Methodological note

A Sustainability Report describes the economic, social and environmental performances of the Group, with the purpose of providing, as far as possible, the most clear, complete and integrated information to the stakeholders. The reporting herein refers to the year 2013 and is Acea’s sixteenth annual edition.

Sustainability Report, after the formal approval of the Board of Directors, is published simultaneously to the Annual Financial Statements and presented during the Shareholders’ Annual General Meeting1.


Acea has followed the reporting principles and performance indicators provided by the GRI-G3.12 Guidelines completed by the indicators of the Electric Utility Sector Supplement.

Furthermore the Environmental Report analyses more than 260 items representing the fluxes generated by the Group operations: production outcomes, factors employed (resources) and external output (waste and emissions).

Since 2007 Acea participates in the Global Compact (GC) initiative, recognizing coherence among the ten principles supported by the United Nations with the “Global Pact” and the ethical conduct defined in the Group Code of Ethics. The Communication on Progress (CoP) is integrated in the sustainability report through connections between GRI Indicators and Global Compact principles, by virtue of the understanding between the two organizations.


The Sustainability Report contents, whose main purpose is to provide clear and balance information in order to respond to the different stakeholders, are pointed out on the basis of GRI-G3.1 Guidelines, conveniently applied to the company operational context. In drafting the report the company’s legal nature, listed in the stock exchange, the relationship among the holding company and its sister companies, the operational sectors (energy, water and environment), the utility mission, the country - Italy – in which its main activities are carried out and the types of stakeholders Acea deals with, have been taken into account.

For a more efficient application of the materiality principle, provided by GRI guidelines3, the 2011 report4 has been reviewed and updated according to priorities to be reported in 2013. Therefore a phase of interviews of management has begun, and will continue into 2014, external and internal sources5have been analysed in order to gather relevant and pertinent information aimed at mapping the core topics within the economic, social and environmental fields. Consequent to such activity, an updated framework has been drafted outlining only those topics whose assessment was considered of high and medium relevance – see table n. 1.

The new schedule, starting from 2011, has been implemented for the highest governance bodies and made official by the CSR Developing Lines and reporting adopted in November 2011 from the Ethical Committee of Acea SpA.

2 The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), was founded in England in 1997 by the Coalition of Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES), and became independent in 2002, as the official collaborating organization of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and operates within the project Global Compact. The GRI-G3.1 Guidelines (2011 edition), available on the website, define the reporting principles of sustainability reports and the economic, social and environmental indicators to issue. The Electric Utility Sector Supplement (2009 edition), providing specific sector indicators, is also available on GRI website. In 2013 a new and more challenging edition of the guidelines has been released: G4. Companies should align to G4 guidelines within 2015.

3 Before entering into force of the new GRI- G4 guidelines, released in 2013, which provide more relevant changes in the assessment process of sustainability-related issues.

4 In 2011 an external assurance provider was entrusted with identifying, mapping and prioritizing within the economic, social and environmental areas, the most relevant elements to be included in the report, carrying out an analysis of internal factors (documents and interviews) and external factors (focus group with external stakeholder) compared to a specified benchmark.

5 Particularly, some internal documents (Acea risk analysis 2013, Regulatory Monthly Report) and external documents (GRI – Sustainability Topics for Sector: what do stakeholders want to know?, Agenzia dei servizi pubblici Locali di Roma - 2013 Report) have been analysed, completed by a Summary of daily monitoring of press release and by the aforesaid interviews to management.



Acea takes into due account the outcomes of the analysis on the relevant factors according to the priorities defined by the company’s strategic decisions and the Guidelines adopted for reporting.

The 2013 Sustainability Report meets the standard elements and core and additional performance indicators provided by the GRI-G3.1 Guidelines and the Sector Supplement with the highest application level (A+), meaning that not only all indicators have been covered but the document has been reviewed by an external assurance provider with undisputed competence in both the subject matter and assurance practices (see table n. 2).

The report also provides further information on the Corporate Group operations, in addition to those requested by the Guidelines, in accordance with the materiality principle and the company features.


Application level

The 2013 Sustainability Report is divided in three sections: The corporate identity, The socio-economic relationships with the stakeholders and Environmental Issues, completed by the Environmental Report (see chart n. 1). The report is disclosed through the official publication on the company website - – and the company’s intranet; in addition, it is copied on a pen drive and sent to a selected mailing list (about 750 recipients) and during events.


