Climate change and energy efficiency

Snam contributes to the fight against climate change starting from its own energy management: in 2020, 95.4% of the Company’s energy requirements were met through the use of natural gas.

The main greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere due to Snam’s activities are methane (CH4), the main component of natural gas, and carbon dioxide (CO2). Methane emissions arise from the release of natural gas into the atmosphere and are generated by the normal plant operation, by operations to connect new gas pipelines and their maintenance, or by accidental events occurring on infrastructure, whereas the CO2 produced is directly correlated with fuel consumption. In 2020, like the year before, the contribution from the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) in refrigeration systems was included in the evaluation of direct emissions (equal to approximately 0.001 million tons of CO2eq).

Every day, Snam renews its commitment to reducing climate-changing emissions. To this end, the Company has set the following targets for reducing its Scope 1 and Scope 2 natural gas and CO2eq emissions:

  • 45% reduction in natural gas emissions by 2025 compared to 2015;
  • 50% reduction by 2030 of all direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) CO2eq emissions, compared to 2018;
  • Achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 for all direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) CO2eq emissions.

In 2020, the initiatives implemented to reduce these emissions, overall, avoided 200,000 tonnes of CO2eq, the highest value recorded in recent years (+12% compared to 2019).

For more information on these initiatives, see the chapter “2020 Performance – Greenhouse gas emissions” in the 2020 Annual Report.

Regarding the use of energy from renewable sources, electricity generation from photovoltaic plants owned by the Company increased, reflecting the rise in 2020 of the total number of plants to 2,360 (+32% compared to 2019) and the increase in installed capacity from 1.13 MW to 5.12 MW (+3.99 MW). This increase is attributable to cogeneration plants (3.92 MW), the installation of new back-up plants in the gas transportation network and a new photovoltaic plant connected to the electricity grid.

Snam also plans to increase the percentage of electricity purchased from renewable sources to 55% by 2030. In 2020, the percentage of green electricity in relation to the electricity consumed was 49%, which is a very positive result.

Snam’s commitment to battling climate change and energy efficiency can also be observed in the issuance of three Transition Bonds, in June and November 2020 and February 2021 respectively, to finance projects related to reducing CO2 emissions, developing renewables, energy efficiency and the development of green projects on the basis of environmental criteria. Another example of Snam’s engagement is the creation of Arbolia, the benefit company created in collaboration between Snam and CDP [the Italian National Development Bank] with the goal of planting 3 million trees in Italy by 2030, which will absorb about 200 thousand tonnes of CO2 per year and support national forestation efforts.

Another important initiative aimed at combating climate change and the environmental impact of the Group and its suppliers is Snam Plasticless. Its aim is to eliminate all plastics for packaging by 2023, except for the amount required for safety reasons. In 2020, a 60% reduction in plastic use was achieved, which is in line with the 2023 target.

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