Human resource development and communications
The pandemic continued in 2021 as did its impact on society and more particularly, work. Acea has continued to provide its people with working methods and tools adapted to their specific working and living conditions with the objective of preserving people's in- volvement in the Group's identity, developing skills through remote training and ensuring organisational well-being through targeted initiatives.
As mentioned, remote working has prevailed, thanks to the digitalisation of business processes and the Teams digital workspace platform.
The selection process is regulated by a Group procedure that was updated in 2021, which governs the search for skills in the labour market. In particular, the format for drafting job descriptions has been rendered more effective insofar as describing the job oppor- tunities offered by Acea and a declaration has been added regard- ing the promotion of and respect for the principles of diversity & inclusion in selection processes.
Acea further strengthened its recruiting network, with a major fo- cus on social media channels. In 2021, 267 searches for personnel took place, in an effort to cover more than 400 positions. A signif- icant number of these positions were published on the institutional website and concerned individual or group profiles for one or more positions within Group companies, involving about 25,000 candidates.
The selection process can include several stages depending on the specifics of the search: CV screening, online challenges using gam- ification (technical quizzes and business games to assess numerical reasoning, verbal ability, visual-spatial skills, logic), video interviews, assessment of soft skills, motivation and skills through collective tests and individual interviews. During the year, new tools were developed and used to digitise and improve the selection process, both in the CV screening phase through the implementation of a dedicated system which, thanks to artificial intelligence, supports and speeds up the decision-making process of the Group's recruit- ers, and in the recruiting phase recruiting through the use of per- sonality tests based on the Acea Leadership model, digital mindset tests and video interviews to render the in-depth screening of can- didates more effective and faster.
The security measures taken required selection activities to be carried out digitally, while respecting the deadlines for the intro- duction of new resources and business continuity. To this end, sev- eral selection days were organised for multiple roles, including the Areti Talent day, a selection project that led to the placement of ten young talented graduates in STEM disciplines, and the Acea Energia and Acea Innovation Talent Graduate Program (see box).
ACEA ENERGIA AND ACEA INNOVATION TALENT GRADUATE PROGRAM
The Acea Energia and Acea Innovation Talent Graduate Program, a selection process dedicated to young graduates in economics and STEM disciplines, took place in 2021.
The programme, launched in August, involved around 1,000 young people who took part in several entirely digital selection steps, in which participants faced a number of online challenges concerning soft skills and technical knowledge followed by group role playing. The last phase involved team project work, designed from a diversi- ty perspective, in response to a business challenge.
The final stage of the selection process took place in November at the company's La Fornace conference centre where the 38 select- ed prospects presented their business cases to the Group's man- agement and gave individual interviews. Finally, 7 girls and 2 boys were selected and started their career in the company.
Talent, skills and energy were the drivers behind the selection pro- cess. The use of innovative methodologies and accurate assessment tools made it possible to enhance the potential and promote the individuality of each person involved.
Acea also participates in professional orientation events promoted by university bodies, to meet new graduates and soon-to-be grad- uates to include in their selection processes. Again, the meetings took place via digital platforms. Some Live Webinars about the Acea Group were made for these events to explain the search and selection process and answer the questions of the participants. In particular, Acea took part in: The Placement Exchange, Almalau- rea High Flyers Day Information Technology, Cesop Virtual Job Meeting Stem Girls, Start Hub Digital Recruiting Week STEM, Almalaurea Digital career day at work, LUISS Career day "young people and work” and Dna Inclusive Job Day, an online event dur- ing which Acea together with other companies, met with people included in protected categories whose integration into the labour market can be more difficult (see also the paragraph Diversity, in- clusion and welfare).
During the year, a Group dashboard was developed with indicators for analysing the progress of each stage of the selection process and understand how diversity targets change.
GROUP CULTURE AND STAFF ENGAGEMENT
In 2021 Acea embarked on the process of defining a new Lead- ership Model which brings together the key behaviours useful to guide the success of the organisation. The model is the guide to which each employee must refer in his or her working life, acting proactively to achieve the Group's objectives.
