Sustainability, public-private alliance, strategies for legality and safety

The European House – Ambrosetti event in collaboration with Axpo Italia and Calenia Energia

Create value for the territories through one’s actions by considering the situation from which the Italian context starts and evaluating every possible synergy between public and private to improve perception and reality with respect to legality and safety in the cities and provinces of the country. These are the assumptions and objectives of the ‘Public-private alliance: together for legality’ initiative organized by The European House – Ambrosetti in collaboration with Axpo Italia, the fourth operator on the free energy market in Italy and among the main players active in promotion of renewable energy, and Calenia Energia, an Axpo Group company active in energy production using combined cycle technology. The centerpiece of the event was the presentation of research, signed by The European House – Ambrosetti, which underlined some key points of the potential development in collaboration between public bodies and private entities aimed at improving the relationship between companies and the territories in which they work and, consequently, improve the dynamics related to safety and legality.

Legality and safety are fundamental components of territorial capital which can be analyzed from a multidimensional perspective in four identified value creation domains: Economic Capital or the ability to generate economic and financial value and related activities of private enterprise; Social Capital, i.e. the contribution to employment, to its stability, to gender equality, to the health, well-being and safety of people; Cognitive Capital, i.e. the company’s ability to generate know-how and skills, promoting development and modernisation; the Environmental Capital which contributes to the maintenance and protection of the territories in which each company operates. While on the one hand, summarizes the research, the Italian context records a progressive improvement in the relationship between perceived safety and actual safety, international perception sees Italy still with a worse safety index than its main economic competitors (France, Spain and Germany ) and rather behind the average European safety index. On the other hand, from the security index of Italian territories, it emerges that high levels of crime persist in 27 provinces and over 23 million Italians live in provinces with high or medium-high crime.

Among the enabling factors for legality and safety, education, equity, civility and culture, work and prospects stand out. “We have been committed for years to dialogue with all the territories in which we work – commented the president of Axpo Italia, Salvatore Pinto – Our effort is aimed at the country’s energy transition and collaboration on challenging European objectives, but we think that this does not is neither possible nor proposable without adequate attention to the socio-economic aspects which represent the basis of a healthy system capable of evolving and developing. Our commitment to sustainability, summarized in our annual report, therefore aims to go beyond issues strictly related to business, to embrace a broader perspective, including the communities of which the company is part and with which it relates. In this direction, I am very proud to be able to announce a very important opening to dialogue with the Ministry of the Interior in order to evaluate the possibility of synergies that also concern security in the power plant areas. Among the priority issues for us, relations with the authorities, the quality of services, the training and development of human capital are rightfully among the main ones”.

Human capital, underlines the research, enhanced thanks to the creation of jobs and professionalism, constitutes one of the essential levers for combating crime by offering virtuous economic alternatives to citizens. This must necessarily be associated with the promotion of cultural and sporting activities as well as the need to reduce inequalities, starting with income. In this regard, Marco Sacchi, CEO of Axpo Servizi Produzione Italia which manages the Calenia Energia Combined Cycle Power Plant, recalled how, “over the years, with Calenia Energia we have maintained a constant active dialogue with the local fabric, also and above all through training. Always keeping a proactive institutional dialogue alive, we have constantly taken care of the relationship with the community in which we operate through the activity of this energy production plant. A concrete commitment which saw the financing of a University Master’s Degree in Energy and Environmental Safety which captures the dual objective of developing the culture of professionalisation and making those specialized work skills available to companies which are more urgent and necessary than ever” .

Axpo Italia has, for some time now, embarked on a journey with Arbolia, the Snam benefit company created to develop new green areas in Italy, aimed not only at the reforestation of the tree heritage of the cities in which the company has its own headquarters and offices but, at at the same time, to the involvement of its own employees and stakeholders in concrete reforestation activities. “The reforestation projects that Arbolia carries out throughout Italy are a concrete example of how companies, alongside institutions, can support the communities and areas in which they operate. These projects, in addition to safeguarding biodiversity, have, in fact, the objective of improving the quality of the air and life of the territories and local communities on which they exist”, stated Matteo Tanteri, Sole Director of Arbolia.

However, returning to the elements of the research, there is a problem of inefficiency in the training sector which, in addition to causing difficulties in entering the working context, creates various problems for the private sector and a real cost to the company: in 47.6% of cases companies report having difficulty finding workers due to lack of candidates (31.7%), inadequate preparation (12%) or other unspecified reasons (3.9%). A very current topic considering that, in 2022, compared to the previous year, the number of companies experiencing difficulties in finding workers increased by 9 percentage points. “Businesses today are fully aware of the importance of sustainability, in which the social component plays a central role – observes Emiliano Briante, Associate Partner and Head of Business and Policy Impact, The European House – Ambrosetti – In this sense, safety and legality are essential factors to create value within the territories. Precisely to influence these two factors, companies have important levers at their disposal: the contribution to the education and training sector; the creation of quality jobs and the contribution to the promotion and development of positive aggregation models. These levers act positively on the enabling factors of the safety and legality of the Italian territories that the study has identified through the creation of a proprietary index, the Isti, and correlations with 45 socioeconomic indicators. What is central, once the data and underlying dynamics have been analysed, is that the contribution of the private sector to safety and legality and to the construction of value for the territories can only take place through an alliance with other actors: the public sector and institutions, third sector, civil society… following a logic of shared value”.