Discover the Acea Group online 2019 Sustainability Report

Human capital development and communications

Acea places people at the centre of the Group’s processes and provides them with the tools and skills necessary to respond effectively to corporate challenges, through:

  • involving them in the Group’s culture and identity;
  • improvement and development of skills;
  • inclusion and organizational well-being.


The selection process is regulated by a Group procedure, updated in 2019, which governs the search for skills in the labour market. During the year the recruiting network was strengthened, with increasing use of social channels, and 109 personnel searches were published in the Careers section of the institutional website.

The selection process can include several stages: CV screening, online challenge using gamification (technical quizzes and business games to assess numerical reasoning, verbal ability, visual-spatial skills, logic), video interviews, assessment of soft skills, motivation and skills through collective tests and individual interviews.

The search for staff for Acea Energia, Acea Ambiente and Gori involved the organization of four R-DAYs involving approximately 320 candidates (see the box for details). During the year, Acea also participated in professional orientation events promoted by university bodies, including Career Day, Job Meeting and Placement days, to meet new graduates to be hired in professional positions.


Recruiting Days (R-DAYs) are the final days of the selection processes initiated by Acea, which are conducted with innovative tools and methods. For example, there are plans to use a virtual reality application that can reproduce the characteristics of the Group’s businesses. During these initiatives, candidates try group tests at the end of which Acea HR, supported by technical line representatives, assess the results and proceed with the individual interviews to better understand the motivations of the candidates and evaluate their skills with respect to the specific position. Structured in this way, the initiative makes it possible to select the best profiles among the candidates.


The expression of the Group’s identity is defined by the Leadership Model, which represents the company’s values – initiative, teamwork and action – and identifies the measurable and observable conduct of people relevant for the achievement of strategic objectives and assessed by the bonus and remuneration systems. The three value drivers just mentioned guide people through the main stages of their career in the company: mentioned, welcoming, training, rewards and development.

At a more operational level, the Execution Model is focused on the active participation of employees and represents an organizational framework for the continuous improvement of company processes and the achievement of strategic objectives. In 2019, in order to contextualize the model with respect to the working reality, three new drivers were introducedproximity, specialisation and speed – and 10 intra-group action teams were established to develop improvement actions with an impact on business, business processes and customer satisfaction. This project was also made synergistic with management and project management training courses, generating further improvement inputs.

Other employee engagement initiatives aimed at increasing the sense of belonging to the Group and identifying its values include:

  • Sustainability innovators, the challenge”, a collection of new sustainable ideas proposed by employees on company businesses, integrated into the internal entrepreneurship programme called Innovation Garage;
  • Pre-boarding” for the welcoming of new hires, who are provided with a multimedia presentation of the Group’s business, values and working methods;
  • #semprepiuvicini”, a teaser game accompanying the launch of the Acea Welfare Electricity and Gas offer for employees;
  • Feedback Week”, aimed at promoting feedback as a tool for continuous improvement of people and activities, dissemination of the culture of dialogue and shared responsibility anddevelopment of generative leadership.



Staff training and development

In Acea training combines the needs of corporate growth with the objective of the professional development of people.

The activity is governed by a Group procedure that defines roles, responsibilities and tasks in the management of training processes aimed at the development of expertise, knowledge and professional skills necessary to act in company positions.

The process involves:

  • the identification of strategic training needs, on cross-cutting issues, and specific training needs related to individual activities, with an indication of the objectives and expected results;
  • the identification of objective assessment parameters and criteria for measuring the effectiveness of the training;
  • the drafting of the Group’s Annual Training Plan, managed by the Parent Company’s Training Unit, and the annual Training Plans of Group companies;
  • the design, presentation and assessment of training courses.

The Holding company establishes guidelines and operating tools for the identification of needs and centrally manages the various types of training: managerial, relating to the development of management skills and techniques as well as leadership; technical- operational of interest to the Group, for the acquisition and updating of specific skills, in particular digital; on the governance model, relating to in-depth legislative studies and company instructions relating to the various business areas.

Each operating Company independently manages its technical and operational training, aimed at acquiring specific skills for the business of reference, in the field of safety and that of governance related to its own field of action. Acea has access to funded training through membership in inter- professional organizations for ongoing education – Forte Fund (National Inter-professional Joint Fund for Ongoing Education in the Tertiary Sector), Fondirigenti and Fondimpresa – that the main Group companies belong to.

