One year after the first edition, we present with great satisfaction the second Integrated Report of the Poste Italiane Group. Over the years, Poste Italiane has shown its ability to transform its operational structures and services by adapting to market needs, and in some cases anticipating them, through continuous investment in technology and know-how. This Report is a concrete representation of how the Group, through its business model and strategy, has been able to manage risks and, above all, to seize the opportunities offered by the context, achieving important results for the Company and stakeholders.
Poste Italiane is now the largest logistics operator in Italy, and is a leading player in the financial, insurance and payment services sector. The Company plays an important role in the country, making a strong contribution to the production chain and the national economy: by investing and operating together with other operators in its value chain, it generates positive results not only through its own business, but also by generating externalities through the activation of a local supply chain.
With a turnover of over €11 billion, the Group’s activities generate significant impacts on the country in terms of Gross Domestic Product, tax revenues, employment and household income. These impacts are the effect of the involvement of many local companies - many of them small and medium-sized - in the supply chain and investment activities in Italian companies and government bonds. Supporting both public and private actors, Poste Italiane contributes to the development of the entire national economy.
Aware of the importance of the role and responsibilities assumed for the country, the Deliver 2022 strategic plan has the aim of maximizing the value of the largest distribution network in Italy, responding to the ever-changing needs of customers and seizing new business opportunities towards digitisation. The Plan will make it possible to fully capitalise on the strengths that make Poste Italiane’s network which consists of more than 12,800 Post Offices unique by setting targets on realistic assumptions with limited execution risk through a business transformation programme, a focus on changing customer needs and sustainable dividend growth, in line with the Group’s improved operating performance.
The driving force behind this value-creation process over time is a business model which, by making the most of all the capitals on which the Company is based, allows achieving the objectives that the Group has set for each operating sector in an integrated Strategic Plan with ESG objectives. Thanks to a sustainable business model, it becomes possible to face the new challenges offered by increasingly changing and competitive scenarios not only by reacting to risks, but by seizing all opportunities without ignoring their social implications.
It is precisely the set of capital on which this model is based - in particular, intellectual and human capital - that is the fundamental element of success in a rapidly changing market that requires continuous development of its business and ability to innovate. Poste Italiane has proven to be capable of transforming its operating structures and its products and services, through continuous investments in technology and know-how, transforming market challenges into opportunities for the creation of shared value. Also in 2019, the performance achieved registered the validity and effectiveness of the choices made, with growth in the various business segments.
In this context, the ability to create innovation and make it available to all citizens becomes central to providing a timely response to the external needs expressed by stakeholders and to implement an effective strategy at all levels of the organisation. The digital solutions developed not only at product and service level, but also at the level of internal processes and the launch of a structured Digital Transformation path are representative of the approach chosen by Poste Italiane.
Innovation is one of the founding elements of the Group’s integrated strategy, which recognises its value both from an economic and financial point of view and for the achievement of general sustainable development objectives - in particular, those defined by the United Nations for Agenda 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals). For Poste Italiane, being sustainable means defining a clear strategy consisting of elements consistent with the Group’s business objectives and the social needs expressed by the territory.
Taking into account the continuous evolution of these needs, Poste Italiane monitors the relevance and effectiveness of the Sustainability Strategy adopted, the Policies that constitute it and the ESG Strategic Plan that represents its operational application into specific objectives. By understanding the future evolution of the market and listening to the voice of stakeholders through continuous activities and institutional moments - of which the annual Multi-stakeholder Forum represents the maximum expression - it was possible to renew this Strategy by introducing two new pillars: Innovation and Diversity and inclusion now flank by Integrity and transparency, People development, Support for Territory and Country, Customer experience, Decarbonisation of real estate facilities and logistics and Sustainable finance.
It is important to reiterate that the strategy is based on different types of capital in which Poste Italiane invests and which are an integral part of its business model: financial, physical-structural, intellectual, human, social-relational and natural. The use of this capital allows Poste Italiane to offer products and services on the market and create economic, environmental and social impacts.
The correct management of capital also from an ESG perspective is part of our vision of a “sustainable company” and the path taken over the last three years is made up of many stages representative of this vision that have involved strategy, governance and reporting systems and have led to important evolutionary transformations that in a short time, have led the Company to achieve many goals in 2019.
The commitment to corporate action based on integrity and transparency has led, in particular, to the subscription of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the United Nations initiative that encourages companies to actively promote principles of ethical and responsible business conduct. In addition, with regard to the protection of human rights in relation to gender equality and non-discrimination, the Company is further committed to the Women’s Empowerment Principles, the initiative promoted by UN Women and the Global Compact in support of gender equality worldwide. These initiatives are perfectly consistent with the importance of diversity and inclusion for Poste Italiane, leading to the adoption of a corporate policy dedicated to the issue and making it a pillar of the Group’s Sustainability Strategy.
The effort that Poste Italiane has made to achieve a structured sustainability path that is fully consistent with its business objectives has led the Group to achieve major awards during the year. First in order of time, was the entry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the most prestigious sustainability index that includes only the companies considered the best in the world in the sustainable management of their business. Being admitted both in the “World” segment and in the more restrictive “Europe” segment is an additional reason of pride for the Group.
This was followed by other entries in equally important indexes: Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), Euronext Vigeo-Eiris World 120, FTSE4GOOD and the RobecoSAM Sustainability Yearbook 2020 as “Industry Mover”.
In light of the achievements, which give a measure of the reputation that Poste Italiane has today and its importance as a competitive lever to face and win the challenges of an increasingly evolved market, we look with satisfaction at the path we have taken so far and with confidence at the one still ahead of us, aware that only through a constant and concrete commitment to achieving common goals and shared values with our stakeholders can we grow together and face new challenges of sustainable development.
Maria Bianca Farina
Matteo Del Fante