Sustainability is about ensuring long-term financial success and business viability, in part by understanding and addressing the major needs of our stakeholders who are impacted by our decisions and actions.
During 2013, business functions and regions across the Group committed to establishing long-term commitments and targets which are reported, together with the previous year's results, in this Sustainability Report. Our long-term commitments reflect ongoing changes in the automotive competitive environment as well as the evolution of stakeholder desires and requirements.
The Group’s commitment to sustainable development is reflected in the robust, well-established processes and organizational structures that have been created to ensure the integration of economic decisions with those of a social and environmental nature and the investigation of related impacts. The Group’s approach to business is, in fact, shaped by a culture of acting responsibly and the conviction that industrial development only has value if it is also sustainable.
Sustainability awareness throughout the Group has evolved and strengthened over the years, becoming an integral part of the strategic approach that drives the business.To reinforce our commitment throughout the entire organizational structure, a process for delegating authority from the highest governance body to management and subsequently to all employees has been in place since 2009, when responsibility for sustainability issues was assigned to the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee which thus became the Nominating, Corporate Governance and Sustainability Committee.
Since that time, several entities within the organization have assumed direct sustainability management roles.
The Sustainability Team -with its local presence in Italy, Brazil and the US- plays a central role in promoting a culture of sustainability within the Group and among its various stakeholders. The team facilitates the process of business continuous improvement, contributing to risk management, cost optimization, stakeholder engagement and enhancement of the company’s reputation. The teams interact with the individuals responsible for operational management of key issues (e.g., environment, energy, innovation, human resources, etc.) within each operating segment and region, as well as with the central functions, by supporting them in analyzing and reporting sustainability-related impacts, and identifying potential areas for action. It also manages relationships with sustainability rating agencies, international organizations, analysts and social responsible investors with the support of the Investor Relations team.
The Cross-Functional Sustainability Committee (CSC) promotes and evaluates operational decisions and plays an advisory role for proposals submitted to the Group Executive Council (GEC) by the Sustainability team. The CSC consists of representatives from the principal functions at the central and company levels (Business Development, Corporate Communications, Engineering, Design, Finance, GEC Coordinator, Human Resources, Industrial Relations, Institutional Relations, Internal Audit, Manufacturing, Purchasing, Senior Counsel and Treasurer).
The Group Executive Council (GEC), the decision-making body composed of the Chief Operating Officers (COOs) of the regions and sectors and various functional heads, defines the strategic approach, approves the Guidelines and evaluates the alignment of the Sustainability Plan targets with business objectives. The GEC is periodically updated on the status of projects and the Group’s overall performance on sustainability issues.
The Nominating, Corporate Governance and Sustainability Committee (a sub-committee of the Fiat S.p.A. Board of Directors) evaluates proposals related to strategic guidelines on sustainability-related issues, presents opinions to the Board of Directors as necessary, and reviews the annual Sustainability Report. Consultations regarding sustainability aspects between stakeholders and the highest governance body are delegated to the sustainability team which is responsible for maintaining an open dialogue with internal and external stakeholders on these issues. Outcomes of this dialogue are then incorporated into the annual disclosure of the Sustainability Report and reported to the highest governance body according to their relevance. In 2013, the Chief Operating Officers (COOs) of the EMEA, NAFTA and LATAM regions and their functional reports were updated by the Sustainability team on results of Stakeholder Engagement Events.