In consideration of the excellent results achieved, in 2019 the Managerial Academy continued its work, offering a training programme of managerial excellence in collaboration with Ama and Atac Rome and with the scientific partnership of the Luiss Business School.

The Academy adopts an innovative approach to integrated training that uses a mix of channels, each with a specific function: pre-work through an e-learning platform, classroom training offering an experience-based method and a mobile app for further analysis of the topics addressed during the training course. In addition, in order to make the most of the Group’s know-how, Acea organized The Trade School (see the dedicated boxes).


The Managerial Academy offers two courses of study: Elios, dedicated to senior managers, and Aurora, for people engaged in professional development.

In 2019 the Elios programme involved 116 people (executives, managers and office staff), providing 10 training sessions for a total of 720 hours of training. The programme was characterized by an integrated training approach, and participants were able to use a peer coaching technique, a tool for professional self-development that involves working in pairs and fosters the exchange of experiences between participants.

The Aurora programme involved 69 employees, providing 3 training sessions for a total of 144 hours of training.

Both courses were supplemented by a follow-up to strengthen skills: a training plan for participants in the Elios programme, and project ideas implemented as part of the Execution Model for participants in the Aurora programme.


The Trade School expands the Group’s technical and operational know-how through knowledge transmission managed entirely by company professionals.

The programmes envisage the mapping of critical skills – skills of particular value possessed by few resources or by outgoing people – and the identification of the relevant Trade Instructors, who are entrusted with the task of transferring their specialized knowledge.

In 2019 60 critical skills were mapped with the involvement of 7 Group Companies (Acea Ato2, Acea Ato 5, Areti, Acea Produzione, Acea Elabori, Aquaser and Acea Spa), 72 Trade Instructors were trained and 3,879 hours of classroom training provided to 521 participants, with a training effectiveness of 95.9%, assessed through the administration of final knowledge questionnaires.

To support classroom training the courses started with e-learning (video tutorial), available to all employees on the Pianetacea platform, with a view to sharing the Group’s technical and operational knowledge assets.

Acea launched the Digital Academy project to disseminate key digital skills (Digital DNA) throughout the Group. Following a skills survey, a pilot training course involving 27 people was organized. Finally, courses on Procurement Regulation and Green Public Procurement (GPP) were organized, respectively involving 67 and 36 employees of the Group. The GPP training, provided in collaboration with the Ecosistemi Foundation, covered green purchasing with a focus on circular economy and green economy, and the Minimum Environmental Criteria made mandatory by article 34 of the Public

During the year, training on the governance model (compliance, anti-corruption, antitrust, privacy, etc.) was provided to the entire corporate population via e-learning – with classroom sessions for the Group’s Risk & Compliance Bodies, established in 2019 – and on the Financial Information System (Law 262/05), the Administrative Responsibility of Bodies (Legislative Decree 231/01), Unfair Business Practices, Antitrust Law, GDPR (Privacy) and QASE Management Systems.

The Group companies also carried out training independently. The main examples are as follows:

  • at the Peschiera Aqueduct and the Purifier in North Rome Acea Ato 2 organized a course dedicated to the knowledge of the water business for the staff employed in the Sales Unit. Furthermore, the Company joined the training initiative for the creation of the position of Green Manager, promoted by the Lazio Region as part of the Plastic Free project;
  • for the free market service, Acea8cento provided training on commercial inbound, welfare tariff for employees and the Pedius service reserved for users with hearing impairment;
  • together with Acea Ato 2, Areti organized the Manager of the Territory experience-based project, which involved a total of 65 professionals of the two Companies, and the Social Team Building Optimisation project aimed at stimulating the application of cohesive and interchangeable teamwork methods, which involved 75 employees;
  • Gesesa offered training in environmental matters and communication and customer relationship techniques;
  • Gori trained incoming personnel from the acquired regional plants on environment, safety, quality, IT systems and technical and specialized activities, with dedicated courses for a total of 3,400 hours of training. 

Traditional and experience-based training involved a total of 648 courses (600 in 2018) with 1,361 editions (1,144 in 2018) and involving 4,420 people, 20% of whom were women. Moreover, the e-learning platform offered 7 courses that 4,499 people completed, 26% of whom were women.

The total training hours provided are 126,607 (in traditional, experience-based and e-learning training formats). Their contraction compared to approximately 113,985 hours in 2018 (see table no. 42).

