Global perspectives

Lorenza Barsanti

<IR> Business Network participant

CSR Manager, Snam

Ten years on since the birth of the IIRC, it is a good time to retrace our steps and understand where we started and what we've done to prepare for the future ahead.

In 2010, Snam published its first Sustainability Report. It was the result of a journey we started in 2006, and was in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. We also included a chapter regarding the non-financial information in Snam’s Annual Report.

We sought to understand how best to implement sustainability in our processes by trying to capitalize on our experience as a company, which is strongly integrated into local areas and is environmentally conscious.

However, we felt the need for greater integration and alignment of the sustainability reporting processes with our financial reporting, which by definition followed more defined and structured processes. For this reason, at the end of 2013, Snam joined the IIRC Pilot Programme, participating in the development of the International <IR> Framework. We created an inter-functional group to draft our first integrated report, structured on the basis of the <IR> Framework’s capitals model.

Since 2015, Snam has transformed its Annual Report into a true integrated report, showing its new capitals-based business model, expanding the reported non-financial information relating to connectivity and risks, whilst also publishing a Sustainability Report according GRI standards and a Climate Report following the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures recommendations.

The integrated report brought many benefits:

  • Increased awareness and internal collaboration between different functions due to a greater disclosure of sustainability culture in the company. This was also possible thanks to the increasing stakeholders’ requests made to the group, which consequentially led to shared thinking around value creation. This new way of thinking has also led to new inter-functional projects, ideas and collaborations.
  • A stronger structure and preparation to answer to the requests of D.Lgs. 254/2016 on the Non-Financial Statement, which in turn has led to a greater involvement and awareness of non-financial information in the group, tackling information silos.
  • Increased integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the company's strategy by effectively applying integrated thinking.
  • Where does this take us? Today we are a company in line with best practices in terms of reporting and integration of ESG factors, but the future does not wait and investor demands and stakeholder expectations, in terms of transparency, completeness and relevance of information are always increasing.

    Integrating ESG factors into strategy and investment decisions will not be enough - there will be more focus on the investments’ impact and actual results. Reports will continue to increase in quality, with a deepening on the non-financial issues most relevant to the company and focusing on certain types of data, the minimum set of which could also be defined from a legislative point of view.

    Integrated reporting could also be increasingly supported by an explicit link to the Sustainable Development Goals, in order to understand the impact on the country and the world systems level.

    The challenge of integrating the different reporting standards is a priority for companies that need clearer guidance, and investors who demand comparable information.

    Change is happening and we're looking forward to it.