A four-year period has now passed since A2A decided to make a formal and public commitment to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs through two documents: a strategic document, the Sustainability Policy for 2030, and a more operational one, the Sustainability Plan, which takes the five-year period as a reference, identifying actions and quantitative targets, which are monitored and updated annually, in an integrated manner with the Business Plan.
With the Sustainability Policy for 2030, A2A has set itself the aim of helping the communities in which it operates to be more sustainable, through the responsible management of its activities. The Policy, defined in 2016, can be traced back to four pillars (Circular Economy, Decarbonization, Smart Solution, People Innovation), which are essential challenges for A2A's business.
Historically, and well before we began to talk extensively about circular economy, A2A had already adopted a business model oriented to the maximum recovery of resources in its activities: from the recovery of material and energy from waste to the recirculation of water for self-consumption of thermoelectric power plants and the recovery of energy from sludge downstream of purification processes, just to name a few examples. For A2A and its activities, in fact, circular economy means managing all resources in a sustainable manner, not just waste, paying attention as much to the reuse of resources as to the reduction in the production of waste up to the maximum exploitation and protection of each resource, starting from water.
The issue of the circular economy is in many ways linked to the issue of decarbonization, for example, if we consider the objective of zeroing landfilling, from which enormous quantities of greenhouse gases originate. Moreover, aware of our role and our impact on the issue of emissions, we have always been committed to putting into practice the guidelines of international agreements on climate and the National Energy Strategy: we focus on and invest in renewable sources and innovation to reduce emissions and the use of fossil fuels. We develop our electricity, gas and district heating networks to be efficient, resilient and open structures, favouring the contribution of electricity generation distributed, the recovery of waste heat from industrial processes and the use of biomethane.
In order to support the development of cities as places to live and work well, respecting the territory and natural resources, A2A offers customers, institutions and communities "intelligent" services that optimize the use of resources thanks to new smart and digital technologies. Sustainable mobility, energy efficiency, sensors, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, home automation are some of the key words that will shape the future. Innovation, developed in partnership with Universities, Research Centres and Start-ups, becomes crucial to continuously develop new services that are useful and functional to improve quality of life.
The attention to people, inside and outside A2A, is the leitmotif of the People Innovation pillar. In fact, we are committed to providing our employees with high standards of health and safety, training, benefits and welfare programs. In the same way, we are committed to the territories in which we operate, guaranteeing maximum transparency on our activities and performance, undertaking a great many stakeholder engagement initiatives, and implementing awareness-raising and training activities in schools.
The Sustainability Plan has been developed in conjunction with the Policy and is a tool that allows continuous monitoring and verification of the progress of the identified sustainability objectives, in line with the priorities and time frames of the Business Plan. In 2019 it was updated with a time horizon of 2020-2024.