Since its origins, Iren Group has been characterised by strong territorial roots: the link with the territories is continuously affirmed by the value generated in the areas of operation, in terms of economic, occupational, social and cultural impacts. In particular, local presence represents one of the three pillars on which the Group’s growth strategy is based, understood as the growth of penetration in legacy regions and the ambition to become a reference partner for communities, thanks to the expansion of the portfolio of services offered.
The Business Plan to 2030 foresees, in fact, that about 10 billion Euro, equal to 85% of the total investments, will be destined to the local areas to design a sustainable future to the benefit of the communities, increasing the base of customers and citizens served in the different businesses and more than doubling, compared to 2020, the number of provinces in which Iren is present with at least four services. The ambition of the Group to become the reference partner in the territories is pursued by expanding the range of services offered to municipalities, through the proposal of new services in the field of smart cities, e-mobility, public transport, urban and infrastructural redevelopment.
In 2021, the strategic guidelines of the Business Plan, oriented towards the local presence, found concrete expression in the amount of investments made to increase the efficiency of infrastructures and services and to maximise the opportunities for business development at the service of the reference territories. This is more than 905 million Euro (including works for customers in the area carried out by Iren Smart Solutions and approximately 85 million of financial investments aimed at development through merger and acquisition transactions), representing 95% of the total gross investment, as broken down below:
The sector analysis shows:
- in circular waste management, the largest share of investments refers to the construction of plants for the recovery of materials from waste in Piedmont (wood recovery and plastic recovery), Emilia (paper and plastic recovery and organic waste recovery with production of biomethane), Tuscany and Liguria (organic waste recovery with production of biomethane). In addition, there are initiatives for the implementation and digitalisation of waste collection systems with “pay-as-you-throw” tariff in all the local areas served;
- within the integrated water service, the most significant investments regard the maintenance and division into districts to maximize the efficiency of the water networks, the upgrading, construction and renovation of wastewater treatment plants, as well as the installation of smart meters to improve the monitoring of water supplies and consumption;
- in the electricity distribution networks, the most significant investment initiatives in all the areas managed (Piedmont and Emilia) are related to the resilience of the network, the application of smart grid logics, the renewal and adaptation of electrical substations, the replacement of meters with new generation smart meters (2G) and remote control systems of networks and plants;
- in the gas distribution, the most significant investments regard, in the Ligurian and Emilian areas, ordinary and extraordinary maintenance for the efficiency and safety of the network and plants, the digitalization of processes, the installation of smart meters, remote control systems and the extension of the network to serve new areas;
- in the sale of energy and innovative services, the commitment is focused on the ever-increasing quality of service to customers in all the territories of reference, also thanks to investments in the digitalization of operations and the gradual expansion of the service portfolio for home automation, energy efficiency and e-mobility;
- in the production from renewable sources, investments are aimed not only at maintaining the efficiency of the Group’s plants, mainly in the Piedmont and Liguria regions, but also at expanding the plant portfolio in order to increase installed capacity and production;
- in the area of energy efficiency, the largest share of resources is allocated, in particular, to energy requalification initiatives in the buildings of public and private customers in the Group’s reference territories, which, in 2021, also included a financial investment for the acquisition of Bosch Energy;
- in energy production and district heating, most of the investments are related to the creation of heat storage systems (Parma and Turin), to the initiatives for the saturation of the networks (Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia and Turin), also through the connection to the distribution systems of the waste-to-energy plants of Piacenza and Turin, and the extension of the Turin network.