This initiative applies to the recruitment process, aimed at hiring talent consistently with the Group's values, the performance man- agement process, which measures each person's contribution to the defined values, the training and development as well as compensa- tion policies, whose objective is developing and enhancing people and capabilities.
The new model was designed with the active involvement of the Group's people, in focus groups to define the proposed output.
A specific communication campaign aimed at the entire company population is planned for the initial months of 2022, to promote the new Model. This will be followed by specific training and information events.
The employee engagement activities implemented in 2021 to in- crease people's sense of belonging to the Group included:
- Team Building, an initiative dedicated to the first and second line structures of the Energy area (Commercial and Trading), aimed at stimulating a constructive discussion on strategic ori- entations and business guidelines that influence future activ- ities (self-confidence, team, relationship and innovation). This was also an opportunity to celebrate achievements, strength- en interpersonal relationships, increase collaboration between colleagues, clearly define management objectives and prepare people for new challenges;
- The Smart alliance - Relational gyms project, an initiative de- veloped within the framework of the Semester of the Elis Con- sortium School of Enterprise, pursuant to which twice a week, 3 people from the Group worked in the co-working spaces pro- vided by the Consortium's member companies and participates in a programme of activities aimed at promoting creativity, in- novation, well-being and developing networks among the par-
In 2021, the HR Special Projects Unit designed specific initiatives, both internal and external, aimed at enhancing the value of human resources, contributing to the improve the corporate climate and promoting corporate well-being and disseminating values such as sustainability and inclusion, through active employee involvement. The main projects were:
- The Friday breakfasts, a project designed to create a channel for open and direct dialogue between the CEO and Group staff and to share proposals and feedback on specific areas of interest. The meetings were attended by a sample of employees, selected on the basis of the main dimensions of diversity present in the company – age, gender, seniority in the company, educational qualification, position professionalism–, so as to ensure that dif- ferent perspectives were adequately represented;
- Acea Talks - Sustainable Conversations, a format created with the contribution of a transversal work team designed to raise the awareness of the Group's stakeholders on the issue of sustain- ability, through video interviews with well-known personalities from the academic, cultural, artistic, sporting and social world;
- Acea ti porta a Teatro (Acea takes you to the theatre), a project set up in 2021 with the Rome Opera House to support art and pay tribute to employees with a video of artistic performanc- es, created with the direct involvement of colleagues and top management, through which Acea has launched an important message combining art and sustainability;
- Top Employers Certification: the process for obtaining Top Em- ployers certification began during the year, with the completion of the survey, prepared by the certifying body, aimed at collect- ing data and information in the company;
- Christmas meeting for executives, an event organised and held in collaboration with Acea's Sponsorship and Value Liberality and Communication departments and dedicated to the Group's top management and executives, who together reviewed what they had done during the year and shared their growth prospects for the
STAFF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
The development of professional skills is fundamental for the evo- lution of the Group and the achievement of its industrial objectives. In fact, it ensures the acquisition of adequate technical-specialist skills and the mandatory updating of compliance regulations (work- place safety, privacy, etc.), and increases the company’s competi- tiveness, by equipping it with innovative and strategic skills, in re- sponse to emerging professional needs. Furthermore, via its training activities, Acea spreads knowledge of value, behavioural and leader- ship models within the Group, consistent with the company’s vision and mission.
A Group procedure defines roles, responsibilities and tasks in the management of training processes for the development of exper- tise, knowledge and professional skills necessary to act in company positions. The process is divided into the following macro-activities:
- identification of the training needs, consistent with business objectives, centrally managed by the Holding Company, and the definition of the guidelines and the budget which orientate the training interventions of the year, taking into account the specific training needs of each Group Company;
- definition of the Operating Companies’ Training Plan, based on the specific needs identified (for example, operating-technical) and Group needs (“transversal” training);
- administrative management and provision of training, by the Parent Company’s and the Operating Companies’ Training
Acea funds training through its membership in interprofessional bodies for continuous training - Fonservizi, Fondirigenti and For. Te. which the main Group companies belong to.
As in the previous year, the 2021 training courses were designed to be carried out mainly remotely, by means of "synchronous" training (live webinars) alternating with "asynchronous" training (recorded videos and e-learning courses).
