The Management Systems integrated and certified according to the UNI EN ISO standards are implemented, or in the process of implementation in the majority by the company (see the chapter Corporate governance and management systems in Corporate Identity). The parent company itself has an Integrated Management System with Quality, Environment, Safety and Energy components that facilitates environmental compliance, and a Sustainability Policy and QASE System that guides the Group’s approach to respecting and protecting the environment, also in line with the principles set out in the Code of Ethics, renewed in 2018.
Each year the commitment of the operational companies to keep the system of management of environmental issues efficient is very high. Nonetheless, situations can occur – usually provoked by contingent circumstances – that generate non-conformities that may be questioned by the competent control bodies.
During the year, about 180 environmental disputes involving the main operating companies were recorded. In 2018 the amount paid for fines resulting from the outcome of this type of dispute was approximately € 140,000.
It should be noted that the Aprilia plant – placed under preventive seizure in 2017 by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Latina for aspects related to odorous emissions – despite the validity of the provisions of the Public Prosecutor’s Office was able to restart practically full operations in April, Acea having responded to the notices of compliance prescribed by the relevant authorities (Arpa, Lazio Region, NOE).
Environmental complaints from individual users are not systematically monitored, except indirectly. The majority of the Companies of the Group (such as for example Acea Ato 2, Acea Ato 5, Gesesa and the companies of the Environment Area), indeed, receive reports principally from the Control Bodies or other Relevant Bodies, to which individual citizens address themselves.
The Bodies, therefore, act autonomously with checks on site and, at times, they initiate proceedings and impose penalties, as mentioned above. Exceptionally, it may happen that the company receives significant reports from individual persons; in this case they will be checked and, where opportune, it will intervene to resolve them.
Furthermore, in the case of Areti, with respect to energy distribution, observations can be made regarding alleged environmental damage in the case of buildings housing electrical plants. However, this concerns installations indispensable for the correct exercise of the electricity distribution network, created by Areti following authorisations granted by Bodies which are custodians of the land and therefore fully compliant with the legislation of reference, including both town planning and environmental legislation106. The Assets Unit, which defends the company’s assets, receives the notes of dispute from the owners of the immoveable properties which host the power lines/transformer substations, and, subsequently, the Safety/Security Unit carries out the instrumental checks in response to the disputes. During 2018 4 environmental checks were processed and closed with a positive outcome (concerning electromagnetic fields and transformer substations).
 In this case, the environmental regulatory reference is D.P.C.M. of 8 July 2003.
THE MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF ACTIVITY WITH ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
The Group monitors the processes which have the potential capacity to generate environmental impacts and in particular the activities which necessitate the use, or envisage the presence in installations, of materials which are intrinsically dangerous, such as for example sulphur hexafluoride, radon and dielectric oil.
With regard to the latter, in particular, Areti continued its experimentation with vegetable oil in 2018. If fact, dielectric oil is a substance used as an insulating and cooling fluid in power transformers, which has advantageous technological
characteristics and also some environmental issues related to its chemical nature as a derivative of petroleum. The experiment, started a few years ago, is based on the use of an insulating liquid of vegetable origin (natural esters), which has electrical and physical characteristics similar to oil of a mineral origin, but the significant advantages of a higher temperature of flammability and a total biodegradability and reusability at the end of life.
The ongoing experiments, having the precautionary aim of maximising confidence with this new product by minimising any risks and/or defects connected with its use, concerns three MV/LV transformers designed and built for this purpose (two with 400 kVA power and the third with 630 kVA power put into operation in 2015.