Non-Financial Statement 2021
The Non-Financial Statement is the document reporting the activities carried out by the Sella group in the field of Sustainability. It is drawn up under Legislative Decree 254/2016, which transposes Directive 2014/95/EU and the "Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting Standards" defined by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
The Non-Financial Statement is subject to compliance review by the company in charge of the statutory audit of the financial statements from time to time.
The contents subject to reporting, which refer to the 2021 financial year (1st January - 31st December), were identified through a materiality analysis, resulting from a stakeholder engagement activity on the Group's website through a sustainability survey carried out in the last months of 2020. Approximately 3000 respondents, distributed among the different categories of significant stakeholders for the Group, participated in this survey.
The scope of the economic data reported in this document corresponds with the scope of the data in the Sella group Consolidated Annual Report as at 31 December 2021.
letter of the Chairman
As I write this introductory letter for the Sella group Consolidated Non-Financial Statement, the global scenario in which we live and operate has profoundly changed for the reference period. 2021 has been the second year of the Covid 19 pandemic, experiencing, at the same time, a growing level of geopolitical tensions, which at the beginning of this year resulted in a dramatic war in the heart of Europe.
Faced with these unexpected events with their epochal consequences, our Group has acted with awareness and attention to continue carrying out its mission in full working order. Always being at the side of its customers, creating value for stakeholders, and fostering the sustainable financial ecosystem of the future.
In this context, sustainability means many things. Environmental sustainability is undoubtedly a priority. Work on the GHG to reduce global warming: a source of extreme events and upheavals that is before everyone's eyes, putting earth restoration at risk. This, is a duty for all of us: private citizens and companies. It is good that both environment and health are properly included in Articles 9 and 41 of the Constitution.
Added to this is the social and economic interpretation of the concept of sustainability, aimed at crucial aspects for a fairer, more just, inclusive future without boundaries. A hereafter in which anyone, especially young people of the new generations, can seize the opportunities for improvement, development and progress that periods of deep transformation offer to those who dare to invest, innovate, question themselves and look beyond.
Sustainability, to us, is not a mere statement of intent but an integral part of what we tangibly do and of our strategies through which we strive to have a positive impact from an environmental, social and economic perspective and be an authentic regenerative company. Indeed, sustainability is the most urgent and unavoidable of all ongoing transitions. Indeed, sustainability is the most urgent and unavoidable of all ongoing transitions.
Sustainability, as mentioned, has been at the heart of our journey: the Sella group was among the first in Italy to reach the so-called "carbon neutrality", writing off the impact of its CO2 emissions in advance of the plan set for 2024.
Efforts also continued to foster the development of open banking and the open and innovative financial ecosystem. As we believe that innovation, in particular open innovation, can represent a significant driving force for the development of sustainability, and specifically social and economic sustainability.
Sustainability for the Sella group also means intervening on the issues of diversity and social inclusion. It means guaranteeing equal opportunities, without distinction of gender, to offer everyone the chance to grow and be part of the change.
Economic value generated
The Economic Value generated by the Group in 2021 amounted to 896.5 million euro (up by 182.9 million euro against 2020) 77% of which was distributed, worth a shared value of 689 million euro, up by about 80.6 million euro against the previous year. Much of the shared economic value (53,75%) was used for employees and collaborators in the form of salaries, variable remuneration and social security contributions (about 370.4 million euro), 26.58% was used for the payment and support of the supply chain business system: overall the Group made purchases for over 183.2 million euro. Economic impacts of the Group are also measured in supporting public spending through the sharing of tax revenues (15.39%) and in the remuneration of the share capital (4.18%), thus fostering further investments.
In 2021 as it was previously stated, the Group disbursed around 0.6 million euro as contributions to organizations and associations, in particular to foundations the Sella Foundation and the Umberto Veronesi Foundation), as well as to universities, non-profit organizations, the Italian Red Cross and the Ca Sella corporate Recreational Club of the employees.
