The innovation is the main driver of the Italgas development strategy. The Company’s capacity to consolidate its leadership position in Italy and Europe involves its technological innovation, assuring it is confirmed as cutting-edge in the gas distribution segment.
The 2021-2027 Strategic Plan has recorded an increase in investments, mainly driven by digitisation. With the aim of completing the digital transformation of assets and making Italgas to all intents and purposes a leader in the energy transition, the Group has allocated more than € 1.4 billion (+32% on the previous Plan) to the digitisation of the networks; a plan in line with the European decarbonisation objectives and the development of renewable gases such as biomethane, synthetic methane and green hydrogen.
The partnership signed in July 2020 continues between Italgas and the Polytechnic University of Turin, initiated with the aim of developing joint research, innovation and training activities in support of the energy transition, sustainable mobility and the circular economy. The collaboration includes research projects on general themes – such as digital innovation, the optimisation of energy consumption, improvement of network efficiency and recovery of resources – to more specific actions. These actions will be aimed at developing innovative technologies for feeding renewable gases into existing networks, developing “power to gas” systems to recover surplus energy production, and creating an advanced gas smart meter especially for “smart” networks. The Polytechnic and Italgas will also be working on several educational fronts, with joint projects aimed at developing university Master’s courses, courses for recent graduates, events and dissemination activities through national and international networks. Italgas has also provided professors and researchers with the spaces and expertise of its Digital Factory, the driving force behind the digital transformation of the company.
Italgas has launched a programme under the scope of open innovation: with the aim of selecting the very best national and international start-ups and SMEs in support of the transformation and sustainability of the gas distribution networks, the call has been created “Ideas4Italgas: Gas grid of the future.” Specifically, the selection regards contexts developing products and services with innovative, sustainable, original business models in line with Italgas’ strategy, such as the management and monitoring of the network infrastructure, improving energy efficiency and supporting the energy transition. The start-ups that are approved by the innovation committee access the co-design phase with the aim of defining a proof-of-concept (POC) for the validation of strategic partnerships.
The pandemic has shown the importance of digital infrastructures in mitigating the impacts of phenomena taking place in the physical world. This widespread awareness has speeded up the average rate of digital maturity in the population and presents new challenges to all businesses, from the working models to the innovation of production processes.
In addition to all this, there is the need to speed up the ecological transition and prepare the network for the challenges to come, which call for a greater drive on the digitisation of assets and processes, as well as of people’s skills and the world of employment. The opportunities offered up in this sense by artificial intelligence, the advanced analysis of data and latest generation telecommunications networks must be exploited to the full and on a large scale, with a renewed, closer attention paid to cybersecurity and the control and management of risks and compliance with current regulations and guidelines.
The optimal trade-off of innovative drive and safety, resilience and sustainability of solutions is therefore the aim of Italgas’ digital transformation, which in 2021 took another important step forward in terms of evolution of the business capability and way of working.
In this context, the Digital Factory, operative since 2018, has continued to work, effectively adapting the agile model to suit the hybrid on-site and on-line working methods imposed by the pandemic.
In addition to the innovative solutions already released in 2020, such as WorkOnSite – which uses artificial intelligence to verify the conformity of sites and progress made on works from a remote position – or ShareView – smart-glass thanks to which an expert can offer remote support to colleagues a long way away – the Digital Factory has intensified the work of the rooms, giving rise to various innovations that have allowed Italgas to further improve its everyday operations. These include the main projects that regarded predictive maintenance of smart meters and odorisation stations and the improvement of commercial, staff management and supplier relations processes.
Italgas’ digital transformation has continued to effectively support the achievement of the Group sustainability targets, thanks to the numerous initiatives aimed at optimising the digital solutions and the use of the cloud resources needed, redesigning processes taking a paperless approach and contributing to the ecological transition through all projects striving to achieve complete network digitisation.
