The 2019 Iren Sustainability Report

The Group’s commitments and results achieved in the reference areas

Separated waste collection expanded in 2019 to 67.3% in the areas served by the Group, 2 billion in sustainability investments called for through 2024, with the goal of reducing water losses by 5%, increasing separated waste collection by 8% and installing 1 million electronic meters, among other things. This is some of the information available in the 2019 Iren Sustainability Report that gives an account of the Group’s economic, environmental and social performance, representing a tool to monitor the goals of the Business Plan through 2024, which integrates sustainability among the strategic development pillars, providing a basis for engaged dialogue with the territory and all stakeholders.

In the area of water resources, 50% of the water networks managed by the Group have been districtualised, therefore increasing their operational effectiveness. A direct impact of this districtualisation is the reduction of network leaks and, at the same time, a decrease in drinking water taken from the environment.

In the area of the circular economy, the consolidation operations undertaken in 2019 have almost doubled the Group’s capacity to treat waste at its own plants, in line with what had been announced in the business plan. In addition, the extension of the door-to-door collection system enabled a further increase in the level of separated waste collection in the area served by the Group, which now stands at 67.3%, with larger areas at outstanding levels of over 80%.

The Group’s consistent commitment to decarbonisation was confirmed. At 31 December 2019, Iren had reduced its carbon footprint by 1.7% and increased energy savings by 8% with the development of a number of projects related especially to the storage of electricity and thermal energy, reducing energy consumption and the relative emissions, combined with a production mix based on high-efficiency plants.

Iren’s commitment to the creation of increasingly resilient cities continued with an increase in the number of eco-friendly vehicles used to carry out corporate activities, as of today 890 (16% of the total company fleet), and in the increasingly wide range of e-mobility related offers available to customers. During 2019, investments continued, with the aim of increasing district heating volumes, which amounted to 95 million m³, enabling an improvement in air quality in the territories of reference and a reduction in gas and electricity consumption.

The approach of always placing people at the centre of all company activities also continued. During 2019, 745 people were recruited (compared to 313 in 2018 and 152 in 2017), per capita training hours for employees increased by 4%, and a recruitment plan aimed at the younger generation and experts was pursued, increasing direct employment by 3% compared to the end of 2018, no including the increase from consolidation operations.

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Iren's commitments and the results achieved in each of the cities where it operates:

Reggio Emilia

In 2019, separated waste collection in the province of Reggio Emilia reached 78.7%, up by 4 percentage points compared to 2018 (74.8%) and significantly higher than the national average of 58.1%. Over 460,000 residents are provided with waste collection services in the province, of which around 75% on a door-to-door collection basis and over 36% on a pay-as-you-throw basis. The consistent increase in separated waste collection is a decisive aspect in strengthening the circular economy. The Group has almost doubled the waste treatment capacity in its plants in accordance with the Business Plan and based on its consolidation operations.

With regard to water resources, the Group manages 213 water treatment plants in the province of Reggio Emilia. Iren supplies 496,000 residents through the water service and, in Emilia, analyses approximately 1,700 water quality parameters a day (a total of almost 430,000 analysed parameters) on the quality of the water. The water treatment plant at Mancasale recovered over 6.5 million cubic metres of wastewater in 2019, which was reused for irrigation purposes (equalling 32% of the plant’s total treated water).

During 2019, investments continued with the aim of increasing district heating volumes, which amounted to 95 million m3, enabling an improvement in air quality in the territories of reference and a reduction in gas and electricity consumption. Around 73% of Reggio Emilia residents receive district heating.

The approach of always placing people at the centre of company activities continued. In the last 5 years, the Group has hired 178 people from the province of Reggio Emilia, where there were 902 employees at the end of 2019.

Over the last two years, 54,684 students and 335 schools in the province of Reggio Emilia were involved in sustainability education initiatives.

Proximity to the area translates into the quality of the services provided, with 79.5% of the gas network inspected (65.5% in 2018) in the province of Reggio Emilia, based on orders issued in the province over the last 10 years for € 502 million, of which over € 43 million in 2019. In 2019, the Group supported environmental, cultural, social and sporting projects in the province of Reggio Emilia for € 2.5 million and has distributed dividends for over € 55 million to public shareholders in the territory over the last 5 years.

Parma

In 2019, separated waste collection in the province of Parma reached 79.5% (79.2% in 2018), compared to the national average of 58.1%, to become one of Italy’s most committed provinces. Around 412,000 residents are provided with waste collection services in the province, of which 91% on a door-to-door collection basis and 73% on a pay-as-you-throw basis.

