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The transition towards carbon neutrality: Poste Italiane’s strategy

More than 95% of the Group's electricity
requirement comes from 100% renewable sources, certified by Guarantees of Origin
10 million invested in projects to reduce environmental impact
 
14.2% of alternative vehicles in Poste Italiane's fleet
 
 7,300 tonnes
of carbon dioxide saved by LNG vehicles


 
La transizione verso la carbon neutrality: la strategia di Poste Italiane
 
Poste Italiane is aware of the risks that climate change may pose to its business activities and therefore believes it is important to identify the potential economic impacts of climate-related changes. The extensive presence on the territory and the impact of its activities require the Company to adopt a responsible approach to reduce its environmental footprint and contribute to the low-carbon transition of the economy and the whole country. In fact, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the New Green Deal, Poste Italiane is committed to reducing its emissions by 30% by 2025 and achieving carbon neutralityby 2030, well in advance the European Union timeframe. The Company's objective is also to spread a culture of environmental protection and to encourage conscious behavior in the use of energy, water resources and waste management. The attention given to environmental issues is shared with all stakeholders of Poste Italiane through the Group policy on Environmental Sustainability. Specifically, the Group's commitment is implemented within the decarbonization of buildings and logistics, realizing a series of initiatives aimed at reducing the potential negative impact on the environment.

Aware of the "ecological footprint" generated by a delivery service that covers extensively the entire country, in 2019 the Group wanted to implement a Renewal Plan that provides for the replacement, by 2022, of the entire vehicle fleet.
The new vehicles will guarantee:
  • a reduction in energy consumption;
  • lower emissions into the atmosphere;
  • greater safety;
  • greater load capacity for delivery.
 
In order to measure the value generated by the introduction of the new vehicles in the fleet, Poste Italiane has adopted an investment assessment methodology that combines the traditional financial perspective with the perspective of sustainability, with a view to an integrated strategic planning that allows to create value shared between the Company and the territory.
The figure below represents the results of the analysis in the form of the "True Value bridge", i.e. the graphical representation of the net impacts of the green fleet compared to a traditional fleet. Positive values represent avoided costs, while negative values represent additional costs generated by the green fleet compared to the as-is fleet.

 
True Value


According to the model calculated, the new green fleet will generate value for the community (True Value) equal to
+ €25 mln compared to the traditional fleet, during its total period of operation.
In particular:
 
  • 80% is represented by damages avoided thanks to the 40% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the as-is fleet;
  • 20% is represented by the sum of costs avoided thanks to the lower road congestion and the higher safety guaranteed by the new vehicles.

Exiting the pandemic with a new Green Deal for Italy

The Group is a signatory to the Manifesto "Exit the pandemic with a new Green Deal for Italy", promoted by the Sustainable Development Foundation, which aims to relaunch the country's economy towards a green path. The Company believes that this project is the way forward for a stronger and longer-lasting recovery that enhances activities aimed at decarbonisation and circularity of production, distribution and consumption models.
 

Green Postal Day 2020 

Poste Italiane participated in the second edition of the "Green Postal Day", an initiative organized by the International Post Corporation to enhance the contribution of postal operators to the reduction of CO2 emissions and the global fight against climate change, which has assumed greater relevance in a context of global pandemic.
 

European Alliance for a Green Recovery: Poste Italiane in the field to build green investment plans

The Group, in line with its environmental sustainability strategy, through its subsidiaries Poste Vita and BancoPosta Fondi SGR, has joined the initiative promoted by the PRI, joining the appeal made by member states, entrepreneurs, researchers and non-governmental organizations of the European Union in support of a Green Recovery Plan to promote the construction of green investment plans together with more than 50 business leaders in the financial and insurance sector and investment funds from 10 European countries.
 

Climate Action 100+

Poste Italiane Group, through its subsidiaries Poste Vita and BancoPosta Fondi SGR, has joined Climate Action 100+, an unprecedented international collaborative engagement initiative to raise awareness on climate change issues among the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases. The initiative focuses on the issues of climate risk and biodiversity loss for businesses and aims to mitigate the effects of climate change caused by key economic sectors.
The risk management model adopted by the Group considers both the possible impacts that phenomena related to climate change (e.g. extreme climate events, temperature increases, rising sea levels, etc.) may have on Poste Italiane's business (indirect impact), and those that Poste Italiane's activities may have on climate (direct impact). The process of identifying and assessing risks and environmental management methods also extends to counterparties (suppliers, business partners, other companies), impacting procurement processes and any extraordinary financial transactions, providing, among other things, for the identification of suppliers and partners that may present risks related to environmental protection, including through a multidimensional analysis that takes into account parameters such as
 
  • possession of environmental, quality and energy performance certifications;
  • adoption of environmental management systems
  • ethical standards of behavior;
  • Minimum Environmental Criteria (CAM).
 