Although the neutralisation of the carbon footprint remains the main digital sustainability objective, for Italgas, creation of effective re-skill and up-skill plans, aiming to assist people as they seek to evolve the way of working and acquire new skills, is an equally important aspect and specific projects have been dedicated to this objective. All this has made the digital transformation implemented sustainable and ethical, in respect of people and hinged on the continuous improvement of their skills, key to guaranteeing the maximum extraction of value from the digital innovations introduced.
The birth of Bludigit – the Group’s digital innovation hub – has guaranteed a further boost on the execution of the digital transformation initiatives, strengthening the drive towards the convergence of architectures and solutions; the possibility of Italgas Reti, Toscana Energia and Medea benefiting from much of the digital innovations released by the Digital Factory and other sites started – for example the Customer Experience Evolution, Digital Estimation and New Billing System – is a first concrete example.
Bludigit has implemented an evolved, more mature business engagement and performance and investment control model, which will guarantee the possibility of further scaling-up the future digital transformation plan and the value it will bring to the business.
offers Italgas companies and the market digital solutions to enable the sustainable corporate transformation of assets, processes and people’s skills.
Center of Excellence for
(Operation Technologies, IoT, Big Data, analytics, Cybersecurity…)
In 2021, with the aim of optimising the systems and increasing efficiency of the public cloud, the “ON-OFF” model was adopted, which makes it possible to increase the hours of server “downtime”, when systems are off and not consuming resources, thereby minimising the environmental impact.
To stress the importance of combining sustainability and digital transformation, in addition to the usual prioritisation of initiatives to be included in the Italgas 2022 digital project portfolio, a score has been introduced, able to take the degree of support of the specific initiative to one or more United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs): an important step forward the once again puts sustainability at the heart of strategic choices relative to investments in digital and in new enabling technologies.
Bludigit ha dunque messo in atto un modello evoluto e più maturo di business engagement e controllo delle performance e degli investimenti, accentuando il focus su innovazione e sostenibilità, che garantirà la possibilità di effettuare un ulteriore evoluzione del piano di trasformazione digitale futuro e del valore che lo stesso porterà al business.
The initiatives to which a positive impact has been recognised in terms of digital sustainability come under one of the following four macro categories:
Bludigit has therefore implemented an evolved, more mature business engagement and performance and investment control model, increasing the focus on innovation and sustainability, which will guarantee the possibility of further evolution the future digital transformation plan and the value it will bring to the business.
Italgas makes the security of the service provided to its end customers the cornerstone of its business and mission.
Attention paid to security starts with the careful choice of traces established for its infrastructures in the design stage; it then continues with the use of increasingly innovative site-suitable materials and develops with the construction of the networks in respect of reference legislation; finally it consolidates through specific plans for the running and maintenance of networks that can keep expected quality and performance unchanged over time, along the lines of continuous improvement of performance and technology.
In order to improve the quality and security performance of the service, as well as to increase the efficiency of the distribution system, Italgas continues to invest very significantly in the digitisation of its network and process infrastructures, with unique technology and artificial intelligence.
The digital transformation activities regard, for example:
For leak detection, in 2018, Italgas introduced and now makes extensive use of CRDS (Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy) technology – designed and finalised by the US company Picarro Inc. This is a sophisticated sensing technology that, as compared with traditional technologies, offers important advantages in terms of the speed of conduct and extent of areas under control; indeed, it can:
This makes Italgas one of the first, very few, gas distributors in Italy to carry out scheduled gas leakage detection, also extended to all the underground and overhead connections, albeit this activity is not prescribed by current legislation and regulations. Right from the first applications, the technology – now fully part of the management of the distribution network – has made it possible to control approximately triple the network envisaged by the minimum standards laid down by ARERA.
This technology, coupled with the subsequent localisation and elimination of leaks, put Italgas in a cutting-edge position, also in terms of the work it does to limit leaks, a topic to which the European Commission pays close attention.
With the proper start-up of the land-based network monitoring system using CRDS technology, Italgas has also applied the system in different, very specific urban contexts, like Venice, where the natural gas distribution network has no equals worldwide, due to the undersea pipes, clamped to the arches of the bridges or below the pedestrian crossings. The network monitoring in the lagoon is thus carried out using a boat equipped in a similar manner to the cars and that applies and benefits from the same specifications.
