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A2A is aware that providing services of prime necessity and siting industrial plants in the local area bring with them a great deal of responsibility and call for continuous dialogue with stakeholders. That is why systemic decisions, which in certain cases have acted as milestones of economic and social development in Lombardy in the twentieth century, such as the development of hydroelectric activities in the Valtellina, conversion to methane gas, cogeneration and district heating and the starting up of waste to energy plants, arise from a sharing of a long-term view with the institutions and communities involved.
Encouraging communication by making the exchange of information fluid and the relationship with the institutions, the communities and the authorities transparent is a specific intention of Group companies. Expansion at a national and international level, which has increased over the past few years, has led to this commitment being taken beyond historical boundaries, with the aim everywhere being dialogue, transparency and respect for the needs of communities and local administrations.
The numerous steps taken by the Group to support local social, sporting and cultural initiatives have their origin in this spirit.

Constant dialogue with the institutions is for A2A a fundamental requirement for being able to understand and respect the needs of the communities and constantly improve the quality of the services provided, including from an environmental and energy standpoint. Relations between the A2A Group and the national, supranational and local institutions are based on the maximum transparency and propriety and a maximum spirit of collaboration. The A2A Group’s Code of Ethics expressly prohibits influencing the work of public officials, emphasising that “these provisions may not be avoided by making recourse to other forms of contributions which under the guise of sponsorships, engagements and consultancy, advertising, etc. have the same purpose”.
At a national and supranational level A2A maintains control of legislative, regulatory and authorisation matters in a continuous manner, including through its Institutional Relations Department in Rome, undertaking to provide constructive support to the development of sector legislative scenarios. From this standpoint the work performed in 2011 in connection with the preparation of the legislative decree on renewable sources and the draft Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on energy sufficiency assumed importance. In this respect top management of A2A took part in hearings of the Senate industry committee in 2011 as part of the fact-finding investigation, and the document filed by A2A may be found on the Senate’s website. Finally, A2A provided specific assistance to the government in conjunction with all the other operators concerned on the subject of "means and criteria of tenders for hydroelectric concessions".
An important objective was also to enhance the perception in the eyes of the institutions of the strategic role that A2A can play in generating value in the Italian energy system, in both the domestic context and within the vast European and Mediterranean market.
Local authorities
are an essential contact for A2A, due to the multiplicity of roles they play - they are in fact shareholders, concession granting bodies and bodies that issue authorisations - and due also to the fact that they represent the communities that correspond to the residents served by A2A. For its service contracts, A2A places a great deal of emphasis on the equality between the grantee and the grantor, avoiding that size, the fact of being a partner or the restrictions on maintaining and developing infrastructure may influence the formalities agreed.
The publication of“Energia in Comune“, the A2A Group’s magazine started in 2009, continued in 2011 as a permanent channel of communication with local government entities, institutions and local authorities; this magazine, which deals with environmental and sustainable development issues, is circulated to 2,500 recipients who include administrators, public managers and technicians of local authorities and associations.

  • Since 2011 A2A has made it possible for everyone to receive a copy of the electronic version of the magazine “Energia in Comune” by registering on the website  www.a2a.eu.

Local authorities are also privileged partners for a whole variety of projects geared towards common objectives of an environmental and social nature and designed in particular to encourage eco-sustainable conduct in residents.

Let’s reduce waste in the city

Following the success of the first six measures tested in 2010 and 2011, the environmental company Aprica has renewed its commitment, shared with the Region of Lombardy and the Municipality of Brescia, to test initiatives designed to reduce the volume of waste produced. Brescia was selected as the sample city for five further measures:

Encouragement of products with reduced packaging Agreements with the large-scale retail chains to encourage the use of products which use eco-sustainable packaging, with specific emphasis on the reduction of the weight, on the basis of a list drawn up by the National Packaging Consortium CONAI.
Reduction of publicity in letter boxes A sticker to be placed on letter box stating that advertising leaflets are not welcome. It will be possible for paper copy advertising to be placed in suitable displays located in public places and the names of websites will be published where the commercial advertising leaflets may be found in electronic format.
Purchase of short-chain food products A short chain is achieved when the manufacturer sells his products directly to the consumer with no intermediate steps. This often also occurs at zero km. when producers are locally based. Agreements with manufacturers’ associations for the introduction of reusable packaging will also enable the waste produced to be reduced.
Reduced consumption of paper in public and private offices This project envisages analysing certain work environments (identified as the Brescia city police, Aprica and certain environments in a company of the Percassi Group based in Bergamo) where good practice aimed at minimising the use of paper and stationery can be introduced.
Encouragement to use tap water in canteens and restaurants This project is designed to encourage the use of tap water in the canteens and restaurants that join. Those involved will acquire small machines for treating the tap water so they may provide cooled water and/or water to which carbon dioxide has been added. Besides reducing waste (glass and/or plastic bottles) at the canteens and restaurants, the project will also encourage the use of tap water at home.

