We launched and have since consolidated over time a process called materiality analysis, aimed at identifying material topics for sustainability, namely those issues that reflect the actual and potential, positive and negative, short- and long-term impacts that the company has on the economy, the environment, and people, including their human rights, and that substantially influence stakeholder assessments and decision-making.
In 2020, through an in-house analysis and a market benchmark, we updated the most significant sustainability topics and, through a special online survey, the Sustainability survey, we analysed both perception of the topics from the Company’s perspective (Top Management and Board of Directors) and perception from the stakeholders’ perspective by involving more than 7,000 people from amongst employees, customers, suppliers and partners, the financial community and other stakeholders.
Joint consideration of internal and external significance led to the identification of 15 material topics.
In 2022 the analysis of the organisation's internal documentation and context has been reframed accordingly, together with a new market benchmark.
Based on this analysis, the strategic guidelines of the new Business Plan the 15 material topics were prioritised. In particular, 7 strategic topics were identified. Six of the seven topics deemed strategic are those that scored high in the Sustainability survey and were confirmed by the Top Management as priorities. Although the topic of Diversity and equal opportunity did not receive a high score in the survey, it was considered of utmost importance by the Top Management and the Board of Directors, and was thus included among the strategic topics.
Based on the results of the analysis, we defined the Group’s commitments, the objectives of the Sustainability Plan and the reporting of the Sustainability Report.
The materiality matrix is reviewed annually in accordance with the Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and approved by the Board of Directors of Fincantieri S.p.A.
DESCRIPTION OF MATERIAL IMPACTS AND TOPICS
7 STRATEGIC TOPICS
Health and safety in the workplace
Safety at work, the health of workers, and the care and improvement of working environments are essential conditions for any work activity. We are committed to promoting a generalized change of culture in relation to health and safety, and we invest in initiatives to prevent the negative effects of poor management of this area. In order to minimise accidents and safeguard our employees and third parties involved in company activities, we are committed to adopting new practices, innovative technologies and advanced management systems, such as ISO 45001 certification. The central elements are training and information for personnel, raising individual awareness and widespread involvement, including that of our suppliers. The trend of accident data and indices constantly monitored both at Group level and for each individual site show the positive effects of our efforts, which also affect production efficiency and cost reduction.
Development and safeguarding of human resources
People are the Group’s most important asset and we are constantly committed to protecting, developing and enhancing them. To avoid the negative impacts of events such as resignations, dismissals, employment disputes or complaints, we invest constantly in individual growth, through constant collaboration and cooperation in an inclusive and international context that encourages the exchange of ideas, comparison of opinions and experiences and the development of multidisciplinary skills. Investment in staff training and development is of strategic importance to guarantee constant growth in skills and know-how, at all levels. The enrichment of the company's human capital and intellectual know-how can thus become a strategic lever for innovation and business competitiveness. The evaluation processes are structured so as to enhance the value of each individual resource by promoting professional growth in line with their expectations, ambitions and potential. Industrial relations are based on a participative model which values and enhances the role of trade unions and workers, also through the establishment of appropriate joint committees. The Group defines and applies a remuneration and incentive policy aimed at achieving the Company’s strategic priorities, including sustainability, and at motivating and retaining its resources. Proper management of this issue makes it possible to retain and attract talent, increase people's job satisfaction and enhance the Company’s reputation at the same time.
Environmental impact of products and services
In developing its business model, the Group is inspired by good practice in terms of the circular economy and operates using a life cycle approach. The aim is to minimize the environmental and social impact of a product or service over its life cycle, evolving from a model that identifies the impact on the environment and society solely in production activities, and extending the analysis to all the links in the value chain and therefore to any negative external impacts. To achieve these goals, the Group constantly invests in new Research&Innovation (R&I) projects and promotes the most innovative technologies with its customers. Scouting for innovative solutions, monitoring and implementation of developments in green technologies on the market offer the opportunity to develop products with innovative technologies with reduced environmental impact, anticipating customer and regulatory requirements, while confirming Fincantieri's leadership position in an expanding market.
The Group manages the risks related to climate change, constantly researching new methods to improve its practices and minimize the impact of emissions resulting from its industrial activities.
Strengthening the capacity to respond to extreme events can result in improved capacity to meet customer requirements and demands, minimizing the effects of extreme events on the Group’s production processes. In order to mitigate our impacts, promote the energy transition and contribute to a low-carbon economy, we are active in various projects on issues associated with climate risks, also in cooperation with research institutes/universities. The Group's willingness and interest in cooperating with different bodies to explore climate change issues contributes to knowledge production, public debate and information sharing. These results may give rise to new insights for the scientific community or new models of intervention for the private sector. We are also committed to reporting on our risks and opportunities linked to climate change, as well as our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data, settingourselves increasingly ambitious reduction targets.
Sustainable supply chain
A significant portion of the overall value of each ship depends on materials, parts, components and turnkey systems supplied by third parties, therefore the extent to which suppliers contribute to the overall value of the project is crucial. The Group is committed to reducing any negative impact by actively managing its make-or-buy procurement, also through rigorous qualification processes. The aim is to promote the principles of sustainability, also within its own supply chain, by raising supplier awareness of human rights, environmental and social issues.
