Discover the Acea Group online 2020 Sustainability Report

Corporate identity

Acea is one of the main Italian multi-utility Companies operating in the areas of public energy (production, distribution, including public lighting, and sales), water (integrated cycle) and environmental services (waste and materials recovery, treatment and composting). Acea is the operator of reference in the Rome area for water and energy services; in the water sector, Acea is present as an industrial partner of local management Companies in some areas of Central and Southern Italy (from Tuscany to Campania).

The businesses of the main Acea companies in the territory

Main objectives of the 2020-2024 Business Plan

The 2020-2024 Sustainability Plan works on the governance and operational level, identifying 8 cross-cutting objectives, aimed at integrating sustainability into corporate governance and 5 macro operational objectives of the Group.

  • Water
  • Commercial
  • Generation
  • Environment
  • Engineering
  • Network


  • Development of a Smart Water Company for sustainable use of water by improving the quality and efficiency of the service.
  • Expansion through participation in new tenders in other territories.


  • installation of more than 500,000 smart water meters and districtisation of the network
  • virtuous path of water resource protection with reduction of losses
  • rationalisation of small treatment plants
  • optimisation of network performance through the Water Management System
  • securitisation of supply with work on the strategic Marcio and Peschiera aqueducts


  • Commercial growth in central and southern Italy, also supported by the elimination of greater protection and «digital» offers.
  • Development of a Services-Based Company to strengthen customer relations and enhance Acea Group brands.


  • reinforcement in the reference territories and growth in Central and Southern Italy
  • cross-selling and up-selling opportunities from full market liberalisation and a push for dual fuel offerings
  • commercial strategy focused on digital channels, including through a new customer management platform
  • developments of the segment and mobility with installation of columns and value-added services
  • energy efficiency services offer
  • "Smart Comp" installation with system managed remotely through an IoT platform developed by Acea
  • installation of residential photovoltaic and solar thermal systems


  • Growth of the PV portfolio to seize opportunities from the energy transition and decarbonisation process.


  • growth in generation from renewable sources to seize opportunities offered by the decarbonisation process, whether through the construction of new PV plants in industrial and agricultural areas and through M&A transactions


  • Consolidation of the market towards the circular economy including in a «one-stopshop» logic.
  • Accelerated closing of the waste cycle in Central Italy.


  • consolidation of "core business" in energy recovery (WtE) and disposal of unsorted waste and organic fraction
  • strengthening Waste to Material (WtM) supply chains in view of the circular economy (e.g. plastic, paper)
  • further development in the special waste sector, also in synergy with the Group's water (e.g. sludge) and WtE (e.g. ash) activities
  • development of industrial synergies


  • Development of a building oriented Company for turnkey management of construction and engineering activities.


  • focus on core engineering activities
  • construction of plants through the internalisation of construction activities in an EPC perspective
  • reducing construction time and strengthening laboratory activities
  • development of a research centre


  • Major player in the energy transition with enabling projects for increased electrification and integration of distributed generation.


  • investments for network resilience with interventions on specific substations
  • network digitisation through remote control and IoT solutions
  • network maintenance to improve service continuity
  • 2G smart meter installation
  • new Network Service Management Centre

2020-2024 Sustainability Plan

  • Governance level
  • Operational level

Corporate governance

The governance model adopted by Acea complies with the best practice recommendations of the Corporate Governance Code for listed Companies and with the principles of transparency, balance and separation between guidance, management and control activities.

The Acea SpA Board of Directors establishes the strategic guidelines of the Group and is responsible for corporate governance. Three Committees are established within the Board with proposal and consultation responsibilities

CONTROL AND RISKSAt least 3 indipendent Directors or, alternatively, non-executive Directors with an independent majority, from whom the Chairman is chosenIssues a prior opinion to the Board of Directors regarding the definition of the Guidelines for the Internal Control and Risk Management System for the Group Companies, including those relevant for medium-long term sustainability, so that they are correctly identified, measured, managed and monitored. Supports the assessments and decisions of the BoD on these issues. Assists the Board of Directors, together with the competent Function and having consulted with the independent auditor and Board of Statutory Auditors, in assessing the correct use of accounting standards adopted in order to draw up the consolidated non-financial Disclosure as per Legislative Decree 254/2016. For the matters within its remit, monitors the adequacy and effective implementation of the Code of Ethics.
APPOINTMENTS AND REMUNERATIONAt least 3 non-executive Directors with an independent majority, from whom the Chairman is chosenProvides opinions to the Board of Directors regarding its composition: size, adequacy of skills, compatibility of positions.
Proposes the remuneration policy for Directors and Executives to the Board of Directors, promoting medium-long term sustainability.
ETHICS AND SUSTAINABILITYAt least 3 non-executive Directors with an independent majority, from whom the Chairman is chosenIn a proactive and advisory manner, supports the Board of Directors in the context of corporate ethics and environmental, social and governance topics.
Promotes the integration of sustainability into the corporate strategy and culture.
Supervises the main sustainability issues related to business activities and interactions with stakeholders.
Examines the guidelines of the Sustainability Plan and, once approved by the Board of Directors, supervises its monitoring.
Checks the adequacy and implementation of the Code of Ethics.
Promotes a culture of diversity and fighting discrimination in the Company.