In order to carry out a systematic real time control of the various operative phases making up the development of a network or a simple user connection, Italgas has designed and finalised, thanks to its Digital Factory, the innovative digital application called WorkOnSite, which, supported by artificial intelligence systems, makes it possible to:
Italgas has made WorkOnSite available to all contractors.
Thanks to new digital technologies, Italgas Reti is continuing to pursue the digitisation and remote supervision of network infrastructures and systems, thanks to the installation of suitable sensors and actuators, directly connected to RTUs (Remote Terminal Units) for two-way communication between the field and the control and command centre. 2021 saw the launch of a project to implement a new instrument in the application map, which can make the most of the digitisation and remote supervision project. This instrument, which is called “DANA” (Digital Advanced Network Automation) has an in-built GIS (Geographical Information System) and a SCADA type supervision system, which benefits from the support of dedicated HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces), precisely with the aim of managing and controlling the network as a whole.
The new natural gas distribution networks have already been equipped for some years with multi-ducts and related accessories prepared for the insertion of optic fibre cables for the mass transmission of data recorded by the Digital Reduction Units, by the network and smart meters installed at the re-delivery points to users and by the sensors installed at the terminal points of the network. The multi-ducts are positioned at the same time as the pipes are installed and within the same excavation. The new distribution networks are also equipped with Rfid markers, again positioned inside the excavation at an average step of 1 every 50 metres, which allow for the traceability and localisation of the pipes directly from the road level without any need for invasive interventions in the subsoil and consequent interference with traffic.
In 2021 gas odorisation activities continued, odorisation being crucial for distribution safety because it enables the detection of gas, which would otherwise be odourless and colourless, in the case of accidental leakage.
Within the Italgas Reti Asti Device and Material Testing Laboratories (LABs), centre of technological excellence that can operate according to the standard ISO 17025 for the tests and calibrations indicated on the accreditation certificates on the Accredia website, test and calibration methods are developed and updated in connection with innovative systems and products for each individual production process and the various specialised activities connected with gas distribution are monitored. In 2021, activities continued in relation to instrumental tests on gas odorisation, rhino-analytical tests (sensorial, on gas odorisation), the calibration of gas meters and other instrumentation supporting gas distribution activities, as well as mechanical tests on network materials. In 2021, the Laboratory has carried out a total of 26,107 activities, of which 11,765 tests accredited and 17 calibrations accredited. A detailed report on the LAB activities is included in the “Review of the Italgas Reti Laboratory management system for 2021”.
The possibility of improving performance in terms of technical and commercial quality also depends on the technological component made available to the customer.
In this respect, Italgas is committed to completing the replacement of traditional meters with new generation digital smart meters with new functions. See paragraph 4.3 “Operating performance” for further details.
In support of network safety, the plan has almost been completed for replacing the grey cast iron pipes with hemp and lead joints and mechanical joints; this will not only increase the safety levels but also help reduce gas leakages into the atmosphere: there are now only 1.7 km left of grey cast iron with hemp and lead joints located in Rome, concentrated below Via Casilina, an important metropolitan road. Completion of the replacement is expected for 2022.
Increasing attention to sustainability topics and the need to measure, manage and mitigate ESG risks drive Italgas more and more to promote and encourage responsible business not only for the Group, but also for its suppliers.
To become part of the Group supply chain, it is necessary to examine and accept the principles of the Group’s Code of Ethics, as well as the Code of Ethics of the Italgas Suppliers and the Ethics and Integrity Agreement, in compliance with the Organisational Model 231.
Important criteria must be met by suppliers in terms of human rights and work by accepting the Italgas Policy on Human Rights, health and safety, environmental protection and the ethical and responsible management of the business.