The training course New Normal: Remote Leadership was held to support staff in managerial and coordinating roles to exercise lead- ership and remote management skills within the work team (See box)
THE NEW NORMAL: REMOTE LEADERSHIP COURSE
The objectives of the New Normal: Remote Leadership course are to recognise and address the potential and new challenges of re- mote working and improve the ability to remotely manage work teams (assignment of objectives, feedback, delegation processes). In 2021, the course involved managers, executives and employees with coordination responsibilities.
The 579 participants tested the skills needed to develop digital leadership for dealing with organisational change and engaging people who work remotely or in a hybrid mode.
The course was taught in 20 sessions totalling 4,039 hours of training and addressed the themes of leadership and people man- agement with the aim of:
- providing a mindset for developing new ways of working;
- enabling collaboration between people;
- making teamwork effective, even in remote working scenarios;
- supporting employee development, even remotely.
In 2021 management training courses were organised especially for 61 people that were assigned Individual Development Plans on: Negotiation, Decision Making, Effective Communication, Re- lationship Care, Emotional Management, Motivational Leadership, Relationship Management and Communication, Economics and Project Management.
Training was also provided on public speaking techniques which in- volved 84 people who received a total of 1,080 hours of training.
In addition to meetings in virtual classroom meetings, a virtual men- toring activity was provided during which participants were able to receive feedback with the goal of strengthening their public speak- ing technique.
Finally, digitisation training continued with courses aimed at the entire company population, for the dissemination of a new mindset and the growth of competencies and skills aimed at innovating in- dustrial processes (see dedicated box).
TRAINING FOR THE EVOLUTION OF THE GROUP'S DIGITAL MINDSET
In 2021, the Group continued its significant investment in digital skills launched in 2020 through the training project Digital Acade- my and the definition of a framework of strategic digital skills for the Group, all assembled in Acea's "Digital DNA". In particular, during the year 10 training courses were given with differing but comple- mentary objectives, in which 1,185 people participated.
8 training courses focused on strengthening specific digital skills, with the aim of introducing new skills and evolving the organisa- tional mindset. In particular, the courses "Data Analytics" (39 hours of teaching and 59 participants) and "Data Lake" (4 hours of teaching and 53 participants) were organised to consolidate the data-driven approach adopted by Acea: the courses “Industry 4.0" (32 hours of teaching and 86 participants), "Internet of Things" (72 hours of teaching and 86 participants) and "Salesforce" (96 hours of teaching and 99 participants), on the potential impact of new technologies on Acea's business; the courses "New Clients" (45 hours of teaching and 61 participants), "Service Design" (48 hours of teaching and 36 participants), "Agile PM" (66 hours of teaching and 41 participants) promoting the adoption of a customer-centric strategy through specific methods and digital tools that put the customer's needs at the centre.
Two other courses - "Development of Potential' (158 participants, 40 hours of teaching) and 'Digital Culture' (10 hours of teaching and 506 participants) - focused on the on the role of digital skills and how they can support the development of professional and personal skills.
Finally, in December, the new Digital a new Digital DNA survey was launched in with the aim of understanding the effectiveness of the training actions undertaken and the actual evolution of Acea's digital skills.
Together with Acea SpA's Investor Relations & Sustainability De- partment and with the support of SCS Consulting, the second edition was held of the course "Acting sustainably to make a dif- ference” to increase the culture of sustainability in the Group, by training new "Sustainability Ambassadors" in the various Group departments and companies.
In 2021,the first e-learning course aimed at the entire corporate population (see box for more details), a lso focused on sustainabil- ity, was launched.
THEAZIENDA2030 COMPANY2030 E#LEARNINGCOURSE
In 2021, Azienda 2030 was the first e-learning course dedicated to sustainability issues aimed at the entire corporate population, created in collaboration with ASviS (Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development).
Approximately 3,300 people attended to learn more about sustainable development issues and the reasons and opportunities underlying the adoption of business models oriented towards the
Azienda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The course, lasting a total of 3 hours, is divided into four modules: a)Towards sustainable economic development; b) New business models and opportunities; c) How to deal with change; d) Financial instruments for companies committed to sustainable
The training on the Group’s governance model was provided in e-learning mode through the Pianetacea platform. It was aimed at the entire company population. In particular, a new training course called "Antitrust Regulation and Acea Compliance Programme" was launched, focusing on the model adopted by Acea.
