Structured dialogue with its stakeholders is a crucial activity for Edison to strengthen its sustainability. The main objective is to integrate sustainability issues in business activities in an increasingly effective and innovative way, responding to external stakeholders’ demands and highlighting the particularities of each business unit.
Stakeholder engagement is a systematic process in which the Company gathers feedback from stakeholders and engages them on material issues relating to sustainability. At the same time, it enables Edison to improve relationships that are already in place, listen to present demands and check the gap between expressed expectations and the path taken.
In 2016, Edison launched a listening campaign on two fronts. On the first front, within the company, the directors and heads of the various business units were interviewed in order to, by the end of 2017:
- develop EDF’s strategic objectives for the Company’s specific situation;
- formulate a set of identifying strategic objectives to support the business position;
- update the sustainable development policy and contextualize it within the framework of the new corporate values (Respect, Responsibility and Integrity), aligning it with EDF’s CSR objectives.
The results of these activities made it possible to update the materiality analysis presented in this report and to gather ideas and suggestions for the development of Edison’s sustainability.
On the second front, outside the Company, following the interviews conducted in 2015 with key opinion leaders, Edison began a process to set up a permanent stakeholder panel. The stakeholder panel is an innovative listening, discussion and engagement tool for key opinion leaders and Edison’s contacts to improve the quality of relationships, kick off processes to hear and satisfy related demands and begin taking advantage of opportunities for development, competitive edge and innovation with respect to issues defined as material.
The priority objectives will be to:
- integrate the stakeholder perspective in the decision-making process as part of a corporate governance approach, developing a community of thought around Edison;
- take an open innovation approach (for processes and services);
- identify material issues and support the preparation of specific policies;
- periodically prepare a proposal for projects for stakeholder engagement and initiatives to be carried out in collaboration with others to promote and improve Edison’s sustainability.
Edison’s materiality analysis
Edison has commenced updating its materiality analysis to focus on how to better report on its activities, performance and strategic objectives on issues that are important to its stakeholders and the Company as well.
The materiality matrix was updated following a structured process summarised below:
- A benchmark analysis was conducted on Edison’s main competitors and integrated with an analysis of the print and online press to identify the aspects of interest for the sector and the issues on which public debate is focused, adding to and confirming the issues identified in 2015 through interviews with opinion leaders.
- These issues were updated for alignment with EDF’s CAP 2030 strategy and the strategic priorities that Edison has established in Italy.
- The outcome of these steps was discussed with the directors of Edison’s various business units to identify the material issues for the Company.
- Health and safety at work
- Diversity and inclusion
- Development and enhancement of human capital
- Dialogue and discussion with stakeholders
- Local content and value shared with the community
- Development and enhancement of human capital
- Access to energy in vulnerable areas
- Citizenship of plants and distribution of value
- Good employment and internal engagement
- Business development
- Responsible, transparent management and business integrity
- Effective, high quality customer relationships
- Generation of energy from renewable sources
- Fair marketing, communication and dispute resolution practices
- Open innovation
- Safety and operations reliability, business continuity and risk management
- Economic performance
- Mitigation of climate change and transition to a low carbon economy
- Innovation and efficiency in production and distribution
- Energy efficiency
Institutions: contacts to promote discussion
Dialogue with institutions is a cardinal part of managing the market and sector. Through the Institutional Affairs Office, which operates with offices in Rome and Brussels, Edison oversees relationships with government bodies, Parliament, the European Commission, European Parliament and the European Council and contributes to the Company’s relationship with independent European and national authorities (electricity, natural gas and water authorities and the anti-trust authorities), diplomats and trade associations.
Edison supports processes to prepare measures by sharing its specific expertise and formulating “corporate positions” which define the Group’s interests. Relationships between Edison and politicians are focused exclusively on exploring issues relating to the relevant activities, as provided for by the code of ethics; Edison is neutral in terms of political parties and does not finance nor support any parties nor their representatives. The principle of transparency also applies to relationships with the national and local public administrations, especially in terms of overseeing authorisation procedures, permits, concessions, contributions and public financing.
Through dialogue with the main associations and organisations, Edison participates in major national, European and international panels in which energy and environmental issues are discussed. Edison is a member of national and European business associations, such as Confindustria, Confindustria Energia, Assoelettrica, Assolombarda, Assomineraria, Assorinnovabili, IGAS, Unindustria, Eurelectric, Eurogas, etc. and takes part in their work groups.
In particular, it collaborates with Confindustria both locally where it has operations and through associations for specific categories or types of production. Furthermore, Edison’s Institutional Affairs Office takes part in the Unindustria Lazio technical work groups on issues relating to the energy sector, start-ups, digital transformation, human capital and association relationships.
Edison is also active in Eurogas, an association that brings together companies and associations from 27 countries involved in the midstream and shipping in the European natural gas sector. Edison is on the Governing Board and participates in the Madrid Gas Forum for sector regulation, the Gas Coordination Group and the Citizens’ Energy Forum.
The company is part of Eurelectric – an association made up of electricity production and distribution companies in Europe – and is a member of its Board of Directors and many work groups. It also chairs the European Committee, the body through which Assoelettrica participates in Eurelectric activities.
In addition, Edison contributes to the European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET)’s activities. This federation is committed to improving market infrastructures for energy trading and market liquidity through dialogue with European institutions. Edison is also on the board of EFET Italy.
In this way, Edison plays an active role in the most important think tanks in Italy, Europe and around the world and works with energy opinion leaders to discuss research programs, surveys, events and seminars to encourage public debate.
Edison is on the Investors Advisory Panel of Energy Community, an organisation created to align European energy market regulations with the energy regulations of contracting parties in South-east Europe. In this role, it facilitates dialogue between private investors and the Energy Community and medium/large infrastructural investments.
Edison is also active in the Renewable Energy Task Force, which studies and proposes ways to extend European policies supporting renewable sources in the Energy Community Treaty.