As, moreover, the suppliers involved in the Italgas Group processes also play an important active role in managing Cybersecurity and Data Protection risks, to promote and guarantee the protection of information assets and mitigate cyber threats and risks, they formally undertake to comply with the general principles, by signing the “Cybersecurity Awareness for third parties” disclosure. For a correct management of personal data, finally, the Group guarantees the regulatory requirements and the protection of data subject rights through a specific contract regulating mutual relations in connection with personal data processing, following which if any non-conformities should be reported, various measures can be taken.
For Italgas, sustainable supply chain management is of strategic importance to ensure that its services are of high quality and helps protect and increase its reputation. In 2021, the Italgas Vendor List numbered 1,935 qualified suppliers, an increasing trend (+17%) following the new acquisitions and benefits of the Relaunch Decree.
In terms of economic value, in 2021, Italgas commissioned Contracts and Orders worth € 1,432 million, of euro46 which approximately 8 million (1%) for contracts in other European and non-European countries, showing an increasing trend of 35% on 2020.
46 The value has grown on 2020, in line with the Group’s business plans.
All Italgas Group suppliers must accept and support the principles of the Code of Ethics and of the Ethics and Integrity Agreement, starting with respect for and protection of human rights, occupational health and safety, the environment and sustainability, as well as compliance with the law. To make sure that all suppliers respect precise standards, the Group uses different tools in the different phases of procurement.
To ensure the integrity and solidity of the supply chain and to maintain the expected quality and efficiency standards, the Italgas Group uses a series of instruments, such as: supplier qualification and appraisal processes, inspections and audits and performance monitoring during the execution of contracts.
In the strategic purchasing planning phase, procurement plans are defined that identify the future requirements and determine any strategic interventions necessary to ensure a service with high added value, in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness.
After the strategic planning phase and when there are real purchasing requirements, by activating the relative tender process, Italgas defines the best assignment methods in compliance with the procedures and current legislation. The tender process ends with the awarding and signing of the contract. 2021 was characterised by the introduction of a new tender strategy based on the award of Framework Agreements, which aim to pool together multiple needs for the Group companies. This has made it possible to guarantee scale economies and, at the same time, supply a more flexible, effective tool, having multiple suppliers available, who are already identified insofar as they have been assigned Framework Agreements, which can be immediately available (following competitive comparisons) to supply a given need (Services/Works/Assets) that is not planned and/or may arise, thereby optimising availability times of application contracts able to satisfy the specific demand.
The Italgas Group undertakes to make sure that the agreements contracted by suppliers are fulfilled effectively and completely, constantly verifying the execution of contracts and guaranteeing a correct management of the interface with suppliers. These activities are the responsibility of the subjects involved (Italgas Group companies and Supplier) and are carried out in compliance with the contractual provisions.
The Italgas Group undertakes to ensure the planning and management of all the activities linked to material procurement flows necessary for the development of the business plans and the management of logistics activities, including the operation of the warehouses.
The sustainability of the Supply Chain is monitored from the first phases of qualification and for the full duration of the process. To be qualified, our suppliers must pass various assessment phases, which, in particular, involve:
Since 2020, within the Digital Factory, an inter-departmental team is redesigning the whole of the purchasing process in an “agile” manner, with a view to digitising and optimising all phases making it up. The first phase has redefined and redesigned the Supplier section (also including it on the Italgas institutional website), adopting a new, latest generation platform called “IT4Buy”. The new Platform will allow for the transparent, traceable management, with full information provided, of all phases of the process: from supplier qualification and management through to strategic planning, including tender, contract and material stocks management. During the first phase, the use of the new platform also incorporated the update of the qualification process, which has three phases: Application, Registration and Qualification.
For each level of complexity, the minimum Quality, Environment, Health and Safety requirements must be satisfied, as well as the technical, economic-financial and Cybersecurity requirements.
Suppliers belonging to the product categories with the greatest complexities tend to be the suppliers that are strategic to the Group’s core business and, therefore, in addition to documentary checks, an on-site audit is essential.