 

Aprica and the Muncipality of Bergamo come together to improve the differentiated collection of glass

In conjunction with the Municipal Administration of Bergamo, in 2011 Aprica started up a new communication campaign designed to improve the differentiated collection of glass. The message emphasises the economic benefits for residents, in the form of a possible reduction in waste disposal taxes, in addition to the environmental advantages relating to an increased emphasis on differentiated collection.
The analyses to assess the results, carried out after the campaign was over, confirmed that there had been an improvement in the overall quality of the glass collected, enabling the upper quality band to be entered with an economic benefit for the Municipal Administration of Bergamo and hence for residents.

Sector associations

A2A is a member of Confindustria, the leading Italian body representing business interests, within which it is a member of Assoelettrica, the Association of Electricity Companies that gathers together around 120 national companies operating in the sector. In 2011 the Chairman of the Management Board of A2A held the post of chairman of Assoelettrica.
A2A is also an active participant, with positions of responsibility, in:

  •  Federutility - the Federation of Electricity and Water Companies, which encompasses over 450 local public services businesses;

  •  Federambiente -  the Italian Federation of Public Hygiene and Environmental Services, which encompasses over 210 companies, businesses and consortia working in the sector;

  •  AIRU - the Italian Association of Urban Heating, which represents the operators working in the sector of electricity and heat cogeneration plant urban heating systems driven by traditional fuels and renewable sources;

  • ASSOCARBONI - the association that represents over 90 companies consisting of electricity producers, importers, representatives of foreign companies, traders, users, plant construction firms, etc. in the sector involving the handling and use of coal.

The subsidiary is a member of FISE - Federation of Service Companies; FEAD - Fédération Européenne des Activités de la Dépollution et de l’Environnement; C.I.C. - The Italian Composters Consortium; EFRA; and CEWEP - Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants.
As part of its relations with trade associations, the General Manager of the Technical-Operations Area of A2A S.p.A. has been appointed to lead the CIG - Italian Gas Committee for the next three years, the UNI-federated body assigned the responsibility of drawing up and publishing national technical standards for combustible gases in Italy.
A2A has also created work groups in France, through Coriance, in associations such as: AMORCE - Association nationale des collectivités, des associations et des entreprises pour la gestion des déchets, de l’énergie et des réseaux de chaleur; ATEE – Association Technique Energie Environnement ;  FEDENE – Fédération des services énergie environnement ; CIBE – Comité Interprofessionel du Bois Energie ; and  Via Sèva – Association des promotion des réseaux de chaleur et de froid. For the period from 2009 to 2012, A2A is chairing the Distribution Committee of the International Gas Union, the most important association in the gas sector at an international level.

A2A and the Institute of Accountants encourage the sustainability of business

In 2011 A2A accepted the proposal made by the Social Accounts Commission of the Milan Institute of Accountants to take part in a joint work table with other companies (Hera, ASA, Iren) to draw up specific guidelines for the preparation of a Sustainability Report in the utility sector (gas, energy, heat, water, waste, public lighting). The study took as its point of reference the principles and contents of social reporting drawn from official sets of guidelines (GRI, GBS, CSR), legislation and other mandatory provisions, specific indicators adopted by companies and indicators recommended by the Commission. The final document was presented at a workshop in Milan in 2012 with the aim of encouraging the spreading of a sustainability culture in small and medium businesses, bringing associates closer to this subject and preparing accountants to assume an important professional role also in the environmental and social reporting of their client companies.

Innovative corporate governance models in European metropolises

In October 2011, A2A took part in the international workshop "Metropolises, a user’s manual: innovative strategies and corporate governance tools in Europe" as part of the congress of French local public companies represented by over 1,900 managers, public administrators, partners and stakeholders who had gathered together in Tours. Comparisons were made between the experiences of four large European Cities, Grenoble, Hamburg, Stockholm and Milan. While in Grenoble the Municipality’s strategic orientation is communicated to local public companies by an outside control committee which draws up orientation and coordination plans, the Hamburg Municipality has directly engaged a fully-owned public subsidiary to deal with waste management, following a corporate governance model based on regional law. The city of Stockholm on the other hand has followed the model of the centralised holding company that for the past twenty years has controlled 18 local public companies, which in total achieve a turnover of 1.3 billion euro. In this set-up, A2A is characterised as the company that has grown the most over the past few years through mergers and acquisitions, stimulated by increasingly strong international competition due to the liberalisation of the Italian energy market. A group that is listed on the stock exchange and active on the international markets, which through a complicated system of corporate governance, the dual system, has driven itself to maintaining a growth model consistent with taking roots in the local areas in which it works.

