In order to increase awareness on the impact that daily actions have on the environment of all subjects permanently or temporarily operating in the Group companies, for some years Poste Italiane has realised the “Charter of Environmental Value”. The responsibility of guaranteeing compliance with normative provisions in force on the use of energy, monitoring and measurement of consumption, identification of sources of saving and definition of enhanced efficiency projects are attributed to one sole function. In demonstration of the commitment towards the protection and safeguarding of the environment and with a view to continuous improvement, the Company also focussed its efforts on implementing a Green Strategy makes the Group constantly more efficient and with lower environmental impact in all the businesses in which it operators.
The Poste Italiane Green Strategy is based on the definition of Green Economy adopted by the United Nations in 2008, it means “an economy able to increase wellbeing and social equality, significantly reducing environmental risks and the deterioration of ecosystems”; in other words “an economy with low carbon emissions, efficient in using resources and socially inclusive” (UNEP, United Nations Environment Programme). Therefore “Green”, is not only a synonym of environment, but encompasses a wider field, characterised by the awareness of the close relationship between environment and company and requiring an integrated approach which considers interrelations between these two dimensions.
Poste Italiane's Green Strategy
Starting from this perspective, two general strategic goals were identified which drive the entire activity of the Poste Italiane Green Strategy: protection of the environment, starting from the climate, and promotion of social inclusion. These two goals were not only set out in terms of governance of the organisation of Poste Italiane, but also a wider mission that Poste Italiane intends to pursue and which is corroborated in the ambition to propose itself as an active subject in a process of profound innovation of the country system.
The process of digitalisation was set out within the Green Strategy launched by Poste Italiane in the awareness that the instrument of digital innovation potentially presents and important “double dividend”, namely its ability to contribute to the reduction of the pressure on the environment by means of dematerialisation. Not only does this entail the replacement of paper documents with digital versions, but system innovation leading, for example to rationalising logistics, reducing movements of objects and people. It also constitutes an important driver for social inclusion because it extends the methods of access to services, information and products.
Dematerialisation: the era of digitalisation
In particular, during 2017 various interventions were implemented with a view to dematerialisation aimed at realising complete working processes in electronic mode. These operations allow the elimination of printing in fact, as well as keeping paper in office records and notifying Customers of their own contractual copy by email, through the introduction of electronic originals signed using an electronic signature and kept pursuant to law.
Two primary environments were identified into which to insert projects and activities. On the one hand, activities were analysed, and the related effects, which act on “Processes and Procedures”, involving management systems and relations with employees and suppliers. On the other hand the activities of digital innovation were included, which directly concern “Products and Services” offered by Poste Italiane to its customers. Therefore the former generate an internal advantage within the organisation, in terms of better process efficiency, cost reduction and shorter times and more safety. The latter, instead, offer customers constantly more innovative products, able to guarantee high level performance and/or improve the users’ quality of life.
The digitalisation process at the service of internal and external customers
Dematerialisation processes were extended to new contracts and transactions in 2017, such as: full acquiring Poste Vita, new consumer account, damages policy, transformation of paper Savings Book into dematerialised, Transfer of the pensioner’s fifth, ACI Stamp.
Contracts and transactions
In particular, the dematerialisation processes were extended to growing number of contracts: the total dematerialised contracts signed in the Post Offices equipped with GET (Electronic Management of Contracts and Transactions) platforms was equal to over 7 million, recording a significant increase compared to 2016 (+107%).
The transactions were also characterised by dematerialisation process in 2017, in Post Offices equipped with GET platforms, about 26.3 million transactions were completed and 4.4 million operations consisting in payments using digital documents.
Dematerialisation also concerned certain staff administration processes (requests for family cheques and tax deductions, authorisations/accounting of transfers, communications of changes in records).
Documents concerning staff management
Starting from 2010 and still in the phase of completion, the replacement of traditional supports to administrative documents as regards procedures related to personnel (employee file) in favour of electronic document has taken place. The electronic employee file is managed according to two methods: one is full digital, wherein the file is generated an acquired in digital format from the start, eliminating the consumption of paper; one that is hybrid, in which once proceeds with digitalising existing paper documents, avoiding the generation of new prints, to which great advantages are associated in terms of security, practical management and accessibility.
Worthy of note, furthermore, are also the two dematerialisationprojects launched in 2017 which envisaged the adaptation to electronic format of restaurant ticket sand the stamping system relating to the authorisation process for permits and attendance cards.
Lastly, certain staff administration processes were digitalised which no longer envisaged printing and paper management:
- request for family allowance cheques;
- requests for tax deductions;
- authorisations/accounting of transfers;
- communications of geographic variation.
As regards the management of the List of suppliers, a digital platform was implemented, used to manage tenders online, in general, for all e-Procurement activities governed by the normative in force. Moreover, the supplier file, like the employee file, was digitalised according to two methods - full digital and hybrid – as mentioned previously.
The documentation related to the purchase process and suppliers
As said, the digital transformation process focused the attention on the Customer too, innovating and restructuring the offer of services so as to respond with progressive completeness to their needs (for further information see section 4.2 “Digital Transformation” of this document).
With a view to simplifying and accelerating corporate processes, also realised was the “Purchase Order (RDA) Dematerialisation” project. Such project consists in the implementation of a flow of approval of the RDA fully supported by IT systems, contextually surpassing paper document flows. Launched experimentally in 2017, it will be progressively extended throughout the nation.
The Group companies have also decided to undertake specific dematerialisation initiatives.
Specific initiatives of the group companies
Amongst these, Poste Vita e Poste Assicura has launched, some time ago, a dematerialisation process for managing all polices and all paper documents of incoming and outgoing correspondence: most of the company documents (for example contracts, invoices, etc.) are archived and used by functions in digitalised form, favouring quick access to information and contextual reduced use of paper. The Companies favoured the rational use of paper in printers and photocopiers by envisaging a user credit system via password which incentivised the use of scans instead of producing photocopies and implementing a remote monitoring system on the printers in order to verify, in real time, the number of realised prints.
BancoPosta Fondi SGR launched a project in 2013 which involved the administrative structure, allowing digitalisation of the corporate protocol and the creation of virtual desks. Moreover, in order to increase awareness about the use of paper, specific instructions were given to Company personnel concerning procedures for procuring such resource.
Lastly it is important to mention an initiative by Postel in which the technological modernisation also implies environmental sustainability. The Company, which issues 10 thousand tonnes of paper to serve about 4 thousand undertakings mainly active in the banking and utility sectors, in fact upgraded its printing and enveloping machines, acquiring modern, fast machines equipped with automatic control systems allowing consumption to be limited as well as production rejects. So as to further favour less consumption of raw materials and reduce environmental impact, Postel also introduced lightweight paper (60-70 g/m2) and replaced Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the transparent window of envelopes with biodegradable biological materials.
The passage to using the full digital electronic employee files has allowed 128,000 digital folders to be created. Hypothesising that on average each file is consulted twice a year and the consulted sections is less than two pages, the annual saving is estimated as 512,000 sheets, equal to 2.5 tonnes of paper.
The impact on paper consumption
As regard digitalising staff administration processes, the estimated saving of paper is 1,700,000 sheets1, equal on an annual basis to 8.5 tonnes of paper.
1The number was calculated in the following manner:
• family allowance cheques; 19,300 applications yearly of 6 sheets each;
• tax deductions; 130,000 deductions yearly on 1 sheet each
• transfer authorisations; 1,390,093 authorisations yearly on 1 sheet each
• record changes; 65,000 sheets used in one year.