Environmental compliance and reporting mechanisms

The Environmental Management System (ISO 14001) adopted by the Group involves all employees who are required, as part of their duties, to participate in the process of risk prevention, environmental protection and protection of their own health and safety, of colleagues and third parties. All of the processes are carried out in full compliance with applicable environmental legislations, and the Group contributes to the research and development of advanced technologies aimed at protecting the resources and at reducing the environmental impact and their related risks. During the qualification process, suppliers are required to hold an environmental certificate or, in any case, to have taken on substantial elements interlinked with the environmental system (see page 263).

There are many instruments at the disposal of the stakeholders to report an environmental breach: these methods include written communications via post, e-mail, fax and social media channels. All communications are considered and sent to the competent offices, which carry out to the appropriate checks, and, lastly, each stakeholder receives a response in relations to their reports.

The production and distribution of electricity services are certified by standards of quality and environmental management, and are, therefore, subject to internal and external audits with regard to the processes and obligations relevant to environmental legislation. In addition, for electricity and heat production plants covered by the ETS, the annual communication and verification, by accredited third parties, of the CO2 emitted by the plants is required.

With regard to the waste management services, residents and Public Administrations have access to an environmental contact centre where it is possible to report any breaches and/or critical situations pertinent to the environment. Moreover, “Environmental Inspectors” operate in the provinces of Piacenza, Parma and Reggio Emilia, who patrol the areas of competence in order to identify illegal landfills and abandoned waste hazardous to the environment. Once a report is received, the Environmental Inspectors organise the verification and treatment activities necessary for the resolution of the problems identified, pursuant to the proper procedures. In addition to this type of reporting, the Inspectors also provide information to residents about correct waste sorting methods and the use of the collection service. Furthermore, specific procedures provide guidelines for operators concerning the processes to be implemented for the solution and/or limitation of any environmental emergencies that may arise during the performance of services.

In relation to waste-to-energy plants, emission data are released to the Supervisory Authorities in real time. These figures are public and can be viewed daily on the websites. To ensure IEA provisions on communication anomalies are adhered to, a 24-hour technician service has been established.

In the integrated water service, the entire cycle is subjected to constant monitoring of operating parameters, also through remote control systems of the plants, providing for the execution of tens of thousands of laboratory analytical determinations and the continuous improvement of the use of water resources, both in terms of withdrawal and use, and of release and discharge. The integrated water service is also subject to controls pursuant to the law by Local Sector Authorities. The optimisation of the corrective measures put in place to minimise possible negative effects of problems identified, is often carried out through the involvement of other Bodies, including through specific operational protocols.

In 2021, the Group paid 66 fines and penalties (of which 43 related to the years 2008-2010) for a total value of approximately 369,828 Euro (of which 282,444 Euro related to the period 2008-2010), for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations (Italian Legislative Decree 152/2006). Breaches are mainly related to the absence of discharge permits at certain wastewater treatment plants and the exceeding of limits set out in the tables for wastewater discharge.