In the area of water resources, over 50% of the water networks managed by the Group have been districtualised, therefore increasing their operational effectiveness. A direct impact of this districtualisation is the reduction of network leaks and, at the same time, a decrease in drinking water taken from the environment. The Group manages 174 water treatment plants in the province of Parma. Iren supplies 340,000 residents through the water service.

The Group reaffirmed its consistent commitment to decarbonisation. At 31 December 2019, Iren had reduced its carbon footprint by 1.7% and increased energy efficiency by 7%, with a production mix based on high-efficiency plants, combined with developing a number of initiatives, related specifically to thermal energy accumulators, the recovery of materials from sorted waste and specific energy efficiency projects. In 2019, the Integrated Environmental Hub produced about 121 GWh of energy (electric and thermal) from waste, meeting the requirement of almost 45,000 households. 

Iren’s commitment to the creation of increasingly resilient cities continues, with an increase in the number of eco-friendly vehicles used to carry out corporate activities, as of today 890 (16% of the total company fleet), and in the increasingly wide range of e-mobility related offers available to customers. During 2019, investments continued with the aim of increasing district heating volumes, which amounted to 95 million m3, enabling an improvement in air quality in the territories of reference and a reduction in gas and electricity consumption. Around 30% of Parma residents receive district heating.

Finally, with regard to people, the Group has hired 133 people in the province of Parma over the last 5 years, where there were 715 employees at the end of 2019.

Over the last two years, 22,172 students and 35 schools in the province of Parma were involved in sustainability education initiatives.

Proximity to the area translates into the quality of the services provided, with 100% of the gas network inspected in the province of Parma, based on orders issued in the province over the last 10 years for € 402 million, of which over € 42 million in 2019. The Group has supported environmental, cultural, social and sporting projects in the province for € 527,000 in 2019, and has distributed dividends for over € 16 million to public shareholders in the territory over the last 5 years.

Piacenza

In 2019, separated waste collection in the province of Piacenza reached 70.9%, up by over 3 percentage points compared to 2018 (67.3%) and significantly higher than the national average of 58.1%. Around 287,000 residents are provided with waste collection services in the province, of which 85% on a door-to-door collection basis and about 20,000 residents on a pay-as-you-throw basis. 

With regard to water resources, the Group manages 432 water treatment plants in the province of Piacenza. Iren supplies almost 283,000 residents through the water service, and in Emilia, analyses approximately 1,700 water quality parameters a day (a total of almost 430,000 analysed parameters) on the quality of the water.

During 2019, investments continued with the aim of increasing district heating volumes, which amounted to 95 million m3, enabling an improvement in air quality in the territories of reference and a reduction in gas and electricity consumption. Around 20% of Piacenza residents receive district heating.

The approach of always placing people at the centre of company activities continued. In the last 5 years, the Group has hired 90 people from the province of Piacenza, where there were 555 employees at the end of 2019. Over the last two years, 8,290 students and 48 schools in the province of Piacenza were involved in sustainability education initiatives.

Proximity to the area translates into the quality of the services provided, based on orders issued in the province over the last 10 years for € 286 million, of which over € 33 million in 2019. The Group has supported environmental, cultural, social and sporting projects in the province for € 416,000 in 2019, and has distributed dividends for about € 6.5 million in the last 5 years to public shareholders in the territory.

Finally, with regard to the Group’s commitment to decarbonisation, in 2019 the waste-to-energy plant in Piacenza produced approximately 73 GWh of electricity from waste, equalling the demand of around 27,000 households.

Genoa

Almost 72 million in dividends distributed to the shareholder Genoa over the last 5 years and 183 new hires in the five-year period in question. This is some of the information available in the Iren Sustainability Report 2019 that gives an account of the Group’s economic, environmental and social performance, representing a tool to monitor the goals of the Business Plan to 2024.

With regard to water resources, the Group manages 298 waste water treatment plants in the province of Genoa. Iren supplies almost 950,000 residents through the water service, and a total of 1.5 million throughout Liguria, with over 1,100 water quality parameters analysed a day.

The focus on growth and always placing people at the centre of company activities continued: in the last 5 years, the Group has appointed 183 people from the province of Genoa, where 1,040 employees worked at the end of 2019.

Over the last two years, 9,500 students and 159 schools in the province were involved in sustainability education initiatives.  

Proximity to the area translates into the quality of the services provided, with 99.9% of the gas network inspected in the province of Genoa, based on orders issued over the last 10 years in the province for € 611 million, of which almost € 37 million in 2019 (over 53 million throughout Liguria). Specifically, the Group has supported environmental, cultural, social and sporting projects for € 3.4 million in 2019 (almost € 14 million over the last five years in the Liguria area) and, in the last 5 years, has distributed about € 71.6 million in dividends to public shareholders in the territory.