Finally, for some specific categories of suppliers (Startups & innovative SMEs), the Group adopts a simplified qualification process which involves filling in a further slimmed-down questionnaire and accepting the Italgas Group essential conditions. In 2021, the innovative startups emerging form the Open Innovation Projects launched by the Group were qualified using the smart process.
Suppliers passing the qualification process become part of Italgas’ vendor list and may be selected and invited to carry out the tender procedures over time.
The most important activities that are considered as being above threshold pursuant to Italian Legislative Decree 50/2016 (Contracts Code) are managed through the publication of “Qualification systems” by the European Community, stating the minimum HSEQ, economic-financial and technical-organisational requirements needed by suppliers in order to be entered on the Italgas Vendor List.
The European qualification systems are published in the Official Journal. For other activities considered important in terms of turnover and technological complexity, Italgas has identified specific qualification requirements linked to the distinct characteristics of the Product Categories.
Although qualification lasts for 3 years for Medium and Strong level, and 5 years for Smart level, all suppliers are asked to be proactive in updating the documentation with any changes to their corporate structure, the achievement of additional certifications and any situations with a potential reputational impact. The Group reserves the right to constantly verify economic and financial stability and to carry out repeated, in-depth analyses in respect of reputational checks.
The qualification will only be renewed if the minimum requirements are confirmed. Any non-conformities found may entail the application of various measures.
The supplier assessment monitoring and management model was made official in 2019 through the definition of a series of supplier scores and took concrete form with the “Digital Supplier Journey” working party, which aimed to find innovative, digitised solutions by which to monitor the technical, organisational and management capacity, as well as the ethical, economic-financial reliability and adhesion to compliance aspects of Italgas Group suppliers.
More specifically, the following indicators and criteria are observed and monitored:
In addition, following information received from open sources, 1 supplier had a reputational alert extended and 1 supplier was assigned to reputational alert status. Both are currently awaiting definition of their position.
In addition to monitoring suppliers through the contract manager giving feedback, the Italgas Group constantly monitors activities in situ through audits at sites where the contractors work. The HSEQ Technical Audit facility continually conducts audits on aspects of quality, the environment, health and safety, as well as on the proper performance of works. In 2021, 687 audits were carried out on suppliers (68 audits carried out directly by HSE Technical Audit and 619 audits carried out by an external engineering firm contracted by the structure itself to perform site audits), of which 334 regarding site safety aspects;
In 2021, the “financial solidity index”, just like the “sustainability index” makes up the total supplier rating and if the rating is lower than the set threshold, the supplier cannot be admitted to the subsequent phases of the qualification process. The more complex cases are sent to specialised analysts for timely investigation and potentially discussed in the reputational check process.
In 2021, in collaboration with Bludigit, a digital room was launched with the aim of digitising and simplifying the entire procurement process.
The project is divided up into four phases:
1. Qualification – New supplier section in a public area and re-design of qualification;
2. Tender and contract management – New management of the sourcing process;
3. Execution – Catalogue purchases and work order management;
4. Logistics – Logistics processes and management of direct materials.
The first phase, which was completed in November, in addition to redesigning the qualification and identification process of a new platform (IT4BUY) also involved the creation of a new supplier section on the Italgas website (https://www.italgas. it/en/suppliers/). These new features allow for innovative, all-digitised management, making for greater traceability, the monitoring of information and a facility of browsing, also for those interfacing for the first time with the Italgas Group.
The Group adopts a structured procurement process in line with the principles of free competition, equal treatment and transparency, based on traceable information.
Procurement regarding the pursuit of activities linked to the core business of Italgas mainly include work tenders for the development and maintenance of the network and supplies of materials and services (meters of various calibres and services of various types). In all tenders, both those managed in the Contracts Code and otherwise, the Italgas group applies sustainability criteria.
In 2020, Italgas updated and consolidated its procedure for issuing purchase orders, setting out the procurement activities for all companies in the Group, based on the Contracts Code for contracts of a public nature and on the Italian Civil Code for contracts of a private nature. Access to tender procedures is guaranteed to all suitable companies according to the principle of equal opportunities and is regulated by the Contracts Code, Italian Legislative Decree no. 50/2016 for the “over threshold” tenders and the “below threshold regulation”.