The authorities in the energy sector

The companies of the A2A Group work in highly regulated sectors where the legislative and regulatory situation is in constant evolution, especially as far as electricity and natural gas are concerned but also regarding the management of the integrated water cycle and environmental services.

The Group adopts policies to monitor and manage legislative risk in order to mitigate its effects to the extent possible through controls structured on several levels, which envisage collaborative dialogue with the institutions and government and sector regulatory bodies, active participation in trade associations and the working groups set up by these bodies and an examination of changes in legislation and provisions issued by sector authorities.

In particular, A2A has continuous contact with the regulatory (the Electricity and Gas Authority) and antitrust (the Italian Antitrust Authority) authorities.

Consumers’ associations and business federations

The consumers’ associations are the essential interlocutors with whom the A2A Group has always maintained constant and constructive relations, which translate into measures of mutual utility to protect customers, consumers and residents, such as for example:

  • receipt of files, reports and complaints, which are followed up by means of internal checks, the search for reasonable solutions to the problems reported and the subsequent monitoring of such;

  • support in providing data and information on commercial or operating measures of specific interest to consumer customers, such as for example: economic bonus, environmental hygiene tariff (TIA), water tariffs, collective actions, charter of services, etc.;

  • cross-checks of any news or items of interest reported by the media;

  • regular meetings on specific subjects;

  • advance presentations of the Group’s initiatives aimed at consumer customers;

  • participation at seminars, conferences, workshops promoted by the individual associations or by the Consumers’ Forum on topics connected with consumerism (class actions, settlement, etc.).

In particular, in 2011 certain initiatives of special interest for consumer protection were started up in agreement with the associations:

  •  Projects and agreements regarding unfair commercial practices (see the protocol of understanding on page 110);

  •  “Guide to reading your bill” (see the work table on page 106);

  •  Settlement protocol with the business federations.

In addition, certain work tables were set up during the year aimed at consumer protection, at which A2A participated:

  •  Business Table, consisting of the leading national energy companies (Eni, Enel, Edison, Sorgenia, A2A, Acea). This drew up and proposed a single national settlement protocol, presenting it in plenary session to the presidents of the Consumers’ Associations, and also proposed a single model for reporting on the settlements, presenting it to the Electricity and Gas Authority;

  •  Federutility Table, set up for relations with the Consumers’ Associations with the aim of finding solutions for a single protocol of member companies;

  • Milan Municipality – Amsa Table, to prepare the Charter of Services to be published by the end of 2011 as required by the 2008 Budget Law;

  • Bergamo Municipality – Aprica Table, started up in 2011 and still in progress, designed to agree and prepare the Charter of Services of Aprica for Bergamo;

  • Lombardy Region - Consumers’ Associations Table,to start up the “Transparent water service bill” project.

The envioronmental associations

The activities performed by the A2A Group through its companies cannot ignore the existence of a system of relations with the environmental associations, which represent a reference point for matters regarding the improvement of the environmental impact of services and for initiatives relating to increasing public awareness about the need to adopt eco-sustainable lifestyles.
A2A has long had consolidated relations with the main associations in Italy, with which it collaborates in the promotion of events and initiatives of mutual interest. In 2011 dialogue was extended to certain environmental associations and the territorial committees in the Campania area which, for the first time since Partenope Ambiente has taken over the management of the Acerra (Napoli) waste to energy plant, were invited to visit the plant and take part in two meetings aimed at presenting the results of running the plant.
At a local level numerous projects have been carried out by Group companies in partnership with environmental associations:

  • Amsa took part in the voluntary work event “Let’s Clean the World”, organised by the Environmental League to put cleaning and environmental recovery measures into practice in the central areas of Milan and the city’s outskirts;

  • Aprica took part in the Lombardy Environmental League initiative “(Ex)change of season”, a small market for the free exchange of used items which by now has become a fixed appointment in Brescia;

  • A2A has given the Media Valtellina Environmental League a free of charge loan of the wood bordering the dam and the old guardian’s house in the “Le Piane” nature area at Lovero (Sondrio), to ensure the conservation and requalification of the various eco-systems, thickets, flooded meadows, reeds, pond, flowing waters and undergrowth. This location, which extends over an area of 37,000 square metres, contains a considerable variety of flora of both the dry and wet type, and important species of marshland birds. Thanks to an agreement recently signed with the Paths and Ridges Association, it will shortly be possible for youngsters to practise hippotherapy in this centre.

A2A also took part in the national conference on energy sufficiency “exploit the heat mine”. This event, which has reached its third edition, is part of the Friends of the Earth “Efficiency Italy” campaign whose aim is to make the issue of energy efficiency become one of the country’s priorities, since a reduction in energy consumption, with productivity remaining unchanged, will lead to an increase in the competitiveness of Italian industry and a decrease in atmospheric pollution and greenhouse gases.