The fourth Integrated Report of the Poste Italiane Group aims to provide a complete description of the sustainability strategy adopted over the years by the Company, representing the financial, environmental, social and governance performances and offering an overview of the future prospects in relation to the material topics for the Company and for stakeholders. The Report offers a clear view of the processes on which the creation of shared value is based in the short, medium and long term through activities implemented during the year, in order to promote a sustainable and profitable growth, while contributing to the sustainable growth of the country.
Through the Integrated Report, Poste Italiane is able to communicate fully and in detail its objectives and results, illustrating the mutual influence that runs between the external context, the strategy, the business model and the forms of financial and non-financial capital. In this way, the Group once again confirms the importance of adopting an approach integrated with business management, which incorporates financial and sustainability elements within the same document.
The integration of sustainability into the business brings the need to pay continuous attention on the Group’s social and environmental impacts. These impacts are managed thanks to strategic choices intended to satisfy the needs of stakeholders and achieve the pre-defined business objectives. The achievement of objectives is made possible thanks to investment in the main forms of capital, including: financial, human, physical-structural, intellectual, social and natural. The document also seeks to clarify the process that governs the management of capital, assets on which the Group’s sustainable success depends. At the same time, they represent elements affected by Poste Italiane in its operations, in order to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. For this reason, this year the document once more provides a depiction of the Group’s business model and a clear representation of the correlation between company performance and the aforesaid types of capital. Lastly, the results are represented, for each form of capital, in Chapter 2 “Highlights”.
The continuation of the health emergency meant no changes were made to any of the activities promptly implemented in 2020 to correctly and efficiently manage the impact generated by the pandemic. In line with the previous year, Chapter 5 “Risks and Opportunities” includes a table showing links with all the measures carried out, the capital required to perform them and the pillars where their details are provided, in order to offer readers a clear representation of the activities carried out by the Group in the context of the emergency and the impacts produced by them. Lastly, throughout the document, content related to the management of Covid-19 is highlighted by the following infographic:
In order to guarantee an adequate representation of the activities carried out, in 2021 the names of two of the Group’s eight strategic pillars were updated: “Support for local communities and the Country as a whole” and “Decarbonisation of real estate facilities and logistics”. Respectively, “Support for local communities and the Country as a whole” was renamed “Creating value for the country” in order to better express the Group’s commitment to creating and disbursing shared value. The name of the “Decarbonisation of real estate facilities and logistics” pillar was changed to “Green transition”, with the aim of promoting the new comprehensive approach adopted by the Company which integrates environmental issues into all Poste Italiane products, services and processes. The new name also aims to represent Poste Italiane’s new green strategy as thoroughly as possible. The company strives to speed up the energy transition process in particular through the so-called “Green Challenge”, which includes entering the energy market with an offer from 100% renewable sources and the offsetting of CO2 emissions through the development of ad hoc tools. The changes to the two Pillar names also reflect the events of the fifth edition of the Multi-stakeholder Forum, in light of the greater relevance attributed to environmental topics and topics related to the creation of shared value for the community.
The main change to the 2021 Integrated Report is the introduction of a section dedicated to the EU Taxonomy, pursuant to Regulation (EU) no.852/2020, in Chapter 9 “Non-financial statement”. The section reflects Poste Italiane’s desire to contribute to the sustainable development objectives of the European Union and to operate in compliance with legislative requirements. To this end, the Group has undertaken a careful analysis of its activities and the legislative framework issued by European institutions and has prepared a methodological approach intended to provide an adequate disclosure.
Chapter 4 also provides a representation of the new methodology used to identify the Group’s material topics. In particular, for the first time, Poste Italiane has introduced a dual perspective into the evaluation of material topics: “Inside-out” and “Outside-in”. External engagement (Inside-out) allows the Company to consider the current or potential significant impacts of its activities and the activities of its value chain on society and the environment. Through internal engagement (Outside-in), on the other hand, the Group took into account Sustainability topics that could positively or negatively impact its strategy, its performance and its positioning in the near, medium or long term and therefore create or erode its value. By introducing the concept of double materiality as of 2021, Poste Italiane has acted in advance of the requirements introduced by the new proposed amendment of European Directive 2014/95/EU.
In line with previous years, the 2021 Integrated Report contains a consolidated non-financial statement, integrated in the Report on Operations, present in Chapter 9. The NFS has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of articles 3 and 4 of Italian Legislative Decree 254/2016 and the “Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting Standards” defined by the GRI – Global Reporting Initiative (hereinafter “GRI Standards”) according to the “in accordance – Core” option. In chapter 9, paragraph “Reporting standards and policies”, a connecting table that indicates the information content required by the Decree and its positioning within the Integrated Report is included, with the aim of making it easier to find all non-financial information. In addition, such content is also noted, to make it easily identifiable, by this infographic:
The Group’s fourth Integrated Report has been prepared by applying the framework for Integrated Reporting published by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). Poste Italiane has also reported the Covid-19 disclosures that ESMA1 has required issuers to provide in their Annual Financial Reports and Non-Financial Statement for 2021. ESMA not only identifies the impacts of the pandemic as a priority of the 2021 non-financial report, but also topics related to climate change. In this context, it should be noted that in 2021, Poste Italiane officially became a supporting member of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure, thus intensifying its commitment in that area. Not only does the new version of the integrated document illustrate the risk management methods and the opportunities associated with the Group’s activities according to the TCFD recommendations, it also contains a table linking the recommendations of the TCFD with the content of the Integrated Report, extending the Group’s disclosure on managing climate change-related risks and opportunities. Lastly, this year Poste Italiane carried out a review of the climate scenarios, using as a reference the document prepared by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the main literature on this subject, with the aim of reflecting potential future developments in this area.
In line with 2020, the indicators of the 2021 Integrated Report are reclassified according to the standards of SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board), again demonstrating the attention reserved by the Group to requests for information from investors in relation to the assessment of companies according to ESG criteria. In addition, Poste Italiane, proving its commitment to take part in the creation of a shared and universal framework for non-financial reporting, also reports this year the indicators related to “material ESG metrics”, present in the latest version dated September 2020, in the “Towards Common Metrics and Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation” document presented in January of that year at the World Economic Forum.
Over time, Poste Italiane has continued to contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, and in this sense, the Document provides an overview of the impact of this contributio nusing a table linking the targets pursued by the Group, the GRI Standards indicators and the SDGs, adopting the latest indications contained in the latest version of the document “SDG Compass” prepared by GRI, UN Global Compact and WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development).
This Annual Financial Report is also formed of the following documents: the consolidated financial statements of the Poste Italiane Group, the separate financial statements of Poste Italiane including BancoPosta’s separate report, the associated declarations pursuant to art.154 bis, section 5 of Italian Legislative Decree 58/1998 and the reports by the Board of Statutory Auditors and the Independent Auditors, referring to the financial year ended at 31 December 2021, and the Report on Corporate Governance and the Ownership Structure published on the Company’s website in the Governance section, to be considered an integral part and to which reference is made for further information about the Corporate Governance structures.
The Annual Financial Report, approved by Poste Italiane SpA’s Board of Directors on 22 March 2022, will be made available to the public, within the deadlines required pursuant to current laws and regulations (i.e. by 30 April 2022), on the following website: https://www.posteitaliane.it/en/reports.html#/.
1. ESMA document on European common supervisory priorities for 2021 “European common enforcement priorities for 2021 annual financial reports” published on 29 October 2021.