Meet Claudio Pirani - ERG Sustainability Manager

Hi, Claudio, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do at ERG?

Hi, well what would you like to know? I arrived at ERG following the acquisition of EnerTAD (ERG's first step along the road to renewables), in 2007.
I began by handling internal audits and the development of organisation and management models in accordance with Italian Legislative Decree 231 and joined the sustainability department in 2010.

I am mainly responsible for identifying the Group's sustainability goals (approved subsequently by the Sustainability Committee), their updating and coordination with the SDGs.

In addition, I draft the Group's Sustainability Report: this is a complex process that involves a number of company departments in collecting both qualitative (what we do and how we do it) and quantitative (the famous KPIs – key performance indicators) information.

The issue of sustainability is more relevant than ever. How is it addressed at ERG?

As some have said, ERG is "the paradigm of sustainability" as a result of the change in business implemented over the last few years. But I like to remind people that this is not everything when it comes to sustainability at ERG. It extends to our way of managing our facilities, which benefit from certified procedures in the environmental (ISO 14001) and safety (OHSAS 18001) fields. It also extends to our way of managing our staff: such a radical change in business could have led to very high turnover.

Our colleagues had the chance to acquire and develop new skills, thus increasing their employability and successfully taking on new organisational positions. A skills monitoring indicator (HCC – Human Capital Coverage) and training indices that far exceed the average have enabled a ‘conversion without redundancies'. Obviously, environmental issues must not be ignored: our business is the best weapon in the fight against climate change. Last, but not least, there are our relationships with local stakeholders, who receive considerable resources through support for local projects and our educational projects dedicated to "future generations".

Today, through Legislative Decree 254/2016 on non-financial information, we are facing a genuine revolution in terms of reporting. Can you tell us what's happening?

Switching from voluntary reporting to that required by law is no small step, not so much because of the responsibilities involved, but more due to the wider involvement within the company, the fact that specific deadlines must be met with no possibility of an extension, the need to implement structured and robust reporting processes.

Our commitment will not significantly change; through an inter-departmental group, we are implementing the reporting process in order to be ready to meet the deadline of 31 December 2017. Thanks to 10 years of drafting Sustainability Reports, we are no novices, but ‘tomorrow' everything will need to be more formalised, more precise and more accurate.

What are the next dates in your agenda as regards discussing this topic?

Within the Sustainability and Social Innovation Convention at the Bocconi University in Milan, on the 4th October I took part in the seminar entitled "Communication and transparency: what will change with the new Directive". That was a good opportunity to meet institutions, companies, professionals and academics, with the purpose of investigating the impact of the new regulations on non-financial information.
The implementation of Legislative Decree 254/2016 on the reporting of non-financial information will be the subject of one of the next meetings of @ERGLab: alongside other companies in our sector, we will address some of the practical problems caused by the implementation of reporting and its specific topics, such as, for example, the environmental impact of activities.