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Respect for human rights

 

Our commitment in respect for human rights, in line with the indications given in the United Nations

Human rights are inalienable rights owned by all people; respect for them is an essential part of correct, responsible business activities. Terna has always recognised the importance of human rights, which are considered in its Code of Ethics, both by prescribing specific actions and by referring to the 10 Global Compact principles, six of which specifically regard human rights.

In 2017, Terna also adopted the Guideline “Respect for Human Rights within the Terna Group” to ensure the concrete implementation of its commitment, in line with the indications given in the United Nations “The guiding principleson business and human rights” (otherwise known as the “Ruggie Report”).

The due diligence process

The Guideline establishes that verification of respect for human rights by the Terna Group shall be entrusted to a due diligence process to be repeated from time to time, characterised by the following aspects:

  • Focus on the human rights most relevant to Terna’s business, such as rights connected with employment (e.g. discrimination, forced and child labour, freedom of association with trade unions, health and safety);
  • Conduct of an assessment aiming to:
    • Identify the areas of Terna’s business potentially exposed to the risk of violation of human rights;
    • Identify the measures existing in these areas to mitigate the risk (e.g. certified management systems, guidelines, operating instructions, contractual standards, training and sensitisation activities);
    • Define plans of action where such measures should be absent or inadequate;
    • Monitor the implementation of the plans of action;
  • Extension of all phases of the assessment to include suppliers, joint ventures and business partners.

In carrying out the due diligence process, interaction is considered with all subjects represented on the Terna stakeholder map, with particular attention paid to vulnerable groups, such as:

  • Children
  • Native populations
  • Migrants
  • Disabled

Results of the assessment

A first application of the due diligence process yielded the following results:

  • Hypothesising all situations in which - in theory and with no action taken to mitigate the position, including the application of provisions of law - it is possible that a human right may be harmed in relations with Terna, approximately 60% of the Group’s processes are not exposed to the risk of violating human rights;
  • in the other processes, the existing mitigation measures were found, on the basis of a first examination, to be adequate in preventing said risk. Only in a few cases was a supplementary investigation envisaged, as a scrupulous measure, which will be carried out in 2017, after which the need for improvements will be assessed;
Only in some cases, for example activities performed abroad, has the need arisen to evaluate the adequacy of the company’s tools for mitigating risks.
In 2018 the Audit Unit carried out an assessment to update the map of the areas of activities exposed to risk, assess the nature of the envisaged controls and ensure the concrete implementation thereof. From the analysis carried out, the control system to oversee respect for human rights was deemed satisfactory.

Remedial actions

The due diligence carried out highlighted the increase in existing mitigation measures thanks to the implementation of the following actions:

  • Approval of the Global Compliance Program (GCP), a control tool for the foreign companies in the Group
  • Publication of the Anti-Corruption Guidelines, applicable to all Italian and foreign companies in line with best international practice
  • The progress of the action plan on Terna's activities in the main foreign countries in which it operates (Brazil, Peru, Uruguay) and the publication of a further set of company documentation for overseas activities
  • The risk of violation is also adequately supervised for suppliers, joint ventures and business partners
Vigeo investigation on human rights: Terna top Italian company

In February 2017 the French ratings and sustainability research agency Vigeo-Eiris released the results of its new research on the actions of corporations relative to human rights. In the study, “The human rights responsibilities of business in a changing world”, involving over 3,000 companies in 35 countries and in 38 sectors, Terna was ranked 14th globally, and number one in Italy, in the group of the global top 30.

Press Release Vigeo-Eiris