The correct identification and assessment of climate-related risks and opportunities is also ensured by listening to stakeholders. Stakeholders are periodically involved in the Multistakeholder Forums organized by Poste Italiane and have at their disposal a reporting system that allows them to bring any perceived risks to the attention of the Company.
Given the pervasiveness of emerging risks, Poste Italiane considered it necessary to incorporate and manage them within its risk management processes. Emerging risks considered are exogenous, disruptive events that can threaten the business model over a long-term horizon (10-20 years) and are potential game changers for the industry and the context in which organisations operate and are usually characterised by elements, such as:
  • uncertainty and visibility: lack of data to analyse the phenomenon and difficulty in finding skills, knowledge and awareness of the potential effects that emerging risks have on a business model;
 
  • timing of changes: changes derive from radical changes in the external context of reference (socio-environmental, legislative, technological, habits, etc.) altering routines in a destructive way on different fronts and with unpredictable time escalations;
 
  • management complexity: increasing complexity of management methods. There are no immediate response actions as the events are derived from highly interconnected exogenous factors with strong systemic dependencies and time accelerations.
 
Emerging risk management
 
Emerging risk management
Established in 2015 by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) defined a set of recommendations with the goal of guiding companies in reporting information in a transparent and comprehensive manner on the risks and opportunities that climate change may pose to business performance. In line with key regulatory trends and in response to growing demands from the financial community and key stakeholders.


 
Climate Change Strategy
Poste Italiane identifies and analyzes the risks related to climate change taking into account different drivers - attributable to two macro-environments (transition risks and physical risks) – reported below. Against these identified risks and associated with each driver, Poste Italiane, in addition to defining the related opportunities, provides specific mitigation actions. In fact, in the coming decades, a rise in average temperatures of 3 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era could trigger disastrous chain effects. The fight against climate change, therefore, is not an option but a must. Thus, it is necessary to consider these aspects in the definition of strategies and operational activities of companies.

Taking as reference the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) organizations and comparing the various scenarios proposed, the Group decided to adopt the IEA 2DS scenario (2°C Scenario) as it was found to be the most suitable for the business. In addition to considering the basic assumptions of the model, the trends in the transport sector and estimated forecasts and development over the next few years were taken into account. Afterwards, the Group carried out business projections identifying the related risks and opportunities. Following the analysis, the transition risks identified by Poste Italiane are as follows: emerging regulation, market evolution, technological developments and reputation. It should be noted that the analysis comprehends logistics operations, including transportation, buildings and facilities, which represent key assets for the Company's business.

RISK DRIVERS NEGATIVE IMPACTS TIME HORIZON MAIN ACTIONS AND TOOLS TO MITIGATE RISKS OPPORTUNITIES

1. Emerging regulation
  • Failure to respond in a timely manner to regulators' requests regarding environmental matters, also in view of the complexity and operational heterogeneity of  Poste Italiane Group;
  • potential sanctions following failure to comply with applicable regulations;
  • growing impact of non-compliance with regulations on reputational risk, also considering the economic and social role of Poste Italiane on the territory.
Medium-term As part of the Integrated Compliance process, Poste Italiane performs a continuous monitoring of the external regulations relevant for the Group and the translation of the set of regulatory principles into the body of rules necessary to ensure their application. The inventory of all regulations relevant for the Group is managed in an integrated way on the dedicated GRC platform. 

Poste Italiane also participates in the technical and working tables on the evolution of regulations, in order to ensure the analysis of the evolution of the regulatory framework of reference, guaranteeing the correct transposition, as well as representing the company's position on these issues to national and international bodies, in order to support the Group's business.
  • Potential regulatory changes that benefit the business;
  • Greater timeliness than competitors in complying with complex regulations.