Courses were also repeated on the legislation pursuant to Legisla- tive Decree no. 231/01, concerning the Administrative Responsibil- ity of Entities and the new Organisation, Management and Control Model implemented by Acea and on the Code of Ethics and the whistleblowing procedure, with the aim of completing the training of all personnel.
The Group Companies also carried out remote training inde- pendently, for example:
- Acea Produzione organised, with the training body SAFE, a training course on energy efficiency in industry, in which staff from Ecogena also participated, and a specialist training course on company law, in collaboration with the Sole24Ore Business School;
- Acea Ambiente trained its staff in environmental regulations, in particular to update the managers of its plants on the ARERA waste sector rules;
- Aquaser has trained the technical staff supporting the Director of Works in service and supply contracts;
- Acea Elabori continued its EPC Academy training course, with accredited courses on BIM (Building Information Modelling) methodology for infrastructure design (see also the chapter on Institutions and the Company) and carried out extensive internal training on the use of digitalisation and data analytics platforms such as ServiceNow, SI., Qlik and Geo Community;
- Acea Energia organised the SalesForce course, a cloud-based CRM solution for connecting with customers in an innovative way, training on integrated SAS software for managing data and generating reports and summary graphs, and training on Lean Presentation Design to acquire increasingly effective commu- nication techniques. Finally, in the field of energy management, it has organised specialist training courses on imbalances in the electricity sector;
- Areti completed two strategic training projects, one on LV Au- tomation and Remote Control and the other on Smart Meter 2G (the new second generation meters). In the area of Com- pliance, Areti delivered training modules on "Offences in public procurement", "Antitrust Regulation" and "GDPR Privacy". Par- ticular efforts were made to train new recruits, both administra- tively and operationally, through the Conosci Areti training plan. Finally, a training project on "HV network - primary substations and protections" was organised and will continue in 2022;
- Acea Ato 2 created the Virtual Tour of the plants project, de- signed with the aim of illustrating, by means of a virtual tour, company sites of particular interest, through realistic and im- mersive simulations, in a three-dimensional environment, wear- ing VR (Virtual Reality) visors; it organised training courses on environmental issues, with the aim of better managing the risks and opportunities arising from environmental impacts, on the European Union's Taxonomy, on Environmental sustainability and the circular economy applied to integrated water and waste disposal processes and the reclamation of contaminated sites;
- Acea Ato 5 oversaw, in particular, the Integrated Quality, Envi- ronment, Safety and Energy Management System;
- AdF continued to consolidate the agile culture in the company, both through technical training and through experiential train- ing, carried out outdoors and aimed, in particular, at new re- The Company has trained all its staff in Legislative Decree no. 231/01, Antitrust and Sustainability;
- Gesesa has provided training to all company personnel, includ- ing senior management on environmental, technical and oper- ational issues and on Legislative Decree no. 231/01. Managers continued with the "Leadership & People Management" course, launched in 2020 and aimed at enhancing their managerial style, in particular by delving deeper into issues concerning re- lationship with their staff, effective communication, time man- agement and decision making.
The traditional and experiential training activities and those pro- vided on the e-learning platforms provided a total of 886 courses (587 in 2020), amounting to 1,657 editions, in which 5,029 people took part in total, of which 26% were women.
A total of 169,522 hours of traditional, experiential and e-learning training was provided - a significant increase (+93%) compared to 87,672 hours in 2020 (see table 44).
The total training hours per capita109 are 26 (13 in 2020). When analysing data from a gender perspective, the hours of training per capita provided to male staff amounted to 26 and those provided to female staff amounted to 25. The breakdown by qualification is as follows: 10 hours for managers, 37 for executives, 24 for employees and 27 for other workers.
The overall costs incurred for the provision of the courses, net of scheduling for training and the preparation of the spaces allocated to it, were equal, in 2021, to € 1,995,848.