The Group’s consistent commitment to decarbonisation has also been reaffirmed. At 31 December 2019, Iren had reduced its carbon footprint by 1.7% and increased energy efficiency by 7%, with a production mix based on highly efficient plants, combined with developing a number of initiatives, related specifically to thermal energy accumulators, the recovery of materials from sorted waste, and specific energy efficiency projects. In 2019, Iren produced 94 GWh of energy from renewable or similar sources in the province of Genoa, equalling the demand of almost 35,000 households.

La Spezia

In 2019, separated waste collection in the province of La Spezia reached 74.1%, up by over 4 percentage points compared to 2018 (69.9%) and significantly higher than the national average of 58.1% and the regional average of 49.67%. Over 205,000 residents are provided with waste collection services in the province, where 21 municipalities are completely covered by the door-to-door service. These results place the province of La Spezia at the top of the rankings in the region.

With regard to water resources, in the province of La Spezia, where the Group manages 176 water treatment plants, Iren increased purification capacity by 4% compared to 2018 (+12,000 equivalent residents).

Proximity to the area translates into the quality of the services provided, with almost € 14 million in orders issued in the province of La Spezia in 2019, accounting for a quarter of the orders issued in the whole of Liguria. In 2019, the Group supported environmental, cultural, social and sporting projects in La Spezia for € 250,000, and distributed € 2 million in dividends to public shareholders in the territory.

In 2019, the Group hired 27 people in the province of La Spezia, where there were 721 employees at the end of 2019. The Group also reaffirmed its focus on schools. In 2019, 1,914 students (compared to 350 in 2018) in the province of La Spezia were involved in sustainability education initiatives.

Turin

In 2019, separated waste collection in the city of Turin increased to 47.6%, a two percentage point increase over 2018 (45.6%).  Almost 880,000 residents are provided with waste collection services in the city, of which around 55% on a door-to-door collection basis. 

The Group reaffirmed its consistent commitment to decarbonisation. At 31 December 2019, Iren had reduced its carbon footprint by 1.7% and increased energy efficiency by 7%, with a production mix based on high-efficiency plants, combined with developing a number of initiatives, related specifically to thermal energy accumulators, the recovery of materials from sorted waste, and specific energy efficiency projects. In 2019, the waste-to-energy plant in the city of Turin produced over 427 GWh of energy from waste, equal to the demand of around 158,000 households. About 6,500 GWh of energy produced in Turin originates from renewable or similar sources, equalling the demand of around 2.4 million households, and the heat accumulators in the city made it possible to avoid almost 13,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2019.

With regard to investments directed at increasing the volume of district heating, 646,837 residents in Turin and neighbouring municipalities received district heating thanks to around 70 million cubic meters of district heating volume and approximately 680 km of network.

Over the last 5 years, the Group has hired 612 people in the province of Turin, where there were 3,137 employees at the end of 2019.

Over the last two years, 60,120 students and 465 schools in the province were involved in sustainability education initiatives.

Proximity to the area translates into the quality of the services, based on orders issued in the province of Turin over the last 10 years for € 885 million, of which over € 145 million in 2019. The Group has supported environmental, cultural, social and sporting projects in the province of Turin for € 3.4 million in 2019(€ 13.5 million over the last five years) and, in the last 5 years, has distributed € 89 million in dividends to public shareholders in the territory.

Vercelli

In 2019, separated waste collection in the province of Vercelli, where the subsidiary ASM operates, reached 69.4%, up by 2 percentage points compared to 2018 (67.6%) and significantly higher than the national average of 58.1% and regional average of 61.2%. Around 75,000 residents are provided with waste collection services in the province, with about 70% on a door-to-door collection basis. 

With regard to water resources, the Group manages 37 water treatment plants in the province of Vercelli. Iren supplies 75,000 residents through the water service, and analyses approximately 176 water quality parameters a day.

Proximity to the area translates into the quality of the services provided, with about 60% of the gas network inspected in the province of Vercelli, based on orders issued in the province since 2016 (when it became part of the Group) for € 11.6 million. Iren has supported environmental, cultural, social and sporting projects in the province of Vercelli for € 80,000 in 2019 and over € 300,000 over the last 4 years.

Since 2016, Iren has hired 46 people from the province of Vercelli, where there were 239 employees at the end of 2019.

Over the last two years, 1,000 students and 12 schools in the province were involved in sustainability education initiatives.