Bilancio di sostenibilità

The Corporate Identity

The socio-economic relationship with the stakeholders

Enivronmental Issues

Bilancio ambientale

Environmental Report


The area the reporting refers to – “Report Boundary” – is defined in accordance with the size of the Corporate Group (see also paragraph “Corporate Group Profile”) without neglecting information or significant data.

The widest boundary taken into account relates to economic information, referring to Acea SpA and other companies included in the consolidation, as defined in the 2013 Consolidated Financial Statements6. Every change of the boundary, according to the real availability of data – linked to their progressive centralized management and their relevance - is outlined in the text7.

Operations fulfilled by the holding company and the main operative companies in the water, energy and environmental supply chains, from which the most important economic, social and environmental performances derive, have been regularly reported, in order to assure a constant comparability over the time.


“Acea Group”, “Acea”: means all companies included in the consolidation, as well as Acea SpA.
“Acea SpA”, the terms “parent company” and “holding company” have the same meaning.
The main companies included in the report boundary, in addition to Acea SpA, are: Acea Distribuzione, Acea Reti e Servizi Energetici, Acea Energia holding, Acea Energia and Acea Produzione; A.R.I.A. (in which EALL, Terni En.A, Enercombustibili and Ergo Ena are merged via incorporation), Aquaser, Acea Ato 2, Acea Ato 5, LaboratoRI, Acque, Gori, Acquedotto del Fiora, Publiacqua, Umbra Acque, Acea8cento.
Whether further companies not belonging to such lists are included in the report boundary, it is specified in the document.


Data and information published in the sustainability report are provided by the responsible Functions (data-owner); they are further integrated and specified through in-depth analysis during meetings among the internal teamwork, entrusted with the drawing of the document, the Industrial Areas and the Functions directly involved, until their final approval. If necessary, data are elaborated and classified again according to the guidelines adopted.

Before being edited, the report is reviewed by an independent assurance provider, free from any kind of bounding and common interests with Acea, whose main task is to assess the adequacy of reporting methodologies, analyse the contents, in all parts including the Environmental Report, assess the correspondence with the Guidelines of reference (GRI-G3.1 and Sector Supplement) and release an overall final judgment about its clarity, completeness and transparency (see Opinion Letter of Assurance Provider).

6 Available on the website, section stakeholders

7 in some cases, the reporting boundary of section The social and economic relationship with the stakeholders and Environmental Issues, does not correspond to the consolidation area, even if it refers to the main companies of the Corporate Group. Such disparities occur because not all data are gathered and handled at the centralized level (i.e. for Personnel and Suppliers). Variations on the boundary are always specified in the text, in the boxes called Reference Boundary.


Quantitative, social and environmental data have been obtained:

  • Where possible through direct measurement of the items linked to the reporting-related issues;
  • In other cases, through calculation or estimate of the item values using the best available information.

All data related to the environment can be found in the explanatory notes to the Environmental Report, where it is specified if they derive from calculation, measurement or estimation.


On the website up-to-date information on the Group is available:

  • in the section “Rules and Values” documents and information about Corporate Governance, the Ethics Committee and the document related to the Group Code of Ethics (2012 edition) are available;
  • in the section “Shareholders” economic and financial statements, press releases, presentations, etc. are also available. Furthermore on the webpage “Highlight” it is possible, through an interactive display, to check charts containing the main economic and financial data of the most recent years, to compare charts with those of main domestic competitors. Access to a portal allows the consultation of the Consolidated Financial Statements (Italian and English version);
  • in the section “Sustainability” data and information on the Group performance, data on different stakeholders, a section in pdf with miscellaneous information in addition to the whole 2013 Sustainability Report and previous editions, are available too; an interactive Italian and English version of the report can also be found;
  • in the section “Quality and Safety” information on such topics are available;
  • in the section “Suppliers” information on the regulations in force, Qualification Systems and online tenders are available;
  • the section “Customers” provides information and access to websites of service provider companies;
  • the section “Communication” is dedicated to press releases and the most relevant news, information on advertising Campaigns and main events realised thanks to Acea’s contribution.

For any further information, please contact the following email address:

Claudio Puliti
CSR and sustainability Unit
Claudio Puliti 

Ranieri Mamalchi
Institutional Affairs Functions
Ranieri Malmachi