Table no. 44 – Training (2020-2021)
|TRADITIONAL AND EXPERIENCE-BASED TRAINING COURSES|
TRAINING COURSES PROVIDED THROUGH THE PIANETACEA E-LEARNING PLATFORM
Code of Ethics
unlawful business practices
administrative liability of entities (Legislative Decree no. 31/01)
QASE management systems
Legislative Decree no. 202/05
Sustainability and Agenda 2030
BREAKDOWN OF TRAINING HOURS BY QUALIFICATION AND GENDER
NOTE: Training hours do not include training provided to sta who left the company during the year.
In 2021, a structured process was established to define a meth- odology which led to identifying the areas of intervention and tools for constructing development paths for Group employees (see the relevant box); the first editions of development paths, including training and focus team coaching courses defined in the individual plans, sharing the results through reports for the various stakeholders involved.
Following the analysis of the needs that emerged, within the con- text of the individual development plans that were designed, three advanced training courses were identified and realised through par- ticipation of executives in the EMBA Masters degree programme at the University of Tor Vergata.
INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS
The methodology for the construction of targeted development paths was developed in 2021. It provides for individual plans and the definition of a detailed catalogue, through the design of specific paths based on the competences to be developed, with a view to innovation and continuous improvement. These include tools and areas of intervention.
18 types of interventions and development tools were designed, divided into: 9 types of training courses, 6 types of focus team coaching (on employee management, strategic thinking decision making effective communication, peer relations and change man- agement), individual coaching courses, mentoring for both men- tors and mentees, supported by specific training on methodology and process and, finally, high-level training.
14 editions of focus team coaching involving 64 people were launched in 2021.
Additionally, projects were begun to train and develop the poten- tial of new hires. These initiatives, carried out by the Parent Com- pany with various Group companies, involved around 300 people who were given a self-descriptive personality test, the results of which could be shared and submitted. Following the administration of the test, individual and summary reports were produced with aggregated data on the population involved in terms of strengths and areas for improvement. These documents, which provide useful insights for the development of potential, were shared with process stakeholders and participants.
Professional development of staff through promotions in the year concerned 804 people of which 215 were women, i.e. 27%.
COLLABORATION WITH UNIVERSITIES AND HIGH SCHOOLS
Acea develops partnerships and cooperation with universities, par- ticipates in studies and research, meetings between companies and students and stipulates agreements to promote internships and ap- prenticeships. Acea consolidated relations with the Tor Vergata, La Sapienza, LUISS Guido Carli, Studi Europei di Roma, Federico II di Napoli, Lumsa, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa, Università degli studi della Tuscia, Cassino universities and Politecnico University of Milan via the conclusion of agreements aimed at encouraging the transition of graduates into the working world. Despite the ongoing difficulties caused by the health emergency, in 2021 Acea renewed the agreements for curricular and extra-curricular internships with the Universities of “Roma Tre”, “Tor Vergata”, “La Sapienza” and LUISS Guido Carli. Acea also concluded specific agreements for the master's degree programme in “Procurement Management – Procurement and Tenders” and the Maris master's degree pro- gramme in “Reporting, Innovation and Sustainability”, both created by the Faculty of Economics of the “Tor Vergata” University in Rome. Acea has also initiated new contacts and relations with the place- ment departments of the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, the Politecnico University of Turin, the Aldo Moro University of Bari, the University of Camerino, the Parthenope University of Naples, the University of Pisa and those of Palermo, Catania and Messina. Finally, during the year, a scientific cooperation agree- ment was signed with the Department of Earth, Environmental and Resource Sciences of the University of Naples Federico II and with the Vesuvius Observatory for the design and implementation of a hydrogeological and microbiological monitoring network for groundwater.
Thanks to these interactions, in 2021 Acea established 76 training internships and 27 curricular internships. It hired 15 young gradu- ates and stabilized the positions of 21 young people previously hold- ing internship positions.