Our projects

Top Utility 2020 – Acea receives the Sustainability Award

As every year, the Top Utility prize dedicated to the best business cases in the public services sector was awarded in February. The initiative set up by the Althesys research centre, now in its eighth edition, was created with the intention of highlighting excellence among the 100 largest Companies involved in the gas, electricity, water and environmental management sectors, for their contribution to industrial economic development and the collective wellbeing of the country. Top Utility consists of several awards (Absolute, Sustainability, Communication, Research and Innovation, Consumers and Territory, Operational Performance and Diversity) and, in the 2020 edition, Acea was awarded the Sustainability prize “for achieving increasing performance in environmental sustainability and social responsibility, continuing to integrate sustainability into its business strategy”. Acea was also shortlisted for the Diversity and Research and Innovation categories.

Acea included in the leadership category of the Carbon Disclosure Project – CDP

CDP is an organisation that offers investors a system to measure climate change policies and performance. The initiative has been supported for more than ten years by a pool of international investors, 515 in 2020, with some USD 106 trillion in assets under management. During the year, around 9,600 Companies (8,000 in CDP 2019) worldwide were analysed with regard to their performance in relation to actions to combat climate change, highlighting best in class in the strategic and operational management of climate-related risks and impacts.
Acea's CDP 2020 scores A-, confirming our previous scoring in the Leadership category. The rating (D-/A scale) is based on the assessment of areas such as the presence of objectives and initiatives undertaken to reduce emissions, risk analysis and management, assessment of financial impacts due to climate change, reporting, etc. This positioning recognises Acea's constant and growing commitment to combating climate change through a business model that is increasingly sustainable and attentive to energy transition issues.

Leadership (A/A): Implementing current best practices
Management (B/B-): Taking coordinated action on climate change issues
Awareness (C/C-): Knowledge of impacts on, and of, climate change issues
D/D-: Diclosure = Transparent about climate change issues

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Integrated Governance iIndex 2020 and Acea positioning

The Integrated Governance Index (IGI) is an accredited analysis which expresses the positioning of Companies in relation to sustainability governance (or integrated governance). Developed by ETicaNews, the project reached its fifth edition in 2020. The questionnaire underlying the index is addressed to the top 100 Companies listed on the Italian Stock Exchange, to the Companies that publish a Non-Financial Disclosure pursuant to Legislative Decree no.254/2016, and to the top 50 non-listed and industrial Companies in the Mediobanca classification. The questionnaire consists of an ordinary area, divided into nine areas of analysis, and an extraordinary area, which varies each year, and explores challenging issues. In 2020, the Extraordinary Area looked at ESG digital governance. The topics examined by the Ordinary Area were: Code of corporate governance and sustainability; Diversity, professionalism, independence of the board; ESG integrated into remuneration; ESG integrated into business strategies; Board committees and sustainability; Purpose, Materiality and Stakeholders; Succession plans; ESG Finance; HR and Human Capital. Acea, in the fourth year of participation in the IGI survey, scored 64.6 (scale 0-100), recording a better position than previous surveys and ranking 15th out of 74 respondents. In particular, the areas where Acea performed best were compliance with the Corporate Governance Code, the composition of the Board of Directors in terms of diversity and skills, the Board Committees and Sustainability Committee and Human Resources.

Acea’s Biosafety Trust certification

Acea SpA decided to capitalise on the experience and the actions implemented to tackle the Covid-19 health emergency, demonstrating further commitment to its colleagues and the local region where it operates. The Company adopted the Biosafety Trust model and achieved new certification in order to promote good practices that help to reduce the risk of epidemics in the workplace to a minimum. Its requirements integrate perfectly with those of the management systems already activated, especially the occupational health and safety management system. The process undertaken led to the analysis of the main infections and their methods of transmission, before considering the probability and severity with which these infections might occur and which processes are most at risk. The Acea SpA management system, certified in October 2020, makes it possible to reduce the risk of contracting infections in the offices and Company workplaces even more drastically, generating the double benefit of increased trust from the Company population and the potential reduction in risks and related costs such as insurance.