Sustainability for usAccountabilityResponsible projects and services
As an industrial group, we believe it is essential to maintain an open dialogue with all our stakeholders. Our approach, based on corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, focuses on all the legitimate expectations of our stakeholders. Responding to their requests, balancing them and incorporating them into our corporate strategies, allows us to make the value generated in the local area more tangible.
By means of a survey of the company's stakeholders, we have defined a stakeholder map. For each category we have identified:
- the composition and presence of objectives of particular interest
- the topics considered priorities
- listening, dialogue and consultation activities during the year.
Hera is committed to respecting internationally recognised Human rights wherever the Group operates, in line with the indications given by the United Nations.
Human rights are inalienable rights owned by all people and they represent an essential part of a correct and responsible business. Hera considers human rights also inside its Code of ethics, which sets the requirements for its own operations and its suppliers.
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Who are our stakeholders
We believe that people are one of the key factors for achieving our business goals. Improving workers' motivation and satisfaction is only possible through listening to them and involving them: therefore we are committed to enhancing and developing their skills with specific programs and tools and we promote cooperation and knowledge exchange, so that work becomes rewarding, a source of pride for people, besides being a factor for the company's success.
Learn more about dialogue initiatives in the Sustainability Report
Hera wants to be the best Italian multi-utility by developing an original business model capable of innovating and strengthening its bond with the local area, while respecting the environment.
We want to be a reason of pride and trust for our customers, so that they receive, through constant listening, quality services that live up to their expectations.
We are committed to creating value for our shareholders, putting quality and efficiency at the heart of our strategy. Every day we work to ensure that economic value continues to be created for the company while respecting the principles of social responsibility.
For the Hera Group, suppliers are strategic growth partners and players in the value chain. In managing contracts, we ensure efficiency, cost-effectiveness, neutrality and non-discrimination in procurement. Social responsibility and shared value are beacons that also guide us in managing procurement: our approach has enabled us to take actions such as the memorandum of understanding on procurement, the use of employment safeguard clauses, subcontracting audits, and the supplier monitoring plan.
How we evaluate our suppliers
Our supplier qualification and evaluation system enables us to verify our suppliers' technical, economic and organisational quality requirements, as well as their compliance with environmental, safety and corporate social responsibility standards, and with our Code of Ethics.
Since 2012, our vendor management system represents the model of self-registration and supplier qualification and is addressed to at all the companies that want to apply spontaneously, for any product category. The "e-Procurement" supplier management portal allows suppliers to use a transparent and tracked tool to qualify and participate in tenders issued by the Hera Group.
The new supplier qualification portal, launched in 2018, is an important milestone in terms of innovation. In its first year of management we achieved the objectives we had set, such as the simplification of the qualification process, the updating of data and the usability of the information. This result is also confirmed by the positive response from our suppliers: by the end of December 2019, 90% of the supplier base had renewed their qualification on the new portal.
Our selection criteria
Since 2008, Hera Group's Procurement Guideline has privileged the most economically advantageous procurement method, in compliance with the sustainability criteria set out in our Code of Ethics. The Guideline identifies specific areas (respect for the environment, social commitment, quality of performance and economic value) and sets a minimum number of sustainability criteria that must be met when choosing a supplier. The main criteria include management of atmospheric emissions and noise, energy efficiency, reduction of hazardous substances used, and reduction of water consumption. In 2019 we added new criteria that meet the principles of the circular economy.
The Public Administration of the Hera Group is made up of local authorities, regulatory bodies, universities and state administrations. We have always been committed to ensuring maximum integrity and fairness in our relationships, collaborating in investments for innovation, technological development and research, in order to ensure the best quality of service, in observance of the rules and laws.
As a result, we have adopted, and kept constantly updated, an organisation, management and control model designed to identify specific risks associated with the crimes set out in Italian Legislative Decree 231/2001, supplementing it by adopting an ad hoc policy to prevent corruption. Model 231 includes protocols that strive to ensure transparency and a sense of ownership in internal and external relationships.
Our strong link with our service area has always been an added value for us. Our commitment to listening to the needs and requests of the areas we serve arises from this awareness, through consultation, information and involvement of local stakeholders, mainly on aspects related to environmental, energy and water services.
Our main dialogue initiatives are:
- HeraLab: the LABs (Local Advisory Boards) are local multi-stakeholder councils that we make available to areas we serve to activate a channel to use to listen to and discuss with local communities. In 2019 we launched two new LABs: in Rimini and Bologna, based on the new HeraLab model initially tested in 2018 in the Ferrara and Ravenna areas.
- Partnerships: we support cultural and social projects through sponsorships and donations, creating proximity, shared value and corporate reputation and establishing a dialogue with stakeholders that are increasingly attentive to corporate ethics.
- Environmental education projects: over the years we have developed many initiatives to raise awareness in schools. We organise the initiatives jointly with the main consumer, trade and environmental associations.