Sharing of the corporate social responsibility themes

The choice made by Acea to aspire its activities to the principles of corporate social responsibility and sustainability, translates into the definition of company policies and strategies aimed at guaranteeing the balanced comparison with the parties concerned, within an inclusive logic. Reflection on sustainability in the economic, social and environmental sphere and on its possible future scenarios is carried out by means of Acea’s participation in contexts rich in stimulus, such as think tanks, networks, important ventures organised by academic circles, civil society, institutions or other national and international companies.

Among the 2012 ventures, the company:

  • confirmed its compliance with the CSR Manager Network, operative for some years on Altis-Università Cattolica and Isvi initiatives, together with the main Italian companies active with regard to sustainability, taking part in the encounters organised during the year;
  • confirmed its compliance with the principles issued by the Global Compact, taking part actively in encounters and seminars organised by the Italian Network. Specifically, during 2012, Acea took part in the  Sustainable Supply Chain Work Group, active within the sphere of the supply chain(see related box for details);
  • took part in the 2012 CSR Forum organised by ABI, an annual appointment on the subject of Corporate Social Responsibility in which representatives from national and international institutions and the leading experts in the sector take part;
  • took part - both as sponsor and speaker - in the post-university masters courses dedicated to the subject of sustainable development and handling of corporate responsibility: a masters in Management and corporate social responsibility organised by the Pontificia Università San Tommaso d’Aquino - Angelicum, a masters in Management and regulation of sustainable energy organised by LUISS, a masters in Environmental management and control: Efficient management of the sources, organised by the Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari Sant’Anna di Pisa, a masters in Management of energy and the environment,organised by the Sole 24 Ore Business School, and a masters in Green Management, energy and corporate social responsibility, organised by Bocconi University Milan;
  • took part in two important studies in the water and electricity sector: The reform of the regulation of water services in Italy, created by IEFE-Università Bocconi and The improvement of the Market Design in relation to the forecast requirements of the system, carried out by the Economic and Finance Research Institute REF); 
  • followed the main conventions and seminars on various subjects pertaining to sustainability.

Box – Acea in the Sustainable Supply Chain Work Group as part of Global Compact Network Italia

The Supplier Rating and Qualification Unit, within Acea SpA’s Safety and Protection Division, took part during 2012 – together with the Corporate social responsibility and sustainability unit - in the Sustainable Supply Chain Work Group, set up within the sphere of Global Compact Network Italia, which Acea has been a member of for some years.

Recognising the importance that the supply chain has in contributing towards the improvement of the sustainability performances of the companies and their overall competitiveness and in line with the matters envisaged by the UN Global Compact with reference to the scope of application of the ten principles furthered by the initiative, the Work Group proposed to share and implement an instrument for the monitoring of the sustainability performances of the companies belonging to the supply chains of the Network members, defining and implementing mechanisms to support the sustainability performances of the companies and encouraging the suppliers to adopt the best practices, in terms of observance of human rights, labour rights, environmental responsibility and business ethics.

With a view to this, for the purpose of pursuing the afore-mentioned objectives, the Work Group is defining and agreeing on a supplier appraisal questionnaire and also intends to implement a system for sharing the information obtained between the Network members.

Acea is also observed from outside and assessed with regard to its CSR performances (also see Shareholders and financial backers, section Ethical finance).

In detail, during the yearthe company received the CEEP CSR Label 2012-2013, a prestigious acknowledgement, furthered by the European Commission and the European Centre of public utility services companies (CEEP), for supporting and turning to account the development of CSR practices (see related box). It then subjected itself, as it has for some years now, to the assessment carried out by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an international initiative launched by Rockfeller Philanthropy Advisors of New York and supported by around 400 institutional investors, aimed at evaluating the strategies put together by the companies in order to deal with the phenomenon of climate change:the Acea “disclosure” received a score of 81/100, up with respect to last year (67/100) (also see Environmental aspects). In conclusion, Acea took part in the first edition of the Top Utility Award 2012 held with the aim of analysing the system of public utility companies in Italy - the companies involved in public utility services: electricity, gas, water and waste management - assessing the performances with an integrated view to economic, financial, social and environmental sustainability. The survey assessed the leading 100 Italian public and private utility companies, in light of sustainability, efficiency, cost-efficiency, ethical, service quality and consumer attention criteria, in order to identify and develop the aspects of excellence of a crucially important sector due to its impact on the community and the area. Acea was selected from amongst the top 5 Italian companies for the Sustainability category.

Box – Acea acknowledged the CEEP CSR Label 2012-2013 for good Corporate Social Responsibility practices

In November 2012, at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels, Acea was awarded the “CEEP CSR Label”, for the two-year period 2012-2013.

The prestigious acknowledgement, furthered by the European Commission and the European Centre of public utility services companies (CEEP), was established in 2008 to support and turn to account the development of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices among companies supplying local public services in Europe.  Every two years, the CEEP furthers the initiative and the companies which aspire to the Label must submit themselves to assessment by the Scientific Committee, which carries out an accurate analysis of all the documentation received, requesting any clarification. For the 2012 edition, the Committee availed itself of 94 participating companies, mainly German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Belgian and Swedish 23 companies were awarded the “CEEP CSR Label”, which certifies the adoption of “sustainable” management criteria and an entrepreneurial approach capable of combining the needs for economic profitability, environmental protection, social safeguarding and legitimation by the community.

Acea, who has been awarded the Label since 2008, saw its commitment rewarded once again this year. Particular appreciation was in fact shown for the various initiatives presented to CEEP and three of these - one linked to the subject to biodiversity protection and two attributable to the same commitment of reducing electromagnetic field emissions - were briefly illustrated in the publication Best CSR practices in Public Service 2012, a selection of the European excellences with regard to CSR.