In these recent years characterised by the Covid-19 pandemic, I think we all have asked ourselves what to expect from the future as people, citizens and companies. In fact, the pandemic has changed our habits, our way of living, working and interacting, impacting on our lives and the global economy.
Companies have had to rethink their business strategies and operations: in this context, the ASTM Group promptly implemented a series of actions and conduct to ensure lasting and timely relations with all its Stakeholders.
Business continuity risks took on serious significance and all companies in our Group increased the efficiency of their processes and implemented new technologies and working methods.
2021 saw an even greater collective consciousness emerging, placing issues linked to the climate and the environment at the heart of national and international debate. As the 2021 Report by the World Economic Forum demonstrated, the environmental crisis and climate change continue to represent the main risks in coming years, in terms of both impact and probability.
All of this takes on particular relevance for us at the ASTM Group as builders and operators of infrastructure, with the awareness that we are called upon to protect our roads over time.
During this difficult year, we have continued to invest in our infrastructure, to improve both safety and efficiency levels.
The emerging priorities of the post-pandemic “new normal”, include significant topics related to technological innovation and diversity, inclusion and respect for human rights, since the pandemic has made pre-existing systemic inequalities even more obvious.
This increases the private sector’s collective responsibility. Actions that are implemented to promote a sustainable and inclusive growth contribute to a company’s social recognition.
We are already working on the future that we want, a future we can already feel with our bare hands.
A future that is more and more sustainable because our activities contribute to the social and economic growth of the territories where we work, by placing people at the centre and integrating sustainability policies into our business strategy.
We have made a specific commitment: we were the first European motorway operator – and the largest in terms of kilometres managed in the world – to set science-based emission reduction objectives approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to achieve a 25% reduction in the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by our operations by 2030. We also want to be a model for our partners, undertaking to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 13% by 2030, in the goods and services we purchase from third parties.
These objectives are so important that they have been included in our financial strategy in the scope of emissions, with the issue last November of €3 billion of Sustainability-linked bonds. Demand for four times the offering prove the financial market’s acknowledgement of the Group’s value, our strategies integrated with ESG policies, and our vision for the future.
Our vision goes one step further because we want to be the protagonists of mobility’s digital transformation to build the motorways of the future, which are even more smart and connected, because we want to be the drivers of the ecological transition in the countries where we operate.
In this context, together with an exceptional partner, Volkswagen Group Italia, we presented the “smart road” project on the A4 Torino-Milano motorway, which envisages Italy’s first connectivity between standard cars and motorway in open traffic conditions. Through direct communication between vehicles and infrastructure, we can provide higher quality services in terms of safety, comfort and reduced traffic.
But we did not stop there. The initiative forms an integral part of the more general modernisation, technological innovation and ecological transition process for the A4 Torino-Milano Motorway, with the aim of making it one of the most technologically advanced in Europe. The first part of these projects will be completed by 2024 on the Milano-Novara pilot stretch. Once authorisation is received from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility (MIMS), this will then be extended to the entire motorway and the ASTM Group’s entire motorway
network in Italy.
A company stands out due to its ability to meet the expectations and needs of all its Stakeholders, and knowing how to embrace the same values.
In conclusion, the ASTM Group is aware of its social and economic role, of how infrastructure creates development, competition and employment, reduces inequalities and brings people and cultures together.
We want to continue being the driver of development with the goal of creating resilient, digital and sustainable infrastructure that combines modernity, innovation and safety to provide a better service to our customers.
This is our commitment and our vision for the future.
I hope you enjoy reading this report.
Chief Executive Officer