The total training hours per capita96 are 23 (24 in 2018). When analysing data from a gender perspective, the hours of training per capita provided to male staff amounted to 24 and those provided to female staff amounted to 20. The breakdown by qualification is as follows: 26 hours for managers, 31 for executives, 22 for employees and 22 for other workers.

The overall costs incurred for the provision of the courses, net of scheduling for training and the preparation of the spaces allocated to it, were equal, in 2019, to € 1,640,808 (table no. 42).

TABLE NO. 42 – TRAINING (2018-2019)

course typecourses (no.)training (hours)costs (€)
governance model23207,7503,43023,668125,537
total600648 109,02499,2441,446,8091,612,800
GDPR – new European privacy
Code of Ethics1019703600
antitrust law112,4092,1534,350600
unlawful business practices11791,750360600
project management102003600
administrative liability of entities
(Legislative Decree no. 231/01)
QASE management systems111315,00936013,100
Legislative Decree no. 202/050103,651010,600
clerical workers32,79514,12546,92053,52520,65074,175

Acea defines programmes for employee development and to foster professional growth. One of these is Succession Planning, a programme that develops internal professionals who over time preparing to hold some of the main managerial positions.

The plan, which in 2019 identified 100 succession positions, provides for the identification of organizational positions to prepare for, training positions for the acquisition of adequate know-how and entry positions for starting career paths.

Succession paths are conceived in a multidisciplinary and multi-business logic so as to promote the dissemination of cross-cutting skills, and provide for the inclusion of people involved in specific assessment projects.

During the year, two targeted initiatives were organized to develop the managerial skills of employees: Business Coaching, a one-on-one training programme led by a professional and aimed at acquiring behavioural strategies to achieve business objectives, and Coaching “Leadership 4 Value”, a training course inspired by the Leadership Model.

Reskilling was also launched, a process that promotes the professional redevelopment of resources through dedicated training programmes.


Reskilling is a staff development method that makes it possible to respond to organizational needs, by developing people and their skills.

The initiative is for employees who intend to start a new career: those interested apply for open positions by carrying out a self-assessment, followed by an orientation interview with the person in charge of the activity. Finally, if the person is deemed suitable, work in the new position begins with training support and assistance.

The process was first applied in Acea8cento and Acea Energia: 97 people applied for 7 different positions, and 12 resources were chosen and placed in the new role.


Acea develops partnerships and cooperation with universities, participates in studies and research, meetings between companies and students and stipulates agreements to promote internships and apprenticeships.

In 2019 relations with Tor Vergata, La Sapienza, LUISS Giudo Carli, Studi Europei di Roma, Federico II di Napoli and Cassino universities were consolidated through the conclusion of agreements aimed at encouraging the transition of graduates into the working world.

Thanks to these interactions, 54 training internships and 43 curricular internships were established during the year and 26 young graduates were hired.

Acea also hired 45 young people who had previously participated in internships.

The Company utilizes the professional skills of its staff in university master’s degrees and courses and for technical projects.

In 2019, qualified company staff worked as teachers or provided company testimonies for university master’s degrees, dealing, in particular, with issues related to energy, the environment, sustainability and innovation.

In particular, Ecogena collaborated with SAFE, centre of excellence for studies and training on issues related to energy and the environment regarding the Master in Management of Energy Resources, Gesesa contributed along with the Faculties of Engineering and Economics and Management of the University of Sannio, to the course on Management of Integrated Water Service.

Finally, Acea participated with corporate testimonies on sustainability in the Master on Sustainable Development (MARIS) organized by the Tor Vergata University of Rome, and the Master “Sustainable enterprise: strategies, governance, processes and reporting” offered by the CUOA Business School.

The Group initiated a work-study programme involving several companies.

It is called the IdeAzione – Giovani Correnti Innov@ tive project, with which Acea employees and school teachers guide students in the development of innovative projects (see the box for details).


For the companies in the reporting scope, the IdeAzione – Giovani Correnti Innov@tive project involved 360 students from high schools in Lazio and Campania, who were given a total of 7,920 hours of training with the dual objective of promoting technical and scientific knowledge and bringing young people closer to the issues of technological and environmental innovation.

Students in the 5th year acting as Internal Auditors verified the energy efficiency of their school with respect to three drivers – Water, Energy, Environment – using a kit provided by Acea Energy Managers, thanks to which they carried out an environmental survey, an action plan and the environmental code of the school.

