants opened to the public were the gas compression stations in Messina and Poggio Renatico (FE) and storage sites in Bordolano (CR) Minerbio (BO) and Sabbioncello (FE).

During the year, institutional meetings continued with representatives of local government agencies and local governments with the aim of greater sharing and the participation of local stakeholders in the company’s strategic decisions. In this context, we should mention public meetings held with citizens of Cortemaggiore and Besenzone in the province of Piacenza to present and discuss the launch of the Pilot Project that Stogit has planned for the injection and capture of CO2 at the Cortemaggiore field, and in the area of Porto Venere, the site of the liquefied natural gas regasification plant owned by GNL Italia.

Customers and Electricity and Gas Authority

Snam Rete Gas has always placed special emphasis on its relationship with customers with the aim of satisfying the diverse needs resulting from the evolving gas market. This is done by monitoring the needs of customers and identifying, and then introducing, tools and procedures which facilitate access to our services.

Operating and commercial activities are carried out using increasingly advanced computer systems with applications which can even be migrated to Web systems and enable a high degree of automation in managing various contracts. These systems are implemented from time to time to improve customer communications. In this way, we also comply with Resolutions issued by the Electricity and Gas Authority which regulates our services.

The relationship with the Electricity and Gas Authority plays a key role for those operating in the energy business. Over the years, Snam Rete Gas has established a constructive relationship and worked effectively with the Authority by continually maintaining an advisory role and providing substantial information to support changes in the regulatory environment in the natural gas sector. In particular during the consulting phase, it has always made a significant contribution to the preparation of resolutions and provides support in response to all of the Authority’s requests for information, including in the form of round table discussions and specific technical meetings.

The corporate reorganisation following the acquisition of Italgas and Stogit has made, and will continue to make, this relationship more dynamic. Rather than four separate companies, there is now one large entity, which, due to its size and wealth of knowledge in various sectors, is capable of providing complete, effective and consistent responses to problems which arise with the integration of energy markets in future years.

Suppliers

The procurement of goods, work and services in the Snam group is carried out by the Supply Chain division using a centralised model for providing services to operating companies.

The group has adopted procurement practices based on transparency, impartiality and responsibility in full compliance with free competition, and continues to achieve operating and performance targets over the short and long term.

Our activities have always emphasised the respect and protection of human and labour rights, environmental protection and the search for a sustainable development model. It is our wish to share these values with all our counterparties.

In this area, we ask suppliers to use Model 231 and comply with the principles of the Code of Ethics of Snam Rete Gas, to adhere to work safety, health and environmental protection regulations and to comply with international standards in the area of labour rights. We have initiated a project to collect and fully analyse assessments on service quality, aspects of health, safety, the environment and quality, and the behaviour of our suppliers. We are finalising the Vendor Rating criteria to expand the percentage of suppliers assessed. If a supplier provides poor service, or if negligence occurs, action is taken in response to the supplier ranging from reporting to the removal of that entity as a supplier.

In 2010 the Group’s orders included over 1,430 suppliers who were awarded at least one contract with some €1,470 million in total goods and services procured.