2020 was a real test, both for Italy and for TIM. The external context, which was drastically affected by the pandemic and its dramatic consequences for public health and the economy, has led to an extraordinary boost for digital technology, demonstrating its potential both in terms of resilience and development, in every conceivable way.
Internally, sustainability has become even more central to how the Group operates: the aim of having a significant and positive impact on the environment, and indeed our society, has led us to begin extensive restructuring for our processes, our relationship with suppliers, our energy procurement system and the way we present ourselves to the market.
The sustainability aims TIM has set for itself are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN General Assembly and include medium and long-term environmental, social and governance targets, which are therefore confirmed today.
The realistic nature of our approach has led us to intervene in the three foremost areas of the company in terms of size and value: infrastructure, customers and skills.
With regards to infrastructure, alongside our commitment to providing ultrabroadband to all Italian territories, we have launched an energy transition policy that is in line with the United Nations’ and European Union’s global environmental strategies, which aim to reduce the environmental impact of our activities and have a positive influence on climate change.
With regards to customers, we have developed circular economy initiatives which aim to extend product lifetimes, use secondary materials and reduce the use of consumables in shops. In addition to this we have further enhanced our partnerships, such as our collaboration with ASVIS, to promote a culture of sustainability.
In terms of corporate clients, our aim is to provide them with a range of services to help them build and fulfil their social and environmental commitment. With this in mind, the cloud will enable us to shut down thousands of inefficient and obsolete servers and ensure more secure data management.
The results achieved so far are important.
In 2020, ultrabroadband coverage was extended to around 3,500 municipalities. The procurement of energy from renewable sources covered 30% of the Group’s energy consumption, increasing at our planned rate. We launched TIM Green, the portfolio dedicated to circular economy offers and reconditioned products, created cybersecurity solutions for business customers, and strengthened our social-ethical policy with suppliers. We became a technology partner for Green Pea (the first eco-sustainable shopping centre in Europe, created in Turin), positioning ourselves within it with a TIM shop dedicated entirely to sustainability. During 2020 we launched a plan to transform TIM’s offices, reducing and revising our spaces to stimulate well-being, creativity and sharing, while also working to reduce energy consumption. The profound transformation of our Data Centers, which accompanied the birth of Noovle, was achieved adopting criteria for eco-sustainable design, energy efficiency and the reduction of space and consumption, despite continuous growth in data traffic.
We launched a new fund called UV T-Growth via TIM Ventures, our company dedicated to Corporate Venture Capital, in partnership with United Ventures. The Fund aims to invest in innovative companies in the cloud, Internet of Things, edge computing and cyber security sectors, aiming to combine our ability to develop technologies with the innovation that the national and international ecosystem of start-ups produces.
Finally, we wanted to address the lack of digital skills in our society, because we believe that, similarly to the widespread use of physical communication networks, overcoming the digital cultural divide is a crucial competitive element for the challenges awaiting Italy within the field of innovation. However, a goal of this nature requires a lot of sharing; for this reason, we have focused on a great alliance between institutions, companies and the public, creating “Operazione Risorgimento Digitale” [Operation Digital Renaissance], an important free digital training initiative aimed at citizens, businesses and local government offices alike.
We achieved all the intermediate objectives in our Sustainability Plan and, in some cases, we were able to anticipate the result expected for the end of 2022, for example those for the “successful engagement survey” indicator aimed at company employees.T
The solidity of the Plan and the results achieved to date have led to TIM’s inclusion in the main sustainability indexes, including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe and World, and at the same time laid the foundations for its recent entry into the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index (GEI), an important recognition of the Group’s focus on gender equality. With the 2021-2023 plan, gender equality objectives are consolidated with the introduction of targets on the pay gap and managerial representation of women.
Furthermore, as confirmation of TIM’s commitment and position in view of its self-assigned sustainability targets, in January 2021 TIM issued its first Sustainability Bond, with a value of 1 billion euros and a maturity of 8 years.
2020 was a year of significant change and uncertainty, but it also consolidated the awareness that technology and digital can be an important driver for inclusion and a more sustainable vision of society as a whole. TIM’s 2021-2023 Plan, “Beyond connectivity”, reiterates the central role of environmental, social and governance targets and showcases TIM’s desire to play a leading role in development which is able to reach current targets while ensuring future ones.