Snam’s engagement system is present at all levels of the business. The Company maintains a constant collaborative relationship with investors, government authorities, institutions and companies with the aim of offering a service which is consistent with local and national requirements and growth plans. It shares its expertise to encourage the development of activities that ensure ongoing improvements in the reliability of facilities and the quality of services offered, while placing a priority on the safety and health of its employees and contractors.
Since listing on the stock market in December 2001, Snam has been known for the transparency of its relations with investors and the financial community, and provides detailed reports of its objectives and results to enable shareholders and the financial market to assess all the ways in which the Company creates value.
Based on assessments expressed by the financial community, Snam is a company with a limited industrial and financial risk profile, operating in a stable and transparent regulatory environment which guarantees visibility over its future earnings and cash flows.
Best practice benchmarks are adopted every year which enable shareholders and the financial market to thoroughly assess the Company’s drivers of value creation. In 2012, 16 road shows were conducted to meet shareholders and institutional investors in the major financial centres of Europe and North America. In total, management met with 130 investors in one-to-one meetings (around 20 of which were held at the San Donato Milanese site) as well as taking part in group meetings and industry conferences.
During the year, management has taken part in round table discussions, seminars and conventions on subjects relating to the utilities industry, stock markets and corporate governance. Special presentations are prepared for every event, and they are subsequently published on a dedicated section of the website.
During the year, after the ownership unbundling from eni, the placement process was started for the bond issues needed to achieve financial independence. This has involved a process for communicating with investors and securities analysts in the credit market, supported by five road shows in major European financial centres, 15 one-to-one meetings with individual investors, four group meetings with investors and participation in an industry conference. At the same time, in 2012 we also started active communication with the rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, obtaining a credit rating (A- from Standard & Poor’s and Baa1 from Moody’s) which reflects the Company’s structure and financial soundness.
The commitment to sustainability was reflected by the ratings agencies which focus on corporate social responsibility, resulting in the Company’s inclusion in 2012 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 Indices.
In 2012, the Company also participated in numerous other assessments requested by investment banks, financial intermediaries and international ratings agencies to monitor Snam’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
Communities and local areas
In keeping with the principles of sustainable development and its strategic growth plans, Snam arranges social and cultural events. The Company is involved in ongoing 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.
During the year Snam supplied information points for citizens, in agreement and collaboration with local institutions, concerning specific projects in progress. It has responded to the need expressed by citizens and local governments for more widespread and transparent communication about the Group’s activities, particularly in relation to storage activities and the supposed relationship with earthquakes, through public assemblies, Open Council Sessions and meetings with the public.
In 2012 an information point for citizens was set up in the town of Cupello (CH) dedicated to the Treste river storage reservoir, the most important storage site in Italy. The objective is to spread awareness of the plant and its development projects that combine production efficiency with environmental protection.
Specific projects have also continued this year and included primary and secondary school students from different localities among some of the main recipients. The objective of the projects was to introduce the students to the Group’s industries and Snam’s commitment to sustainability, and to understand how plant equipment and technologies are operated.
Every year since 2002, Snam has supported the environmental “Clean Up The World” volunteer initiative organised by Legambiente, and Clean Up The World’s Italian campaign, a great global event for volunteer environmental action in which volunteers spend three days cleaning our country’s beaches, squares, gardens, parks and rivers. By means of an internal awareness campaign, Snam encourages its people to participate in the event.
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.
Customers and the Electricity and Gas Authority
Snam has always placed special emphasis on its relationship with customers, with a view to 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 which also allow 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.
In 2012, in particular:
- work continued on the implementation of our web portals to manage relationships with customers;
- the Transport Capacity Portal was created with the objective to manage the complete process of granting and trading capacity between the Company and its customers, through an exchange of communications with full legal and contractual validity.
Both Snam Rete Gas and Stogit have further developed their own IT applications and web interfaces with their users, to improve management in respect of the new balancing system. Stogit remains committed to the development of IT systems, as a result of the recent regulations issued by the Electricity and Gas Authority (Resolution 152, DCO 82, Resolution 297).
In 2012 all customers who requested it were guaranteed access to the transportation services we offer.
Thanks to new upgrading works, storage capacity has increased from 10.2 to 10.7 billion cubic metres (or 15.2 billion including the strategic storage). This capacity was completely allocated by April 2012, in compliance with the provisions of the Storage Code.
In the transportation segment in 2012, as has been the case for years in respect of storage, the first customer satisfaction survey was held. The analysis focused on comprehension of the Network Code, the quality of services offered, the balancing and the extent to which development interventions comply with European guidelines. The results were presented to customers at a special event dedicated to them.
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.
Snam has adopted a procurement procedure based on transparency, impartiality and responsibility in compliance with the principle of free competition, and continues to achieve operating and performance targets over the short and long term.
Results are achieved based on the strategic planning of procurement activities and the preparation of a long-term procurement plan. The plan will be used to identify procurement targets, to maximise operating efficiency and to guarantee a high level of service, adhering at all times to the sustainability principles which Snam has adopted.
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 respect, we ask suppliers to adopt Model 231 and to observe the principles of Snam’s Code of Ethics, to comply with legislation on occupational health and safety and with environmental laws, and to adhere to international standards in the field of labour laws.
Snam supports the Global Compact, an international initiative launched in 2000 by the United Nations to support ten universal principles concerning human rights, employment, the environment and the fight against corruption. Snam Group companies make known the ten principles of the Global Compact to all their suppliers, through their contractual documentation, with the intention of disseminating the values contained therein.
Snam is guiding its suppliers through a process of improvement and optimisation of the procedures which govern subcontracting, entailing greater subcontractor accountability while at the same time ensuring the growth of the supplier and improving the quality of work carried out for the Company.
As part of the dissemination of Snam’s culture of sustainability, a workshop was held in July 2012 aimed at companies involved in work processes on pipelines and compression stations, entitled “My Safety Is Your Safety”. This was an important opportunity for dialogue on the subject of worker safety and the environment in which they work every day, and this followed up on the “Suppliers’ Day for Sustainability” event held in 2011.
In 2012 Snam provided employment for more than 1,000 businesses in Italy and 50 in the world, signing 2,790 contracts for a total of more than €1.4 billion.