The Company also utilizes the professional skills of its staff in uni- versity master’s degrees and courses and for technical projects. In 2021, qualified company staff worked as teachers or provided corporate testimonies for university master’s degrees, covering, in particular, issues related to energy, the environment, sustainability and innovation. In particular, Acea has collaborated with SAFE, a centre of excellence for studies and training on issues related to en- ergy and the environment, with the LUISS School of Technological Innovation, dedicated to Digital Talents, signed an agreement with the 42 Roma LUISS School of Technological Innovation dedicated to Digital Talents and took part in the 'Digital Open Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ graduate programme together with the Campus Bio-Medico of Rome.
Acea also concludes agreements with high schools for school-to- work projects such as the H2SchOOl project launched by Gesesa in 2021 with local high schools and commercial schools in the country. GenerAzione Digitale [Digital Generation] (see dedicated box) was an important project implemented by Acea in 2021, involving both support to and collaboration with schools, through the contribution of Group companies.
THE GENERAZIONE DIGITALE PROJECT
The GenerAzione Digitale project involved about 480 students from 12 high schools in Lazio, Umbria, Tuscany and Campania, with the aim of promoting the Group's commitment to projects that raise awareness of sustainability among the younger generations, en- couraging a virtuous exchange between schools and companies, based on the creativity of students and their experiences in the workplace.
The 2021 format, focusing on "The protection of natural ecosystems in a sustainable and innovative way” has been conceived as a creative marathon, the "Digital Creathon” during which students, supported by the ELIS team facilitators and the "Sustainability Ambassadors", developed innovative ideas and creative solutions digitally.
The 3 winning project ideas of the 'Digital Creathon' were developed by:
- the Nefti team with its project 'For a more useful Tiber', for the production of electricity using water from the river;
- the ECOciqua students, who created an app and an eco-bin system for smart urban waste management;
- the Rest@rt Team, which has designed a mapping of electric charging stations to make charging more efficient, and a virtual currency, the carbon point, to encourage both plastic recycling and the use of electric cars.
In addition, as part of the initiative, Acea worked on realising the I-School team's Intelligent School project, which envisages the adoption of a school in which interventions will be carried out to transform the school premises into an eco-sustainable, self-suffi- cient place.
INCENTIVE SYSTEMS AND STAFF EVALUATION
The Performance Management System is governed by corporate procedures and is the operational application of the Leadership Mod- el. Its purpose is to enhance personal contribution to the Group's performance, including through the achievement of expected individual objectives and adherence to the Leadership Model.
The remuneration policy adopted envisages short-term and long- term fixed and variable remuneration measures (MBO, LTIP).
Following the expiry of the 2018-2020 long-term incentive plan, paid in 2021, a new Long Term Incentive Plan (LTIP) was introduced, covering the three-year period 2021-2023. This plan covers only the Chief Executive Officer, the Executives with Strategic Responsibilities and other Executives holding key positions in the Group.
The new Plan is divided into three cycles, at the end of which a monetary bonus will be paid, if the objectives are achieved; the accrual of any three-year cycle bonus is aimed at guaranteeing the continuity of the company's performance, steering the management towards results with a medium and long-term outlook that are consistent with the Group's Strategic Plan. The calculation system is subject to the degree of achievement of objectives as determined by the Board of Directors after consulting the Appointments and Remuneration Committee, of an economic-financial nature (NFP/ EBITDA and NFP/NP), linked to the profitability of the share (EPS) and, as a novelty introduced with the new Remuneration Plan, these results are linked to the Group's sustainable success in the medium to long term as measured by a composite sustainability indicator which has been given a percentage weighting in line with market best practices. To this end, it should be noted that the ESG objectives envisaged are in line with the Group's strategic, industri- al and sustainability planning.
The short-term (annual) incentive system, Management by Objectives (MbO), has also been revised, starting in 2021, for con- sistency with best market practices, to make it fairer and easier to communicate and assess. The MbO is applied to top and middle management and entitles them to receive a monetary bonus based on the achievement of set targets. The system is divided into Group objectives which are the same for all involved parties, Area objectives (applicable across the relevant Area) and individual objectives. The Group objectives that are applied to 100% of the recipients of the MbO incentive scheme, are based on four indicators (KPIs) three of an economic-financial nature (EBITDA, net profit, net financial position) and one composite sustainability indicator. Man- agers can choose their Area objectives from among those included in the Dedicated catalogue, with a direct link to the company’s strategy and operational management.