Adopting an integrated production model facilitates the dissemination of good practices across the production ecosystem. Responsible supply chain management is of strategic importance to us to ensure the high quality of our products and services, increase customer satisfaction and help safeguard or enhance our reputation.
Innovation, research and development
Technological excellence is a key element of the Group’s entrepreneurial approach: product, service or process innovation allows it to maintain and strengthen its competitiveness and leading position in complex, high impact markets. The Group is constantly researching new technologies to prevent or reduce any negative impacts of its products. We also use digitalization and artificial intelligence to evolve towards an innovative industry, capable of developing more efficient and sustainable solutions.
Anticipating regulatory requirements, as well as customer and competitor expectations allows the Group to keep its reputation high, boost customer loyalty and retain its position as a market leader.
Diversity and equal opportunity
For Fincantieri, diversity is a strategic element for the company competitive advantage and the development of its people. The Group is committed to avoiding any negative impact from possible discrimination by constantly striving to respect the dignity of each individual and to offer equal opportunities to all current and future employees, rejecting any form of inequality. Diversity is recognized, at all levels, as a value to be cultivated in the organization in order to encourage the exchange ofexperiences and to enable the company to seize the transformations and changes currently taking place, developing an increasingly open corporate culture.
8 MATERIAL TOPICS
Governance and business integrity
Business integrity is the capacity to develop the business fairly and transparently and is a key factor characterizing the identity of the Group and an important element in its reputation and corporate image as well as one of the five values guiding the Group’s conduct. Responsible governance ensures fair and transparent conditions in the conduct of business affairs and the related company activities and is an essential element in the development of economically sustainable business activities that avoid the negative impacts that can result from an unsustainable business. The Group also adopts preventive measures and policies aimed at combating active and passive corruption and encourages the dissemination of a culture of legality, in order to avoid generating negative impacts which might harm its business.
Product quality and safety
Product/service quality and safety are at the heart of every strategic and organizational decision. Excellent levels of quality are in the DNA of the Group: the complexity of its business requires high standards in terms of quality and compliance with technical regulations and standards at each stage of the production process in order to ensure the maximum product safety and to avoid any possible accident on the ship.
Responsibility for ensuring quality is widespread and shared. The Group operates through a rigorous system of measures in all areas of the value chain aimed at eliminating risks and impacts associated with the product and/or service used by the client or end users. High standards of product excellence guarantee high customer satisfaction and ensure customer loyalty.
Customer satisfaction is the core of the Group’s interest and it is pursued by constantly involving the customer at the execution stage, in the continuous monitoring of quality and through the offer of innovative products. The Group's objective is to create relationships with customers based on trust, by activating channels to listen to their needs and expectations, in order to avoid generating possible negative impacts from any dissatisfaction. Listening to and gathering information from the market constitutes a useful communication channel to intercept emerging trends or hidden customer needs.
The Group is strongly committed to ensuring that each employee can express their potential by enhancing skills and competencies and promoting a growth path that guarantees recognition of merit and respect for equal opportunities, with the aim of safeguarding the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of the United Nations (UN) and avoiding any form of negative impact arising from the mismanagement of this area. Furthermore, the Group has always paid the utmost attention to ensuring human rights are protected in the supply chain.
Environmental protection is at the centre of the activities of the Group, which, in carrying out its activities, is committed to making the principles of environmental sustainability its own, both in its strategic choices and in its business processes. Therefore, investments are aimed at improving energy efficiency and minimizing its environmental impact by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants and managing water resources and the disposal of waste and waste water correctly. It is also important for us to safeguard the natural value and biodiversity of the territories affected by the activities of our shipyards. To protect these places, specific and special precautions are put in place in accordance with local legislation.
To manage the most significant environmental aspects and prevent our business having a negative environmental impact that may lead to accidents, complaints and fines, we are committed to implementing and maintaining an Environmental Management System at our sites, with certification according to the international standard ISO 14001
The focus on cyber security has gradually intensified in response to the ever-increasing complexity and frequency of cyber attacks carried out against companies with national and international strategic importance, making it necessary to constantly adapt the corporate defences and processes for safeguarding IT assets.
Protecting the integrity and confidentiality of data and information has become a pillar of the corporate digital strategy. The Group guarantees the protection of computer systems and data by avoiding the risks and impacts associated with network breaches and corruption of sensitive data or processes, using prevention, detection and measures against potential cyber attacks that could seriously harm the business and the reputation of the Group.
This is a tool which permits efficient management of resources which is innovative compared to the traditional pay and incentive mechanisms. The ultimate aim is to meet the specific needs of employees, improving the balance between work and personal needs, promoting the wellbeing of employees and their families and reducing the risk and impact arising from personnel expressing their dissatisfaction.
Local communities and relations with the local area
Local development is directly linked both with business activities and with the ability to systematically involve local players, showing awareness of the positive impact on the community and eliminating any negative impacts caused above all by production activity which may generate complaints and claims. In terms of business activities, networks of small and medium enterprises (SME), highly specialized in various macro sectors, are engaged. In addition, initiatives supporting the development of local communities are stimulated and encouraged through employment and a synergic network of collaborations with the aim of creating shared value.