Net of extraordinary components linked to activities consistent with the group's development and growth strategies, the distributed value percentage would have been substantially in line with that of the previous year.
Over the last 5 years, the Group has steadily increased the distributed value amount, recording an increase worth 171.96 million euro between 2017 and 2021. The value distributed in 2021, equal to 689.14 million euro, is up compared to the previous year by 80.6 million euro.
Education, work-life balance, corporate welfare, involvement, and performance management: in the current context of strong acceleration of digital transformation and innovation, all these topics become essential areas for the good management and development of people in the company. The attention to people, to "human resources" is one of the chapters of the Non-Financial Statement that we have just published.
For Sella, 2021 was another year of significant developments in the integrated management of human capital initiatives, starting with a greater strategic focus on the Group's Human Resources function. In this sense, the following projects are noteworthy, which will also continue in 2022, aiming at making the talent acquisition, management and development processes more efficient: the acquisition of a new information system for HR management and the adoption of a new platform for training.
The achievements and value generated by the Sella Group resulted from the work of a team that, in December 2021, reached 5,474 members, including employees and partners part of the Sella Team. By taking into account employees of the Group's joint venture company Hype as well, the total Sella Team amounts to 5,601 people. In 2021, there were 547 hires, of which 361 were in Italy and 186 abroad, as required by the 2021 2023 business plan, in which we expect uninterrupted growth and investments in people.
It is a young Group as the average age is about 43 years old, which considers diversity as a winning factor. The above is demonstrated both by the substantial balance between female and male components and by cultural exchanges favoured by working contacts among colleagues in India and Romania, England, Spain, United Arab Emirates and Switzerland. In addition, the people who make up our team come from 36 countries.
In 2021, the Group's commitment to training employees has grown further through constant investments in developing its people's skills as a crucial factor to keep high competitiveness and offer a quality service to customers. Training activities continued according to logic and guidelines consistent with 2020. Overall at the Group level, in 2021, the hours of training provided were more than 228,000.
The Group also places a strong focus on work-life balance. Projects aimed at improving cover the most varied topics. In May 2021, based on what was already implemented by some Group companies in 2020, the Employee Assistance Program dedicated to all situations of personal discomfort and aimed at maintaining and promoting the general well-being of people was extended to the entire Group.
To further support the well-being of people in the organization and maintain a high level of motivation and engagement, consistently with the previous years, the company welfare system has been further enriched and promoted.
Remote working, activated in the Group well before the beginning of the pandemic, and the possibility of working in co-working spaces in several Italian cities has made it possible to optimise business trips with a benefit both for the life quality of people and for the environment, thanks to the emissions saved.
The involvement of people is a discriminating factor for the achievement of corporate objectives, which is pursued through a variety of initiatives, the use of multiple channels and internal communication tools.
Finally, the performance management system, which has evolved in recent years, is an important opportunity for mutual considerations between managers and employees allowing us to provide feedback on the results achieved and behaviours expressed, with a view to constant improvement.
To achieve sustainable development, attention to the environmental impact of one's activities is an essential aspect to guide one's decisions to meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.
To achieve this important goal, as reported in the recently published Non-Financial Statement, the Sella group has for years chosen to focus on solutions with greater energy efficiency and at a lower environmental impact, to pursue a progressive reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
This constant commitment resulted, in 2021, in writing-off the impact of the Group's CO2 emissions, allowing it to be among the first banking groups in Italy to have achieved "carbon neutrality". This significant milestone has taken shape thanks to the sustainable initiatives already implemented in recent years, the current plan to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions and the financing of some international projects to compensate for residual emissions.
At the end of 2020, the Group launched a project to measure its environmental impact with a greater degree of accuracy through the methodological support of an external partner. Thanks to the assistance of LifeGate, an highly detailed inventory was drawn up to collect elementary data from each Group company and quantify the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by the activities of the Sella Group Companies. Based on the results obtained, it was possible to define mitigation strategies for potential greenhouse gases.