To ensure transparency and access for all, Italgas prefers to manage procurement activities electronically using the Purchasing Portal. In 2021, the Purchasing Department conducted 98% of tenders on-line (similarly to the trend seen in 2020), for both public and invitation-only procedures.
Under the scope of the tender procedures, in addition to applying the requirements laid down by the Contracts Code (Italian Legislative Decree no. 50/2016) for a certain number of product categories, Italgas has also introduced, by way of rewarding criteria in assessing bids, the possession of requirements and certifications showing a clear attention to saving on resources and sustainable development.
These requirements concern environmental and circular economy aspects and reflect the Italgas philosophy of considering its supply chain as an integral part of the sustainability process.
In 2019, the tenders for network construction and maintenance were an example of this, for which more points were assigned to bids that envisage the use of means of transport fuelled by gas or electricity, or at least of Euro 5 vehicles (for works vehicles), in order to promote environmental sustainability and cut CO2 emissions.
In 2020, Italgas extended the rewarding criteria to the technical scoring of other tenders too, which envisage the use of company vehicles and cars where the supplier shows that it renews its fleet taking into account sustainability and in line with the CAMs (Minimum Environmental Criteria).
In 2021, Italgas developed and consolidated a scoring model that takes minimum sustainability requirements into account for all product categories, works and strategic services, including during the evaluation of bids. The new assessment criteria present in the offer model include: legality index (AGCM), injury rates (severity index and frequency index), direct and indirect CO2 emissions and sustainability report.
This model has also been introduced for small and medium enterprises, increasing their accessibility and participation through guided and responsible growth and taking into account the different sizes of the companies and the heterogeneous nature of their businesses.
The other criteria used in tenders as rewarding criteria include Italgas focussing particularly on: injury and legal rates (AGCM), which are in any case requested during the qualification phase. During tender processes, they are criteria that can ensure a better score depending on the levels certified.
The aim for 2022 is to add additional assessment criteria to bids with particular attention paid to indirect emissions (Scope 3) and waste management.
The Italgas Group always promotes new sustainable development activities along the entire supply chain. To this end, for 2021, we would point out the following projects:
In November 2021, the first Italgas Supplier Conference was held, an event dedicated to all Group suppliers that attended partly in person and for the most part streamed, on an online platform that allowed them to register, review the event and answer an exploratory survey to be able to plan dedicated training courses on the topics discussed.
Sustainability, change and digitisation were the main topics of the day, with a dedicated focus on:
The conference was an important opportunity to stress the close collaboration with all suppliers and the future objectives to be achieved together.
The digital innovations that will improve the whole supply chain process, were also presented:
Finally, as mentioned, at the close of the Seaside Project, during the event the two most virtuous suppliers were rewarded, which had stood out in terms of growth in sustainability and, in addition, all suppliers that in the 2 years 2019/2020 took part in the Seaside project, received a symbolic prize. More specifically, the prize, in collaboration with the start-up Biofarm, consisted of the remote adoption of a fruit orchard: in addition to helping protect the environment through the absorption of CO2 over the years, the adoption also allows for the fruit to be received, which comes from the orchard.
In 2021, the Group prepared various training courses involving a high number of suppliers.
As part of health and safety, 24 remote events were organised, involving various departments of the Group and with over 500 participants.
All participants were given a copy of the MAG (Gas Activity Manual), a handbook used to manage the activities of suppliers and subcontractors.
Between September and November 2021, suppliers also actively participated in the online course “La comunicazione nelle situazioni di emergenza” [Communication in emergencies], organised and administered in collaboration with the Group’s Press Office. The nine events were attended by 152 experts for a total of 72 suppliers (out of 158 suppliers involved, mostly network works and excavations).
In October 2021, an initial training module was also launched as part of the Anti-corruption policy.
