Sustainability is a term that appears innovative to my generation yet, without knowing it, in our Company its meaning has been carried forward, with dedication, for decades: caring for people, attention to the health and safety of our workers, respect for the environment and local communities have always been priorities in Ghella.
Today we face, as inhabitants of this planet, the necessity to remedy the unsustainability of our own ambition. The world of construction is in constant contrast: a precarious balance between nature and engineering genius.
The two realities must coexist in harmony.
Our commitment has adapted to the significance of the challenge that awaits us.
2019 was an important year for sustainability in Ghella. On the strength of our experience, we have embarked on a structured path towards the continuous improvement of sustainability performance, shared for the first time in a corporate Sustainability Report.
We started with people: the first step was to listen to the expectations of our stakeholders and reflect them in our priorities. Then, we developed the three-year Sustainability Plan, a strategic tool that defines our goals, and strengthened our internal Governance to promote a sustainability culture throughout the Company.
For years Ghella has been carefully identifying targeted projects and I believe that time has proved us right. 92% of our 2019 work portfolio consists of projects that contribute to the advancement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Tunnels are considered the future of urban centres and of major rail links and this makes us active players in the transition towards sustainable mobility.
We create durable works that have the least possible impact on the environment.
Our people grow with us and pass onto the youngest the ethics and technical skills that distinguish us. The safety of our workers is a top priority. In 2019 we recorded a 42% decrease in the frequency of injuries, compared to the previous year.
Our wide international presence allows us to transfer technical knowledge and bring innovation and value where we operate, in the interest of local people and communities, generating value for all stakeholders.
The future is all to be designed: only through a sustainable development will we be able to offer a better world to future generations.
Chairman & CEO
Founded in 1894, Ghella is a leading company in the construction of major infrastructure projects worldwide.
Specialized in underground works, we are active in the construction of infrastructure projects such as subways, railways, motorways and hydraulic works.
The headquarters of the Company is in Rome, but the largest production is concentrated abroad mainly in Oceania, the Americas, Europe and the Far East.
The use of advanced technologies, the continuous training of our people, the development of innovative construction methods combined with a particular attention to safety and respect for the environment, allowed us to carry out complex engineering works, contributing to the dynamic and steady growth of the Company as well as to the economic and social development of the territories where we operate.
Alongside the infrastructure sector, we are active in the renewable energy sector with the development, construction and operation of energy plants from renewable sources, mainly photovoltaic and hydroelectric, in Italy, Central America and the Middle East.
Our Sustainability journey starts from the Vision of the future that we want to build by sharing our business choices: a better world for the next generations.
We are aware that the realisation of this vision can only be the result of the collective action of multiple players: governments, organisations, companies and civil society. This is why we have placed at the centre of our daily actions a corporate Mission aimed at maintaining our history as 'constructors of excellence' on a path of innovation and sustainability, and a clear set of values aimed at guiding the behaviour of all of us.
The company Vision and Mission both aim at Sustainability because the intent we pursue is the integration of its principles in all aspects of 'doing business': from the choice of targeted projects, to the way we carry out our works, in corporate as well as site processes.
Over the past 20 years the role of companies in society has changed: from an initial focus on short-term financial performance and profit for shareholders, companies have shifted the attention towards aspects that can affect their solidity in the long term, such as the creation of social, environmental and economic value for their stakeholders.
Creating shared value implies not only sharing with stakeholders the positive effects of operating sustainably, but also listening to different perspectives, opinions and experiences before making important decisions.
The challenge that companies face is to create synergies in the way the term sustainability is interpreted within their sector, i.e. to verify that the principles on which the company bases its way of doing sustainability, and sets its strategic choices, reflect the needs, expectations and concerns of the stakeholders with whom it shares the journey.
In Ghella, we are aware that the Vision "Leaving a better world for future generations" is achievable only through a joint effort, in which our stakeholders are made part of our sustainability path and are involved in setting its direction.
To this end, starting from 2019, we have embarked on a progressive consultation process aimed at understanding how our corporate strategy, in terms of sustainability, responds to the priorities of key stakeholders and to take any potential corrective actions.
In line with the AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard, the first step was to map the key players who sit at the interface with our activities. The selection was made on the basis of their ability to affect Ghella's objectives, impacts and performance, or be affected by it. The image below shows the categories of Ghella's main stakeholders.
The second step was to identify a set of environmental, economic and social topics in line with the objectives of our Sustainability Plan, the SDGs and the GRI Standards. The study was also enriched by the analysis of other documents specific to the construction sector, leading to the definition of a set of 29 relevant sustainability topics on which to focus the analysis.
Ethics and Integrity
Code of ethics
Our Code of Ethics aims to define the values, commitments and ethical - social responsibilities that all those who work in the name and on behalf of Ghella are required to assume when carrying out business activities. It expresses the ethical and conduct principles that represent us and that all those who work to achieve the Company objectives are required to comply with.
The Code of Ethics, which can be consulted on our website Ghella.com, is adopted by all Group companies and all employees are periodically trained on its contents.
We believe in our people and we value them. We are committed to providing the best opportunities for individual development and to protecting the rights and needs of our employees. We are constantly working to ensure the best occupational health and safety standards for our employees and for subcontractors working on our construction sites. We monitor our supply chain to ensure that Human Rights principles are respected, and suitable working conditions are guaranteed.
We follow the highest ethical and behavioural standards in our work. We offer active leadership and promote trust, transparency and collaboration to develop teamwork. We favour the creation of an optimal work environment for achieving excellent results.
Our attention to social inclusiveness is not limited to the company perimeter: we listen to the expectations of the Local Communities who will benefit from the public works we help to create. We are committed to leaving a positive legacy with our projects and to protecting and promoting the well-being, human capital and environmental, historical and cultural heritage of the territories where we work.
Principali risultati economico-finanziari
Economic value generated & distributed
The distribution by geographic area of revenues and of the work-portfolio for 2019 shows the international nature of our business, with over 75% of revenues and 73% of the work-portfolio carried out abroad.
In line with the Environmental Policy, the Sustainability Policy and the Corporate Sustainability Plan, we operate according to high sustainability standards with the aim of reducing the environmental footprint associated with the construction phase as much as possible, while preserving the richness of the local ecosystems and becoming active players in the global challenge to mitigate Climate Change.
Proper management of environmental issues has always been at the centre of our modus operandi and is formalized through the adoption of an Integrated Management System, whose environmental component is certified in accordance with the international standard ISO 14001: 2015.
The system adopts a Risk-based-thinking approach and aims to ensure that since the planning stage all our worksites carry out an assessment of the Significant Environmental Aspects, i.e. all elements of our activities that interact with the environment and that can generate impacts on it, both in standard conditions and in potential emergencies.
Generally, among the significant environmental aspects that we keep under control in our worksites to prevent potential local direct impacts, we find:
Water management and protection
Management and protection of the soil and subsoil
Emissions into the atmosphere/dust
Protection of Biodiversity
Management of hazardous substances
Management of historical, architectural and archaeological heritage