The first year of analysis was 2019: the last year before the health emergency changed our habits and consumption. For this reason, it was considered the base year for the definition of the Group's mitigation targets. Subsequently, environmental impact analyses underwent reviews for the years 2020 and 2021.
With a view to the constant evolution of the carbon footprint analysis, regarding the 2021 final results, the extent of Scope 3 has expanded to include the impact of the journey from home to work.
Concerning the adoption of solutions with greater energy efficiency and lower environmental impact, below are some of the focal interventions:
- at the Headquarters of the Parent Company, a solar thermal system is in operation for the production of hot water, in addition to two photovoltaic plants. The system allows for a significant reduction in the consumption of methane gas and electricity and the related emissions;
- installation of a new photovoltaic plant, bringing to 18 the number of all photovoltaic plants at the Sella buildings worth a total power of 401,96 kWp.
- a centralized remote heating plant at the Via Italia / Via Gustavo di Valdengo / Via Volpi and Viale Matteotti building district in Biella allowed for the elimination of the individual condensing boilers and the management through a single, more efficient system.
The building of the Group's headquarters in Biella is the result of implementing significant eco-sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives to make the most of which 2021 saw the launch of the LEED® O+M (Operations and Maintenance) certification process.
Most of the share (99.27%) of the electricity purchased and used by the Sella Group is green energy certified by a "Guarantee of Origin" or comes from renewable sources. The use of green energy reaches the totality (100%) in Italy and Romania.
Currently, 18 photovoltaic systems are active, which in 2021 produced 391,925 kWh for a consequent amount of written-off CO2 equal to 208,112 kg. Such plants operate with monitoring systems recording the production of kWh and the "avoided" CO2 emissions Feasibility studies of new initiatives to expand the photovoltaic park are underway to increase the self-production of electricity from renewable sources and reduce the Group's energy consumption.
The strong orientation toward renewable energy sources is also reflected in the project of a hydroelectric system with flowing water, envisaging the installation of two turbines, placed in succession to each other, allowing the exploitation of the same flow of water derived from the two geodetic jumps available.
Besides producing energy from renewable sources, the project made it possible to recover the ancient irrigation and historical artefacts that allowed the distribution of water to various users. These are the most valued relics of "industrial archaeology", recognized as such by the Superintendence for Environmental and Architectural Assets.
Free still and sparkling water dispensers have been installed in the Group's offices to encourage using water bottles, such as those with the Sella logo distributed to all members of the Sella Team with the Simplehero initiative, to improve savings in plastic consumption related to the lower purchase of bottles.
In addition, as part of a plan to constantly improve the energy efficiency of branches, measures have been taken to replace air conditioning systems with equipment with a lower environmental impact. This plan also continues in 2022.
As already reported last year, the redevelopment of the Milan - S32 property, in 2018, obtained the LEED® Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design "Platinum" certification.
From 2021 the appointment of mobility managers has started within the group i.e. professionals who must foster forms of sustainable mobility from an environmental, economic and social point of view, which lead to a consequent change in users' attitudes and habits.
The Group's goal is to allow for a structural and permanent reduction of the environmental impact deriving from motor traffic. To better implement this commitment, the Group is working on the following areas:
- spreading and fostering remote work;
- light mobility support through various initiatives, including company spaces reserved for sheltering bikes;
- supporting the use of remote communication tools to avoid travel related to face-to-face meetings;
- progressive renewal of the company car fleet with a view to reducing environmental impact.
The attention to the environment of the Sella Group also applies to the supply chain. Just think that in 2021 over 53.54% of the office material used is low environmental impact, and digital subscriptions to newspapers and magazines reached 95.65% of the total. Support for the territory is also reflected in the choice of local suppliers in Italy 88.54%, India 78.61%, and Romania 61.48%. In addition, all paper purchased for office use is FSC certified, which guarantees that it comes from a responsibly managed forest and a supply chain.
Read the Letter to the Consumer written by ConsumerLab, which shows our commitment to building a more sustainable and inclusive economy at an environmental and social level.