During the Suppliers Convention, the “Partners HSE Lab” Project was also made official. This laboratory is where a series of initiatives take place that allow for further consolidation of the partnership with suppliers through targeted workshops and training courses, placing increasing focus on ESG topics (as well as environmental, health and safety, governance techniques).
The first workshop was launched on 15 December 2021, involving a select number of suppliers, on “La gestione della pandemia Covid-19 e i controlli Green Pass” [Management of the Covid-19 pandemic and Green Pass controls]. For 2022, a substantial calendar of events has been defined, which will involve a significant number of Italgas Group suppliers in various topics of their interest.
In 2020, Italgas launched the Contractor Insurance Project, through the use of a dedicated portal for Works activities. The digital online platform allows Contractors, using a specific agreement signed by the Italgas Group on the insurance market, to activate the insurance guarantees and to obtain the approval of the policy document and its immediate digital availability to said contractor within 4 hours.
The initiative was one of the first ones launched in 2020 as part of the digitisation process of Procurement and Supply Chain, using agile methods and tools; 2021 confirms the Italgas Group’s desire to adopt integrated solutions with the entire supply chain, allowing for reduced times, greater insurance coverage and an economic benefit for everyone, extending the release of Insurance Policies to other types of activity and to all Group Companies.
The Contractor Insurance Project involved numerous businesses (42 in 2020, 120 in 2021), which quickly and easily stipulated their policies with them. In 2021, 304 policies were issued, for a total of 90 contracts stipulated. (94 policies were stipulated in 2020).
In order to facilitate the classification of small and medium enterprises for the maintenance and construction of gas distribution networks and the maintenance of water networks, in 2020, Italgas published two new qualification systems. Both systems, one for the gas distribution networks and the other for water, aim to include the small and medium enterprises in the works segment on the Italgas vendor list and to spread values and principles for progressive progress towards aware production growth. It is in the Group’s interests to spread awareness of a responsible management model, taking into account the different sizes of the companies and the heterogeneous nature of their businesses.
In 2021, five new small and medium enterprises were qualified, which took part in tenders below threshold in accordance with Italian Legislative Decree no. 50/2016 (Tenders Code), joining the other six already qualified in 2020. Orders were assigned to seven suppliers, which are carrying out the activities and whose performance are being monitored, through the operational vendor rating.
The initiative makes it possible to increase accessibility and participation of the companies, eliminating entry barriers and expanding on the potential market, monitoring “guided” growth of small enterprises, which stand out in terms of performance, professionalism and quality of work.
During the first Italgas Supplier Conference in November 2021, one of the two companies awarded is an SME from Tuscany that stood out for its commitment and attention to sustainability issues.
Open Innovation is increasingly more strategic for the Italgas Group. As part of Procurement, a simpler qualification process (Smart Process) has been defined, thus generating a standardisation of the contracts used to cover the projects involving Innovative Start-ups. In this context, various channels were developed and tested to gather applications or to describe projects and tenders on specific topics. In 2021, Italgas’ procurement launched two projects: Call4Innovation to gather applications from potential suppliers through the use of LinkedIn: “NextGen – Call For Innovation Smart Meter”, a post to provide visibility and gather applications for the Italgas Reti new meter project and “Vuoi diventare Partner di Seaside?” [Do you want to become a Seaside partner?] – post to provide visibility and gather applications for the SuperBonus 110% project of Group Company Seaside. The two posts contained a link to the participation requirements and the project details. The Group’s Procurement believes that the channel used could also be an innovative tool to communicate other Projects happening in 2022 in order to provide wider diffusion and visibility.
2020 marked the birth of the Centralised Warehouse at the historical site of Rome Monte Mario, where – as part of the office renovation project – new life was injected into the available logistics spaces.
A project created using agile methods with the goal of optimising the Group’s stock management through the centralisation of material inventories, to improve the management of procurement of territorial depots, to launch the digitisation of logistics processes and to innovate operating procedures.