With the introduction of sustainability objectives in the incentive systems for the MbO population and for top management (LTIP), Acea has confirmed the integration of sustainability into business activities, strengthening the link between remuneration mechanisms and the achievement of social and environmental objectives.
Employees who are executives, clerical and manual workers in- cluding those with part-time, fixed-term (including temporary) and apprenticeship contracts, are eligible for the performance bonus every year. This is a variable payment, linked to qualitative and quantitative results achieved in the realisation of company objec- tives, which aims to have workers participate in company processes and projects to increase the company’s profitability and improve competitiveness, productivity, quality and efficiency.
There are also benefits for employees, including those with part- time, fixed-term contracts and apprenticeship contracts, such as meal vouchers, a discounts on electricity tariffs (for staff hired before 9 July 1996), the subsidies provided through the Company Recreational Club (CRC) and a supplementary health insurance policy. Other forms of benefits are provided to staff to support their well-being. These include: contributions for dental expenses, health check-ups, contributions for the use of emotional and physical well-being services. Executives are also entitled to specific benefits, such as the use of a company car and the reimbursement of fuel costs, etc. Finally, a policy is in place for all staff members which, in the event of death, provides a monetary payout to beneficiaries.
At Acea SpA, the Internal Media Relations and Communications Unit handles communication to employees and contributes to pro- moting the Group’s principles, values and strategic objectives and developing a shared company culture.
Digital platforms continued to play a central role in the communication between companies and people in 2021 as well.
Of particular note is the My Intranet portal, a digital environment dedicated to staff, which aims to strengthen the Group's cultural identity by facilitating access and information sharing. In order to make the portal more and more inclusive, a number of features have been optimised during the year such as the release of a new, better performing version of the search engine, integration with third party tools (Teams and Forms) and the activation of the Single sign on all SAP platforms.
In addition, a digital ecosystem was created with the launch of three new operational portals for the Water, Energy Infrastructure and Engineering & Services industrial areas.
My Intranet has been enriched with 3 new sections - Welfare, Organisation, Stakeholder Engagement - and has featured im- portant initiatives and events, including the Acea Green Cup, the Sustainability Day, the Connect with Acea and Prevent with Acea programmes, confirming its position as the place where the Group’s people can engage. The section dedicated to anti-contagion meas- ures implemented by the Company for its employees has also been constantly updated.
The massive use of digital working methods has led to a parallel increase in cyber threats and attacks. A newsletter has therefore been produced and is available in My Intranet, in the section dedicated to IT security, to raise staff awareness of the issue and the correct use of IT tools.
In May, the Acea Ti Premia [Acea rewards you] portal, the Group's innovative digital meeting venue, was integrated with My Intranet and became accessible from any device (PC, smartphone and tablet). It is a venue that encourages engagement, where employees are able to share projects, events and company gadgets. The portal also makes it possible to improve the way in which company benefits are allocated by making them more transparent and democratic, through random allocations and the gamification.
The Acea4You App was designed to plan office attendance, avoid crowds, and book Covid-19 vaccination or serological tests, meals or canteen space and Christmas parcel collection and was widely used.
In 2021, internal communication initiatives remained in line with the pillars of strategic planning: sustainability, welfare, safety, en- gagement, solidarity and innovation. The Connessi con Acea [Con- nect with Acea] was created to help keep communication between company employees alive, despite their physical absence from the workplace. The project, devised by the Communication Function, involved the organisation of two digital events - "Work challenges during the pandemic: Acea's responses" and "Sustainable by voca- tion: the Acea Group experience" - during which current issues re- lated to the Group's activities were addressed with the contribution of qualified experts and employees. The events were simultaneously translated into sign language by professional interpreters associated with ANIOS (Association of Italian Sign Language Interpreters). Again with a view to strengthening the group spirit and sense of belonging, the Acea Green Cup 2021 initiative was launched in June with an intra-group contest on the most sustainable projects carried out by the companies that participated, in September, in a regatta held for staff only (see the chapter on "Customers” - paragraph Communication, events and solidarity).
