I am delighted to present to you the company’s seventeenth Corporate Responsibility Report, and the first under the new Naturgy brand. This report focuses on those sustainability issues identified as priorities for both the company and our stakeholders. In addition, it sets out our principles, commitments, strategies and actions in 2018, the year in which the company celebrated 175 years’ history.
2018 has been marked by two particularly important events for the company: the renewal of our brand and the introduction of a new Strategic Plan 2018–2022.
The new brand came about as a reflection of a corporate transformation to a more contemporary, digital and global model. Meanwhile, the new Strategic Plan 2018–2022 has set simplicity and accountability as priorities, along with optimisation, financial discipline and shareholder remuneration. Specifically, this Plan has an Ebitda of Euros 5 billion on the 2022 horizon, a net profit of Euros 1.8 billion, and a minimum year-on-year shareholder remuneration increase of 5%.
Within the context of the fight against climate change and technological transformation, our Strategic Plan is focused on renewable energies and natural gas as key vectors to address the environmental challenges we face.
The 2018 trading figures allow Naturgy to be acknowledged by S&P Global Platts as the gas distributor with the best global financial performance. These results have been achieved with an unwavering commitment to sustainability. Thus, Naturgy was recognised last year as a world leader in the Gas Utilities sector of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index; global leader in the Multiutilities sector of FTSE4GOOD, and it has been included in The Climate Change A List index of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), in addition to obtaining relevant valuations by the main sustainability rating agencies.
To continue this positive path of results, Naturgy continues to invest in sustainable innovation. In this regard, the company has defined strategic areas of innovation which, coupled with the corporate Innovation Plan and ongoing improvement in the process of control and risk management, will allow the company to give an expeditious response to the challenges faced and from a privileged position.
The supreme governance body responsible for overseeing management of the company in terms of corporate responsibility and approving the respective policy in this area is the Board of Directors, which has delegated these duties to the Appointments and Remuneration Committee. It is worth pointing out that in 2018, the Board of Directors, following the recommendations of its self-assessment, among other measures, approved new Board Regulations and reduced members from 17 to 12 directors.
Naturgy’s common framework of action for socially responsible behaviour is the Corporate Responsibility Policy. Naturgy’s active engagement and communication with stakeholders is highly relevant in this regard, as it allows us to find out their expectations and respond to them.
It is well known that Naturgy places the customer at the centre of its operations; this vocation also being a cornerstone of the Strategic Plan 2018–2022. In 2018, we wanted to place the focus of our excellence on providing service to the most vulnerable groups, placing cutting-edge technology at their disposal in terms of accessibility in all customer service channels.
Responsible management of the supply chain has continued to rank highly in our social commitments, and the requirement and help to achieve higher environmental, social and corporate governance standards has been extended to our suppliers.
The company’s successful performance in the last year has been possible thanks to the diverse team of professionals that make up Naturgy. Regarding business management, the new People Model is of particular note, as it brings together the commitment, loyalty, training and reward of employees. Within the framework of our Corporate University, more than 645,000 hours of training have been taught.
One of our priorities at Naturgy is to ensure that all our actions are carried out preserving the integrity and well-being of our professionals, subcontractors and the rest of civil society. This philosophy has permeated and reinforced the company’s culture for years, leading to an appreciable improvement of safety indicators.
It is also paramount for the company to ensure integrity and transparency. To this end, the company employs a range of tools that emanate from its Code of Ethics, such as the Human Rights Policy, the Anti-Corruption Policy, the Reporting Channel, or the Supplier Code of Ethics. The Ethics and Compliance Committee ensures compliance with both external and internal regulations.
Regarding its environmental impact, Naturgy has continued to introduce measures in 2018, which have enabled the business to reduce its externalities in the three company-defined strategic axes: climate and air quality, circular economy and natural capital and biodiversity. Emissions of greenhouse gases were reduced by about 11%. As regards the impact on society, it is worth highlighting the continuation of the Energy Vulnerability Plan in Spain, through which new initiatives have continued to be developed, such as the Energy Rehabilitation Solidarity Fund and the Job Circle project.
Within a context of growth in world energy demand and decarbonisation of the economy, energy generation from renewable sources will be dominant by 2030, together with advances in energy efficiency, and sustainability will continue to be one of our pillars of action.
Chairman of Naturgy
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