‘Saipem Sustainability 2013’ is one of the main instruments used by Saipem to engage in a transparent manner with its stakeholders regarding the important sustainability themes that characterise our business. Saipem has always been committed to creating long-term value and to sharing it with clients, commercial partners, vendors and local communities with a view to achieving common objectives.
The year that has just closed was, without doubt, difficult.
In 2013 we had to face highly complex challenges, market conditions and important events, including negative ones, which influenced our overall performance.
Execution of several significant projects was affected by unforeseen difficulties, but we dug deep into our resources and focused consistently on achieving good operational performances and on working hard to find solutions and measures that I am sure will bear fruit in the near future.
But 2013 was also a year of change. The Company underwent a noteworthy reorganisation process in order to equip itself with a structure that was more in line with its business strategy and more efficient in terms of business transparency and ethics, risk management, innovation, communications with external stakeholders and, finally, quality.
As regards other issues which have always been a priority for the Company, Saipem has not changed its approach – on the contrary, we have renewed our commitment.
First among these is undoubtedly safety, a mandatory component of our modus operandi. Over the past few years we have invested (and will continue to invest) huge resources and put enormous efforts into promoting both a safety culture and the training required to achieve it, including ongoing implementation and development of the ‘Leadership In Health and Safety’ programme. Indeed, Saipem now has one of the lowest incidences of workplace accidents in the Oil&Gas industry. Despite this, in 2013 six of our colleagues unfortunately lost their lives. For Saipem, this is unacceptable and we will continue in our efforts to reach the only target pursuable: zero fatalities.
Another fundamental topic discussed in this document is Saipem people, one of the Company’s key resources. Continuous training for the updating and development of their skills is vital, as is the protection of their health and the prevention of risks associated with their tasks, all factors which facilitate the Company’s efforts to face market challenges and achieve its business objectives.
A third crucial theme is reinforcement of our control and compliance system. This endeavour has involved all levels of the Company, not solely when the initiatives needing to be undertaken were identified, but also during the phase of their concrete application.
All of this has led to:
- a reorganisation of many Company functions (i.e. the E&C BU, the structure of the Chief Financial and Compliance Officer, Internal Audit and Quality);
- the creation of new structures (i.e. External Communications, the Executive Committee, the Technical Committee, the Compliance Committee, the Risk Committee and Integrated Risk Management);
- the reshuffling of a number of senior managers;
- a renewed management process (verification of the process for conferring powers and the appointment of process owners);
- the drafting of new criteria for the governance of foreign companies and their compliance committees;
- the issuing or review of numerous Company procedures (i.e. the Regulatory System MSG, the Compliance MSG, etc.).
All of these reinforcements aim to ensure ongoing alignment with best practices, greater traceability of decisions taken and, therefore, greater awareness and accountability of the persons involved.
The fourth and final theme I would like to touch upon, but not the least in terms of importance, is Local Content, a strategy that sets us apart from our competitors and one that ensures our licence to operate in various parts of the world. Studies carried out by Saipem using the Saipem Externalities Local Content Evaluation Model (SELCE) and, subsequently, on the economic and social value generated by our strategy, provide figures showing the contribution the Company is capable of making to the development of the areas in which it operates and, indeed, to the economy of entire countries. In this regard, ‘Saipem Sustainability 2013’ describes our efforts country by country and project by project, and highlights the results the Company has achieved at a variety of levels.
For the fourth consecutive year, the document has been commented upon by a Panel of independent experts.
Not only do these provide an objective assessment of our reporting methods and our ability to communicate programmes, actions and results, they also make suggestions for improvements. In 2013, the Panel was invited to our headquarters in San Donato Milanese where they took part in a workshop involving members of the various Saipem functions, in order to discuss the Company’s approach to sustainability and identify issues deemed to be material for inclusion and discussion in ‘Saipem Sustainability 2013’. The experts acknowledged this initiative as brave and innovative and expressed their appreciation for our openness to dialogue, something Saipem is committed to renewing in the future. The comments and input of Panel members expressed during the above event were subsequently taken into consideration during the drafting of this document.
I am convinced, therefore, that ‘Saipem Sustainability 2013’ shows the degree to which sustainability is an integral part of our business and our organisation and that it provides an efficient overview of the factors that will continue to create future value for Saipem, for our stakeholders and for the areas and communities in which we will operate.