Letter to the stakeholders

[GRI - 102-22],

2023 was characterised by renewed commitment to integrated sustainable management, confirming the growing attention of Acea management and colleagues to the construction of solid foundations for the Group’s future development and the pursuit of sustainable success. The findings reported in the Consolidated Non-Financial Statement outline the meaning behind these commitments and actions taken, from strategic definition to operational management, illustrating the objectives achieved in terms of governance, social and environmental aspects and in favour of our stakeholders

Governance, as a decision-making driver, was further developed in the direction of sustainability, strengthening the oversight of anti-corruption, legality and public safety topics, especially in the sectors of strategic national interest, with immediate effects on operations. To this end, for example, we should mention the approval of the Anti-Corruption Guidelines and the Anti-Corruption Policy, followed by the UNI ISO 37001:2016 certification of the anti-corruption management system, or the signing of the National Framework Protocol to Support Legality with the Ministry of the Interior and subsequent “Legality Protocols” between the Prefecture of Rome and Acea Ato 2 regarding the completion of major water works in the capital city.
For companies like Acea with activities that impact a wide range of stakeholders, the protection of human rights is of central importance for conducting responsible business. Bolstered by this knowledge, which is based on consolidated values and systems within the Group, the Board of Directors of Acea approved the Human rights Policy, which takes inspiration from the main relevant international documents and sets out its key principles in relation to our operating context, the activities managed, and the stakeholders with whom we interact on a daily basis.

The focus on the social aspect remains a basic principle on which Acea exercises its corporate social responsibility. In particular, the safety of workers, namely our colleagues and the workers of contractors, is an area of ongoing commitment. During the year, Acea Infrastructure carried out over 14,250 worksite inspections and non-conformities detected fell overall (-15% compared to 2022) and by incidence of “major” cases (7% compared to 8% in 2022), confirming the tireless commitment to countering and preventing accidents. The process of development and growth of professionals at the company is also important, outlined in the contents of the Charter of the Person and Participation signed with the trade unions. The initial results already see an 8.5% increase compared to 2022 in the performance for the year in question, which saw 226,222 hours of training delivered to our people.

The full integration of sustainability into industrial developments including from an environmental perspective is shown by the validation obtained from the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) of our target to reduce climate-altering emissions by 2032, which we wanted to define in order to contribute to limiting the global temperature increase compared to pre-industrial levels. It is an important recognition of our conviction towards decarbonisation, which we took into account when setting out the growth guidelines forecast in the industrial planning presented in March 2024.

These significant results and commitments to governance and to social and environmental aspects are also reinforced by the promotion of sustainability in the financing systems, with the second Green Bond issued in the year, and by the increasingly relevant integration of sustainability indicators into remuneration incentive systems.

The operating performance documents Acea’s path towards the energy transition and the circular economy: we need only look at the 1,047.4 GWh of electricity, 72% of which from renewable sources, and the 50 GWh of energy produced from biogas (+13% compared to 2022), the 47,534 tonnes of quality compost produced in the Environment sector (+13% compared to 2022) and the renewed recognition of the EMAS Award for energy performance improvement at the San Vittore del Lazio waste-to-energy plant. In the water sector, we are the leading national operator with excellent levels of quality of service, proven by the consistent awards granted by the national industry authority, for the performance of the Group’s main companies. We are strongly committed to protecting resources, including through the containment of leaks, and to the resilience of the water system, by optimising the management of infrastructure with digitalisation and new technologies. We apply a logic of full measurement of the water resource, as seen in the increased recovery of the material from our processes, for example with the recovery of 81% of the sludge produced by the main companies in the sector (+14% compared to 2022) and 2.7 million m3 of water reused in the industrial processes by the Group’s main companies (+12% compared to 2022). In terms of reuse of purified water in agriculture, a central aspect for food sustainability in the coming years, we want to be a central player in the renewal, and from this perspective we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Coldiretti, the national association of consortia that manages and protects territory and irrigation water (ANBI), and BF S.p.A.

Acea’s commitment to the future is also founded on a vision of profound digital upgrading that will enable new economic and social dynamics.
We integrate technological innovation and sustainability into the advanced international projects we take part in through the smartification of networks, including in partnership with key sector players. For example, the TwinEU Project, which we are developing with Enel, Terna and RSE, for the creation of a “digital twin” of the electricity grid, as well as the Areti pilot project (RomeFlex) to create a market of flexibility for the electricity grid in the capital city, accompanying the development of participatory dynamics on the energy markets. One sign of the ongoing transformation is the increase in “prosumers”, simultaneous producers and consumers of energy, connected to our grids (+28% in 2023 compared to 2022). The sale of “green” electricity also promotes and proves this evolution: in 2023 we sold approximately 3,000 GWh of G.O. certified energy (+18% compared to 2022).

The findings mentioned represent extremely tangible signs of the commitment to sustainable development, in line with the SDGs of the Agenda 2030, which forms the foundation for the entire operating system of Acea, supported by our people and recognised by our stakeholders. This is our view for the future and the generation of value for the communities we serve.


The Chairperson
Barbara Marinali
The Chief Executive Officer
and General Manager
Fabrizio Palermo