2. Market evolution
  • Inadequacy of the products and services offered with respect to the demands of customers, investors and other stakeholders, increasingly driven by sustainability issues.
Long-term Poste Italiane is actively engaged in developing existing products/services with alternatives that take ESG criteria into account (e.g. investments, insurance) in order to ensure an increasingly wide range of products and services that integrate high ethical standards and environmental criteria. An example of this is the development of insurance solutions which, on one hand, encourage the adoption of sustainable and responsible behaviour by their policyholders and, on the other, contribute to mitigating ESG risks.

As part of the strategy launched by Poste Italiane to pursue the objectives defined in terms of Sustainability, the integration of ESG principles in investment processes is also particularly important, through investments in sectors that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals ("SDGs") (e.g. investments in bonds that can be classified as "Green", "Social" and "Sustainable" in line with the standards and principles defined by the International Capital Market Association).
  • Increased business opportunities due to changes in consumer needs (e.g., development of low-emission services; development of investment and insurance products for climate adaptation);
  • launch of products that incentivize prevention and responsible behavior (e.g., ethical investment solutions);
  • redirection/creation of new business areas; possible access to new markets and new customer segments that require insurance coverage;
  • investments in sectors that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals ("SDGs").










3. Technological development and innovation
  • Investments in innovative solutions (such as robotics and data centers) which, however, may have negative impacts on the environment, in terms of polluting emissions and energy consumption;
  • limited availability of "green" vehicles suitable for carrying out Poste Italiane's logistics and delivery activities;
  • use of polluting vehicles that may have negative impacts on the environment and on Poste Italiane's reputation.
Long-term As part of the risk management model, the Group considers both the possible impacts that phenomena linked to climate change (e.g. extreme climatic events, temperature increases, rising sea levels, etc.) may have on Poste Italiane's business (indirect impact), and those that the Company's activities may have on climate (direct impact). The process of identifying and assessing risks and environmental management methods also extends to counterparties (suppliers, business partners, other companies), impacting procurement processes and any extraordinary financial transactions. Among other things, this involves identifying suppliers and partners that may present risks linked to environmental protection, through a multidimensional analysis that takes into account parameters such as: possession of environmental, quality and energy performance certifications and adoption of environmental management systems, ethical standards of conduct and Minimum Environmental Criteria (CAM). 

Among the companies in the utility sector, Poste Italiane has one of the largest fleets of 100% electric commercial vehicles in the country. The Group has entered into a partnership with Nissan for the supply of a new fleet of 70 full electric vans in addition to the 1,000 Free Duck electric vehicles that have been delivering mail in urban centers every day for years, covering more than 2 million kilometers and avoiding the emission of over 300 tons of CO2 compared to the use of a traditional motorcycle.

In addition, there are around 1,700 methane vehicles, more than 1,000 LPG vehicles and 41 hybrid vehicles. Furthermore, the Group is introducing the use of new three-wheeled electric motorcycles in several cities , to make the delivery of parcels and correspondence by Poste Italiane ecological, easy and safe. The new tricycles are 100% electrically powered, have a power of 4 kW that guarantees a maximum speed of 45 km / h, in line with the limits imposed by the highway code in built-up areas, and are equipped with an energy autonomy of about 60 km, allowing the letter carriers to deliver the daily mail with a single charge.

For each new vehicle Poste Italiane will also put into operation a new electric recharging station, confirming the desire to ensure environmental sustainability of the territories and allow a growing spread of its electric fleet in all Italian regions.
  • Increased business opportunities due to changes in consumer needs (e.g., development of low-emission services; development of investment and insurance products for climate adaptation);
  • leaner and more efficient management of operations;
  • reduction of the Group's total energy consumption from non-renewable sources (e.g. fossil fuels);
  • reduction of emissions linked to the use of vehicles that make up the company fleet;
  • cost reduction.










4. Reputation
  • Focus of attention on pandemic development, with reputational impacts due to reduced engagement on environmental issues.
Long-term Poste Italiane, while managing the health emergency, is oriented towards the pursuit of sustainable development by continuing to invest in projects aimed at strengthening ESG initiatives. In this regard, in its constant attention to sustainability, the Group has decided to adhere, along with 110 other signatories including associations, organizations and companies, to the Manifesto "Exiting the pandemic with a new Green Deal for Italy".