Students in the 4th year engaged in the idea generation contest offered innovative solutions to the challenge posed by 5th year classmates to foster the transformation of the school into an eco-friendly environment..


The Performance Management System, governed by company procedures, is the operational application of the Leadership Model and has the following objectives:

  • leverage personal contributions to the Group’s performance, including through the achievement of individual objectives – the measure of the “what” – and in relation to the behaviour – the measure of the “how”;
  • ensure the continuous improvement of performance at the individual and team levels.

In this perspective, performance is understood in a global sense, as a set of measurable results, and observable behaviours of the person with respect to a specific objective.

The remuneration policy adopted envisages short-term and longterm fixed and variable remuneration measures (MBO, LTIP).

The long-term (three-year) incentive Plan (LTIP) is reserved for CEO and senior managers, made up of Executives from the Group with strategic roles and responsibilities.

The earning of any bonus with a three-year cycle, is aimed at ensuring the continuity of company performance, guiding the actions of management towards medium- and long-term results.

The LTIP calculation system is calculated as a percentage of the Gross Annual Remuneration (GAR) and is subject to the level of achievement of objectives of an economic and financial nature (Gross Operating Profit – GOP and Return on Invested Capital – ROIC), identified by the Nomination and Remuneration Committee. Both objectives are linked to the appreciation of shares on the stock market (Total Shareholder Return – a measurement of the performance and appreciation of the value of Acea’s shares compared to a basket of comparable companies).

The 2016-2018 long-term incentive was terminated early in order to define a new LTIP aligned with the updated Business Plan, and following the approval of the economic-financial results by the Board of Directors, a fee equal to two-thirds of the amount due was paid to senior management.

The new long-term incentive for the 2018-2020 period will be paid to the recipients at the end of the three-year period.

The short-term incentive system (annual), Management by Objectives (MBO), is applied to senior and middle managers (managers and executives) and entitles them to receive a monetary bonus based on the achievement of objectives established in the performance management system. The system is divided into Group objectives, the same for all involved, and individual objectives.

Regarding the Group’s objectives, the system provides “access gates” consisting of four objectives, three of an economic and financial nature (EBITDA, Gross Profit, Net Financial Position) and one linked to the qualitative aspects of the services provided (Quality Award). For the assignment of individual objectives, managers can choose from the macro-objectives in the dedicated Catalogue that includes targets of the Group’s strategic planning, creating a direct link between strategy and the company’s operational management.

During the year Acea seeked to increase the integration of sustainability in its business activities, acting on the link between remuneration mechanisms and the achievement of socio-environmental objectives.

To this end, it aligned the performance management system (MBO) with the objectives of the Group Sustainability Plan, adding sustainability targets to the 2019 Objectives Catalogue. In 2019 50% of the company population included in the MBO system set individual goals having an impact on sustainability.

The performance bonus is awarded annually to managers, employees and workers, including with part-time employment contracts, fixed-term contracts and apprenticeship contracts. A financial amount is allocated to employees as recognition and to share the good results achieved by the company.

The criteria for awarding the performance bonus, as defined by an agreement with the trade unions, promote individual employee contributions by providing for an additional percentage beyond the basic value of the bonus, linked both to the achievement of collective objectives (increases in productivity, quality, efficiency and innovation) and to the assessment of conduct in accordance with the Leadership Model.

In 2019, as a result of the Group’s excellent economic and financial results, Acea paid employees (excluding executives and managers, already included in the MBO incentive system) an extraordinary bonus of € 500, measured on the basis of the months worked in 2018. In addition, in order to promote the Group’s Welfare Plan, the company paid the 158 ACEA GROUP / SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2019 THE NEW MY INTRANET PLATFORM My Intranet is the new platform of the Acea Group, accessible to all staff, conceived as a “service” tool aimed at improving information sharing, increasing employee involvement in intragroup projects and strengthening cultural identity.

The platform consists of 5 macro sections: The Group, Life in Acea, Communications, Address Book and My PC. My Intranet introduced numerous innovative features, including: the ability to be accessed from tablets and mobile phones, the Group’s address book, an integrated search engine for the immediate usability of information, the simplified organization of documents (organizational and regulatory), a single section for technical assistance and a wealth of complete and exhaustive information about companies.

The new platform also conveys visual content (videos and photos) as strategic tools for sharing intragroup events and projects, often carried out with the involvement of Group employees. staff an extraordinary amount of € 100 to be used in the My Welfare platform.