At the same time, the transmission process was reviewed and optimised, with the aim of improving the service operationally and in terms of sustainability, by selecting, via tender, a leading logistics operator in the sector. 2021 was the first year of operation of the project and in addition to the above, during the year the optimisation of the vehicle fleet was also consolidated for internal goods handling using green electric vehicles. The procurement method for centralised materials on the HUB was redefined using a computer tool built ad hoc.
Finally, our employees’ material picking process was digitised through the use of the new Gas2Go functionality, “Picking List”, which allows employees to digitally request that the technician of reference prepare the material required for the operating activities.
As Tier II suppliers are an integral part of the process, Italgas has extended the verification of the reputational requirements and from 2020, they have been qualified and included on the Group Vendor List. The activities include restoring the road and cathode protection, in addition to various suppliers of materials.
Attention to workplace safety, not only in its own activities but also along the entire supply chain, is increasingly a topic of fundamental importance for the Group.
Considering the significant use of external workforce by the Italgas Group (specifically Italgas Reti, Toscana Energia and Medea), and the major focus on the safety of the construction sites, the Group began to implement rigorous controls on the management of construction sites by making use of external companies, with a view to greater control and creating responsibility and awareness among the companies carrying out the activities.
The checks on subsuppliers involve, in particular:
The chapter “Accident prevention” sets out the main indicators relating to contractor health and safety.
The value of safety is part of the rigorous management of Italgas operations and allows the Group to spread and promote a proactive health and safety culture among its employees and throughout the entire supply chain. Sustainability principles guide the Group’s activities to protect the working environment, reduce impact and generate value in the territories where it operates.
In order to maintain a constant and high quality level, we require suppliers to have specific ISO Certifications. These confirm the creation, application and maintenance of a management and work organization system consistent with specific reference standards recognised internationally.
During the qualification phase and to participate in the tender procedure, we require the following certifications:
La loro obbligatorietà è un requisito delle classi merceologiche a elevata complessità, ma può rappresentare un requisito premiante per la qualifica e per la partecipazione a gara. I certificati dovranno essere rilasciati dall’organismo accreditato “Accredia” o equivalenti, in caso di Enti Certificatori esteri. Oltre alle certificazioni sopracitate, come criteri premianti nella partecipazione alle gare, chiediamo anche delle certificazioni ad oggi non obbligatorie, ma fondamentali per il Gruppo ai fini dell’impatto ambientale, sociale e di governance sull’intera catena di fornitura, quali:
L’obiettivo del Gruppo è di monitorare e sensibilizzare la catena di fornitura al fine di registrare miglioramento del possesso dei requisiti. Il Procurement del Gruppo ha posto come primo obiettivo una crescita del +5% a partire dal 2022 di fornitori con il possesso delle 4 certificazioni ISO, aggiuntive a quelle già richieste tra i requisiti minimi di qualifica.
The on-site audit procedure is required for strong level goods categories and is carried out during qualification and renewal phases. This category includes audits on the processes of the production sites of suppliers of goods and at the premises of works suppliers. For the on-site audit, Italgas makes use of a third party appointed and instructed to carry out the inspection at the supplier’s premises. In 2021, 15 third-party audits were planned and carried out.
Generally, the visit involves an inspection at the supplier’s premises and an analysis of the documentation found there, in order to verify the references and/or requirements declared while completing the qualification questionnaire.
At the end of the inspection a suitability report is drawn up. The final assessment is finalised with any areas of improvement and inclusion on the Italgas Vendor List.
In 2021, the Italgas Group, in addition to launching the supplier assessment process according to ESG criteria – Environmental, Social and Governance – also launched a “beauty contest” to define specific ESGs, with the objective of monitoring the supply chain during the qualification validity period. The objective of this latter activity is the definition of an ESG impact priority scale on the basis of which the cluster of suppliers that will be subject to ESG audits are identified.
In the Italgas strategy, ESG audits will make it possible to identify the best in class and also the suppliers for which appropriate action plans will be necessary in order to guarantee their growth in terms of sustainability.