In order to reduce the direct impact that Poste Italiane's activities may have on climate, the Company is constantly advancing the use of energy sources that do not use fossil fuels (e.g. solar energy from photovoltaic panels on buildings) and the reduction of energy consumption (e.g. replacement of neon lamps and use of LEDs), also in order to cope with potential sudden changes in energy prices. Among others, Poste Italiane, in line with its adhesion to the Paris Agreement and the New Green Deal, has set itself the ambitious goal of making its contribution to the achievement of international carbon neutrality objectives by 2030, well in advance of the timeframe defined by the European Union.

The correct identification and assessment of climate-related risks and opportunities is also ensured by listening to stakeholders, who are periodically involved in the Multi-stakeholder Forums organized by Poste Italiane. In addition, a reporting system is made available to allow them to bring any perceived risks to the attention of the Company.
  • Greater responsiveness than competitors in maintaining a high level of attention to environmental issues despite the context marked by the pandemic


Poste Italiane's governance dedicated to risk and sustainability, has recently updated its climate change and water risk assessment methodology to better understand potential risks as well as opportunities over different time horizons (short, medium and long term). The purpose of the assessment includes all the Group's production and sorting sites located in different areas of Italy. Following a comprehensive screening process, the IPCC's 'RCP 8.5' (follows a business as usual pathway) scenario were selected as the relevant climate scenario to assess the physical risks and opportunities for Poste Italiane. A risk assessment was undertaken, in order to assess the potential impacts of physical events linked to the climate change evolution on Group business, which considered the extent of the existing risk at the sites and the future risk up to the year 2022 (medium term scenario). In addition to the underlying assumptions of the selected model, the data relating to the main precipitation and temperature parameters of the scenario were studied and compared with current data in order to determine the importance of the variation with respect to the risk existing in the sites examined.
 
The output is then translated into potential business interruption days and then multiplied by the value in terms of lost revenue (euros) of a business interruption day. Extreme weather events and changes in precipitation patterns are therefore the risk that emerged from the scenario analysis. The greater severity of extreme weather events such as rain, storms, snowfall and possible floods or freezing could cause interruptions in production, sorting and therefore logistical activities, damage to the sites and higher logistic costs. Such acute physical damage and disruption to energy distribution would result in a negative impact on the company's financial performance, and therefore on results and cash flows, as well as an injury to reputation and a consequent loss of customer confidence. One example is the floods that occurred in Genoa in 2011, 2014 and 2016, following which the Group cooperated with national and local institutions. The floods were caused by a lot of rain that exceeded peaks of more than 500 mm in a few hours, in different areas of Genoa and its province, resulting in flooding or torrents in flood. The violent storm that led to the overflowing of the rivers, generated then a large wave of water mixed with mud and debris that swept away half the city causing deaths and injuries and damage to infrastructure. Among these, also Poste Italiane’s Post Offices were damaged, with consequent suspension of services.
 
As mentioned above, Poste Italiane carried out an analysis based on its production and sorting plants located in various parts of Italy, in consideration of a possible interruption of activities. In this way, the Group was able to assess the potential financial impact of climate-related events with respect to 2022. According to these assessments, the sites with the greatest potential financial impact due to the floods in 2022 are located in the regions of Northern Italy. In particular, the new Bologna’s hub has been identified as one of the sites at greater risk and which would result in greater losses in revenues, in the event of business interruption, due to its operational significance. In response to physical risks, the Group plans specific mitigation measures, which are described in the table below.

 
RISK DRIVERS NEGATIVE IMPACTS TIME HORIZON MAIN ACTIONS AND TOOLS TO MITIGATE RISKS OPPORTUNITIES




5.Extreme weather events
  • Limitations in business operations due to extreme weather events.
  In order to guarantee company operations even in the event of extreme weather conditions, Poste Italiane has adopted business continuity and disaster recovery plans, as well as actions aimed at preventing physical damage to infrastructures. These include ISO 45001 certification, a management system that also takes into account the structural elements of a company for the management of security risks. Moreover, in order to prevent possible further damage caused by extreme climatic events, the Group has developed an environmental monitoring system to determine the average annual concentration of radon gas in the air, analysed on the basis of the assessment of the risk of exposure to ionising radiation. Finally, for the coordination of emergency and recovery activities, Poste Italiane maintains a dialogue with institutions (e.g. Civil Protection, Civil Defence) and interfaces with the relevant bodies and international protection and defence bodies (e.g. participation in drills or other initiatives, etc.). 
  • Advantages deriving from the greater reliability of the supply chain and Poste Italiane's improved ability to operate in various conditions compared to its competitors.