The second phase of Proteggo l’Azienda che mi protegge [I protect the company that protects me], the internal communication cam- paign promoted by the Ethics Officer with the aim of promoting the dissemination and knowledge of the values enshrined in the Code of Ethics and the tools to protect them, was unrolled in 2021. In addition to the dedicated training course and the "Comunica Whistleblowing" platform, a number of awareness-raising videos on the articles of the Code of Ethics were produced, involving managers and employees.
The Communication Function supported the implementation of numerous initiatives devised by the Human Resources and Spon- sorship Functions & Value Liberality, also in collaboration with the corporate CRA, on corporate welfare, wellbeing and inclusion in continuity with 2020, including: Wellness Fridays, the Acea and Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli webinar, the Acea Camp and My Camp summer centres for the children of employees, the Orien- tiamoci, a webinar created to guide employees and their children into the professional world and the Acea and Fitprime programme: Insieme per il benessere [Together for well-being] (see also the paragraph on Diversity, inclusion and welfare).
Also of note:
- the project Insieme per la parità di genere e contro la violenza sulle donne [Together for gender equality and in opposition to violence against women], was launched in 2020 with a dedicated webinar and continued in 2021 with the dissemination of video clips designed to raise people's awareness of these issues and of how gender stereotypes and prejudices are rooted in cultural models and can influence everyday At the end of the initiative, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a video message from Acea's top management in support of the project was released;
- this path is dedicated to the themes of Diversity & Inclusion and its purpose is to promote a cultural change towards valu- ing diversity at all levels of the organisation. The first stage of the process involved an internal survey to determine employees' awareness and perception of the issue;
- the Previeni con Acea [Prevent with Acea] project to promote a culture of wellbeing and prevention, with a communication cam- paign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of health, prevention and healthy lifestyles. In particular, two webinars were organised to explore prevention issues and an online and offline communication campaign was implemented (intranet, digital totems and lift monitors at headquarters). Acea has also carried out preventive screenings in collaboration with Susan Komen Italia (see the section Diversity, inclusion and welfare).
Solidarity has always been a fundamental value for Acea, which, in 2021,expressed it together with the protection of health and safe- ty by creating the Acea Vaccine Hub (see also the paragraph on Occupational health and safety). In this context, the Communication Function, in coordination with the Human Resources Func- tion, collaborated on the implementation of the campaign to raise awareness of the Covid-19 vaccination, which involved sending out emails and setting up visual communication on digital totems.
Still on the subject of solidarity, a completely digital version of Acea's Solidarity Mondays continued in 2021. This effort involves employ- ees in supporting charitable activities (Taxi Solidale, AISM, Banco Alimentare, Medici senza fissa dimora, Un...due...tre...Alessio).
Finally, as a sign of its support for scientific research, Acea renewed its partnership with the Telethon Foundation, with 6,700 Christmas gifts, delivered to Acea Group employees and partly donated to the Community of Sant'Egidio to support its activities in favour of those most in need.
To survey staff opinions and requests, the Communication Function ran a survey on:
- smart working - in collaboration with the Human Resources Function a questionnaire was circulated concerning the work- ing methods implemented by the Group in the face of the new emergency scenario;
- Diversity is a fact, inclusion is an active choice, a widespread sur- vey to promote a cultural change in the Group aimed at valuing diversity;
- the Acea work lab, in collaboration with the Human Resources Function, to determine how employees view the new ways of working and sharing space;
- the Digital selfie, in collaboration with the Training Unit, designed to map and enhance the technical skills of all Group employees; At the end of the year, at Christmas, a video made by top manage- ment was released to wish the employees happy holidays and thank them for their efforts during the year. Also the Acea Christmas Contest involved a culinary challenge in which employees repro- duced the eco-sustainable recipes of the "La sostenibile leggerezza del gusto" [The sustainable lightness of taste] cookbook, created especially for Acea on this occasion in collaboration with the Italian Federation of Chefs.
The attempts at making the recipes were voted on and a ranking was drawn up, which was then submitted to a jury of chefs from the Italian Cooks Federation who decided on the winners.
109The indicator was calculated by comparing the number of hours attended with the total number of employees.