There are also benefits for employees, including those with part-time, fixed-term contracts and apprenticeship contracts, such as meal vouchers, a discount on electricity tariffs (for staff hired before 9 July 1996), the subsidies recognized through the Company Recreational Club (CRC) and a supplementary health insurance policy.

An insurance policy is also available for all employees, which, in the event of death, guarantees the beneficiaries the payment of monetary compensation. Additional benefits are offered to managers, such as the use of a company car and the reimbursement of fuel costs.


In Acea the Internal Communications Unit contributes to the promotion of the Group’s principles, values and strategic objectives through comprehensive information for all staff. The main channel of communication used to promote corporate initiatives and projects is the My Intranet portal which was updated in its graphics and content in the second half of the year (see the box).


My Intranet is the new platform of the Acea Group, accessible to all staff, conceived as a “service” tool aimed at improving information sharing, increasing employee involvement in intragroup projects and strengthening cultural identity.
The platform consists of 5 macro sections: The Group, Life in Acea, Communications, Address Book and My PC. My Intranet introduced numerous innovative features, including: the ability to be accessed from tablets and mobile phones, the Group’s address book, an integrated search engine for the immediate usability of information, the simplified organization of documents (organizational and regulatory), a single section for technical assistance and a wealth of complete and exhaustive information about companies. The new platform also conveys visual content (videos and photos) as strategic tools for sharing intragroup events and projects, often carried out with the involvement of Group employees.

In 2019 internal communication initiatives remained in line with the pillars of strategic planning: sustainability, welfare, safety, innovation, engagement, solidarity and community.
In particular, on the subject of environmental sustainability, in 2019 the awareness campaign “SOSteniamoci – Noi per la Sostenibilità” was proposed again, focusing on reducing the volume of plastic through the distribution to Group employees of over 5,000 customized aluminium bottles and the installation of 8 Water Kiosks at company headquarters. “The Day that Makes a Difference” was also organized, dedicated to the waste collection and promotion of a logic of “circular economy”, also combining the value of solidarity: In fact, at its headquarters Acea hosted the Community of Sant’Egidio and the association Antea, which received products donated by employees including used clothes, toys, children’s products, blankets, plastic caps.
In terms of solidarity, for the Easter and Christmas holidays Acea Solidarity Mondays continued, aimed at involving employees in the charitable activities of some humanitarian associations present in the capital and throughout the country.
In order to promote the topic of corporate welfare and well-being, Internal Communications has supported a number of projects:

  • the my Welfare platform (see the Industrial Relations section);
  • the second phase of the Smart People project – Acea Group’s agile work;
  • Acea welfare electricity and gas, the commercial offer for employees and their families. 

As part of the policies to promote the culture of well-being and prevention, in collaboration with the Industrial Relations Unit Internal Communications has organized the Previeni con Acea campaign, continuing with Komen Day (see also the section on Protection of health and safety at work) and continued the campaign Non mandiamo in fumo la salute with the launch of an anti- smoking course aimed at employees who voluntarily and freely joined the project.
Particular attention was paid to the issue of occupational safety with the new edition of the campaign “The Acea Group SiCura di Te”, which involved top management and organization staff of the Group companies (see also the section on Protection of health and safety at work). In December an event was organized at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome with the participation of company leaders and 1,200 employees aimed at retracing the main stages of the awareness-raising campaign, including through videos and guest testimonies.
Among the initiatives aimed at stimulating the engagement of the staff and the consolidation of the link with the local community, Internal Communications supported all the collaborative projects with the schools and that have involved the participation of employees as promoters (including the IdeAzione work-study programme, the Trade School, the Pre-boarding Project, etc., already illustrated in the subparagraphs Training and development of the staff and Collaboration with the university and high schools). It also collaborated in the organization of the annual intragroup sports tournament featuring numerous sports disciplines, and availed itself of a nationwide partnership for the collection of donations benefiting the Fondo per l ‘Ambiente Italiano (FAI), and organized the delivery of Christmas packages to employees, assembled with environmentally- friendly packaging, packaged by disabled people of the “Cooperativa Sociale La Ruota Onlus”. Finally, it organized yearend events for employees of the Group’s Industrial Segments to share the activities carried out and plan development prospects.
On the subject of innovation, the Unit supported the launch of the Acea Innovation Garage Project, the first internal entrepreneurship programme of the Acea Group (see all the Institutions and the company chapter).

96 The indicator was calculated by comparing the number of hours attended with the total number of employees.