Snam’s engagement system is present at all levels of the business. 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 ongoing improvements in the reliability of plants and the quality of services offered, while placing a priority on the health and safety of its employees and contractors.
Shareholders and institutional investors
Since listing on the stock market in December 2001, Snam has endeavoured to build a corporate identity which expresses the objectives and spirit of the company’s management, including by way of financial reporting.
Snam 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 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.
During the year, the company organised 20 road shows for the purpose of meeting shareholders and institutional investors in the major European and North American markets. In total, management met with 140 investors in one-to-one meetings; around 15 of these were held at the San Donato Milanese site, and about 20 group meetings were held with investors. Industry conferences provided a further opportunity to meet investors.
When the company’s results are published (preliminary annual results, half-year results and quarterly results), the company organises conference calls which on average involve around 50 people, including the 28 analysts who publish research about the stock.
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.
The commitment towards sustainability was corroborated by ratings agencies which focus on corporate social responsibility, resulting in the company’s inclusion in 2011 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 2011, the stock was also added to the Stoxx Global ESG Leaders indices, a new family of indices based on a transparent selection process, in terms of sustainability performance, of 1,800 internationally listed companies.
In 2011, 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.
In 2011, initiatives launched the previous year continued to involve schools, local residents and environmental associations in several areas where our plants are located.
A study trip involving some 320 pupils from local primary schools was organised with a view to raising awareness of Snam’s activities and the sustainability commitment of companies within the group. 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.
To promote transparency and dialogue with local communities, open days were also held at some Snam Rete Gas, Stogit and GNL Italia plants, attended by local residents, schools and stakeholders in the area. In addition, Stogit hosted an awareness-raising event at the local council offices in Bordolano (CR), which gave the public an opportunity to learn more about the proposed new storage facility in Bordolano.
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 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 2011, both Snam Rete Gas and Stogit upgraded their IT systems and the related web interfaces with customers to manage, in a coordinated and efficient manner, the activities envisaged by the new gas balancing system introduced on 1 December 2011 following a regulation by the Electricity and Gas Authority (ARG/gas 45/11, as subsequently amended).
Snam Rete Gas has also guaranteed the allocation of transportation capacity to all candidate customers this year and has continued to work to maximise that offering at entry points by increasing it from 368 million cubic metres/day at the start of the 2010/2011 thermal year to 370 million cubic metres/day at the start of the 2011/2012 thermal year.
Following new expansion works, the storage system has also increased its capacity offering from 9.2 billion cubic metres at the start of the 2010/2011 thermal year to 10.0 billion cubic metres at the start of the 2011/2012 thermal year, and offers industrial customers a new type of service in accordance with the provisions of Legislative Decree no. 130/10. The total number of applications received has been equivalent to around 9 billion cubic metres of capacity. Based on the applications received, the capacity offering was fully allocated by 26 April 2011.
In order to proceed with the allocation of the new storage capacity in accordance with Legislative Decree no. 130/10, Stogit has updated the Storage Code and the corresponding procedure governing this process.
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 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.
To promote Snam’s sustainability culture, a workshop entitled “Suppliers’ Day for Sustainability” was held over two days, attended by representatives from management and a significant sample of suppliers from the two categories of goods, works and services. During the event, Snam’s core sustainability principles were explained, in addition to the corresponding implementation programmes, highlighting the supplier’s role in the new context and the consequent development of relations with Snam in terms of requirements and compliance.
In 2011, over 2,000 of Snam’s suppliers were awarded at least one contract by the company, representing a total of around €1,695 million in goods and services procured.
Since 2011, Snam’s contracts have been designed to convey the ten principles of the Global Compact, in the hope that these principles will be increasingly shared throughout the supply chain.